Community policing has become a popular crime-fighting strategy across the country, but there is no one definition of community policing or one specific way of carrying it out. From the time he was appointed in April 1992, Police Superintendent Matt L. Rodriguez advanced a strategy of community policing that is specific to Chicago. CAPS is a unique philosophy that borrows from the experiences of other cities, but also breaks important new ground in meeting the needs of the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Community.
What makes CAPS innovative is that it brings the police, the community, and other City agencies together to identify and solve neighborhood crime problems, rather than simply react to their symptoms after the fact. Problem solving at the neighborhood level is supported by a variety of strategies, including neighborhood-based beat officers; regular Beat Community Meetings involving police and residents; extensive training for both police and community; more efficient use of City services that impact crime; and new technology to help police and residents target crime hot spots.
With CAPS, police officers continue to enforce the law and respond rapidly to serious crimes and life-threatening emergencies. But CAPS recognizes that the police alone cannot solve the City's crime problems. It takes a combined effort of police, community, and City government working together.