Attend Your Beat Meeting
In order to stay informed on crime and quality of life issues, you should try to attend your beat meeting on a regular basis. Beat meetings are held by the Police Department on a regular basis, often once a month, for each of the 44th Ward’s eight beats. At the meeting, residents and beat officers discuss priority crime and safety issues, as well as develop strategies to address those issues.
Attending your beat meeting will give you the opportunity to get to know the officers that work on your beat, provide information about you and your neighbors concerns to police, meet other residents in your beat who may be working on similar issues and bring back the latest information from police to your neighbors.
Get Involved with Your District Advisory Committee
Each Police District has a District Advisory Committee whose function is to provide advice and organize community based strategies to address the underlying conditions in the district that can contribute to crime.
Each District Advisory Committee represents a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the community: residents, businesses, religious institutions, parks, schools, and community-based organizations. Participating with your District Advisory Committee will allow you to help shape policies in our community that can have a long lasting positive impact on crime.
Successful partnerships with the community don’t stop when an arrest is made. Victims, and your community, need your support in court. Many times the community is the victim of the crime and by attending court hearings you can be an advocate for your community. Being a part of the judicial process can also be a daunting experience. Victims and witnesses are sometimes intimidated by the process and the defendant. Court Advocates provide the necessary brace that some victims and witnesses need to continue with their case and testimony. By attending court, Advocates send a strong message to the defendant and the judicial system that they are interested in their community, its problems, possible solutions and will not accept things as they once were.
Each Police District has a Court Advocacy Subcommittee. Information regarding crime trends and victims and witnesses of crime are discussed. When arrests are made in the community, Court Advocates organize volunteers to attend court. Cases Advocates follow can range from violent crimes, such as murder or sexual assault, to drug dealing and public drinking, to abandoned buildings, negligent landlords and problem businesses.
Volunteers can also deliver community impact statements in narcotics conspiracy cases, demonstrating the devastating impact that narcotics sales have on an entire community; in Illinois, this option can also be exercised in felony prostitution cases.