Chicago is Adopting The “Broken Windows” Strategy | Law Enforcement Today

Chicago Police Department

Chicago is Adopting The “Broken Windows” Strategy

Editor’s NOTE: In a city with a high propensity for violent crime, do you think fixing windows and erasing graffiti is the solution? Is The broken windows theory a crime fighting strategy or a quality of life improvement plan? Either way, something’s got to give.

May 5, 2013 in Crime, Crime Prevention, Featured, Posts by Jean Reynolds

In January, Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced that 200 police officers were going to be reassigned to patrol work. Two weeks later, McCarthy had more news for Chicago residents:

Focusing on the little things

He is proposing an ordinance to authorize arrests for unpaid tickets for public urination, public consumption of alcohol, and gambling—“the three top complaints,” he said, from Chicago residents.

“Fixing the little things prevents the bigger things,” said McCarthy, a longtime advocate of the “broken windows” approach to fighting crime. “Broken windows” is the brainchild of social scientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling.

The theory behind it

They claimed that unrepaired windows, litter, and other signs of neighborhood decay constitute an announcement that a neighborhood has stopped taking responsibility for the quality of life in its public spaces. The next step is for responsible citizens to start moving out—and for lawbreakers to move in.

To learn more about it

To Read More about Chicago’s paradigm policing shift;  Chicago is Adopting The “Broken Windows” Strategy | Law Enforcement Today.

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