Chicago Police Opening 2 New Operation Areas to Expand Resources Across City

Police Superintendent David Brown: “Chicagoans deserve policing excellence”

(WTTW News)(WTTW News)

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown has only been on the job and in the city for a matter of days, but the Dallas transplant has already taken to Chicago’s culture, comparing his leadership and motivation strategies to those of one of the city’s most legendary coaches.

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“It feels like I’m Phil Jackson coaching Michael Jordan,” Brown said Thursday during a press conference announcing the opening of two new police operation areas that serve as headquarters for detectives. “I’m trying to be Zen master and figure out how to bubble up the talent, innovation and creativity to win the game, meaning building trust in the community while decreasing crime to historic levels. That’s really the challenge, that’s the goal.”

The two new areas bring the city’s total to five and come as part of a restructuring plan put in place by Brown’s predecessor Charlie Beck to improve neighborhood policing across Chicago. The CPD said the expansion will help streamline operations and control in order to meet public safety needs and increase collaboration between detectives and patrol officers.

With five areas now in place, district patrol, area detectives, gang investigation teams, area saturation teams and some narcotics investigation teams will each be led by a single deputy chief. Brown and Mayor Lori Lightfoot said this will strengthen a culture of accountability within each area and allow for better coordination.

Source: Chicago Police Department. (Click to enlarge)Source: Chicago Police Department. (Click to enlarge)

“This restructuring will not only streamline operations across the police department but it will give district commanders better access to the resources they need as well as increase collaboration between detectives and patrol officers,” Lightfoot said, speaking along with Brown at the new Area 4 headquarters on the city’s West Side.

The CPD previously had five areas, but shrunk those down to three in 2013. Lightfoot said the city spent around $3.7 million to reopen the previously shuttered Area 4 and Area 5 facilities, which were rehabbed in recent months and outfitted with new computers, phones and printers.

Those areas will handle gang investigations and area saturation teams, according to the CPD, which said this change will better position officers and detectives to quickly respond to crime scenes, providing a “more robust public safety presence in the communities that need them most.”

Having more areas also cuts down travel time, both for those working there and for witnesses and crime victims who in the past would have to go farther just to meet with a detective.

Already the 900-plus detectives working in the three existing police areas have been redistributed across all five areas in order to limit individual caseloads and let them focus more on the cases they are assigned to.

Beyond the new area expansion, Brown also spoke Thursday about his plan to reach “policing excellence.” Though he did not acknowledge his reported goal of keeping Chicago below 300 homicides in 2020, the new superintendent did say he wants to make Chicago “the safest big city in the country, bar none.”

“Others might be afraid to speak of such lofty goals for fear of falling short,” he said before making a reference to John F. Kennedy’s 1962 pledge to put a man on the moon. “But I strongly believe in striving for more, a moonshot goal. Chicagoans deserve policing excellence.”

The five areas will divide up the city’s police districts as follows:

Area 1 (5101 S Wentworth Ave)

Deputy Chief: Jose Tirado

Detective Commander: Tommy Mills

2nd (Wentworth) District

3rd (Grand Crossing) District

7th (Englewood) District

8th (Chicago Lawn) District

9th (Deering) District

Area 2 (727 E 111th St)

Deputy Chief: Elgin Holt

Detective Commander: Joel Howard

4th (South Chicago) District

5th (Calumet) District

6th (Gresham) District

22nd (Morgan Park) District

Area 3 (2452 W Belmont Ave)

Deputy Chief: Dan O’Shea

Detective Commander: Robert Cesario

1st (Central) District

12th (Near West) District

18th (Near North) District

19th (Town Hall) District

20th (Lincoln) District

24th (Rogers Park) District

Area 4 (3151 W Harrison Ave)

Deputy Chief: Ernest Cato

Detective Commander: Richard Wiser

10th (Ogden) District

11th (Harrison) District

15th (Austin) District

Area 5 (5555 W Grand Ave)

Deputy Chief: Roberto Nieves

Detective Commander: Eric Winstrom

14th (Shakespeare) District

16th (Jefferson Park) District

17th (Albany Park) District

25th (Grand Central) District

Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson[email protected] | (773) 509-5431

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