Activists, attorneys and politicians are planning to march against police violence and abuse in a suburb north of Chicago Saturday. The march is intended to put pressure on the North Chicago Police Department, which has seen a number of scandals in the last year.
Police superintendents weren’t always slaves to crime statistics, but CompStat changed all that. The system, which collects data on everything from curfew violations to murder, generates reports on crime trends within a geographic area. Once the numbers are crunched, ranking officers are called to the carpet to field questions from their command staff and chief, who will undoubtedly be probed on the numbers by the mayor — and citizens — of the city he’s been charged to protect.
When Long John Wentworth was elected mayor in the spring of 1857, he pledged to clean up the city. Today that would mean an attack on political corruption. In Long John’s time, he meant a literal clean up: Chicago looked like a junkyard.