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Live reporting by Rob Reid
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Rob Reid @robcat26
Hi, I’ll be live-tweeting today's Committee on Public Safety meeting for #CHIdocumenters @CHIdocumenters.

12:23 PM May 1, 2024 CDT

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The meeting is starting a bit late as the Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety just wrapped up, but will be in the City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor at City Hall 121 N. LaSalle Street and is livestreamed at…
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For some background, you might be interested in Chicago Documenters notes from this committee’s previous meeting, at…
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The Committee on Public Safety is one of the city’s “nuts and bolts” committees focused on city services, specifically related to the Police and Fire Departments, Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), and Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA).
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This 18-member committee is chaired by alderman Brian Hopkins.…
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Here’s today’s agenda-
#1 on the agenda is approval of the April 2024 Rule 45 Report
#2 is a subject matter hearing on the Summer Preparedness Plan. No votes will be taken on this item.
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Public comments are underway. Frequent commenter Jessica Jackson is speaking in support of police superintendent Snelling taking the rap for Chicago's crime. She blames corrupt aldermen and the corrupt circuit court system.
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George Blakemore is next (of course!). He bemoans racial disparity in policing. "White lives matter, and black lives don't" in the current system, he repeats a few times.
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Next is Michael Young-Bey, another regular. "Peace in our society is dependent on justice" but public safety in Chicago is a "political game," he says. "Bad cops need to be turned in by good cops."
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The committee approves the April Rule 45 report. Rule 45 refers to a rule in Chicago’s City Council Rules of Order requiring that committees keep a transcript of their meetings, including reports and recommendations received by the committee, roll call votes of each member, etc.
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On to the 2nd and final item on the agenda, re: the city's Summer Preparedness Plan. Superintendent Larry Snelling is now speaking.
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Referring to expected protests this summer, Snelling affirms commitment to the 1st and 4th amendments, but they're preparing for the worst case scenario while making sure the department is not "going overboard." "We need to have that balance."
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In the box to answer questions, CPD leaders including Glen Brooks (Director of Community Policing), Duane DeVries (chief of counterterrorism), John Hein (Chief of Patrol), + 1
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Matt Martin asks re: community outreach, and the panel references partners amongst community leaders, public schools
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Ald. Moore asks Snelling if his position on ShotSpotter has changed since he'd been appointed and Snelling essentially says no, that this tech can help solve crimes. See also…
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Snelling says they've seen a reduction in shootings in the 35 most violent beats (of 285 citywide), in part due to this technology.
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Sposato expresses concerns re: crime with immigrants and says "I have no doubt there are gangbangers" amongst the new arrivals, though "not that many." DeVries responds that they are collaborating with DHS as a partner.
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Garien Gatewood, Deputy Mayor of Community Safety, is the 4th expert in the box (I didn't have his name earlier in this thread).
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Gatewood, responding to a question from Ald. Sigcho-Lopez, talks about the importance of cross-agency partnerships with CPD, Parks, DFFS, etc. in addressing public safety concerns about alders.
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Sigcho-Lopez highlights the importance of anchoring to facts in committee meetings, referencing yesterday's Sun-Times editorial.…
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Sigcho-Lopez says he's proud of how Chicago leadership has respected first amendment rights in student campus protests (compared to other locations such as Texas), and hopes this can hold during the DNC.
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Ald. Vasquez asks how CPD is preparing for a potential influx of migrant buses close to the DNC. DeVries says they're monitoring this closely in collaboration with OEMC.
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Vasquez asks re: potential terror attacks on public transit. DeVries says they're working closely with CTA, Amtrak, Metra and have done some 'tabletops.' He notes that CTA has one of the best camera systems in the country which has led to quick apprehensions in past crimes.
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Re: Vasquez's next question re: addressing robberies, Chief Hein says it's been a challenging year but they're forming a full time team on a strategic task force related to this issue.
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Vice chair Yancy asks for reassurance that neighborhoods won't be neglected while CPD is focused on the DNC. Snelling says community partners are key, and asserts that neighborhoods won't be neglected.
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Yancy asks for stats on officer hiring and the budget deficit. Snelling says he'll provide that information later because he wants to be sure it's accurate.
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Ald. Curtis asks what CPD needs from City Council. Snelling essentially asks alders to take the time to understand the challenges of police work, the amount of training time it takes to shift officer behavior, the risks of trauma faced by officers. Goal is to establish respect.
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Manaa-Hoppenworth gives a shout-out to the importance of community CAPS meetings, and the Choose to Change youth violence prevention program…
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Manaa-Hoppenworth asks what Chicago may be doing differently at DNC based on lessons learned from George Floyd protests. Snelling says they've tightened up training and are more prepared now specifically in terms of honoring the first and fourth amendments.
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Brooks and DeVries tout the OEMC app as a way for residents to track street closures safety preparedness, etc. during the DNC and otherwise.…
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Matt Martin commends the communication around street robberies, as well as the Community Violence Intervention Program (ARPA-funded youth diversion program). He also notes that while CPD is currently understaffed, staff levels have plateaued and no longer decreasing.
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Martin asks for specifics on CPD training ahead of DNC. Snelling emphasizes repetition in training for deep familiarity with 1st/4th amendments (when it's appropriate to take someone into custody), de-escalation, monitoring officers for signs of burnout, handling mass arrests.
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As chair Hopkins notes, committee members express condolences for recently slain off-duty police officer Luis Huesca.…
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Thus concludes the hearing on summer preparedness and the Chicago Committee on Public Safety meeting. Meeting adjourned at 2:09. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7 2024 at City Council Chambers.