Race, Ethnicity and Police Deployment: A Look at Patrol Staffing in Chicago

Wednesday Sep 11, 2019 - 01:00pm to 02:00pm EDT
Event Description: 

Chicago is one of the most diverse cities in the country and, in spite of this, remains among the nation’s most segregated. Serving the community poses some unique challenges for the Chicago, Illinois Police Department. There are constant demands to address crime and disorder—made more complicated by a strong group of elected aldermen that jealously guard how city services are delivered in their wards.

In 2011, the Illinois American Civil Liberties Union sued the city arguing that “Chicago officials have failed to ensure that police are deployed equitably across the City’s many diverse neighborhoods, resulting in delayed police responses to emergency calls in neighborhoods with higher minority populations.” Moreover, the union suggested that “neighborhoods with significant ethnic minority populations in Chicago are more likely to have slower response rates to emergency calls and higher rates of serious violent crimes, as compared to predominately white neighborhoods.” As a part of that litigation, a county judge ordered that a staffing study be conducted.

This presentation describes that analysis. The conductors of the study employed a workload-based staffing analysis for the Chicago, Illinois Police Department Bureau of Patrol. The presenter will describe the analytical strategy, data, and results. In addition, the presenter will discuss how understanding deployment in a large multi-layer police agency makes it difficult to identify “winners and losers.”


  • Dr. Alexander Weiss, adjunct professor of criminal justice, Michigan State University
Organizer Information
Event Organization: 
Justice Clearinghouse
Event POC: 
Justice Clearinghouse