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.
People living with mental illnesses (MI) and intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are disproportionately represented in contacts with police, which can lead to stressful and dangerous conditions for everyone involved. Now, through Serving Safely: The National Initiative to Enhance Policing for Persons with Mental Illnesses and Developmental Disabilities, law enforcement agencies can request help to respond safely and effectively to incidents involving persons with MI and I/DD.