Safer Chicago Plan
Mayor Lightfoot’s mission is to keep our neighborhoods safe.
For Mayor Lightfoot, there is no higher calling than restoring safety and peace in our neighborhoods. To reduce a historic nationwide spike in violent crime, we need short-term and long-term solutions. Her plan is tackling gang violence, taking guns off our streets, and making historic investments in communities most at risk from violence. She knows we cannot just arrest our way out of this problem—we have to invest our way through it.
Her Safer Chicago Plan brings together community members, all levels of government, law enforcement, the private sector, and every Chicagoan who is invested in moving Chicago forward.
There is more work to do, but we are making real progress. Last year, homicides fell by 14% and shootings fell by 20%.
Mayor Lightfoot and her team:
- Hired more than 950 new police officers in 2022 amid a nationwide police staffing crisis.
- Increased funding for community approaches to violence reduction by 1400%, with a focus on high-risk, violent individuals and on supporting victims of violence.
- Expanded the Vehicular Hijacking Task Force, which includes Chicago Police, Cook County Sheriffs, Illinois State Police, and federal law enforcement, to take on the increase in carjackings that Chicago and cities across the country have experienced in recent years.
- Sued the top out-of-state gun suppliers linked to guns used in Chicago-area crimes.
- Created a new CPD Gun Investigations Team in 2021, which focuses on interrupting the illegal flow of guns into the city and seizing expired Firearms Owners’ Identification Cards and guns from individuals in Chicago who no longer can legally possess guns.
- Removed more than 12,700 illegal guns off Chicago’s streets in 2022, including more than 1,000 assault weapons and 750 ghost guns.
- Increased the number of sworn CPD officers who patrol train and bus routes and are conducting police roll calls near bus stops and train stations to ensure that our law enforcement has a visible presence on and near transit.
- Doubled the size of our contracted, unarmed security guard staff on our public transit from 150 to 300 and deployed 50 canine teams.
- Launched the Community Safety Coordination Center, a hub to holistically coordinate every government agency–not just the police–to provide resources and services to address the root causes of violence.
- Created the Mayor’s Office of Violence Reduction to drive a proactive approach to preventing violence and supporting impacted communities.
- The Mayor’s Office of Public Safety created the Violence Reduction Dashboard, which publishes real-time data on violence trends across the city.
- Expanded the Narcotics Arrest Diversion Program, which redirects people with substance use disorders away from the criminal justice system and into medical treatment and rehabilitation. Chicago has created the biggest arrest diversion program in the country, helping people struggling with substance abuse receive treatment instead of a criminal record, and allowing CPD to focus on preventing and solving crimes.
- Launched the Crisis Assistance Response and Engagement (CARE) pilot program to respond to 9-1-1 calls related to mental health crises. Response teams include specially trained paramedics, mental health clinicians, and police officers who have completed the City’s crisis intervention training.
- Raised the mental health budget sevenfold, funding mental health resources in all 77 community areas as of the end of 2022, increasing the number of Chicagoans served annually from 3,500 to 60,000.
- Spearheaded new supports for Chicagoans returning from prison to prevent a return to a life of crime or recidivism.
- Ensured CPD has trained and activated victims’ services and street outreach teams in de-escalation techniques to prevent violent situations.
- Created the Service Coordination and Navigation (SCaN) program to connect youth to mental health services, housing, education, training, and legal services. SCaN has already served more than 638 youth ages 14-24 in neighborhoods that experience the highest levels of gun violence.
- Created the Home and Business Protection Program to provide reimbursements for security devices that residents, businesses, non-profits, and religious institutions can use to keep their communities safe.
- Spearheaded INVEST South/West, our historic, $2.2 billion economic development program on the South and West Sides.
- Implemented the first strategic plan to address human trafficking and gender-based violence, including $25 million in investments to provide support services.
We have come a long way in making our city safer, but Mayor Lightfoot knows the work is not yet finished—there is much more to do. These investments represent her commitment to taking the necessary steps in this crucial work, and making sure Chicagoans in every neighborhood are safe and feel safe. The bottom line is this: we don’t have to choose between justice and public safety. We can—and must—ensure every Chicagoan has access to both.