The Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) is evaluated to assess the effectiveness of community policing primarily during the 1996-1998 period.
Chicago's community policing effort features extensive community involvement. Since its inception, resident participation in CAPS has been one of the program's most significant successes. Recognition of CAPS has grown from 53 percent to 79 percent since 1996. The largest source of information about the program is television. The growth in CAPS awareness reflects in part the effects of a diverse and aggressive marketing effort coordinated by the CAPS Implementation Office. This effort features promotional spots on radio and television, ads in local newspapers, and posters at rapid transit stops and in high-traffic areas. Community beat meeting attendance is strongly linked to civic engagement. CAPS has also been successful in building collective efficacy to solve problems. The strategy has been implemented in Chicago's 25 police districts, and the effectiveness of CAPS in these districts is assessed in terms of beat teamwork and problem-solving activities, district teamwork and planning, district management, and community partnerships. Community support initiatives that have resulted from CAPS are noted. 10 tables, 7 figures, and 5 charts