Chicago, IL

University of Chicago Launches International Police Academy Focusing on Safety Successes of NYC, LA, Not Chicago

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Over past 30 years, murder rates nose dived in New York and Las Angeles but rose in Chicago
University of Illinois, ChicagoPhoto byDavid Wilson/flickr [CC BY 2.0]

The University of Chicago has introduced a new international police academy that draws lessons from the policing successes of New York and Los Angeles. However, the exclusion of Chicago's own experiences in the curriculum has prompted discussions about the city's approach to law enforcement. The initiative aims to provide valuable insights to 24 participants from around the world, but the absence of local context begs the question of how applicable these lessons will be in Chicago's unique policing landscape.

The new international police leadership academy, set to classes in Chicago on Monday, has enlisted policing experts from notable departments, including New York City and Los Angeles. The curriculum is designed to highlight the achievements and best practices of these cities, which have grappled with complex policing challenges and implemented successful strategies. Drawing from the experiences of these metropolitan areas, the academy seeks to equip participants with valuable insights and lessons to apply in their respective jurisdictions.

While the inclusion of New York and Los Angeles policing successes in the curriculum is commendable, the omission of Chicago's own experiences has raised eyebrows among local critics. Given Chicago's unique socio-economic dynamics, historical context, and distinct policing challenges, some argue that understanding the city's specific context is crucial for effective and relevant law enforcement strategies. Excluding Chicago's own experiences from the curriculum raises questions about whether the lessons learned from other cities can be directly applied in the local context.

The International Police Academy is part of the University of Chicago Community Safety Leadership Academies. The 24 trainees originate from Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Waco, Texas, Wichita, Kansas, and Manchester, England.

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