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New CPD deputy chief will focus on community policing

28-Feb-15 – Chicago police have created a new deputy chief position to expand the department’s community policing – a strategy in which police build ties and work closely with members of a community.

Eric Washington Eric Washington (left) has been with the Chicago Police Department for 28 years and was previously commander of the department’s 11th district, located west of the Loop.

As Deputy Chief of Community Policing, Washington will work with the department’s Patrol Division and CAPS, a program encouraging partnerships between communities and police.

“CAPS and community policing aren’t just initiatives, it’s how we all work,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy on Friday. “This role connects many of our existing efforts to foster stronger relationships with community leaders and residents as we continue working together to ensure the safety of our city.”

According to CPD, hundreds of officers in the past three years have been moved from administrative jobs to patrolling. Hundreds more have gone from patrolling in a police car to patrolling on foot or by bike, allowing them, believes the police, to interact better with residents.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel calls community policing “the foundation of our public safety strategy.” In his most recent budget, Emanuel doubled the number of officers on bike patrols.

 Related story: Crime down in River North, says district police commander