Public Safety, Crime Prevention & CAPS

District Overview

Wrightwood community District 19

Wrightwood Neighbors falls under the 19th District of the Chicago Police Department, in beats 1932 and 1935.

District 19 Contact Info and Twitter Feed

CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy)

19th District Community Policing Office: 312-744-0064

Beginning in 1993, the Chicago Police Department has been committed to implementing a comprehensive community policing strategy – CAPS – that is designed to make residents an active partner in preventing and reducing crime in all of Chicago’s neighborhoods. That strategy recognizes that police, residents and other neighborhood stakeholders, and other City agencies have to work together to address all the conditions that can lead to crime. No one stands alone; each of us has a role to play in improving the quality of life in our communities.

Role of Beat Officers

Find your Neighborhood Beat here

Under CAPS, a team of 8 to 9 beat officers is assigned to each of the City’s 277 police beats. Beat officers patrol the same beat on the same watch for at least a year. This allows beat officers to get to know the people on their beats, and community members to get to know their beat officers.

Beat teams are fully equipped, motorized police units. They patrol primarily in their squad cars, but sometimes on foot as well. Beat officers respond to calls for police service on their beats, especially those calls that are of a non-emergency nature.

This focus on beat integrity allows police and community to more closely monitor the problems on their beats, and to develop more effective solutions to those problems.

Critical elements to the City’s community policing strategy:

  • That police, residents and other City agencies working together can prevent crime and improve the quality of life in all of Chicago’s neighborhoods;
  • That positive working relationships need to be established between local police and residents; and
  • That law enforcement, community-based, and City service strategies need to be developed and implemented in order to prevent and reduce crime.

Get The Most From Your Beat Meeting

The partnership between police and community is the foundation of Chicago’s own philosophy of community policing, known as CAPS — the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy.

In order to stay informed about emerging crime and disorder issues, you should try to attend your beat meeting on a regular basis. At the meeting, residents and beat officers discuss priority crime and disorder issues, as well as develop strategies to address those issues.

Attending your beat meeting will give you the opportunity to get to know the officers that work on your beat, provide information about your and your neighbors concerns to police, meet other residents in your beat who may be working on similar issues, and bring back the latest information from police to your neighbors.

Making My Neighborhood Safer

While this list is not all inclusive, it may help you find projects that are the right fit for your issues. Always remember to include your local police in projects to address criminal activity in order to increase your chances of successfully addressing the problem.

Conduct a neighborhood canvas

The purpose of the canvass is to identify not only issues around your block that may need to be addressed, but also to identify resources, such as businesses, libraries, parks and community organizations, that can help your block club implement projects. When canvassing the area around your block, also talk to other residents to find out if there are other block clubs in the area that may be interested in doing joint projects.

Organize a neighborhood clean-up

Criminals are attracted to neighborhoods that appear dirty or unkempt. Regular clean-ups will deter criminal activity by bringing people out and visible on the street. The City, through the Clean and Green program, can loan your block club tools throughout the year to help you keep your block looking good. You can also use this as a way to meet all the neighbors on your block and get them involved.

Organize an alley numbering project

Alley numbers help speed response from police, fire and paramedics who under certain circumstances may need to respond through the alley. Alley numbers may be provided to groups by your local police district through a grant provided by the Allstate Foundation.

Establish a phone tree

A phone tree can provide a means for neighbors to first call 911 to request the police when a crime occurs and to then communicate among themselves. A phone tree lists residents according to their address and can be a rapid communication and reporting system for the block club.

Organize a neighborhood resource day

One good way to keep neighbors involved and active is to provide them with new information about programs around the City. The City of Chicago’s Speakers Bureau can provide speakers from various City Departments on a wide range of programs. Other suggestions for speakers could include local health service providers to provide information on health and nutrition topics or local hardware stores to provide home improvement tips.

Work on problem buildings

One bad building can ruin a whole block; one bad store can ruin a whole neighborhood, but you and your neighbors can help make a real difference when it comes to problem buildings. By working with police and other City Departments, you can help hold landlords or store owners accountable for criminal or nuisance activity that may be occurring on their property.

Start a neighborhood garden

Beautification efforts make the neighborhood more pleasing for everyone and, again, are a deterrent to crime. Gardens could be planted on vacant lots, in the parkway or in traffic circles. You might also consider a vegetable garden, allowing all the neighbors to share the fresh produce throughout the summer. Don’t forget–recruit young people in your neighborhood to help maintain and care for the garden. The City can provide training and assistance to groups who want to start a garden through the Greencorps program.

Become a Court Advocate

Often criminals go free because victims and witnesses are afraid to go to court. By volunteering with your Police District’s court advocacy group, you can provide vital support to victims and witnesses. Attending court or administrative hearing proceedings also shows judges that the community is concerned about an issue and visibly demonstrates the impact crime has on you and your neighbors.

Organize field trips

Too often, Chicagoans don’t take advantage of the nationally and internationally recognized cultural and educational attractions that draw tourists to the City by the millions. From museums to architecture to historic parks and facilities, your group should take advantage of these opportunities throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods. Many museum passes can be obtained free of charge from your local library.


Block parties are a Chicago tradition throughout the summer, but you don’t have to confine your celebrations to just one day. Smaller events can be easily organized throughout the year.