I could not be more proud of the City of Chicago, my colleagues on the City Council, our Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and the countless residents, community organizations and nonprofit leaders that came together to pass a transformational ordinance to provide real, in-depth community input into the way Chicago polices its City by passing the historic Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) ordinance. Chicago has always been at the forefront of community inclusion in policing, having been the first city to institute a CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy) program, and now we stand at the cutting edge of community policing once again by giving Chicago residents a real say in how their neighborhoods will work with police to improve public safety.

In short, the ECPS ordinance will allow for residents to elect representatives to serve on district councils for each of the police districts across the City. For the 3rd Ward that would include the 1st, 2nd, 7th and 9th Police Districts. These district councils will then select representatives to serve on a citywide advisory council that will work with the community, elected officials and the police department to determine police policy, resource allocation, officer accountability, community engagement, and the selection of the Police Superintendent, members of the Police Board, and the head administrator of the Civilian Office for Police Accountability. It is through the inclusion of all parties that the City will be able to move forward and address its longstanding public safety challenges.

Let me be clear, this new ordinance does not take away from the Chicago Police Department. It is funded separately from the Police Department’s budget. It will not give the public unilateral control over the police, their policies, their hiring, their leadership, or their day-to-day operations. ECPS ensures that the police and City government must work together with the community to improve public safety, with no one group being more important or powerful than the other. Collaboration must be achieved and collaboration is what is best for the City moving forward.

I fully support ECPS and fully support the Chicago Police Department. It is not an either/or choice. We need the police in our community to help stop crime and to make Chicago the best, safest City it can be. With ECPS, we can add community trust and respect back into policing in Chicago, and restore the relationship between communities of color like the ones I represent and the police that work so hard each day to keep all Chicagoans safe. ECPS will help the City do that, and now we as a community must step up and work together to meet the police at this new high water mark for collaboration. 

As always, the 3rd Ward Public Service Office staff and I are available to assist you by phone 773-373-9273 or via email at Thank you for reading this newsletter. Please share it with a neighbor or friend.


Pat Dowell
Alderman, 3rd Ward