August 2019
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice and Chicago’s Police Accountability Task Force both released reports highlighting the need to improve the relationship between the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the communities it serves. In response, CPD sought to embed community policing a strategy of policing that focuses on building ties and working closely with members of the community —at all levels.

Since 2016, Civic Consulting Alliance has supported CPD in its efforts to improve the relationship between police and communities. This work has included projects to prepare for a court-monitored consent decree , to implement a new use of force training, and to develop and implement the Department’s new strategic plan .

Over the past year, in particular, Civic Consulting Alliance—together with pro bono partners Bain & Company and Deloitte has worked with the Office of Community Policing to expand its capacity to implement Community Policing Advisory Panel (CPAP) recommendations and consent decree mandates. In fall of 2018, we helped the Office of Community Policing design its new operating model and management infrastructure, and since January, we have supported the Office of Community Policing by creating District and Bureau Strategic Plans that (1) embed community policing approaches into crime reduction strategies and (2) incorporate community input.

While much work remains to be done, with support from Civic Consulting Alliance, the Department has already introduced new mechanisms to embed community policing approaches into its strategies, by facilitating greater transparency and community input. In March and April, CPD conducted 44 community conversations across Chicago, speaking with more than 2,000 community members in order to develop District-level strategic plans. In May, CPD published these plans—one for each of the Department’s 22 Districts—on its website . Districts and Bureaus will update the public on progress against plan metrics on an ongoing basis.

By expanding the Office of Community Policing’s capacity to implement CPAP recommendations and consent decree mandates, Civic Consulting Alliance is helping to transform the Office so that it can more effectively track, measure, and improve the CPD’s community policing efforts.

"My colleagues and I are grateful to Civic Consulting Alliance for helping us make strategic changes to our systems and processes to improve how our Department approaches community policing. "

- Office of Community Policing Deputy Chief Dwayne Betts 

Our aim is that this work will make communities and police safer, by improving the quality of policing and the relationship between the Department and the communities it serves.
Andrew Kuhn and Allie O'Shea were with Civic Consulting Alliance as Fellows from Deloitte. Allie was with us from April to July, and Andrew from May to August. Trenati Baker was with us as a Summer Program Assistant from Genesys Works from June to August, and will start her senior year at Amherst College in the fall . Matthew Jimenez was a Summer Intern from The Academy Group from July to August, and will be a freshman at Northwestern University this fall .
What project work were you involved in during your time at Civic Consulting Alliance?

AK: I supported the Chicago Police Department (CPD) on a project to evaluate their staffing and scheduling models to improve efficiency, increase oversight, and explore potential technology solutions. I also analyzed the metrics used to track and measure the impact of CPD community engagement events.

AO: I worked with CPD to assess their officer scheduling processes, identify industry best practices, and develop recommendations to streamline processes and automate technology solutions. This work will help ensure that officers work consistently with one supervisor and have increased oversight.

TB: During my internship, I helped improve Civic Consulting Alliance's cloud storage and special event management systems. I also supported an analysis of the metrics we use to assess our projects' impact.

MJ: I worked with Civic Consulting Alliance's communications team. I developed recommendations for a refined social media strategy and conducted a landscape scan on newsletter best practices.

What will you take away from your time at Civic Consulting Alliance?

AK: I'll take away an increased appreciation for the complexity of city governance. I was encouraged by Civic Consulting Alliance's intelligent and motivated staff, who are collaborating with so many others to solve these challenges.

AO: I absolutely loved my time at Civic Consulting Alliance. I was exposed to a new industry and a new network of passionate individuals who want to make Chicago a better place. I will take these experiences and relationships with me, and I'm excited to keep in touch with everyone I met this summer. 

TB: I’ve learned a lot about the great work Chicago nonprofits are doing. I've appreciated getting a behind-the-scenes perspective on work that’s being done to create much-needed change—especially in low-income and Black and Brown communities. 

MJ : I've gained a deeper understanding of what it means to be a consultant and how to think like one. 

What was your most memorable experience during your time at Civic Consulting Alliance?

AK: My most memorable experience was traveling to various CPD districts to better understand their processes. I learned a lot about the distinct challenges that face communities across the city, as well as the challenges that face different units within CPD. Meeting with officers made the work more personal. 

AO: I did a ‘ride along’ with two CPD officers during a patrol. It was an incredible learning experience to see what police officers do daily and to gain a better understanding of detailed patrol operations.

TB: I particularly enjoyed my work on Civic Consulting Alliance's staff retreat. I've also appreciated working as part of a diverse team—getting to bond with other Black staff and share our experiences navigating the workplace and profes sional life in general.

MJ: My most memorable experience was being part of a DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) staff meeting. As a recent high school graduate, I appreciated seeing how discussions about DEI can take place in a professional setting.

How has your time at Civic Consulting Alliance helped you develop professionally?

AK: I've strengthened my problem-solving capabilities. Every solution I proposed needed to be viable for a budget-constrained, hierarchical organization, while still being effective. I also gained a new respect for the challenges facing CPD, and saw firsthand that change is possible if leaders push for it.

AO: It was a great experience to see how my private sector skill set could be applied to incredibly meaningful work with a public sector agency like CPD. Furthermore, I met so many mentors during my time at Civic Consulting Alliance who really invested in me and provided career advice that I will take with me as I begin by MBA this fall!

TB: I have learned a lot about time management and communication, as well as presentatio n design and data analysis. I also value the people I've met and the relationships I've developed here this summer. 

MJ: I learned a lot about the consulting and communications fields. Because of this internship, I will be better able to consider these career paths as I start college this fall.

Civic Consulting Alliance Fellowships are full-time positions that typically last between three months and a year. Fellows are integrated into project teams for a unique professional development opportunity . Please visit our   Fellowships   page to learn more about our range of fellowship opportunities.

  • West Side United celebrated two milestones recently! First, Norman Livingston Kerr became the collaborative's first Executive Director. Second, West Side United launched its 18-member Community Advisory Council, a key piece of its community-driven governance model.

  • The journal Metropolitan Universities recently published an article about the development of the Civic Leadership Academy at the University of Chicago, an initiative Civic Consulting Alliance helped develop.

Questions? Comments? Contact Marie Akerman