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Latino State News

Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent McCarthy Announce “A Force for Good”

New initiative will help community organizations prevent crime

Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced the launch of A Force For Good, a new initiative that will strengthen community- and faith-based organizations’ ability to enhance safety and reduce violent crime in communities across Chicago.

“We all share responsibility for the safety of our streets,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This partnership will provide community organizations across Chicago with the tools they need to keep our neighborhoods safe and secure.”

“The Chicago Police Department relies on community organizations as our partners to help stem crime before it begins,” said Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy. “This effort is part of our commitment to work closely with the communities we serve in order to keep Chicagoans safe.”

A Force For Good is a two-year program that will provide 25 community- and faith-based organizations with skill development classes, technical assistance and mentorship to increase their capacity to identify, obtain and manage grants and resources.

Specifically, participating organizations will benefit from:

  * individualized assessments to identify specific organizational challenges and ways to address them;
  * instructional sessions to improve technical skills for staff members;
  * training and assistance from specialists during the grant application process; and
  * a mentorship and support network of other community-based organizations.

To identify a diverse group of community organizations with real potential to improve community safety, A Force For Good will be supported by an Advisory Board with representatives from the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS), the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the Donors Forum, Goodcity, One Good Deed Chicago, CPD Grants Unit, the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, the Chicago Department of Public Health, and the Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development.

A Force for Good complements the Administration’s commitment to enhancing the safety of Chicago’s neighborhoods. Since May, the Administration has redeployed nearly 750 additional police officers to the beat, implemented Compstat crime analysis, and acted to streamline the Chicago Police Department’s command structure.

A Force for Good will be funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant. Training and technical assistance classes will be provided by the Donors Forum.

To be eligible for “A Force for Good,” a community based organization must:

  * be Chicago-based and serve Chicago communities experiencing higher than average rates of violent crime;
  * provide services that address violent crime, those who commit violent crimes, or the underlying conditions that contribute to high violent crime rates;
  * have been in existence for three or more years;
  * have the capacity to commit to a two year period of active FFG participation; and
  * have an annual budget that does not exceed $500,000.

Applications for participation in this initiative will be accepted through September 15, 2011. For more information about A Force For Good, visit the Chicago Police Department’s website at www.chicagopolice.org.