CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined the Chicago Police Department Thursday to announce the opening of two additional operation areas as part of a restructuring effort in the department, bringing the total number to five.
Lightfoot and CPD claim this will give district commanders more control over — and access — to resources to meet public safety needs.
Lightfoot said it is a public safety strategy with all hands on deck approach. It will provide support and space for detectives and bring them closer to the neighborhoods they serve.
CPD is reopening two detective areas. The plan will redistribute more than 900 detectives, hoping to alleviate caseloads and solve more crimes.
Gang investigations and area saturation teams will now be working out Area 4 and Area 5 to improve response time. They said detectives will be more likely to locate witnesses at the scene of a crime and lower the risk of contaminated evidence.
“In reshaping CPD into five areas, district patrol, area detectives, gang investigation teams, narcotics teams and area saturation teams will now fall under the authority of a single deputy chief,” said Lightfoot.
Last October, Lightfoot first announced the plan to restructure CPD’s operation areas.
Area 4 and Area 5 were closed in 2013.
“Today we are here, not just to cut a ribbon, but to make good on a commitment to this community and beyond,” said Chicago Police Supt. David Brown. “The addition of Area 4 and Area 5 puts police officers closer to everyday Chicagoans. It makes it easier for witnesses and victims to interact with detectives and put specialized teams nearby and ready to respond.”