Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S02-03-12
Bridging the Divide Program
Issue Date:29 December 2016Effective Date:01 January 2017
Index Category:Human Rights and Community Partnerships
This directive:
  • A.establishes the Bridging the Divide Program and outlines the associated duties and responsibilities of individual Department members.
  • B.reinforces the Department's ongoing commitment to build community relationships, strengthen trust, develop partnerships, and facilitate healing with the residents that we serve.
  • C.builds on the strategies set forth in the Department directive entitled "Community Relations Strategy."
The Bridging the Divide Program will be effective:
  • the following Districts: 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 010, 011 and 015 and will continue until further notice. Further expansions of the Bridging the Divide program will be announced via AMC message.
  • B.for select Community Relations and operational personnel assigned or detailed to the above listed Districts.
III.General Information
  • A.Bridging the Divide is a program that was created by the YMCA Youth Safety and Violence Prevention Team and the Chicago Police Department that is designed to build relationships and increase understanding between youth, law enforcement officials, and other community members by offering opportunities for dialogue through the use of various community-building activities.
    The program does not require a YMCA Youth Safety and Violence Prevention Team in order to be implemented.
  • B.District-level Bridging the Divide programs should build relationships with local community organizations or entities that advocate for youth to participate in the program's activities. These organizations should help facilitate building relationships between youth, law enforcement, and the community.
IV.Program Concepts
  • A.The Bridging the Divide Program has four primary goals:
    • 1.fostering positive youth leadership focused around issues of community safety;
    • police officers in the area of restorative policing strategies;
    • 3.educating family and community members about the impact of restorative policing strategies; and
    • 4.utilizing creative methods and positive messages to strengthen local police-community relationships.
  • B.Bridging the Divide will give juvenile members of the community a voice in the Department via membership in Youth Subcommittees and the opportunity to participate in District Advisory Committee (DAC) meetings.
  • A.Office of the Superintendent of Police
    • 1.The Bridging the Divide Program in each district and area will be tailored to the unique communities it serves. The Special Advisor for Community Affairs, has the authority and responsibility to establish additional guidelines and protocols in an effort to promote consistent and efficient implementation of the program.
    • 2.Special Advisor for Community Affairs will:
      • a.oversee the development and implementation of the Bridging the Divide Program.
      • b.provide overall management of the Bridging the Divide Program.
      • in conjunction with the Deputy Chief, Community Relations Division.
      • d.provide a liaison to the Education and Training Division to provide guidelines, supporting documents, and procedural information in order to develop training for the program.
      • e.establish the procedural guidelines for the program.
      • f.provide administrative support and training to Department members.
      • with the Education and Training Division to ensure topic-specific training is developed and conducted for selected Department members.
      • h.provide information to the Education and Training Division so that members can attend Bridging the Divide events in order to provide experiential training.
        Recruits shall attend at least one circle, one café, and one community tour during their recruit status at the Education and Training Division.
  • B.Bureau of Patrol
    • 1.The Deputy Chief, Community Relations Division, will:
      • a.confer with district commanders, community relations sergeants, and district community relations personnel to address any program issues.
      • b.ensure that both Community Relations Division and district-level community relations personnel receive proper training for the Bridging the Divide Program.
      • c.monitor and audit the Department's implementation of the Bridging the Divide Program.
    • 2.District Commanders will:
      • a.provide for the overall management, monitoring, and auditing of their district’s implementation of the Bridging the Divide Program.
      • b.ensure that designated district personnel receive proper training in the Bridging the Divide Program.
      • c.address concerns identified at program events.
      • progress made toward addressing previously identified concerns and problems to the Community Relations Division.
      • e.ensure that outdoor roll calls and foot patrols are conducted in identified areas of the District.
        District commanders are responsible for implementing strategies and tailoring techniques that are unique to the district's crime conditions in order to provide a more localized effective approach to both problem-solving and crime reduction.
    • 3.District community relations sergeants will:
      • a.provide for the daily management of the district’s Bridging the Divide Program.
      • b.serve as the district-level Bridging the Divide coordinator.
      • c.ensure adequate staffing is dedicated to managing the Bridging the Divide activities.
      • d.ensure that Community Relations personnel receive initial and subsequent Bridging the Divide training as determined by the Special Advisor for Community Affairs.
      • e.ensure district community activities and events (on the table discussions, peace circles, etc.) are developed, scheduled, and conducted.
      • f.ensure the district law enforcement efforts are supported by actively organizing community members to become involved in the program.
      • g.ensure follow-up activities are scheduled and conducted after scheduled Bridging the Divide events.
      • h.analyze the program for effectiveness.
    • 4.District community relations personnel will:
      • a.serve as the district Bridging the Divide liaisons.
      • b.recruit youth, Department members, and collaborative partners to participate in Bridging the Divide activities.
      • c.initiate, coordinate, facilitate, and manage Bridging the Divide activities such as cafes , peace circles , and other community-building activities.
      • d.coordinate and manage CPD Youth Subcommittees.
      • members of the Youth Subcommittees to attend bi-monthly District Advisory Committee meetings to present identified concerns, problems, solutions, and ideas.
      • all activities, progress, problems, concerns, and solutions related to the Bridging the Divide program through their chain of command.
      • potential problems that have a bearing on law enforcement activities within the community through their chain of command.
      • h.schedule and conduct follow-up activities with community participants of Bridging the Divide events.
        Department members will inform community participants of district-level initiatives in accordance with Department directive "District-Level Strategies to Combat Chronic Crime and Disorder."
      • i.attend district roll calls in order to communicate and inform Department members about the program, it's events, and to teach Department members about the strategies of trauma-informed policing.
      • j.recruit and encourage beat officers to participate in Bridging the Divide events.
  • C.Department-wide Responsibilities
    It is the responsibility of all Department members, regardless of rank, position, or unit of assignment, to positively engage members of the community with the goal of fostering productive relationships in a collaborative effort to promote safe communities.
    • 1.All Department members will positively engage members of the community throughout their tour of duty to reduce violence and overall crime.
    • 2.All Department members will continue the practice of employing the concepts of Procedural Justice and Legitimacy with a focus on:
      • a.Giving others a voice (listening);
      • b.Neutrality in decision making;
      • c.Respectful treatment; and
      • d.Trustworthiness.
    • 3.All command personnel will ensure that members under their command proactively engage the community, conduct non-enforcement encounters, and participate in community activities throughout their tour of duty.
  • D.Bureau of Organizational Development
    The Deputy Chief, Education and Training Division, will ensure that topic-specific training is developed and conducted to enhance the efficient implementation of the Bridging the Divide Program. The Education and Training Division will:
    • 1.provide training in community engagement methods and strategies to Integrated Community Engagement Certification Training Teams to strengthen relationships between the Department and the community (e.g., Bridging the Divide curriculum).
    • 2.incorporate the community engagement methods and strategies into the Department's recruit and in-service training curriculum.
    • 3.incorporate the strategies of restorative policing strategies into the Department's recruit and in-service training curriculum.
    • with the Community Relations Division to ensure that staff and recruits from the Education and Training Division attend at least one circle, one cafe, and/or one community tour during their status at the Education and Training Division.
Authenticated by: AK
Eddie T. Johnson
Superintendent of Police
16-076 TPF
1. -
Outlets that facilitate the communication process between the community and the Department. These Cafes allow participants an opportunity to share their experiences and perspectives on pressing topics in their personal, family, and/or community lives while receiving support from the Department.
2. -
An intentionally created safe space that fosters restorative dialog. This space allows for the process of discussing difficult and painful issues in order to improve relationships and resolve differences so that the community and law enforcement can work together.