The Chicago Police Department serves as the local law enforcement agency for the city of Chicago, Illinois. The CPD is one of the largest local law enforcement agencies in the entire United States, second only to the New York City Police Department with some 12.3 thousand sworn officers and nearly 2 thousand civilian employees. Their mission, from their website at chicagopolice.org, is
“The Chicago Police Department, as part of, and empowered by, the community, is committed to protect the lives, property, and rights of all people, to maintain order, and to enforce the law impartially. We will provide quality police service in partnership with other members of the community. To fulfill our mission, we will strive to attain the highest degree of ethical behavior and professional conduct at all times.”
The CPD is organized into six bureaus, the Bureau of Internal Affairs, the Bureau of Administration, the Bureau of Organizational Development, the Bureau of Patrol, the Bureau of Detectives, and the Bureau of Organized Crime. The Bureau of Patrol oversees the 25 geographical police districts that comprise Chicago and, in addition, maintains specialized units for attending to special instances, such as the Marine & Helicopter Unit, SWAT, and Mounted Units.
The city of Chicago, Illinois has a population of 2,708,382 and has, according to the latest available data, and average of 140,816 crimes per annum. Violent crime accounts for around 19 percent of those crimes with murders at 500 (0.18 per 1000 residents), rapes at 1,012 (0.38 per 1000 residents), robberies at 13,506 (4.99 per 1000 residents), and assaults at 12,277 (4.53 per 1000 residents) for a grand total of 27,295 violent crimes per annum (10.08 per 1000 residents). Property crimes make up the other 81 percent of those crimes with burglaries at 22,775 (8.41 per 1000 residents), thefts at 73,538 (27.15 per 1000 residents), and motor vehicle thefts at 17,010 (6.28 per 1000 residents) for a grand total of 113,323 property crimes per annum (41.84 per 1000 residents). Overall, a resident of Chicago has a 1 in 99 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime and a 1 in 24 chance of becoming a victim of a property crime each year.
The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) designates many records as publicly available. When making FOIA requests to the CPD, the request should be in written form, printed or typed, and will need to include the name, mailing address, daytime phone number of the requester, and a description of the records that are being requested. You can, if you wish, use the CPD Freedom of Information Request form offered on their website and, although it is not outright stated on their site, it will likely aid the process of fulfilling your request should you do so as the form is likely a part of their request fulfillment process and filing and probably will need to be filled out by staffers if a request arrives in an alternate form. There are four available ways in which to submit a FOIA request with the Chicago Police Department. It can be mailed to:
Chicago Police DepartmentAttn: Freedom of Information OfficerRecords Inquiry Section, Unit 1633510 S. Michigan Ave.Chicago, IL 60653
The request can be delivered in person to the Police Records Customer Service Section at 3510 S. Michigan Avenue. This office is open 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding public holidays. The request can also be submitted by facsimile to (312) 745-6948. You will want to ensure that the cover sheet or document is clearly made to the attention of “Freedom of Information Officer.” Lastly, the request may be submitted by email to [email protected].
Should you need to locate or obtain information about a person who may currently be incarcerated within the City of Chicago Jail system, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office offers a D.O.C. Inmate Locator on their website at www2.cookcountysheriff.org/search2/. You may perform the search in one of two ways. A search may be performed by entering a first and last name or by entering a booking number.