The Better Government Association has been looking at how suburban police departments use “stop and frisk” policies as a crime-fighting tool.

Those policies — long controversial — have drawn special scrutiny in the wake of a ruling by a federal court judge that the way New York city police use “stop and frisk” violated the constitutional rights of minorities.

The BGA study, as reported by WLS-TV, found that most departments were reluctant to talk about their practices in detail — but that Evanston police were much more forthcoming.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Evanston cops forthcoming? Because it is all PR

    It is not surprising that the EPD would jump to talk to the media about one of their "signature programs" since the entire "stop and frisk" policy is nothing more than a PR smoke screen to cover up their utter ineffectiveness.

    In the absense of an actual plan to deal with the gang problem, EPD picks a flavor of the day approach which will be utterly ineffective.  "Hey, let's buy a Peoria Policemobile!"  "Hey, let's stop and frisk"!  "Hey, let's have a School Safety ZOne."

    They run to to the media touting these things while safety problems persist and murders go unsolved.  It is a pure tactic of distraction to avoid accountability. 

    1. Good! Proud!

      This is good.  Makes me proud.  What would be a better idea in your mind?  Please don't come back defensive please just share your idea.

  2. What evidence do you have of this?

    I've worked closely with the Evanston Police Department for some time, and have seen a measurable decrease in gang crime and violence in my neighborhood (in fact, due in part to cooperative efforts by neighbors and by both police municipalities, there have even been measurable decreases in violent crime just across the Chicago border)

    If you look at the crime statistics (available to anyone on the City's website,) crime is steadily decreasing in Evanston – what has increased is public AWARENESS of crime.  These two things should not be confused.

  3. Make life miserable for gang members

    There is a book by Mark Kleiman, "When Brute Force Fails," a criminal justice expert who actually uses data to analyze effectiveness of policing.  He argues the best thing a community can do is to make it explicitly known to the bad guys that they are not wanted and that the city will use every legal means necessary to make their lives miserable.

    This requires the police/city to make it known to criminals that punishment of any transgressions will be swift and certain.  You also concentrate resources on solving the immediate particular problem instead of dispersing resources.

    You also use other aspects of the city code (like property standards) to make life miserable for the bad guys.  The cops know who the bad guys are.  If their house has too high of grass, you issue citations.  If you see a bad guy riding a bike without a light, you issue citations.  Once criminal behavior of the targeted gang dies down, you publicaly call out the next gang. 

    Right now, there is no strategy.  The EPD is purely reactive and that is a losing battle.

    1. Contact your beat’s Problem Solving Team

      You will find, in fact, that there are many, targeted community/police strategies in place.  For one thing, EPD is very open about how their resources are allocated, they use data models to deploy police. For another, there is a specific officer assigned to each area in Evanston expressly to address the needs of each community who can explain exactly how resources are allocated and what strategies are in place.

      All you have to do if you want accurate information is to set up a meeting with your Problem Solving Team officer.  The City's website has information on how to find your beat and your PST officer's last name.  You can reach them by calling 847-866-5000 and asking to be connected.  EPD puts a significant amount of resources towards being proactive, but community members need to reach out to participate.

      This also applies to people who are concerned about policy implementation: get involved!  There are all kinds of ways to make sure you have a voice.  

  4. BGA Intervention

    I'm so glad the BGA is looking into this illegal plan to profile residents of the 5th Ward to appease a certain demographic of parents. Especially, when in fact, nationally, this demograpic's (male children) are causing most of the violence in schools and college campuses around the country – not people of color in the 5th Ward that will be targeted.

    1. Confused…?

      How is it profiling?  People of color?  What am I missing because I want to be in the know.

  5. I recently took out of town

    I recently took out of town family to 8th grade graduation at the High School and as we passed the police investigation into a recent shooting I had to make lame excuses about the safety of this neighborhood.

    "Wow is this area safe?" "Will ____ be safe here next year?"

    I applaud stop-and-frisk

    I ask the residents of the local neighborhood to step up and keep their young men in check, be good parents and own their neighborhood. If the residents don't own it then I applaud the developers who buy your homes and kick you out.

    I hope stop-and-frisk continues … what if the teens "get bored and just want to kill someone" like in Oklahoma??

    Time to grow up and put away the guns and hold these teens accountable: More stop-and-frisk.

    1. Yes, embarrassing!

      I've become embarrassed of the reputation!  I feel for you with your out of town family experience.

  6. Has to be a better way…..

    Being a black man that has been a victim of this procedure….its never just a possible frisk. They immediately frisk.

    I of course have nothing to hide but I did feel VERY violated afterwards. Not only by the frisk but by the tone of the officers as well.

    And why was I stopped? He told me he doesn't see young black men driving a Lexus on Howard St too often. And when they do, they know its not on the up and up.

    Never mind I'm a college graduate and am very much gainfully employed.

    I was simply dropping grocieries off at my mother's townhome. I was allowed to go on my way. But only after being detained for 15 minutes. It was the most uncomfortable experience of my life.

    I think about this whenever I go there now. Which is once a week.

    1. Stop and frisk is necessary and you shouldn’t complain

      Ever been to the airport? I'm always frisked by TSA agents and they're usually rude. Even my kids are patted down. It's inconvenient.

      I don't complain and I happily comply because I want to fly safely. It's the same concept in neighborhoods with high crime rates. 

      Police should have the right to stop and frisk in these neighborhoods like the one around ETHS. If residents don't like it too bad. Maybe if they can help out police anyway they can to reduce crime the police would  probably end stop and frisk procedures.

      Stop acting like a victim. The police are doing their job to prevent and stop crime. If you've got nothing to hide, grin and bear it and go about your business. It's inconvenient but necessary.

      If being frisked by police is the most "uncomfortable experience" of your life then you're living a cushy life and you'd probably be better off staying out of these high crime areas (a woman was sexually assaulted on Howard Street in broad daylight two weeks ago).

      Unless you want the high-crime rate in these areas to continue (most of the offenders are black males) then suck it up and help police by cooperating not complaining.

    2. That is awful!

      What is a better was though?  Everyone wants to know.  It was uncomfortable for you but is it any consolation that the cops are trying to keep the area by your mom's place safe?  What if she were mugged?  Whould the cops have done enough to prevent it?

  7. Well honestly they need to

    Well honestly they need to start frisking white males as well instead of profiling because they get away with a lot and they know it. Its a advantage being white in itself. I am willing to bet my paycheck that the biggest drug dealer in Evanston is mostly likely white. They do illegal activities right under the cops noses. If you are in a high crime area everyone should get frisked from Dr. Joewinsky to landscaper perez. Just being honest.

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