The Evanston Police Department  has reassigned four officers and a sergeant from the Community Policing Unit to patrol duties for at least the next two months.

In a news release, Cmdr. Ryan Glew said the “drastic step” is necessary because of continued staffing shortages.

The reduction, Glew says, will impact the department’s ability to service the needs of the Community and Councilmembers and the requests for police services brought to them by their constituents.

Three officers will remain in the Community Policing Unit. They will focus on continuing outreach with the Hispanic community and addressing downtown and Main Street panhandling and quality of life issues.

Furthermore, Community Policing Unit officers assigned to patrol will continue to maintain their community contacts while on-duty.

As a result of these reassignments and service reductions, the department’s community engagement programs, including the Citizen’s Police Academy, will be postponed. Community engagement and education content posted on the department’s social media platforms will decrease. 

The reduction in the Community Policing Unit comes after a previous reduction in Detective Bureau coverage and service.

Previously, the Detective Bureau provided coverage from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. every day of the year. Due to the coverage reduction, the Detective Bureau coverage is now  7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday – Friday with a on-call schedule for weekends.

As part of service reductions the Detective Bureau is no longer routinely assigning detectives to investigate the following crimes:

  • Misdemeanor thefts and retail thefts where the suspect is not identifiable.
  • Misdemeanor criminal damage to property where the suspect is not identifiable.
  • Trespassing and burglaries, including vehicle, garage, residential, and commercial, where no comparable physical evidence is recovered and the suspect is not identifiable.
  • Stolen vehicles where no comparable physical evidence is recovered and the suspect is not identifiable.
  • Financial crimes where the victim has not incurred a monetary loss and the suspect is not identifiable.
  • Crimes with victims that decline forensic services.
  • Crimes with victims who do not wish to sign a criminal complaint.

The staffing shortage presently stands at 26 sworn vacancies and six civilian vacancies.

In addition to these vacancies, there are presently seven sworn members and two civilian members that are not available for full duty assignments.

The overtime and forcebacks created by the sustained shortage, Glew says, has had a negative impact on the health and well-being of Evanston Department personnel, making these reassignments and service reductions necessary.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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7 Comments

    1. Perfectly said. They had their moment, it failed miserably. When will the majority be represented in Evanston again? Great question.

  1. Thank you for speaking out positively, Oakton parent. I agree with you. We are losing too many leaders who understand that a safe and viable community is necessary to continue support programs that are effective. Every voice, opinion and complaint doesn’t need to be heard and responded to. We elect people who generally have our interests, plus the knowledge and experience to try their best to foster peace and well-being within this vibrant community. Helping our teachers and staff guide our young people, while we as parents stress the importance of education is a bedrock for our community. I’m glad you are a supporter instead of a griper. Thank you.

  2. Our neighborhood has declined steeply since the installation of Connection in the Margarita. The lack of police will be deeply felt by us. The majority of officials in power do not consider what happens to the people in town when they operate with a weakened police force and invite declared criminals into their midst.

  3. I am appalled that Evanston Has taken this stance. We will certainly see more crime and with that comes violence. I pay way too much in taxes to put up with this. Time to vote them out!

  4. I was a little taken aback when I heard this announced on ABC 7 news today. It was like they were advertising for criminals to come to Evanston because our police are no longer investigating certain crimes, so they’re more likely to get away with whatever they do. I can’t blame police for not wanting to work for the Evanston Police Department. After all, our District 65 schools teach “Fund Counselors, Not Cops”. How are their children who attend these schools supposed to feel about that? I appreciate the officers who are still serving our community and realize that as residents we may just need to do more to protect ourselves, whatever that may be.

  5. I’ve lived in Evanston all my life, and have two children at ETHS. I just can’t do it anymore with the knee-jerk, experimental politics. I need a safe environment for my children and don’t have time to play these games. I live on -and my kids ride their bikes on- the south-end of town. In January of 2021 EPD eliminated a mass shooter who made his way across Chicago because CPD’s response time wasn’t good enough to catch up to him. EPD, while a lady was killed in Evanston, eliminated the threat immediately, thankfully! I have also noticed our officers are very diverse and generally friendly. It sucks cause it’s a bad time to buy a house, but this place is a raging dumpster fire with no signs of getting better. The next election is also almost three years away. I totally understand why officers don’t want to work here. I wouldn’t either.

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