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An Unprecedented Partnership

In January 2020, Thinkinc. worked with Chicago Public Schools and five community organizations to announce an unprecedented partnership aimed at offering alternatives to in-school police officers.

One of the organizations is Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE), a project of our client Communities United. VOYCE long has argued that evidence shows having police officers in schools with a large minority population makes Black and Brown students uneasy, not safer. VOYCE’s research shows the police presence exacerbates the tense feelings many minority residents have for police. Thinkinc. helped VOYCE craft its rules of engagement with the plan to assure meaningful authentic participation by VOYCE, students and their families.

The community groups will work with CPS, the nation’s third-largest school district, to come up with recommended alternatives that the school board will consider. Later this year, the options will go to the 55 schools that have police on campus, and the schools will decide individually whether to implement the recommendations.

UPDATE: In late April 2021, CPS announced that for the remainder of the academic year, it would not station police officers at schools.

Read more about Phase 1 of the school safety plan in the Chicago Sun-Times, Chalkbeat Chicago, CBS-2 Chicago, WGN-TV and WTTW-TV.

Read more about the announcement of the partnership at WTTW-TV, the Chicago Sun-Times, WBBM radio, ABC-7 News and Block Club Chicago.