Get Involved with the New 22nd District Police Council 

By Brian Marchetti 

To improve public safety and policing, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance in July 2021 that created two new government bodies, one a city-wide oversight committee and another that formed 22 elected councils representing each police district.  

Voters chose their local district council members during the February 2023 Mayoral election. The members of the 22nd Police District Council are Carisa Parker, community engagement, Lee Bielecki, nominating committee, and Patrick Kennedy, chair.  

Carisa Parker, a lifelong resident of the 22nd district and the mother of a Chicago Police Officer, joined a group of CPD moms who supported their sons and daughters with meals and snacks. The organization then turned its attention to creating stronger relationships between the police and the community which eventually led Parker to seek election to the district council. She hopes to provide the citizens of the 22nd District with a voice regarding local policing.   

“We want local residents to have some say-so in how CPD policy works,” Parker said. “We want people to be heard and respected.”  

The council holds meetings on the second Wednesday of every month. Residents are strongly encouraged to attend. The locations vary to accommodate the many neighborhoods of the 22nd District from Washington Heights to Mount Greenwood.  

“We want residents to come out and share their talents with us,” Parker said.  

While the council has no disciplinary authority over the police, they have influence over hiring procedures and the promotion process. Currently, the discussions have focused on the next Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. 

“I would like to see someone who is grounded in Chicago and has been active in the community, someone with a vested interest in public safety with experience in law enforcement that is fair and equitable,” Parker said.  

The 22nd District covers a diverse segment of the city’s South Side. Opinions of police vary from fierce loyalty to distrust. Parker hopes the council can mend these divisions. Over the long term, she believes that stronger ties between the community and the police will lead to a safer Chicago.  

“The council is a great opportunity for our neighborhoods but give us some patience and grace. We’re learning just like everyone else,” Parker said.  

For dates and locations of meetings, check the Facebook pages of Council members. Carisa Parker’s page is Facebook.com/CParkerfor22.   

 

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