Officer Karen Jefferson is a Beverly/Morgan Park neighbor and a 21-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. A member of the 22nd District since 2012, until recently Officer Jefferson served as the student resource officer at Morgan Park High School, a job that required building relationships with the students, staffs and families and keeping them all safe at school.
Earlier this summer, Officer Jefferson was appointed the 22nd District CAPS Office’s first Affinity Officer. Affinity Officer is a new position in every Chicago Police Department district, and Affinity Officers are tasked with identifying and developing relationships with community residents who potentially are or have been underserved by police.
Outreach and problem solving seem to be the cornerstone of the Affinity Officer’s work. Officer Jefferson explained that each of the police districts has identified a group to focus on for their Affinity Officer’s assignment. In the 22nd District, residents with special needs were identified as needing more police services. Officer Jefferson will be programs like Special Olympics and the therapeutic horse-riding program at Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, among other school and park programs and other underserved individuals and groups.
The early weeks in her new position have been spent meeting with District organizations, institutions and individuals to introduce herself and start to assess who needs what, and how she can help. Officer Jefferson said that just letting people know she is the person to contact for help in finding resources for a wide range of residents including homeless families and LGBTQ persons. “I’m working my way around the district, getting to know all the new people,” she said. The more she learns, the more she can help.
Officer Jefferson seems well qualified for this new post. Experienced in law enforcement and with a long record of service, she is also experienced in working with district families. And, she is both empathetic and enthusiastic. “I am here for the community,” she said.
Officer Jefferson and her husband, also a Chicago Police officer, have lived in the neighborhood for 18 years, and have four children – two young adults and two teens – and a three-year-old granddaughter. In addition to her job with CPD, she is a licensed esthetician and works with a not-for-profit organization that helps black and brown young adults start businesses, earn scholarships and access resources.
Contact Police Officer Karen Jefferson at 312-745-0620 or firstname.lastname@example.org.