Does Bogotá Have Antiviolence Lessons for Chicago?

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Should Chicago emulate Bogotá, Colombia, whose homicide rate declined from 81 per 100,000 in 1993 (about twice as high as Baltimore) to 17.6 in 2015 (lower than Chicago in 2016)? Chicago magazine reports on what Bogotá did. Among its measures: creating family police stations to deal with domestic violence, hiring at-risk people to work for  the city, improving public transportation, and police reform.

On the last issue, Bogotá invested heavily in the police department, including housing for officers, training in legal and social issues, embracing an epidemiological approach to violence, and attempting to strengthen community relationships with the police and decrease citizen apathy towards violence. Trust in the police went up; so did arrests for assaults and homicide. The magazine concludes: “Perhaps what’s most impressive about Bogotá and its reduction in homicide is not any one program, but the exceptional breadth of them and the city’s relatively successful commitment to their long-term impact.”

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