Best Practices


Mayor Richard M. Daley

Information Collection for Automated Mapping (ICAM) System

A critical component of Chicago's Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) is police officers and community groups working together to identify, analyze, and solve neighborhood crime problems. To help facilitate this partnership, both groups need easily accessible, reliable and up-to-date crime information. ICAM was designed to provide police officers and citizens with an efficient, state-of-the-art system for collecting and analyzing crime data. The Police Department wanted a system which was accessible to all police officers 24 hours a day and which did not require extensive training and computer expertise to operate.

Previously, crime data was either unavailable or scattered through a myriad of reports and computer printouts. Paper reports list offenses and activities but fail to present data in a visually compelling format which would make it easy for officers and supervisors to detect patterns.

ICAM was developed from the beginning with direct input from officers in the field. This unique environment gave the ultimate users of this system -- police officers -- the ability to actually craft early stages of the development. Since programming was done on site, input from users was directly translated into design of the system by programmers

ICAM allows a beat officer using a window driven system to select lists, to produce a crime map and a report with details of incidents within minutes. In all districts, ICAM is being shared with citizens at beat and community meetings. It: . Enhances the decision-making capabilities of Department Commanders in deploying their resources more effectively. . Strengthens the ability of detectives and patrol officers to target crime hot spots. . Provides community groups with information on crime patterns within their neighborhood and helps them devise tactics (citizen patrols, neighborhood watch) to reduce crime.

Many districts are using ICAM to map not only crimes, but also locations of other institutions or community factors which might have an impact on crime. Abandoned buildings, liquor establishments, schools and public transit stations are now available, and other factors will be added (public housing locations, ATM machines, gang territories, etc.). For example, in the 7th district crime maps suggested abandoned buildings correlated with recovered motor vehicles. Armed with this information, a strong case has been made to demolish, secure and rehabilitate these structures.

Public information has also been enhanced by ICAM. Mayor Daley has personally conducted several demonstrations of this system to community groups. Public information kiosks with on-touch screens will be distributed throughout the city. The city has a new home page available through MOSAIC on the World Wide Web, and in the future citizens will be able to access ICAM mapping through this system.

Steps are being taken to share ICAM crime information with other city departments, in order to insure that improvements to the city infrastructure (street lighting, cul-de-sacs, demolition or rehabilitation of abandoned buildings, etc.) are being implemented in a comprehensive manner to reduce crime.


In-Home Services for Persons with Disabilities

Mayor Richard M. Daley created the Chicago Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) in 1991 to better serve the diverse needs of the more than 500,000 people with disabilities who live and work in Chicago. Since its inception, MOPD has been committed to equal access, full participation and equal opportunity for people with disabilities in all aspects of life. The department's goal is to make Chicago the most accessible city in the nation.

In its first four years of operation, MOPD served more than 194,000 people with disabilities, their families, businesses and organizations. Every year, MOPD provides case management services to approximately 2,000 persons with disabilities, many of whom are homebound. These services include case management assessments, home-delivered meals and personal assistance and homemaker services.

At first, these programs were deficit orientated and counterproductive to achieving our goals of independence, inclusion and empowerment. Providing home-delivered meals or other in-home services without ever attempting to teach a client how to function on their own just prolongs dependency. We recognized a shift to developmental programming was the key to the future effectiveness of our services.

MOPD's experience in reinventing our department's case management services for people with disabilities bears this out. In 1993, after a long-needed infusion of CDBG dollars, we discovered that more money alone was not going to do the trick. Instead of shrinking waiting lists for services, MOPD ended 1993 with waiting lists longer than in any prior year.

In the summer of 1993, projecting even greater numbers of clients requesting services, MOPD initiated a whole new way of doing business. We decided to practice what we preach: the independence, inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities. Traditional service delivery systems inherited from the past were clearly paternalistic -- taking care of people instead of teaching them how to take care of themselves. Simply put, people got whatever services they asked for -- and that does not promote independence.

In response to this situation, MOPD developed a multi-faceted approach that includes education, training, assistive technology, and a healthy dose of personal responsibility for one's future. We established two new programs: Assistive Technology and Independent Living Skills Training. The purpose of these programs is to make MOPD clients as independent as possible and less reliant on MOPD services. These two programs represent a one-time investment in a person and are designed to provide them with the equipment, home modifications and training needed to prepare their own meals or maintain their own home as opposed to a lifetime of home-delivered meals or homemaker services.

Having reviewed the ages of our clients that summer, we realized that unless something different was done -- and soon -- the cost of services was going to become astronomical. For example, MOPD had 40 clients who were settling into receiving in home services at 20 years of age. Every 20-year-old client was going to cost MOPD (and taxpayers) over $306,000 each if we continued to serve them in the same way until they reached age 60 -- at which time they would become a Chicago Department of Aging expense. Obviously, clients had to become more self-sufficient if they were to be less dependent on city services.

Our experience has shown that city departments must take the lead in setting the future direction of services and that the only major problem with implementing this approach is resistance: by clients, who would prefer to continue to have someone else prepare their meals or clean their house; from vendors, who want to continue providing service the way it has always been done because it is not easy nudging reluctant clients into doing for themselves; and from other departments frightened by the potential impact which dramatic change could have on their traditional programs and their reluctant to provide funds to start new programs.

In 1993, MOPD began writing Enhancing Independence -- A Guide to Solutions for Meal Preparation. This book provides people with disabilities, rehabilitation professionals and architects with comprehensive and practical solutions to kitchen design problems that make independent meal preparation impossible. Using this guide aids identification of existing impediments to meal preparation through a self-assessment survey, and solutions to those problems ranging from inexpensive kitchen gadgets and alternative techniques to complete kitchen modification, depending on individual abilities and budgets. This information can empower people with disabilities to become independent of city services, such as home-delivered meals, for a lifetime. Enhancing Independence is now in distribution, and a marketing campaign is being developed.

In 1994, MOPD initiated other changes to our case management program including the Personal Action Plan (PAP), a goal-setting contract between MOPD and the individual client. The PAP outlines what MOPD will do for and with the client as well as the personal responsibilities of the client. The detailed provisions are worked out with the client's input and with a strong emphasis on personal responsibility. If the client does not live up to the terms of the PAP, services are terminated.

In the year ahead we will continue our efforts by initiating a new pilot program, the Independent Living Program. MOPD identified some duplication of services between our Case Management Program and the Assistive Technology Program. We also noticed some contradictions in the service delivery philosophy between the two programs. We propose to combine the two programs on a trial basis, encouraging several vendors to collaborate in providing services more competitively, or having one vendor gearing up to do it all. MOPD has provided the direction; now it's up to the vendors to provide the creativity to get the contract.

Our efforts are paying off. The changes we began in the summer of 1993 are starting to show more than a lot of promise. They're showing results.

Contact: Office of the Mayor, (312) 744-3300

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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