Chicago Officers Implement "Police Legitimacy"

Dec 27, 2013

The Chicago police department is a national leader in implementing a new concept called police legitimacy. 

Since becoming Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has talked about research that should be shaping 

Credit Chicago Police Department

how officers do their job. And he’s doing more than just talking. Under him, the department has trained 8,000 officers in something called police legitimacy. The basic idea is that if cops treat people with respect then citizens will view them as legitimate and will be more likely to comply which would obviously make cop’s job easier. Lieutenant Bruce Lipman helped develop Chicago’s police legitimacy training.

" [The] Seattle police department was in here, Washington state police, Dallas.  We’ve had police departments from out of the country who have heard about this and have come and observed and are actually taking what we have and are bringing it and adopting it to their own departments," Lipman said.

McCarthy says instead of just "barking" orders, police officers need to explain what they’re doing and why.

He says simple things like that allow citizens to understand and therefore respect what police are doing.