As for the history of
public safety in chicago...

it's been A


a tale with two lessons

lesson #1:

by using its industrial-age (police)
public safety resources to 
digital-age violence.

(key to the graphic is below)


key to the graphic

THREE ROWS. Each row surveys the chief public safety characteristics of a specific AGE in light of its primary MEDIA and PUBLIC SAFETY STRATEGY.


  • COLUMN ONE tracks the trend from passive towards interactive uses of media and, overall, the largely counterproductive impact of media on public safety to date

  • COLUMN TWO tracks the trend towards sudden, geographically expanding violence in Chicago since 1960

  • COLUMN THREE Surveys the trend towards citizen involvement and responsibility for public safety  

  • COLUMN FOUR tracks the evolution of MODES (violent or non-violent) of public safety from violent (police force) towards non-violent. This constructive trend is a long way from reversing the destrustive trend of increased violence tracked in COLUMN TWO. 

here's how - and why

This graphic surveys the tumultuous six decades from 1960 to 2022 as TRANSITIONAL YEARS in Chicago's evolution from its digital age to its industrial age in the field of public safety.


This transition is marked by the failure of Chicago's industrial-age public safety resources - its police, courts and prisons - to curtail the explosion of digital-age violence erupting in the 1960's from the city's heavily-armed, drug-dealing street gangs. 


This was an entirely new kind of violence - youth violence - centered on the criminalization by gangs of huge numbers of at-risk juveniles effectively confined to poor, non-white neighborhoods.   

lesson #2:

digital-age chicago
can make itself safe
by using its digital-age (media & citizens)
public safety resources to 
digital-age violence

friday 2.jpg

here's how - and why

The 2020's could be the decade when Chicago at long last completes its evolution into the Digital Age in the field of Public Safety.  Chicagoans will have realized that digital-age public safety is no longer just a traditional (police) problem or even a public health (medical) problem. It is also, and equally, a public communication (media and general public) problem whose resolution calls for the blended integration of all three components. 

To date, the 2020's have given Chicago its darkest hours. But there is ample evidence of powerful forces moving the city forward towards the deployment of non-violent, digital-age modes of public safety to supplement and minimize the need for industrial-age police force: 


  • Chicago's growing commitment since the 1990's to non-violent PUBLIC HEALTH approaches to violence

  • The rise in the late 1990's of COMMUNITY POLICING, and a host of anti-violence efforts like CeaseFire and Violence Interrupters.  

  • The decriminalization and legalization in the CANNABIS, for decades a major source of gang profits and violence between citizens and police.

  • The 1990's shift in CHICAGO'S COMMERCIAL MEDIA away from their sensationalized, if-it-bleeds-it-leads, crime story coverage of violence and towards increased coverage of the impact of violence on victims, families, communities. 

Key to success is the use of its digital-age public safety resources - the media of its digital-age public communications system - to distribute citywide both the power the responsibility needed to make Chicago safe.​