University of Chicago Law Review

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In an era of renewed enthusiasm for police reform, it could be instructive to examine how reforms—even successful reforms—fail. In the 1990s and 2000s, Chicago’s community-policing initiative was widely recognized as one of the most impressive in the country. In short order, it then collapsed. Community policing’s accomplishments were numerous, but it fell victim to issues commonly facing reform: money—especially the impact of economic downturns; leadership turnover and policy preferences; changes in the social, political, and crime environments; and the emergence of new technologies for responding to community concerns.

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