Earlier this month, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the launch of a new collaborative initiative between the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and local small businesses. The program will assign a designated Business Liaison Officer to each of the 22 police districts, who will be in direct communication with the CPD District Commander and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP). The goal is to strengthen the relationship between the Mayor’s Office, CPD, and the business community in order to address the concerns of local business owners and improve the overall public safety of Chicago’s neighborhoods.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and if we want our neighborhoods to thrive and grow, then we have to ensure we’re supporting our local entrepreneurs while rooting out any bad actors,” said Mayor Lightfoot via official press release. “This initiative is not only about building partnerships and nurturing trust between small businesses, it represents a new era of collaboration between the Chicago Police Department and our communities.
The Business Liaison Officers are also tasked with ensuring local businesses have the support and information needed to be in compliance with the city. In certain cases, the Business Liaison officers will also work with the BACP to address targeted businesses associated with any illegal activity or violations by developing a unique action plan with the specific business to bring resolution to identified issues.