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No Cop Academy: Campaign Launches in Chicago

Press Conference to launch No Cop Academy campaign Photo: Debbie Southorn / AFSC

AFSC Chicago is a proud supporter of the #NoCopAcademy campaign, which aims to stop Mayor Rahm Emanuel from spending $95 million to build a new state-of-the-art training center for Chicago Police and first responders.  Rather than committing to real accountability for decades of violence, the Mayor is hoping to use this new facility as a 'clean slate' for the department - but we aren't fooled.

Alongside over 25 grassroots community organizations, we are demanding a redirecting of this $95 million into Chicago’s most marginalized communities instead. Real community safety comes from fully-funded schools and mental health centers, robust after-school and job- training programs, and social and economic justice. We want investment in our communities, not expanded resources for police.


Read more about the campaign here:

Chicago already spends $1.5 billion on police every year—that’s $4 million every single day. We spend 300% on the CPD as a city than we do on the Departments of Public Health, family and support services, transportation, and planning and development (which handles affordable housing). This plan is being praised as a development opportunity to help local residents around the proposed site, but when Rahm closed 50 schools in 2013, six were in this neighborhood. The message is clear: Rahm supports schools and resources for cops, not for Black and Brown kids.

Hear from AFSC Chicago Staff Debbie Southorn about the campaign in this article:

“Chicago’s ‘Green Zone’: Community Coalition Opposes City Plans for Massive Police Training Compound”

The Justice Department issued 99 recommendations to the city of Chicago for police reform. According to the Chicago Reporter, only six were adopted so far. Twenty-three reforms are essentially in the planning phase. More than half may or may not be implemented ever.

“To immediately jump to we’re going to invest another $95 million on top of the $200 million overtime that we’re on track to spend this year, the $600 million we’vespenton misconduct cases in the last six years, the $4 million per day that we spend just on the regular budget,” Southorn said, “to pour more money into police without prioritizing actual accountability and sort of commitments to respond to concerns of people, who experience the most violence, really shows the priorities of the mayor. This is about using the DOJ’s report to say, ‘Oh, sweet, we can build this new project.'”

The city will benefit from selling the property, where the current police academy is located. In fact, that is how they plan to pay for the training compound.


Watch this video: 
Edited by AFSC Chicago Staff Debbie Southorn, in collaboration with the People's Response Team:


To get involved, visit the website or e-mail nocopacademy[at]!


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