Jermaine Harris is an 18-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. He currently serves as the Community Area Response Team Sergeant in CPD’s Area Four, where he develops community-based strategies involving law enforcement and nonprofit partners. Jermaine is a Chicago native who was born on the city’s West Side in the Austin community and is now a resident of North Lawndale. He is a graduate of Whitney Young High School and a United States Marine Corps veteran.
Jermaine holds pride in his ability to explore nontraditional policing roles in the Austin, Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, North Lawndale, and Little Village communities. At the heart of his philosophy to positively impact the lives of Chicagoans is a goal to employ social justice as a violence prevention strategy. Addressing issues of access, equity, rights, and participation has yielded positive results in both reducing violence and improving the quality of life for residents in some of the city’s most troubled neighborhoods. Jermaine holds a BA in Criminal Justice from Kaplan University and a MA in Public Safety Administration from Calumet College of St Joseph.
Recent career accomplishments include:
- Participated as member of Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot’s transition team for Public Safety and Accountability
- Alumnus of the Harris School of Public Policy, Civic Leadership Academy: 2019
- Current fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago Signature Fellows Program: 2021
- Consulted on implementation plans for Chicago Police Department Consent Decree requirements in Community Policing
- Designed community-based violence prevention response team in 15th District tha coordinates efforts of police, faith based, and nonprofit partners to respond to violent incidents
- Co-Founded Chicago Westside Police and Youth Sports Conference, a free community youth sports program that annually serves over 1000 westside kids from Austin, Garfield Park, and North Lawndale neighborhoods
- Delivered a Firsthand Talk as a violence prevention subject matter expert for the WTTW docu-series Firsthand: Gun Violence
- Designed the mission-oriented policing logic model utilized to define responsibilities in community-based violence prevention collaborations
- Spearheaded efforts to create the Chicago Police Department Youth Restorative Justice Deflection Program where juvenile offenders are diverted away from the criminal justice system and instead to social services to address underlying causes of bad behavior
- Co-founded and managed the Austin Unites initiative in which police officers in the Austin community join with Chicago Public Schools principals to develop long-term engagement opportunities to strengthen relationships between the Chicago Police Department and Chicago youth
- Formed Young Emerging Leaders for Life (YELL) Chicago in partnership with After School Matters to provide summer apprenticeships for teens to explore personal and professional development
- Named Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Officer of the Month in August 2019