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January 26, 2017

Crime in Chicago: Some Facts and Some Puzzles for 2017 – Jens Ludwig, Shari Runner, and Fred Waller

Jens Ludwig

Jens Ludwig is the McCormick Foundation Professor at the University of Chicago and the Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab. In 2008, Ludwig helped found the Crime Lab to partner with policymakers in Chicago and around the country to carry out large-scale policy experiments to identify more effective (and humane) ways to prevent crime and violence, and reduce the harms associated with the criminal justice system. Crime Lab studies have led to new policy initiatives in a number of cities, have been published in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals, and have received coverage in major news outlets such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. The Crime Lab is a past recipient of a $1 million MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. In 2012, Ludwig was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science.

Shari Runner

Shari Runner is the President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, where she leads the strategic planning, development, programming, and community outreach for the organization. Established in 1916, the Chicago Urban League works for economic, educational, and social progress for African Americans and promotes strong sustainable communities through advocacy, collaboration, and innovation. A native of Chicago, Runner has long been an active part of the city’s civic and cultural life.

Runner began her tenure with the Chicago Urban League in 2010 as Senior Vice President for Strategy and Community Development. In this role she oversaw operations in all programmatic areas, and worked with the president and CEO to increase financial support to the Urban League and to establish short- and long-term strategic objectives.

Runner began her career in finance and trading with the First National Bank of Chicago. As a Vice President she traded foreign exchange, and traveled nationally and across the world marketing banking services. She later worked for ABN/AMRO Bank, where she led the overnight trading and EMS currency desks. With more than 25 years in operations and financial management, she has also worked as an entrepreneur, management consultant, and community advocate.

Her civic leadership includes serving on the boards of directors of Urban Gateways and the Bright Promises Foundation. She has been actively involved with the Museum of Science and Industry’s Black Creativity program since 2000, serving as the program’s Executive Chair from 2010 through 2012.

Runner received her bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and her MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Fred Waller

Fred Waller was appointed Chief of the Bureau of Patrol in April of 2016 by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. As the third-highest ranking officer of the second-largest police department in the United States, Waller commands all uniformed police officers as well as tactical and specialized units. He is also responsible for the day-to-day management and oversight of the city’s twenty-two police districts and serves as the chief strategy officer for community engagement and partnership efforts.

Prior to his appointment, Waller served in various executive command posts within the Bureau of Patrol. He served in multiple investigative and operational positions including Commander of the 2nd and 6th Districts and as Lieutenant of several tactical teams. He also served in the Gang Investigations Section for 15 years.

Additionally, Waller serves as Co-Chairman of the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS). Formed in response to the September 11th attacks, ILEAS is a joint state and local venture that provides assistance to local law enforcement throughout Illinois in matters of mutual aid, emergency response, and the combining of resources for public safety and terrorism prevention and response.

With over twenty-five years of service to the city of Chicago, Waller is a decorated veteran of the department and has received twenty department commendations; a unit meritorious award; a problem solving award; four joint operation awards; and seventy-five honorable mentions. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and represents the Chicago Police Department at the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

Waller holds a master’s degree in business management from Augustana University and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the Chicago State University. He is married with four children and lives on the city’s south side.