CICERO – A delegation of 12 Chinese judges, lawyers and prosecutors from Beijing visited the town of Cicero on June 6.
The delegates considered several destinations and included the Town of Cicero on their tour, saying they were most interested in Cicero's successes in battling street gang violence and reducing crime, according to town officials.
The Chinese delegates were sponsored by the 21st Century Institute in Oak Brook, and included two tour guides and translators.
According to the institute's website, it was founded in the early 1990s with a goal to maximize human potential by integrating intellectual, cultural, economic, scientific and technological resources from different geographical regions of the world. The current focus of the institute is networking between the United States and Asia-Pacific region.
The Chinese delegates visited Cicero's various departments, including the animal shelter, health center, community center and police and fire departments.
Police Supt. Bernard Harrison said the delegation had questions on how the Police Department works.
"They were interested in jurisdiction: Who is the governing power, who has the final word, who do we answer to," Harrison said.
All police in China are members of a state-run department, therefore, there are no jurisdictions.
"They also talked about Internet crime and identity theft," Harrison said.
According to town statistics, crime has been reduced by as much as 82 percent since 2005. In particular, gang related violence has been put in near check, according to Cicero officials.
"We were very honored to have them come to our town and share in an understanding of how our government strives to service its citizens," President Larry Dominick said.