Founded just before Prohibition in the Roaring '20s, local businessmen formed the Chicago Crime Commission to address the lawlessness prevalent in Chicago during the time. The businessmen who founded the crime commission did not think of themselves as a reform organization but saw crime as business work to which they applied business methods. The backlog of murder cases awaiting trial was reduced, while the public corruption and organized criminal activities of the Chicago Outfit were exposed. In 1930, the Commission first brought about the Public Enemies list, with Chicago gangster Al Capone as "Public Enemy Number One." The idea of such a list was co-opted by the FBI as the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
Owning one of the oldest and most complete historical archives on organized crime in the 20th and 21st century, the Commission provides an important historical record of criminal activity and public corruption for professional research and education. The Chicago Crime Commission maintains current information on crime issues and criminal activities involving organized crime, gangs and public corruption. Recent publications include: The Gang Book (2012) and Friend and Foe (2007).
A non-government agency, the Commission acts an intermediary between citizens and law enforcement to help initiate investigations. The Anonymous Public Corruption Reporting Hotline is a web-based public corruption and crime reporting system that gives government employees and concerned citizens an effective way to reach law enforcement anonymously. The Anonymous Crime Reporting Hotline accepts tips on general and gang-related criminal activities.
The Chicago Crime Commission presents and sponsors presentations on current law enforcement issues and criminal justice issues, continuing its track record of exposing corruption and organized criminal activities and encouraging public debate on issues of public safety and national security. The Chicago Crime Commission hosts at least four events a year open to the public: (1) a mid-year member luncheon, (2) a golf benefit; (3) an annual dinner benefit; and (4) a holiday luncheon. The Commission accepts* sponsorship and event purchases online at http://www.chicagocrimecommission.org (*subject to availability and security clearance).