A historical summary of the Targeted Response Unit.


Members of the Targeted Response Unit
Members of the Targeted Response Unit at Roll Call. (2003)
The Targeted Response Unit was a unit within the Chicago Police Department known alternately as “TRU” and was assigned to the Special Operations Section of the Bureau of Operational Services. In 2005, the Department was reorganized and the unit was moved to the new Bureau of Strategic Deployment: Targeted Response Unit. In 2009 under Superintendent Jody Weis, the Department was once again reorganized and the unit was moved to the Special Functions Group of the Bureau of Patrol. Designated Unit 253, members utilized radio call signs in the 4670 thru 4690 series initially and later the 4200 series and operated on Citywide 1. The unit was active from July 25, 2003 thru August 18, 2011 and was initially headquartered in the Homan Square Police Annex, located at 3340 W. Fillmore Avenue. In January 2010 their headquarters was relocated into the old 7th District Police Station located at 6120 S. Racine Avenue, after district operations moved to a new facility located at 1438 W. 63rd Street. The unit shared their new headquarters location with Unit 311 – Area One Gang Unit, Operation Protect Youth and Operation Safe City.


The unit was deployed based on information recieved from the Deploment Operations Center (DOC) As a citywide unit, similar to a saturation team, that was deployed by the Chief of Patrol, the First Deputy Superintendent, and/or the Superintendent of Police.

At the units inception, the commanding officers of TRU were Lieutenants Steve Georgas and Chris Kennedy. At full strength, the unit consisted of 16 sergeants and 160 police officers that comprised 16 squads. The unit was broken down into two companies so they could cover two different hot spots within the city. In July of 2005 Captain O’Donnel was promoted to commander of the TRU unit.

According to Lt. Kennedy, the strategy behind the Targeted Response Unit was to provide an overwhelming presence in areas that have either experienced a significant rise in violent crime, or in areas where there was intelligence that indicated there would be an increase in gang-relatd activity and violence. TRU’s missions were clearly defined: provide zero tolerance protection within a designated area to prevent violent crimes. TRU was not arrest driven, but contact driven, and that was evident by the numnber of contact cards the unit had completed in the five months since its inception. lnformation gleaned from contacts are documented on lnformation Reports and were forwarded to the Department’s Operations Command, now called CPIC, and the DOC Unit for use in deployment decisions.

From July 25, 2003 thru December 31, 2003, the Targeted Response Unit had the following activity:

  • Administrative Notice of Ordinance Violations: 1,041
  • Arrests: 2,643
  • Contact Cards: 6,153
  • Curfews: 89
  • Recovered Vehicles: 66
  • Vehicle lmpoundments: 870
  • Weapons Recovered: 128
Targeted Response Unit Armored Truck
Targeted Response Unit Armored Truck.
Reference Sources

  • Chicago Police Star Magazine (March 2004). “Targeted Response Unit.” Retrieved from Accessed February 3, 2014.