Learn more about GPCC's Founder, Richard A. Wooten Sr., and his role in the community.
Richard Wooten, the Founder of Gathering Point Community Council, is know as the "Crime Agitator" because he is passionate about seeking solutions and making communities safer. He always strives to halt violence and crime, and empower residents in his neighborhood and community.
Whether it is patrolling some of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods, pursuing elected office, counseling families in crisis or driving economic development, and helping at-risk youth avoid the temptations of the streets.
Wooten spearheads two major security and crime prevention initiatives - I Refuse to be a Victim and Crime Agitators- under Gathering Point. I Refuse to be a Victim is a home, travel and personal safety education workshop highlighting use of the latest technology and security tools, reducing vulnerability and interacting with police. Crime Agitators is an awareness education program that teaches residents to become more observant, report unfamiliar activites, and build stronger relationships with neighbors.
He draws upon a 24-year law enforcement career from which he retired a distinguished Chicago police officer who was a beat liasion under the Community Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program, undercover and painclothes officer and member of tactical units. His accomplishments include disrupting drug rings in Englewood and solving numerous cold case robberies in Auburn Gresham. Wooten, along with several offivers rescued primarily disabled and wheelchair-bound senior citizens trapped in a burning building on the South Side.
Wooten joined the CPD following a successful, decorated career in the U.S. Army, which he credits for cultivating his leadership skills and stoking his desire to be a fighter for the community. He achieved the rank of sergeant during his 6 ½ year stint, serving in Germany where he provided security for an air defense site and fighting and commanding six soldiers in Iraq during Desert Storm. Wooten was honored for his leadership skills, receiving a Service Ribbon, a Good Conduct Medal, and a Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon. He also received the National Defense Medal, acknowledging his bravery and service in the Gulf War.
The Chicago native attended Loop College, now Harold Washington College, and UIC before joining the military. He earned a bachelor's degree in Law Enforcement Management from Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Ind., by taking night classes while working on the police department. Wooten’s commitment to create economic opportunities for 6th Ward residents and business owners prompted his run for alderman and State Representative, 34th District. During the aldermanic race, he advocated responsive leadership that provides needed services and programs in the ward.
As a successful entrepreneur, Wooten leads A-Plus Security and Safety Training. The business offers comprehensive security and safety workshops and training for unarmed and armed security, concealed carry certification, CPR, and First Aid. He is an associate pastor at Faith Walk International Church in Chicago. His community and civic participation includes membership in the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Past Master King David Lodge 100 of Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons, President of the Greater Chatham Alliance and Block Club President.