Public Safety Updates
December 16, 2021
I know there has been a growing concern around criminal activity in our ward. While the year to date comparisons show a historical decrease in all types of crime, the last few weeks have seen increases, especially in burglaries and robberies. My office has been in continuous contact with the 19th and 20th Police Districts to communicate your concerns and to receive ongoing updates about our plan to address the increases.
The Chicago Police District (CPD) will be bolstering up units within our local business corridors and increasing traffic patrols in order to monitor traffic patterns and increase a visible presence within our neighborhood to deter criminal activity.
After asking the 19th District Commander earlier this year what my office could do to support CPD, I had my staff set aside menu funds for camera pods (with license plate readers) along the main streets leading to DuSable Lakeshore Drive: Lawrence, Wilson, Montrose, and Irving Park. What CPD told us is that when cars are stolen, the perpetrator(s) drive on one of those streets, and strategic cameras help CPD track the car. In a recent meeting with the 19th District Commander, he pointed out how useful the pod cameras have been in following active crimes and deploying officers to the correct locations.
I’ve also had my staff make sure that our ward is up-to-date with the Department of Transportation’s Smart Lighting Program. This is a city-wide initiative to replace outdated HPS (high pressure sodium) light fixtures with new energy-efficient LED lights that provide better visibility on our streets and streamline maintenance and repairs to mitigate outage issues. Having better lit streets, buildings, and alleyways is one way to deter crime. If you ever notice street or alley lights not working properly, please notify our office or call 311 to ensure that the outage is repaired as quickly as possible.
My office has also connected businesses to the Office of Emergency Management and Communication’s (OEMC’S) Private Sector Camera Initiative which provides police quicker access to video feeds during emergency situations. If you are a business that has not yet installed security cameras, you can reach out to your local chamber of commerce to discuss enrolling in their security rebate program. This program supported the investigation into a recent robbery that took place earlier this month. Camera footage is also incredibly effective during the prosecution process.
On November 8th, officers from the 19th District, staff from the Uptown Chamber of Commerce, staff from the North Area Community Justice Center for the State’s Attorney’s Office, the public safety liaison from my office, and I did a Wilson and Sheridan business walk. These business walks have proven incredibly effective in deterring petty drug sales and loitering on the corners of the 4600-4400 block of Broadway, in addition to the intersections on Wilson and Sheridan. We will continue to schedule these walks throughout the year to keep a visible presence within the ward.
Addressing crime will require a collaborative effort from the entire community. Please become familiar with your local community policing office and beat. Many residents have asked me how they can be proactive in their neighborhoods, and the Community Policing Office out of the 19th and 20th Districts have asked me to push for residents to attend their local beat meetings. Beat meetings are most effective and they enable proactive solutions when residents and community stakeholders attend and share their perspectives and experiences. These meetings allow residents to speak directly with the officers assigned to their neighborhood. Many of the conversations we are having as a community the last few weeks occur at your bi-monthly local CAPS beat meeting. I or a staff member from my office also try to attend all of the beat meetings that fall within our ward boundaries. I have personally experienced areas improve when the community gets involved and officers hear their firsthand experiences. Beat meetings are also an opportunity for officers to share action items and strategies with the community. You can find your local police district and beat by entering your address here. The full schedule for upcoming beat meetings can be found below.
CPD depends on your feedback and on your 911 calls to determine where to deploy units, create special attention areas, and determine the best locations for future pod cameras. Calls for service (911 calls) are the most important indicator that there is a growing public safety issue that needs additional units or alternative solutions. Please do not hesitate to call 911 when you believe it’s indicated. If you see something, call 911 or your local Community Policing Office (CAPS) to ensure that it is accurately recorded. More information on making an effective 911 call can be found below.
In each newsletter, relevant public safety updates and tips and tricks from our local police districts are included. This week, our updated 4-year crime trends, a new community alert for the recent uptick in robberies, and package theft prevention are all below.
Community safety requires the entire community, and I want to thank you for all you have done to keep yourselves and your neighbors safe. Please never hesitate to reach out to our office if you would like more information or support connecting with your local police district.