"Last night around 6:00pm on the corner of Wilson and Broadway, two people were shot - one in critical condition and one in good condition. Please pray and keep the families of these victims in your thoughts. For the past few weeks, my staff and I have been in constant contact with the police about our concerns on the growing crowds at this particular corner that included public drinking and disturbances of peace. These types of activities can lead to more dangerous behavior. Like you, I'm quite frustrated that these behaviors have escalated to this senseless act.
As your alderman, I have been working closely with the owner of the currency exchange and was able to convince him to install security cameras to discourage the public drinking and drug sales on the north side of this store. The cameras were put up the day before the shooting and one victim was shot within close camera range. I gave the detectives the phone number of the business owner to follow-up and was with the detective when he spoke to the business owner so that he could review the camera footage.
Public safety matters in the 46th Ward
In response to the shooting at Wilson and Sheridan last week, the Commander stationed police at three hot spots 24/7 for the next few weeks. The police were present at these hot spots at the time of this shooting. I have repeatedly asked for more police to be dispatched in these areas. The Commander is left with the final decision of where the police are to be deployed based on an ever-changing set of variables within the police district throughout the day. However, his job is more difficult with our current police shortage.
Simply put, more police are needed on the streets so that we can get a better handle on all of the crimes committed in the area. Public drinking and disturbances of peace, as the "Broken Windows" theory states, can lead to more violent crimes in an area. A number of aldermen and I are insisting on a commitment of more police officers on the street before we vote on the 2014 City Budget.
Last spring, the Police Commander, the Mayor's Office, the Community Justice Center, Uptown United, and I met with the businesses in this immediate area to educate them about what they can specifically do to promote public safety. That task force is ongoing and you can expect to hear details of outcomes from this task force in the coming months, if not sooner.
What you can do:
- The next CAPS meeting for this area is at Clarendon Park Fieldhouse on Wednesday, September 11 at 7 p.m. Information about the dates and location of this and other CAPS beat meetings can be found here.
- Continue to call 911 when you see an issue with public drinking and other areas of concern. This is one of our best kept records so we can present a solid case on where crime takes place and helps support my case as I continue to request more police on our streets.
- The 46th Ward Master Plan details a strategy to address public safety and if you haven't yet had a chance to view the plan, please do so by clicking here. If you have any suggestions about revisions to this plan, please send in your ideas via email to email@example.com.