Sunday, April 20, 2008

23rd District Commander's Take On Crime

There's an interview with our new police commander, Kathleen Boehmer, in the latest issue on Inside Online. You can read the entire interview here; in light of the recent gang violence, here are some excerpts:

I: What’s your focus on fighting crime?

B: My focus, what I want to do, is to make everyone in this community feels safe. There are a lot of different issues that we’re looking at. Safety is the first thing. We want to attack gang problems and violence problems. We’re concerned with a lot going on in the community. ...

I: What are you going to do to clean up crime spots in Uptown?

B: Obviously we are looking at some gang activity up there that still exists there. We’re going to put the force of the department behind it. Gang teams and tact teams are going to work there. We want to work as close as we can with the community groups up there. We want to apply the same strategies we are doing north of Lawrence. Gary Yamashiroya concentrated a lot of his effort in Uptown, we want to build on what Gary did. We’re not going to break down and start anew. What we want to do is build on that. There’s been some success, but always if you move a gang or a group of people, sometimes there’s someone who wants to take their place. We want to make it clear that we don’t want elements that won’t contribute positively to Uptown. We don’t want them there. We are going to continue to do those things. Obviously, be aggressive with people who want to bring illegal activity to Uptown. We want to reach kids that might be involved in gangs or be drawn into drugs, those kinds of things. ...

I: Do you encourage the community to come directly to you?

B: I encourage the community to be vocal if they have a concern. In all honesty I want them to express it however they feel comfortable. I want them to feel comfortable to come to us, to come to the police department, but if they choose to come to the aldermen or to a community group or through a block club whatever, the important thing is that they tell us what they are saying and let us know what their concerns are. That’s what I think is the most important thing.


  1. Balloon juice!

    "some gang activity up there that still exists there"


  2. We want the 23rd District to end its Crime Displacement strategy and implement a Crime Elimination strategy.

    The 23rd District stretches across Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Uptown, and parts of Lincoln Square. For years the 23rd District Command has displaced crime from the south end of the district into Uptown by its own staffing and

    In the Lincoln Park and Lakeview end of the District, the police send a clear message by arrests and oridance violations that bad street behavior will not be tolerated and that the police will come down hard on offenders.

    In the Uptown end of the District, the police send a clear message that bad street behavior will be tolerated and that the police not will come down hard on offenders. Police do this by refusing to respond to certain types of calls in certain areas, by driving past incidents, by refusing to write up complaints or writing them up as incident reports, lesser offenses or ordinance violations, by misquoting laws (that are enforced properly further south) to CAPS and community members.

    The ultimate and intended effect is to clean up the Lincoln Park / Lakeview end of the District by displacing crime into Uptown, where it is ignored.

    We, at the Uptown end of this game, are fed up with this policing strategy. It needs to stop.