Monday, August 29, 2011

Ald. Cappleman's Response To The Recent Violence

From the weekly newsletter that came out tonight:

"We also have some sad news. After my notice last Friday about one person found deceased in a field within Clarendon Park, we've also heard that two people were hit by gunfire at Racine & Montrose and one of the men died. Hours earlier, there was a shooting at Sheridan & Windsor that resulted in a leg wound to another individual.

Public safety is a high priority for all of us and thanks to the Police, we've had one of the largest drug bust in decades in one hot spot of the ward. I'm working with the Mayor and City Hall to get more police on the streets, but in the meantime, we're doing all we can to make the best use of our present resources. More details about our initiatives will be found within the second section of our 46th Ward Master Plan that will roll out next week.

Overall, it will take a number of different interventions that, when done together, will make major impacts in the reduction of crime. We will know we're on the right track when we observe a drop in crime.

Our interventions will include the following: 
  • Require buildings owners with high rates of crime in and around their premises to work with the Police to create very specific interventions to reduce crime (better screening practices, management, security, etc)
  • Identify individuals in the community with high rates of arrests to either get them evicted or work on a specific plan to stabilize their lives
  • Step up the reinforcement of the park curfew
  • Work with area schools to stop gang recruitment and make leaving school safer (the time when more violence tends to erupt)
  • Implement a plan to discourage aggressive panhandling in the area
  • Utilize a social work intern to address public drinking and loitering in the area
One interesting dynamic we've observed:
Less crime happens when there are more eyes on the street. You can do your part by working with others on your street, neighborhood organization, your local CAPS beat, your neighborhood school, or a community garden project in your area. Basically, it's anything that gets the community working together. Together, we can make this a better neighborhood for everyone. The stronger a community, the safer the streets will be."


  1. I am so glad the Alderman is addressing the issues via e-mail, it is a welcomed change. However, what I really want to see is the absence of gangs and drug addicts roaming our streets. Enough of this. Enough.

    I feel the time has come for some cold hearted reality. I say post photos and names of the gangbangers in the area, where they live, who is protecting them. Put it all out there. They invade our lives and privacy every single day. Now it is their turn. Dealers, buyers, landlords, protectors, enablers... let's just be transparent and honest about who is how.

    Enough. If it is all out there no one can say they didn't know.

  2. I was going to ask is this a marked difference from Helen Shiller?

  3. "Require buildings owners with high rates of crime in and around their premises to work with the Police to create very specific interventions to reduce crime (better screening practices, management, security, etc)"

    This is a start, I guess. The only result that's going to make a meaningful difference is bad tenants getting kicked out of problem buildings.

  4. What the heck does "Utilize a social work intern to address public drinking and loitering in the area" mean?
    How about close down the liquor stores that almost exclusively cater to the public drinking and loitering crowd? First place that comes to mind… Sheridan Park Food & Liquor. Watch this dump for 5 minutes or 2 hours and you’ll see nothing but littering, intoxicated, panhandling, drunks walking in and out of this place. Their selection of rare and hard to find ice beer and generic vodka must be the best around! Seems like most find it appropriate and necessary that, just before completing the long journey to this plastic pint bottle emporium, they take a piss in the Malden/Magnolia alley.

  5. Brad, do you really think an alderman can just decide to close a business, snap his fingers, and boom, it's gone?

    Even voting a precinct dry takes about two years and close to $100K.

    Let's live in reality here, not "If I were king of the world..." fantasyland.

  6. What I'd like to see is evidence that the alderman is willing to use whatever power and influence he has to strong arm problem buildings into kicking out their problem tenants.

  7. HArd to close down a business, yes. However, sending in City inspectors on a weekly basis, slapping them with fine after fine for any violation, staying on them and sending a very clear message and hitting them where it hurts - not so hard. Well treaded paths.

  8. gg,
    Are you telling me that Alderman Cappleman can’t close his eyes, make a wish and then snap his fingers to make the wish magically come true? WOW! You are blowing my mind. To think all of the time I wasted just sitting around wondering why James hasn’t starting wishing upon the magical stars over Uptown.

  9. gg,
    Sarcasm aside, how does commenting about trouble businesses translate into me thinking I’m the king of the world?

  10. God, Brad, get a grip. Your solution is for Cappleman to just shut down a legal, licensed, long-time going business because you don't like the behavior of its clientele.

    I replied that it's not that easy, that it's not within his power, and that even if the community wanted to vote the liquor store dry, it would cost about a hundred grand and take a couple years to accomplish. I don't know a lot of people who have a hundred grand lying around, and if they did, I have a feeling JJ Peppers would be facing a vote-dry referendum around now.

    I'm saying, let's not just pretend anyone can wave his hand and say "it is so" and legally operating businesses that we don't like very much just go away. We all have moments where we say, If I were in charge, XYZ would happen. My own personal fantasy is that all the gangbangers would be airlifted out of Uptown and put on an island somewhere in the Pacific, preferably surrounded by schools of sharks and pirates.

    Ain't gonna happen.

    So do you have a realistic solution to improving the situation around SPL other than suggesting the alderman just close it down? Because that's not going to happen even if the alderman agrees with your opinion of it. I don't like it either, but wishing it away won't make it go away.

    PS -- I was not saying *you* are the king of the world, I'm saying no one has that kind of power. No one can close down the low-income housing, or the shelters, or legal businesses, or ship the gangbangers to small islands off Borneo. It may be fund to fantasize, but we all need to look for real world solutions.

  11. gg,
    You are correct. Suggesting that they close that liquor store was me wishing out loud. I know that it’s not that easy to close a business. Thank you for pointing that out.
    The negative impact SPL has on the neighborhood is obvious. I don’t speak for everyone, but I’m pretty sure many will agree. Maybe there’s some type of petition that could be started? Maybe I’ll call the alderman’s office and ask. Maybe I’ll just order another gyro plate from Alma Pita and watch the choreographed display of empty beer cans hitting the ground as drunk after drunk stumble in and out of that place. I’m sure there’s something that can be done, but being familiar with only bird law, I’m unable to figure it out right now.

    BTW, I had no idea where Borneo was, so I goggled it. I’ve decided that it’s way too nice of a place for our local hooligans. Perhaps I’ll click my heels and wish them away somewhere a little colder.

  12. I’ve decided that it’s way too nice of a place for our local hooligans.


  13. Residents of buildings with problem tenants need to complain to their landlords. Thanks to the persistence of a couple of tenants in my building, we were able to get our problem tenant evicted. We probably could have got the person out sooner if someone had complained sooner.

    Graffiti is also a persisting problem. In case someone isn't aware, the city has a website where you can request graffiti removal: I've begun reporting new graffiti I see in my neighborhood on a weekly basis. If you allow your neighborhood to look as though no one cares about it, criminals and street riffraff will think they can get anyway with anything.