Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"Operation Uptown Crackdown" / Gangs Meeting Tonight

A reminder from Ald. Osterman about the meeting(s) regarding Operation Uptown Crackdown and Uptown's gang presence:

Tonight, July 17, at the 
McCormick Boys and Girls Club
4835 N. Sheridan Rd.
"Uptown Crackdown" update with CPD at 6pm
48th Ward Master Plan Public Safety Panel Discussion at 6:30 pm

Tonight, the Chicago Police Department will be coming to our area to update residents on the recent sting operation called "Uptown Crackdown". The discussion will begin at 6:00 pm.

As explained in our July 13 weekly update, "Uptown Crackdown" resulted in targeting more than 30 individuals associated with drug dealing and gang activity.  The police have arrested 21 individuals as part of this sting operation and are in the process of apprehending the remainder.

This effort will help address the ongoing safety problems in Uptown, and I want to commend the efforts of Chicago Police Department, including Commanders Lucy Moy (20th) and John Kenny (19th) as well as Superintendent Garry McCarthy in addressing the criminal gang and drug activity in this part of our neighborhood. Similar to “Operation Uptown Girl” conducted last year, this recent sting was sparked by concerns and reports given by committed community members remaining vigilant about ending negative activity in our neighborhoods. I will be working with the Superintendent to see that similar stings are made in other parts of our neighborhood that also have drug and gang activity.

Directly following the "Uptown Crackdown" update, the Public Safety committee will be holding a panel discussion at 6:30 pm.  Both updates/discussions will meet at the McCormick Boys and Girls Club at 4848 N Sheridan.


  1. Great turnout but disheartening that most people left hardly half way through. Hardly any real information about Operation Uptown Crackdown as far as who was rounded up, their pictures, what charges are being brought against them, what type of sentences are they looking at was given. SO, when they all make parole within the next few months or so we still won't know who these people are, their last known addresses, gang affiliations or anything helpful.

    The owner of JJ Peppers and her son showed up for a short time. She said that she calls 911 frequently and says she'll sign complaints but the Police don't make reports about loitering. She also said she has an open spot for a camera to be tied into her surveillance system if anyone wants to put a camera up on the outside of the building. Concerning cameras, Commander Moy stated that the Police camera at Lawrence/Sheridan has improved the area over the last couple of years; that statement rightly so was met with a collective disagreement from the audience.

    My overall take on the meeting was that it was more fluff. Same "call 911, attend meetings, attend court advocates" yadda yadda that we always here. I'm frankly getting tired of it. All this lip service and police resources being tossed at our gang problem and yet.... we still have a sizable gang problem! I think the most valuable thing discussed was getting out in the community (for more than 1 hr a week and only during warmer months on a single corner). There needs to be more face-to-face dialogue, period. If people don't make a commitment to getting outside and getting active with people already out walking around, give up, just give up; you'll never see the problem eradicated otherwise.

  2. How do you know if there's any progress if you're not getting ay information? Anyone who's a taxpayer and genuinely cares about living in a safe neighborhood has a right to know. When you attend these meetings, you're expecting information that you won't get from the ten o'clock news...

  3. I think you've got the solution there in your laat paragraph.

    i find it ironic that the meeting about gangs was at the Boys & Girls Club.

    i knowpeople aren't thinking long term...but had just 10% of those who voted agianst Shiller in 1999, 2003 or 2007 had mentored just 1 child during that time, you would NOT see the gang problem you have today.

    Those gang members you see didn't do market research to choose Uptown, or hear thereal estate hype -- they have family connections there.

    If you plan on being in Uptown for a good long while (and probably due to the real estate market, which is said to be around 2001 prices now), you might as well invest in the youth.

  4. Can someone comment on how the "positive loitering " is going? I have yet to be able to make it. Would love to be able to see pictures a well

  5. I have a slightly different take. While I do agree that much of it was "fluff" about calling 911, going to CAPS and being a court advocate, there was some useful information in terms of why, sometimes, we never see police response to our 911 calls. It turns out we might actually be calling 911 for an undercover buy. Or they might be in the process of investigating via other means (a la Lawrence House). They also explained how they're trying keep officers here after the move of the station. We apparently have a satellite station on Devon so that officers don't travel as far.

    And I think it was valuable to hear multiple voices in the community. Yes, we had the JJ Peppers people and the Currency Exchange people, but we also had middle-aged black women who knew by name the people rounded up last week. I think I and many others in these parts have been under the impression that people who ran around with gangbangers weren't interested in public safety. What came out in the meeting is that they're afraid to do anything about it for reprisal. That's pretty important information for the community to hear. It may have been all lies, but I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt.

    It was also valuable to hear how high the racial tensions can rise, even among a group of people who ostensibly want the same thing. There was quite the flareup over the mere mention of a) black kids, b) loitering by JJ Peppers, c) in white t-shirts. Some of the middle-aged black women took major offense to the fact that we'd assume they were in the gangs. It's a valid point, if we lived in a different neighborhood. But we live in a neighborhood with three black gangs, all of whom seem to wear white T-shirts. It's unfortunate that, as we really don't know the kid, we can't distinguish between the t-shirt wearing affiliators and the t-shirt wearing members, it's probably useful to know that the white t-shirt is a perceived uniform in these parts. Maybe they will spread the message about our (mis)perception. There were some interesting contributions in terms of creative problem solving, as well. I'm not sure how realistic any of it is, but it's nice to know that people are thinking about things differently.

    1. Here's the thing back in the 90's and back gangs used to wear colors that they wore. It was too obvious that why they changed up in my opinion

    2. No Eric, the times changed. White tees are cheaper.

  6. @JP

    Why is it ironic that it was at the B&G Club?

    I agree mentoring a child is a noble and just cause. But....most people either don't have the time in their busy lives. Or in my case at least are just not prepared to deal with kids directly. The people who do mentor I have the greatest respect for as do many of my neighbors you knowingly or unknowingly just insulted.

    Enough about Ald. Shiller...please.

    Look dude...I voted for her too but I am no "Shillerista". For all that can be said about her tenure we need to move on. Helen was not above critisim why do you act like it.

    I never wanted to get involved in Uptown affairs while Helen was in because the climate was toxic. A lot of Kool-aid was drank on all sides.

    In the interest of giving you the intellectual space to be honest why don't you name a just critisim of Helen's work here in Uptown. I challenge you JP. None of us are perfect so give it a shot or I will.

    Go read that letter she wrote defending a criminal developer who ripped off honest people. The guy she wrote about was a developer, not a kind-hearted social worker, and you think that is cool? WTF? Why because he was a friend of hers...he was/is right?

    Please don't drop your little nuggets without an explanation JP, that is divisive. You are a guest when in Uptown these days...kindly behave like it. Thanks man.....

  7. It's been the same mantra from jp for many years now. He's made the unilateral decision that anyone who did not support Helen Shiller should make it their mission to support jp's mission of replicating what many agencies are already doing and mentor youth. Sure, there may be other priorities that people and various organizations have, but if they were truly good, they would make it a point to abandon their own mission and adopt jp's mission instead.

    Sorry jp. Your priority should not have to be our priority.

  8. Nugatory,
    Thank you so much for your insight.i throw out my experience & thoughts as something to consider, and understand that people have some emotional baggage that they carry with them, but the partnership is worth trying to forge.

    Jeff, i was never a Shillerista either. And there's plenty to complain about Shiller. Certainly at the end, she . Regarding Gouskos, see my comments in that post. It's those kind of associations (and giving in to Daley)that certainly aided in her political demise. Her relationship with most condo owners was horrble -- it was something that i tried to have Uptown Baptist Church work on.

    But why still talk about her? Because her political enemies are now in charge. No one forced them to dismiss everyone in low income housing (as Nugatory has pointed out). And who is going to hold them accountable? Many of the poeple that Shiller was seen to have supported are still in Uptown, and deserve respect and care.

    So "Holy" Moley, your NEIGHBORS should not be your priority?!?!

    I never called for Uptown residents to go join a menotring program outside of the community. SO what agencies in Uptown are doing the mentoring that is needed? How often are they publicized on the blog (or the old message boards)?

    As i noted, not everyone can/would or even should be a mentor. But there are enough people in the neighborhood to either TALK to a neighbor, who at least get a friend from another neighborhood to come in and connect with them.

    My mantra has been "go talk toyour neighbor"

  9. @ nugatory I was at this same meeting and didnt hear or see any middle aged black woman stand up and say or name any gang bangers that had been arrested. this is where the problem lies people and their misinformation. as a black woman who did speak in the meeting yes i did know some of the people arrested due to the fact that they were ex-tenants of mine that had been evicted due to drugs. NO I don't run with gangs or have anything to do with any gangs in the area. being a 29 year old woman who has lived in uptown since the day I was born may know some of the guys but just because we went to school together by no means should you even imply that we run together. this is called knowing your area and the people in it buddy. the race issue came up when a simple minded guy made a comment which might have been you. but when you say a group of black guys with white t-shrits on said hey nice dog really. maybe that's why travon martin was shot. true travon had nothing to do with the meeting but the way the white community was talking thats where uptown is heading. so excuse me if some black woman who has black sons that may own a white t-shirt was upset. I am by no means scared to call the police on anyone if i see a problem in my area as a mom it is my duty to keep it safe for my child. and if i know the person name that i see causing the problem you better believe the police is that info as well.

  10. I don't understand how we have a site that list the name and address of a sex offender why we don't have the same for the gangs. police know who they are why cant we. we can know if a sex offender is living next door why cant we know if the lady next door kid is cooking up drug brownies and packing and selling guns. I guess I know what my next letter to cappleman will be

  11. jp, you have no clue on whether or not we're talking to our neighbors. You don't even live in the neighborhood. Let it go.

    Thank you for your unsolicited advice. It's time to move on. For God's sake, you moved out of the neighborhood years ago.

  12. @Ticked off, you are correct that there are people in Uptown who will spread lies and misinformation, and will lump you in with the gangbangers. But i believe Nugatory has shown an openness to learn more, and learn & work with you. He and many of the recent condo-owners need to know your story. It's what i have been advocating on this blog & the message boards before it. They need to know that not everyone who grows up in Uptown is with the gangbangers -- rather, they may have many of the same values and concerns they have. i encourage you to talk with them one-on-one, so there can be some positive change in Uptown. These places used to just eat alive anyone who showed any sympathy to Helen Shiller and her main voting base. But lately, I have seen somemore open-minded people that need your guidance to help unify Uptown.

  13. They're not listing names because they don't have everyone in custody. News travels fast and I'm sure the news of this take-down sent a lot of the suspects into hiding.

    Be patient and we will all get the information eventually.

  14. A convicted gang member registry is an excellent idea, ticked off!

    The sex offender registries were put into effect on federal as well as state levels only as recently as the 1990s...some of the steps are described here: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/smart/legislation.htm

  15. Bravo, TickedOff!! I love this idea and couldn't agree more. It would be great to put names to faces, so we know who we are witnessing engage in criminal activity.

    I think we should start a campaign, something proactive to make this a reality. @gyldengyl--thanks for posting the link.

  16. Margaret, the problem is they don't identify the people who have been arrested for anything around here. It's very hard to get that information. Every time a gang member has been arrested, whether it's part of a high profile operation or not, we should be able to know which of our neighbors is part of the cancer. We know the information is available because the Trib publishes that stuff for high profile cases, often the day the person is arrested. As a citizen, the best we can do is submit a FOIA request, if you have an incident number. Unfortunately, the responses I have gotten was a redacted arrest report without the name or block of residence. I get why they're not supplying the info for this, but that doesn't excuse our inability to gather information on other arrests, as well.

  17. Not sure when you filed the FOIAs you mention, nugatory, but the IL Attorney General issued a binding opinion on Feb. 18, 2011, that specifically addressed Chicago Police Dept. FOIA protocol and requirements. The letter can be read here:

    The guide issued by the IL Attorney General for Law Enforcement is here:

    At the end there is contact info for the Public Access Counselor's Office, which has a FOIA hotline:
    1-877-299-3642 or at paccess@atg.state.il.us

    An important distinction for purposes of a registry, of course, would be that there is a considerable difference between an arrest and a conviction.

  18. gyldengyl, thanks for the information. It looks like the last FOIA request I submitted was in May 2011, probably just before the Attorney General's letter took full effect. Are they now also including booking photos with the FOIA responses? That would be much more helpful in a neighborhood like ours where we recognize faces but not names. Of course, there's still the problem that this only works if you have a name or incident number to start with. In the past, I've had to wait until incident reports were released two weeks after the incident. No immediate gratification, of course, but at least incident report numbers eventually become available.