Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's 1:30AM -
Do You Know Where Your Public Servants Are?

It's August.  It's quiet.  The Olympics are over, all the best TV shows are on hiatus, and the kids are getting ready to go back to school.  The biggest news on Uptown Update is what CTA station got the greatly non-coveted "Crust Station Award." So it's natural to think everyone is taking it easy. 

But wait!  They're not!  Our public servants are still hard at work, even if they're not in the spotlight.  The other day, one of the contributors to UU walked down his street and saw a couple cops in an unmarked car, parked out of the way, with binoculars firmly focused on an area gang hotspot.  Even with Operation Uptown Crackdown (28 out of 33 miscreants arrested, and counting), the cops are still keeping their eyes on the bad guys.  That's nice.

Then there are the continuing efforts to help the hardcore homeless who use the park and viaducts as home.  The police from both the 19th and 20th Districts, the aldermanic staffs from 46 and 48, both wards' Streets and San departments, employees from the Department of Human Services and Park Department, and Ald. Cappleman have been joining together and going into the parks in the wee hours to see who's there and to offer them assistance.

In the months since they've been doing these sweeps, Uptown's overnight park population has decreased by more than a third.  The most recent time they were out, four people accepted help and got into the social services system.  They believe there are several more who are ready to do likewise.

It's shown us, it's not always flashy.  It's not always visible.  Sometimes it happens at 3AM.  But there are people out there who are working steadily and quietly to help the most vulnerable and to make Uptown safer for everyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment