Monday, September 2, 2013

Response From Ald. Cappleman

Ald. Cappleman sent out a mailing Sunday afternoon regarding the events Saturday night:

"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
If you'd like to discuss any concerns or ideas you have in person with me, I have open office hours every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning. No appointment is required at those times. If for some reason on a rare occasion that I am not at the office during those times, I have capable staff who can begin to address your concerns or questions."


  1. Interesting. I have been talking about the public drinking violations for years. The ANOV tickets are not enough. The "broken windows" crime fighting is Uptown's only hope. The loitering has become so bad I have seen vagrants using lawn chairs & a discarded bed to sit on.

  2. Hey alderman, what was your vote on the 2012 budget?

    Where was this sentiment then:
    "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."

    I don't think the mayor or the chief of police is going to like you stepping up and calling them liars. As you should know, there has been an historic drop in crime this year. Have you not seen the press conferences with the chief and/or mayor?

    So what is it, alderman? Did you accidentally vote for a budget with no substantial dollars committed to increase police staffing or are you just a yes-man for the mayor? I'm confused.

  3. (CRXN of type: Alderman voted in 2012 for the 2013 budget - a budget that contained really no increased funding for the police that are so desperately needed.)

  4. There is a CAPS Meeting tonight at Truman 7pm. For what it is worth.

  5. Hear what your Alderman Cappleman (46th ward) feels about his constiuients. He speaks at 5:05

  6. I find the question of how much responsibility businesses should take or how much time/effort/money they should put in to address suspected criminal activity in the public way adjacent to their business very interesting. Cappleman reports that he convinced the CE there to install cameras to monitor/record the public's activity on the public sidewalk north of the business, which was cool of the CE to do. But it obviously cost the CE some money to do so. Arguably, I think it would be fair for the CE to say that, hey, this is the city's or public's property, we pay taxes that help pay for the police and police cameras to monitor and secure the public way, same as everyone else, we have cameras that monitor our store and entrance, why should we pay for this extra expense? Asking businesses to pay to install cameras or hire security guards to monitor the public way outside of their property is like an added tax they are being asked to pay that we the public, who have just as much of a vested interest securing the public way and discouraging criminal behavior, are not asked to pay. It is of course all of our responsibility to report criminal behavior when we observe it, but it has been a frequent theme here on UU to demand that businesses do more, i.e. to spend more of their money, to patrol/monitor the public's behavior on the public way when the people being monitored don't necessarily have anything to do with their business (as opposed to a bar hiring security to monitor drunken patrons leaving their bar as they walk out into the neighborhood). I wonder if this might have a discouraging effect on potential business owners for Uptown who can anticipate being told "Hey, welcome to Uptown, thanks for opening your business here! Now on top of your normal business expenses and taxes, hire some extra security or install some cameras to monitor the public's sidewalks to address this problem that has existed before you got here and is none of your making because the police your taxes pay for to do this job aren't fully capable of doing it." I'm making an argument as to the right or wrong of asking businesses to do and spend more, just questioning how fair it is to ask them to do more than the rest of us and wondering if it might have a discouraging effect on potential businesses coming to Uptown.

  7. Actually, there already is a program in place for this. If you follow the guidelines of the program, which means cameras have to monitor the sidewalks in front of your property, then you can recoup a decent portion of you costs.

  8. Well, in theory, it sounds nice that the Currency Exchange has cameras and have supplied video of this altercation with the police. But what will they really do about the problem even with this? Let's look back at the smashed window at Spoil Me Salon a few months back and we may get a glimpse of what they will do: NOTHING. There was a video of this person breaking the salon's window, a photograph of his face, and an eye witness that watched this man walk out of his apartment, break the window, and then run right back to his apartment. The police made no arrest. Alderman Cappleman was spoken to about all of this. The police made no arrest. Word on the street? "He's crazy, what would be the point." Let's hope this video has better results. But, then again, gang violence is a bigger black eye for the mayor, and Mr. Cappleman does need to keep Rahm happy and on his good side.