"In the past 24 hours, we have had 2 separate shootings in the Sheridan Park neighborhood, both of which were gang related. One, a 24 year-old man was shot just before 7pm at the corner of Wilson & Racine, and the other, a 15 year-old boy who was shot on the 4500 block early this morning. The first victim is deceased and the second victim is in good condition.
What we've been hearing from many police at CAPS meetings is that in the last 2 years, younger gang members no longer listen to the older gang members, and have become more prone to the use of violence for minor disagreements. Rather than shooting over the establishment of drug sale territories, today it's often about feeling slighted by another opposing gang member.
Sgt. Sosa from CPD's Bureau of Patrol contacted me today to let me know that of the 103 new officers that have graduated from the last 2 Academy classes, 7 of them have been assigned to the 46th Ward. CPD is in the process of finalizing a new formula for police deployment throughout the City. As the reasons for violence are complex, so are its solutions.
Here are some of my actions:
- Created a business corridor public safety task force that meets regularly to teach businesses proven methods to reduce crime including calling 911, signing complaints, and working with the State's Attorney's office. Members of this task force are businesses along the 4600 block of N. Broadway, as well as businesses along Wilson from Hazel to Racine. This approach has significantly reduced crime in other areas of our ward.
- Working with the City’s Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection to require that businesses cooperate with the police and community or face consequences.
- Established an ongoing apartment managers’ group that meets regularly with my office and the 19th Police District to review best practices for screening, security, and managing their buildings. Buildings with a history of public safety issues are encouraged to attend. When indicated, I utilize the Gang & Drug House Ordinance to get building owners to comply.
- Regularly meeting with Truman College security to create a strong partnership with a focus on public safety.
- My office attends CAPS meetings in our different beats to work with the police, residents, businesses, social services, and educational institutions to identify and address crime.
- I have met with many different block clubs to encourage the establishment of 911 phone trees. With this strong network of neighbors, I have the evidence to hold building owners accountable to the community and appeal to the commander with the need for more police.
- Will be hiring 970 more police officers by the end of 2018, which does not count those officers who retire or leave the force.
- Increased funding for programs such as Becoming A Man that provides mentoring to male youth who are at high risk for being a victim or perpetrator of a crime.
- Provided more educational opportunities for students to get a scholarship to go to a city college if they do well in high school.
- Increased funding for One Summer Chicago, a program that provides more employment opportunities for youth from 14 - 24 years of age.
- Establishing more police reform and transparency to improve police conduct and to address the anger of many who have a substantial distrust of the police.
- Go to your local CAPS meeting. There is one tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Courtenay Language Arts Academy.
- Call 911 whenever you see anything suspicious that needs immediate attention. If you’re not sure, call 911 and the operator will refer the situation to 311 if indicated. If you have questions about safety, police, or how you and your neighbors can get more involved, contact your local CAPS Office at 312-744-0064. You can also bring this up at your local CAPS meeting.
This is an ongoing problem across the City. The solution must involve all of us working together. I want to hear more about your ideas on how we can all work together to address crime. It’s clear we move forward by working together. I encourage all of you to contact my office with any questions."