Thursday, July 11, 2013

CAPS FACTS: Some Thoughts Before Tonight's CAPS Meeting

Wow. Two quiet nights in a row? How refreshing. It was so slow, we had time to put together a few thoughts for tonight's CAPS meeting for beats 1924 and 1933.  Everyone is welcome tonight, even if they don't live in the specified area.

The meeting will be at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, 836 W. Wellington, at 7PM.  The meeting is usually held in the Olson Auditorium. The front desk will point you in the right direction and signs should be posted.

Now...On with our notes...

Robberies Are Way Up on Beat 1924
- Beat 1924 had 6 robberies in May. It had SIXTEEN in June. The count of 16 does not include the one that ended with a mob attacking and stabbing the victims with broken bottles. That incident is classified as an (1) aggravated battery with a knife or cutting instrument*

Here are the sixteen robberies committed on beat 1924 in June with their CPD case number (HW#):
HW341615 June 30 4:00AM 900 block of W Belmont
HW343517 June 30 3:00AM 1100 block of W Eddy
HW340260 June 29 6:30AM 900 block of W Roscoe
HW337072 June 27 1:45AM 800 block of W Newport
HW336120 June 26 12:05AM 3300 block of N Clark
HW334514 June 25 3:00AM 3500 block of N Clark
HW336189 June 23 3:00AM 3400 block of N Clark
HW331120 June 23 1:00AM 3400 block of N Sheffield
HW319353 June 15 1:00AM 3500 block of N Clark
HW319282 June 15 12:01AM 3400 block of N Clark
HW311933 June 10 2:00AM 1000 block of W Addison
HW306533 June 06 8:25AM 3300 block of N Clark
HW306391 June 06 2:00AM 3300 block of N Halsted
HW301624 June 02 3:30AM 3400 block of N Clark
HW300721 June 02 1:45AM 3500 block of N Clark
HW300337 June 01 4:07AM 900 block of W Belmont

Robberies have been going UP overall in the neighborhood for years.  Why? What's being done? What measurable decrease should we citizens expect to see over the next 3, 6, and 12 months?

Stabbings at Belmont and Sheffield
In addition to the two stabbing victims that made the news, another person was stabbed on the corner of Belmont and Sheffield the night before.

There were at least four cases of lone victims being attacked by large groups of offenders on beat 1924 in June. Surely five or 10 people aren't beating one guy up just to get a small percentage of the profit from a cell phone theft. What is the motive behind these wildings?

A list of neighborhood wildings is maintained on CWB.

The 19th District has lost 20% of our police officers since March of last year
The 19th district is grossly understaffed. Ask how many officers the 19th district had in March of last year. Ask how many it has today. The CPD will almost certainly claim that they cannot reveal strategic operational data. So, we'll tell you. There were 372 392 officers in the 19th district on March 4, 2012. There are 300 today. Of course, they will say that our information is wrong, but they won't provide the data to prove it. It's a classic "trust us, we're the police" CAPS move. Our numbers are correct.

Periods of time when no police are available.
Those two young men who were stabbed with bottles called 911 to report that they were detaining two cell phone thieves. No police officers were available, so they were waiting for cops who were never on the way. 1) were the victims told that no cops are on the way so they would know to back out of a dangerous situation? Why not? 2) Why does our district run out of police officers? 3) What specific steps are being taken to rectify that problem and ensure that when citizens call for help, they get it?

What is being done to maintain control on Belmont Avenue overnight?
How should citizens measure the police department's success or failure in this effort?

Do NOT accept the excuse that crime is "down" overall. Do NOT accept the excuse that "most of these robberies were late at night" and "the victims were drinking." Who cares? They are being beaten and robbed. It is the police department's job to protect ALL people. Do NOT accept the excuse that stabbings are "isolated incidents." Wrong. They are not. Stabbings are increasing dramatically in our area.

Do NOT accept statements such as "we aren't aware" of certain types of crimes or "we aren't aware" of situations. It's their job to be aware of these things. If they aren't aware, they are not doing their job. Period.

Insist on answers. If they don't have answers, ask why. Demand that they bring the answers next month. Be there next month to follow up.

And, most of all, don't trust a CAPS officer. They are public relations professionals who are there to get you in and out with no muss and no fuss. They are NOT interested in being held responsible or having their information questioned.

Oh, if Tom Tunney is there, everything we just said applies...thrice!
* Crime events only receive one classification in Chicago, so if you are robbed and stabbed, the stat will only be officially recorded as a stabbing and it will not count as a robbery. Remember! Crime is down, people!


  1. There are a lot of valid concerns and great points that you make. Just a couple that I think could be amended. The officers in Boystown (even the commander) have no control over the loss of officers in the district. Addressing this at a caps meeting serves no purpose, it needs to be addressed to the mayor. The loss of manpower is dangerous both to the community and officers alike. Don't take your frustrations out on them because of this.

    I don't think having the mindset of walking into a meeting on the attack and telling the community not to trust the caps officer is going to lead to a productive meeting. You might feel better for having vented but you are creating an adversarial hostile atmosphere with the very people who are working to protect you.

    You don't want to hear that the majority of people getting robbed at night in the entertainment district are drunk? Or talking/texting on their cell phones oblivious to what's going on around them? It happens to be a fact. This whole caps thing is about a partnership with the officers in your area. So ask your officers what you need to do or who you need to talk to (not them) to get more officers assigned.

    Ask the caps officers about the court advocacy program. Support the victims. Go to court as a united group and let the judge know that you as a community want these thugs out of your neighborhood and you want them put away. If you start letting your presence and voice be heard, the word will get out to the other thugs that you are taking your community back.

  2. If it means letting the cubs have a bigger sign to get Tunney out I am for it.

  3. Damn good notes. Should hand out to people at the meeting. Lol.

    Technically recording the meeting is not illegal btw. There's a law on the books called the open law something something. Anyway I'd wish I had a covert voice mechanism so we could atleast catch voice lol

  4. I will be there!!

    Lets keep holding their feet to the fire, until our neighborhood is safe once again!!

  5. By all means, harass Rahm as much as possible. By going after the South Side, however ineffectively, he is wrecking his tourism, retail, and rate-ables on the North Side, will exacerbate his budget problems, preventing more policing, and he is too stupid and arrogant to see it.

    < You don't want to hear that the majority of people getting robbed at night in the entertainment district are drunk? >

    On, this comment was said about patrons leaving Steamworks. I doubt many of them are drunk:

    " So when is Steamworks finally going to realize they need a rear entrance for its customers?

    Customers are constantly harassed, mostly late at night when they enter and leave through the front. Be careful."

  6. Anonymous said...
    There are a lot of valid concerns and great points that you make. Just a couple that I think could be amended. The officers in Boystown (even the commander) have no control over the loss of officers in the district.
    <edit for length.

    Hello, Anonymous, and thank you for your thoughtful post. We do appreciate it, although as you can imagine, we do not agree many of the points.

    CAPS *used* to be a partnership in this neighborhood. Some of went to CAPS meetings so long ago, they were held in a place called Samuel's Deli on Broadway. Samuel's was turned into Rocks Lake View so long ago, most people in the neighborhood probably don't know it as anything else.' We know what CAPS is supposed to be. We experienced it first hand.

    Trust is earned and trust can be lost. The CAPS program in the 19th district has lost our trust.

    To be quite honest, we here at CWB do not feel that the CAPS program in the 19th district has been productive or operated by police personnel who are trying to protect the community for at least 3 years. The people who run the CAPS meetings now and in the latter years of the 23rd district have completely transformed these meetings into active denial and pubic relations sessions. For nearly 3 years, they never once noted robberies as a community concern despite citizens' repeated urgings. You can see the results.

    Other people attend these meetings too, namely representatives from the alderman's office. They need to go back to him with charred pants from sitting in a hot seat.

    Yes, the manpower shortage was created by the politicians. But it needs to be managed by the leadership in our district. Do we really need all of those officers working in the CAPS office? Put them o the street. Who knows, if they were on the street, they might notice the robbery problem. If we constantly run out of cops between 3am and 5am on Sunday mornings, then get more cops on the street between 3am and 5am on Sunday mornings.

    Finally, we do not doubt that robbery victims in this neighborhood are often intoxicated. That tends to happen in nightlife districts. What does not happen in other Chicago nightlife districts is the intoxicated people in other areas aren't routinely beaten and robbed on the streets by groups of attackers. It doesn't. Not at the level we're seeing.

    And it didn't used to happen in *this* nightlife district, either. Until the police department let the problem grow. We can still remember the former-former-commander and her CAPS officer telling the community 30-odd months ago ago that all of those robberies were "just an uptick" and the next month things were 'basically flat," which is the CAPS way of saying up. And the next month they saw a "downtrend," largely because cool weather had rolled in.

    If we sound angry, it's because we are. And if anyone expects us to just be nice and shuffle on out because Mr. or Ms. CAPS Officer isn't the person who makes the decisions, too bad. They're the persons who have misled the public into a false sense of security and it's time to answer for their actions.

  7. Crime in Boystown stated: "The people who run the CAPS meetings now and in the latter years of the 23rd district have completely transformed these meetings into active denial and pubic relations sessions."

    Pubic relations sessions??!!???

  8. I think at some point (I'm not sure a CAPS meeting will ever be the place for it to happen) we need to be told where responsibility and accountability lie.

    I've been to enough CAPS meetings to know that the blame/responsibility is always somehow shifted to the residents:
    •Don't walk down the street talking on your phone or with an ipod visible.

    •Don't walk alone after dark

    •Use main streets not side streets (I guess the jogger who was beaten last week on Waveland and Pine Grove at 7pm should have been jogging on a main street instead).

    I asked Tunney's assistant at the June CAPS meeting if The Center, Howard Brown Youth Center, The Crib, etc. were regulated in anyway, and after prodding her she told that they were not regulated...So they're not responsible.

    At the July CAPS meeting a young woman complained about gangs hanging out all the time on her building property. The police told her that first she needed to inform the gangs that they weren't allowed to be there. She was understandably aghast when she said, "You mean I have to confront them before I call the police?!" Apparently, she's responsible for the gangs hanging out on her property. A couple complained about "the youth" from The Center constantly ringing the buzzers on their three flat trying to get into the building. Recently they stopped ringing and threw a planter through the front window and got into the lobby. "You need to make sure it's urgent when you call the police," the couple was told. "I was on the phone with the police when the planter went through the window!" the wife said...the police didn't arrive for 20 minutes. Obviously, she was responsible, not the police, because the sound of breaking glass wasn't urgent enough...oh, and The Center can't be held accountable either.

    The 7-11 on Halsted, the Subway on Belmont, the notorious Dunkin Donuts, increasingly the 24 hour STarbucs on Belmont and the Shell Station on Addison and Halsted...all are problem spots. Why aren't those business being held accountable for the activities routinely taking place on their property and in their stores?

    No one is ever responsible for this mess. It's time the residents of this area demand accountability.

  9. I'm a tourist to the area, and I just want to say:

    Give 'em hell!

  10. First I would like to address the manpower issue. Be mad all you want but there really isn't anything the officers or commander can do about it. Think of the district as a sponge and the officers and commander as water. You can squeeze and squeeze but you will eventually run out of water. The water can only be replenished from outside that system. This blog has acknowledged that there are now only 300 officers in the district where there used to be 372. Confront Tunney about this. Back when the two districts merged I told people who lived in the area that this is a horrible idea and crime would go way up and police response would go way down I also told people that the district would lose officers by attrition and they would not be replaced, that also has happened. Since this blog seems to be gaining steam I will also throw out my third prediction the police staff target number is somewhere around 250-260. So imagine a district losing 40-50 more officers (this is only my guess I do not know this as a fact but I have been correct on my other two predictions).
    Second the community definitely needs to get involved more. By that I mean stop calling the police and expecting them to solve your problems if you yourself don't want to get involved! Like in a previous post if the gang members are hanging out in front of your building but on the sidewalk there really isn't much an officer can do other than order them away. If they are on your property there is absolutely nothing an officer can do to remove them unless you the resident sign a complaint! You the resident are the one who is alleging a crime, you the resident are the one who needs to sign the complaint and follow up on it in court. That means you will have to confront those gang members at some point.this truly is a partnership and the community needs to do their part. If citizens don't want the thugs on Belmont in the night, organize a march and hold those marches every night till the message is sent, help the understaffed police by becoming involved.
    Final point in a long winded message. Ask why a newly built police facility does not use it's lock up. Rahm in a cost cutting move closed the 23rd district lockup as well as others and sends all the prisoners to the old 19th district station. This means when someone is arrested at Belmont and Clark they are processed in the district but then need to be transported to the old 19th district at Belmont and western. This wastes manpower and time especially because there already is a functioning lock up facility on Addison!

  11. I don't care what Rahm did to get Obama elected or ran the WH staff, or how many F-bombs and hissy fits he throws, Tunney may be on the front lines, but the root cause is this over-rated jerk mayor, who is not competent to be elected dog-catcher.

    All correspondence with Tunney needs to be done by snail-mail, in writing and cc Rahm. The two were already at each other's throats over Wrigley field.

    A fish rots from the head first.

    1. Rahm is the cause of all these problems and Tunney is a clown. Emanuel is a shakedown pay to play guy that only cares about money for his campaign fund.

  12. re: Anonymous said...
    First I would like to address the manpower issue...

    I agree with you, but there are still some serious problems with how the police too often respond. The woman I mentioned who was at the CAPS meeting said that she calls the police about the gangs hanging out on her property and that IF they come, they just drive by, shine their light and keep going. How is she supposed to sign a complaint?

    The core of the problem in this neighborhood is that gangs and mobs are coming in from outside of the area and taking over the streets (specifically Halsted and Belmont). They are not coming to patronize businesses or contribute to the neighborhood. At every CAPS meeting I've attended, the cops and the alderman (if present) either act mystified that this happening when people bring it up, or get defensive and act like it's not a problem. That IS the problem, and a lack of manpower is meaningless if the elected officials and police behave (for whatever reason) like nothing is amiss.

    1. Here is a question, does this woman call in anonymously? Or does she leave a name? Most officers on an anonymous complaint don't do much because they know there isn't much to be done. Tell this woman that the next time she calls to specifically tell the call taker that she wants to sign complaints and leave her information.

  13. ^^ Exactly.

    I would have more respect for Rahm and Tunney, if they would just be honest and upfront about the crime problem.

    If I were mayor, I would simply go to the public and say "Yes we have a problem, we need to find ways to generate more money to hire more police."

    I am willing to pay more money in taxes every month, at this point, to get more police hired and get the extra 3000 police hired and trained. Does it suck that we have to pay more in taxes? Yes it does, but that seems like the only way to save the neighborhood at this point.

    Let's look at the numbers:

    if the city wanted to hire 3000 more police officers, at $60,000 per year (plus benefits) we are looking at (at least) $180,000,000 a year in salary.

    To offset that, we can charge (thru the monthly electricity bill) $10 per month "security surcharge" on each billable account. The electric company would collect the fee and forward it to the city. I believe, when you include businesses and residents, probably 2,000,000 billable accounts in the City. That is $20,000,000 per month in extra revenue for the city, which comes out to $240,000,000 a year. This would pay for extra police, as well as cars, equipment, etc.

  14. One giant problem we the informed residents have to realize is that many, if not most other residents are clueless as to the gravity and frequency of neighborhood crime.
    Just by discussing nightly crime stats to a stranger most often gets nothing more than bewildered looks and verbalized denial.
    This is because a large majority of residents are renters, many who move here from out of the area or state. Also, the great job the police, politicians, and press do to keep news of danger repressed.
    Business owners too have their door staff and servers, bartenders deny or at least minimize the same.
    Coming from a mindset of knowledge being power, I believe we should demand public education for public safety be started and put into motion tonight.
    Have all safety recommendations the police can offer in pamphlet and poster form, as well as a weekly, preferably more frequent, synopsis of crimes committed, their times and locations, printed with funds from the Alderman's office, the North Halsted Merchants Association, The Lakeview East Chamber if Commerce, etc. then distributed at key locations and key times by volunteers and police together.
    The increase in the number of residents who become aware if what is really going on around them will be paramount in the success of any demands we have to increase police feet on the street.
    I agree too that any 24 hour store or business should have security during the overnight hours.
    We could also consider starting actions to request 2:00am close times every night for all bars in the district. That would get notice!!
    Also recommending that all lodging establishments provide written warnings for safety in this area be provided in each room and at other areas in their buildings.
    And continuing to do all of these things year round, through the all important Winter.
    I am not able to attend tonight, if someone is interested in standing up at the mic and stating these ideas, therefore getting it on record. Then if nothing is done, that really would cost almost nothing, this could open the possibility for lawsuits against the city and establishments for not providing vital information to the public.

  15. Best Western is in ground zero of all this and its guests have been victims. Most of their guests walk on dark residential cross-streets to get to gay venues and Wrigley field. I don't see them volunteering to do anything that would undermine their business. Before their rates got ridiculous 10 years ago, I used to stay there. No more.

    They are going to have to be cajoled by Trip Adviors every bit as much as Ann Sathers.

    I don't know how that B&B on Halsted is withstanding this.

  16. Anonymous said...
    I don't know how that B&B on Halsted is withstanding this.

    ^^^ I met the guy who runs that place, over the pride weekend. He's really cool but is at the tipping point over (1) crime nearby, and (2) lack of law enforcement along Halsted between Belmont and Addison. He said he lost one booking for Pride and one for later in the year due to the bullshit that IS PERMITTED by the powers-that-be. Shame, it's such a nice place. Maybe when the businesses (large and small alike, including bars) start substantially losing money (and taxes collected for Rahm and Patty) then we MIGHT get some needed attention.

    And, closing thought, we Ned to have t-shirts made that state simply across the front: JUST ONE PERSON and wear them into CAPS "meetings," Tunney's tired-ass "restaurant(s)," and anywhere else to remind everyone (or educate everyone) about what SURELY will be Tunney's legacy. No matter what his little Wikipedia entry states, no matter what else he does (short of solving the thugs-in-Boystown issue) THOSE four little words, "You're just one person," will forever resonate across the annals of Great Moments In Chicago Politics!".

  17. As usual, this meeting was a waste of time. It seemed the facilitators were really rushing everyone to speak their piece and then hurry everyone along. And where was the magically illustrious 44th Ward alderman????

  18. Write a review of Tunney's Ann Sather restaurant on Trip Advisor and mention the horrible crimes surrounding the neighborhood.

  19. "Just by discussing nightly crime stats to a stranger most often gets nothing more than bewildered looks and verbalized denial.
    This is because a large majority of residents are renters, many who move here from out of the area or state."

    Guess what? Many of us "renters" are VERY aware of what has been going on in Lakeview. By the comments I've read on this (very good) forum, it seems we've been aware for much longer than many of you - for at at least the past 5 years. We've certainly been more aware than the business owners and their workers because they seem to cross their arms and turn their head or put their nose in the air when we've inquired about the bloodied people running down the street. And guess what again? We're not buying. Some of us, like myself, have MOVED out of Lakeview and would never, ever consider living there again. It is extremely amusing and interesting watching all this silliness play out from the sidelines. I am most confident that this next CAPS meeting will be nothing more than groups from all sides pushing their agendas of some type for tax funding, a vote or digging for a $ from somewhere - which, after leaving, was and always will be, my opinion of Lakeview and the majority of it's people - money mongering greed (but let's get thoe Walmarts out of there, right?). And they need to be called out on it. But yeah, get that VIOLENT crime in check. Then worry about who the next political hack you're going to hire.

    Coming from a gay man, I think this is all a GREAT lesson especially for the stereotype of gays in Chicago regarding this alderman in particular. Just because he's gay doesn't mean he's the better for you than anyone else. You need to embrace diversity out there, there could be someone that has your best interests in mind that, believe it or not, may not be gay. Put gay aside for 15 seconds and do the right thing.


    1. I'm a Lakeview renter of 27 years, gay, angry, and I don't care who a politician sleeps with, unless it's the mayor.
      We aren't stupid you know. It's just a big huge game and we are trying to break through the obstacles to start to win.
      You left. I don't want to.
      Also, most business owners here don't live in the ward. Tunney kisses their asses for tax revenue. I guess our taxes, yes we pay tax in our rent, isn't enough.

  20. You people who CONTINUE to think that CAPS meetings are going to solve the crime problem must just be dense. The definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior but expecting a different outcome. Get a clue.

  21. It's evident that that the "Just One Person" campaign needs to get into gear and let the Alderman know that his days as Alderman may very well be numbered.

  22. Rahm beats over Tunney over a Scoreboard. I guess the 2 are not always in lock step

    That Tunney phuckface cries over a huge scoreboard, but not the physical and financial injuries to his constituents.

  23. If Tunney could show the emotion that he showed last night from not getting everything he and his precious Wrigley Field rooftop owners wanted...

    But I guess, I and everyone else who cares about the crime along Halsted and Clark. Well, we're just one person!

  24. Some of those gay bar owners and their 'tenders don't live in that gayborhood and never would either. They're laughing at you all the way to the bank. Just my observation but, hey, I'm just one person too. Actually, as big as my a** is getting from bad tacos, slushies and margaritas I could count as two people right about now!

  25. The owners, tenders, and go-go-boys do have to get home after dark. None of them are in a good situation, unless they live in a flat over the bar.

  26. Rahm has to go. He is no good and disrespects the gay community. Speak out against him.

  27. He is not so great for the sports community either. Wrigleyville is bad. Putting up that effing sign shouldn't impress anyone. He considers it a Mt Rushmore-style monolith for himself - "look at what I did".

  28. That's right, Tunney: Put all the bogus time, effort and money into supporting a loosing, lousy team like the Cubs instead of investing in proper safety for your constituents. Typical hack politician. Your days as an alderman are numbered. Yes, alone we may be only one person. But together, we are a multitude who will vote your crummy ass out of office!

  29. "Captain Bay came away similarly impressed with the commitment of Jackson (executive director of the West Humboldt Neighborhood Development Council)..." "In many neighborhoods, the city's community policing program does little more than offer people a chance to gripe."

  30. Re: The Reader story.

    The situation in Lakeview won't get any media attention until shots are fired on a daily/nightly basis. It will take regular gun violence to make this a story anyone will see as worth reporting on. I hate to say that, but unfortunately, it's true.