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.

Wildings
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?

Overall
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!
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* 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!