Thursday, August 29, 2013

NOTES: September CAPS; Southport Neighbors; A Victim's Story

The CWBers had our bi-monthly "editorial meeting" at Syndey Marovitz yesterday. Our email and incoming comments folders were bursting when we returned.

Southport Neighbors
Our friends to the west in the Southport Neighbors area putting together a neighborhood watch program after two recent incidents near Juniper Park.

Last week, a resident of that area emailed us with details of an apparent robbery around 1 o'clock last Monday afternoon near the park. According to the emailer, two nannies were robbed of their cellphones and jewelry. The robberies do not appear to have been reported to police.

Our knowledge of last week's alleged robbery is what led us to run our report this Monday of a confirmed robbery at 1:40PM, less than two blocks from Juniper Park.

Residents of the Southport area who want to get involved should contact the Southport Neighbors Association.

September CAPS
Here are the dates for September's CAPS meetings.

Beats 1923, 1925, and 1934 (Yellow areas on the map below)
Wednesday, September 4, 7PM
19th district police station on Addison

Beats 1924 and 1933 (Pink areas on the map)
Thursday, September 12, 7PM
Illinois Masonic Medical Center, 836 W. Wellington. The front desk will direct you to the auditorium.

They don't serve beverages, but they usually offer plenty of "Kool Aid."

From the comments
I'm a resident on Wilton. Was mugged on August 16th at 11:30 PM by several men under red line - be careful. I'm 6'3 - 280. Not an easy target. 
Had conversations with applicable alderman today. Meeting with commander [Thursday] morning. I AM begging for creative ideas to open the conservation and I am demanding action. My ideas or issues mine didn't make the stats - I'm concerned its under reported Bike patrol Foot patrol - other than just game days We need to stand up and SPEAK out. Ver frustrated. Healing from broken bones and lacerations. All good on the healing side. Can't let this happen to my GF.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and for taking a stand. Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery.

Robberies are severely underreported in this neighborhood for a variety of reasons.

You are right on track with your other thoughts. Our readers will certainly have ideas of their own, but here are a few that we offer:

- A commitment from the alderman and police commander to deal with this issue openly and honestly. We're beyond the point of deniability. We've endured nearly three years of smoke and mirrors. It's time to move forward.

- A commitment from businesses, particularly bars, to inform their departing customers of simple ways to stay safe. Business owners must understand that every one of their customers who gets robbed on the way home tells their crime victim story to a host of friends. And those friends tell their friends. We won't even get started on the fact that bar employees are robbed on the street with some regularity, too. We know one who was victimized this past weekend around Halsted and Cornelia.

- Recruiting social organizations such as the Center on Halsted to be partners in the solution. Everyone needs to move beyond the finger pointing. As we said in a comment response this week, we've never advocated for the closing or defunding of COH or any other social organization. We would like to see these organizations drop their tired and unprovable "our clients aren't the troublemakers" cry in favor of "we want a safe neighborhood, too, and we're full partners."

- The police department needs to apprehend many, many more offenders than they currently do. The district's manpower is down at least 25% since March 2012. There simply are not enough officers in this district to launch appropriate responses to robberies in progress. Rarely is an effective search for offenders launched. We don't have exact numbers, but if we had to ballpark it, we'd say that at least 90% of the robberies in this area do not result in arrests. The offenders know that they aren't likely to get caught here and they keep coming back. They're not going to stop doing it until there is a compelling reason for them to go elsewhere. Even less common than a search for offenders is an actual follow-up investigation by detectives. If you think a gumshoe goes out beating the bushes or even checking the blue-light cameras after someone is robbed on the street, you are mistaken.

- Invigoration of the court advocacy program. Once the police get a thug off the streets, we need to ensure that the judicial branch does its job.