Yesterday afternoon, a couple of rumbles came out about a community group being at the 19th district station talking about additional night patrols. Then, Tom Tunney posted a response on Facebook (!) about possibly having a police saturation team here on weekends.
Nothing has been formally announced, so we will have to wait to see what develops.
We appreciate and support all efforts to get things under control now.
But we also know that every July or August for the past few years, stop gap measures have been put into place to punt our neighborhood's problem into autumn's cool breezes in the hope that winter would allow the citizenry to forget all about what happened. And we citizens do a bang-up job of forgetting. (Where are those cops on four-wheelers that buzzed the neighborhood streets for a couple of weeks in 2011?)
Unfortunately, autumn and winter are not providing the same protection from thugs that those months used to provide. Ask the 19th district police commander who had his ass handed to him over this year's January robbery rate.
But this problem will not go away until the people in charge of your safety deploy mid- and long-term solutions instead of stop gaps.
This is not about crime in Lake View
This is not about crime in Lake View. Nor is it about crime in the 19th district. Taken as a whole, LV is one of Chicago's safer neighborhoods and, as a whole, the 19th district is one of the city's safer districts.
The violent crime problem is concentrated in a roughly one-half-of-a-square-mile section of Lake View. It's a serious problem, it's driven by robberies, and it has not been seriously addressed with long-term strategies since it started to kick in over four years ago.
Don't let this punt into winter cycle repeat itself. The sooner a permanent plan is in place and executed, the sooner we can get back to enjoying our once-great neighborhood 24 hours a day instead of just 16.
Now, put your hands on your hips and bring your knees in tight. See if anything sounds familiar in the time warp:
[I]t was standing room only as concerned business owners, residents and members of the LGBT community stood shoulder to shoulder at local Boystown eatery, Nookies Tree, to try and make sense of the recent rash of crime that is plaguing the neighborhood. - Chicago Now, August 8, 2009
The majority of the robberies have occurred in the midnight and early morning hours. Reports conclude that most of the attackers travelled in groups, and police said the muggers have mainly targeting [sic] men in their twenties. - Skyline, August 12, 2009
"I’m very confident that the resources allocated for this community are substantial,” said the alderman, noting that the area had recently been allocated additional bike police. - Skyline, August 12, 2009July 2011
“We’re asking the police department to create an entertainment district force similar to what they did in Rush Street back in the day. Today’s youth are in Boystown. They’re in Wrigleyville. Those districts are very compact. They make up a sizeable portion of my ward. And I would like to make sure that we get the police resources on the late-night shift,” Tunney said. - Chicago Sun-Times, July 6, 2011
Still, Tunney said he was not wedded to the idea of a special police unit — just “whatever the police can do to increase the resources on the third shift — maybe a different deployment strategy.” - Chicago Sun-Times, July 6, 2011
Lt. Maureen Biggane, a police spokeswoman, said “additional area resources will be deployed as needed to address community concerns and to ensure adequate coverage at peak times.” - Chicago Sun-Times, July 6, 2011
Commander Boehmer ended the meeting by telling the crowd there would be additional police resources on the street between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. - GoPride.com, July 6, 2011
Tunney has worked with the Chicago Police Department to designate a portion of the Lakeview area, including North Halsted, as an entertainment district. The designation would mean a specific night tactical detail would be added for the area. - GoPride.com, July 24, 2012
A private security team of armed officers, wearing green shirts and bullet proof vests, has been hired to maintain safety in Boystown and the North Halsted Street entertainment district. - GoPride.com, July 24, 2012
I am working very closely with Commander Voulgaris, who is putting strategies in place to address these robberies. - Tom Tunney's Facebook page, July 16, 2013