Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mom Of Teen Robbery Victim: Understaffed Cops Needed 20 Minutes To Help My Son

The mother of a 13-year-old boy who was among 4 children robbed during a North Side crime spree on Monday afternoon says that it took "3 phone calls" and "20+ minutes" for police to arrive at the scene of her son's robbery.

The mugging of the 3 grade schoolers near Wrightwood Park took place while the 19th district was in "Radio Assignments Pending" or "RAP" status. RAPs are declared by the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications whenever there are no officers available to handle incoming 911 calls for a police district.

Chicago authorities do not release RAP statistics for specific neighborhoods, but CWB Chicago editors have been tracking RAPs independently since mid-2013.

According to our unofficial records, Monday's RAP was the 65th of the year for our 19th district--that's 22 more RAPs than were recorded in all of last year and 15 more than in 2014.

In a post that was re-published on the Taking Back Lakeview Facebook group, the robbery victim's mom wrote,
We fully support, appreciate and respect our Chicago Police and our alderman [the straight-shooting Scott Waguespack] explained to us that this is an understaffing issue and that is unfortunately, too common in our ward and district.
I am asking you to please take action and help us to effect change - contact your alderman, your district police superintendent, and most importantly our mayor. 
The mother's complete post is republished below. We have removed the child's name:
My son [name omitted] and two of his St. Josaphat school friends were the eighth graders mentioned in this story. 
I want to sincerely thank every one of you who have reached out to us to check in on [him] and keep us in your thoughts and prayers - it means a lot more to him (and us) than I can put into words. 
This is what happened as I understand it from the boys: 
Yesterday after school, the three boys were at Wrightwood Park watching their friends at a Cross Country practice and were leaving the park just before 4pm to meet up with four other classmates nearby. 
They were on Greenview between Lill and Wrightwood when two african-american teens (one was about their age) approached them and one of them put [our son] into a headlock. [He] had his phone in his hands but one of his friends quickly and instinctively grabbed it from him and called 911. 
The other attacker pulled a knife and demanded the phone that the third friend had and chased him with the knife. The friend threw his phone at the thug who then demanded the password to his iCloud account. The boy didn't know it, so the attacker punched him in the face and the two thugs ran to a waiting black car ([My son] thinks it was a Mazda) and drove off. 
The boys ran to the Cross Country coach and told her what happened and she also called the police (kudos to her as she stayed with them and us a full hour waiting for the police to arrive and conduct their report).
Verizon sent an automated alert to me that [our son's] phone had dialed 911. When I received the alert, I texted [him and he] called me out of breath and told me what had just happened. 
I got to the park 5 minutes later and waited with the coach and kids until the other parents and police arrived. Unfortunately the coach had to call 911 again after 20+ minutes had passed and when the police arrived, there were no sirens or lights or sense of urgency. 
While I am outraged that it took the police 3 phone calls to 911 and 20+ minutes to help a 13 year old boy who called during a crime in progress, in the time it took for them to arrive, a similar crime had already been committed by thugs matching the same description. 
The story below indicates that a total of 6 similar crimes likely by the same three thugs happened in less than 90 minutes. 
We fully support, appreciate and respect our Chicago Police and our alderman has explained to us that this is an understaffing issue and that is unfortunately, too common in our ward and district. 
It is difficult to explain to my 13 yr old son why the police didn't come when he needed them, and will be significantly more difficult for him to feel safe again. 
[My son] and his friends are doing as well as can be expected and we are profoundly grateful that none of them was hurt physically.
I am asking you to please take action and help us to effect change - contact your alderman, your district police superintendent, and most importantly our mayor. 
Demand more police officers in Chicago. The police cannot protect us effectively if they are understaffed and overworked. It shouldn't take 20-40 minutes to respond to a call of a crime in progress. Things are not likely to change if we remain silent and it might be your child next time and he/she might not be as lucky as mine was.
Staff who deal with the direct communications between Aldermen and Mayor's office: 
Chavez, Claudia - Claudia.Chavez@cityofchicago.org and Samantha Fields Samantha.Fields@cityofchicago.orgOffice of the Mayor(o) 312-744-2456(m) 312-519-7521
19th District - Town Hall Police (Merged with 23rd from Belmont) Robert Cesario, Commander850 W. AddisonChicago, IL 60613
CAPS019District@chicagopolice.orgPhone: 312-744-8320Fax: 312-744-4481Mary Hein- CAPS Sgt. Mary.hein@chicagopolice.org
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