Monday, August 22, 2016

Violent Crime Soars Across North Side As "Perfect Storm" Gives Criminals The Green Light

A wave of violent crime is washing across the North Side this year as Chicago police officers face increasing threats and scrutiny.

Through July 31, violent crime reports are up in every lakefront neighborhood from the Loop to Edgewater.

Reports of the most serious crimes—homicide, criminal sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated battery—are up as much as 61%. Uptown saw the smallest increase in our study, with 15% more violent crime this year.

And virtually every area is also seeing an increase in total crime. Only North Center showed an overall crime drop through July 31, with a 4% reduction compared to the same time last year.

The Loop has seen crime jump 26% overall this year, the most of any area. Near North is up 15%. Lincoln Park and Edgewater have both seen 11% overall crime increases.

Citywide, homicides are up more than 40% and shootings are up 50% over last year, according to the authoritative tracking of

A neighborhood-by-neighborhood crime breakdown is shared at the end of this story.

“A Perfect Storm”

Police officers who spoke with us consistently offered similar reasons for the North Side crime trend: A sharp reduction in proactive street stops by officers; a systematic reduction in local police manpower under Mayor Rahm Emanuel; and a pullback from aggressive policing as officers ensure that they do not become the next cop to be caught on viral video.

The first signs of trouble came early this year when the Chicago Police Department began requiring officers to complete a two-page “Investigatory Stop Report” (ISR) whenever they stop a person on the street.

ISRs take nearly 30 minutes to complete, a patrol officer said, far more than the index card-sized “contact card” that the department previously used to track street stops.

Officers have been told that ISRs are being reviewed by a retired federal judge as well as lawyers for civil rights groups, a process that many proactive cops believe is a witch hunt.

Narcotics arrests, one of the most common arrests to stem from street stops, are down 47% this year citywide.

The Threats To Kill Cops

Perhaps the greatest force working against cops today are videos of officer-involved shootings, very often found to be justifiable, that are being seen widely and with increasing regularity.

As outrage against police grew in some communities, officers learned that gangs and lone wolves were targeting cops for street executions.

Copy of a July 24 Chicago Police Department officer safety alert.
Chicago police learned in July that certain street gangs were offering “promotions” to cop killers.

The department responded to the threat by requiring at least two police officers to ride in every patrol car.

That order slashed the number of police units on patrol across some North Side districts in half.

Before the buddy system was rolled out, nearly every beat car in our local 19th police district had just one officer during daytime hours, according to a source.

As a result of the 2-man minimum, the district—which stretches from Fullerton to Lawrence and from the Chicago River to Lake Michigan—has operated with 50% fewer patrol units.

The 19th district’s evening shift, which had been operating with approximately 33% solo officers, was similarly affected.

Reliance on so-called "99" units—CPD's term for officers who are working alone—allowed Emanuel to slash police manpower across the area while technically keeping units on patrol.

Now, with available units slashed, police districts are running out of cops with never-before-seen frequency. When all officers are on assignments and none is available to handle incoming 911 calls, the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications declares the district to be in "Radio Assignment Pending" (RAP) status.

An examination of RAPs in our neighborhood found that there were 32 RAPs declared in the 19th district between January 1 and July 15 of this year.

But another 29 RAPs have been record since July 15.

RAP frequencies have soared across the city, with traditionally “safer” neighborhoods—those areas that Emanuel's administration intentionally cut police resources—suffering the most.

The 19th district has entered RAP status 61 times this year according to tracking maintained by CWB Chicago. By comparison, the district had 43 RAPS in all of last year and 50 in 2014.

The Stats

This graph shows the year-over-year changes in selected crimes for North Side neighborhoods. N/A indicates that a percentage cannot be calculated.  Police this year have found one homicide in Lake View and another in North Center to be non-criminal acts of self-defense.

Rogers ParkUptownLincoln ParkLake ViewNorth CenterNear NorthLincoln SquareLoopEdgewater
Crim Sexual Assault62%Unch.125%-29%Unch.75%-20%186%133%
Agg Batter (not shooting)31%59%-13%24%Unch.54%67%7%Unch.
All Violent Crime46%15%42%34%25%50%20%61%44%
Motor vehicle theft-3%-11%45%17%23%62%26%50%86%
All Crime3%2%11%10%-4%15%7%26%11%
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  1. You guys should be in contention for a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.

  2. My hat is off to all you guys.
    For an exceptional job and reporting the facts that you cannot find anywhere else in Chicago outside of your reports a huge thank you to you all !!!!

  3. Wow. It looks like as far Uptown tries it can't out shine itself so it went to Lakeview and Edgewater.

  4. I do not know what Officer you speak too but if he/she takes 30 minutes to do a ISR either they are lazy or they need typing classes. A ISR takes 10 minutes or less they are almost the same as a contact card was.

    1. According to my son in law who is with CPD and now on Tactical, these ARE NOT even close to the old contact cards. Since they allowed the ACLU to look at the contact cards and make their 'recommendations' , this is what we now have - just a bunch of cops trying to stay out of the news and get their pension.

  5. If the mainstream media spent as much time reporting about crime in the city as they do analyzing Trump's tweets, perhaps we'd see a difference and shame the politicians to give us the protection we need and pay for with our sky-high taxes.

    1. Totally agree, I lived on the North Side in 1975. I saw things getting
      weird in Chicago then. I live in a sane city now
      Glad I left Chicago. Won't ever come back..too bad.
      It was once a great city. But the homicide rate is terrible.
      Bless all who remain.

  6. I wish that the mayor who lives in Lakeview would read this article and website.

    1. Does not matter to him, he has 24 hour protection

  7. The real sickness of our society is that many people, including residents of the aforementioned neighborhoods, actually believe this is all part of the social justice movement and therefore, we have it coming to us.

  8. Where do the beats of boystown/Wrigleyville rank lately in overall violent crime? I seem to recall it was just last year that we were in the top 5 out of something like 274 beats.

  9. Reminder: you are on your own.

  10. Moved out of Lakeview and out of state a year ago. My new city (metro population 2.3 million) has had 4 homicides so far this year, compared with 400+ in Chicago. I rarely hear sirens, witness altercations on the street or walk around in daylight (or at night) fearing for my safety. It's truly a great feeling. (Plus, weed is legal here. Yay!)

    In hindsight I can't believe I put up with Chicago so long - not just the worry about crime, but the horrific condition of the streets, soaring taxes, unbelievable traffic at all hours, the parking meter rape, ineffective storm drainage, rampant litter. (People, when you have a $500k condo, clean up the condoms and Corona bottles that lay in your shrubs and flower beds for weeks!)

    Sadly for Chicago, no city is better at looking the other way from its problems, so don't count on any improvement anytime soon. At least you can get liquored up at the street fests while waiting for the 6-month winter ...

    1. yep. i am scheduled to move out of state next week. i've had it with this madness.

  11. Way to go. Now with cameras everywhere the cops are afraid to do their job. Crime wins again.

    1. We knew that was coming. Can you blame them ?

  12. Keeping uppermost in mind, the police are not "laying down" or refusing to do their job, they ARE doing their job. The police are doing exactly what is REQUIRED of them, they're answering their radio calls. That's ALL they're required to do. Proactive street and traffic stops, which lowers crime, is above and beyond, they are NOT required to be proactive. Doesn't seem to make sense, but that's what it is. Every time a cop is proactive, and lays his/her hand on the dope man, they risk destroying their lives and their family's lives. Darren Wilson was 100% justified when he shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson. He was cleared at every level, yet he will never work again, and he'll always have to look over his shoulder. Why risk that when it's not required? But get it out of your head that they're not doing their job, they are, just not the kind of job that reduces crime and saves lives in the long run. Thank the liberals for creating this environment, and turning cops into bad guys. Thank the good mayor, and Mayor Daley, for refusing to hire any significant amount of officers. Already dangerously shorthanded, by doubling up in cars, it makes their presence felt even less. It's made worse by sending cops from good neighborhoods to bad neighborhoods. This is the police department the mayor wanted, now the good citizens will pay the price.

    1. And remind me....what does 'stay fetal' mean again?
      Lots of people had a hand in making this mess. Lots have a hand in keeping it a mess.
      I actually agree with a bunch of your points. But saying 'it's all the other guy' is a guarantee that nothing gets fixed. Not pensions. Not working conditions. Not crime. Nothing.
      It isn't all the other guy(s).

    2. Hiring lots more police means lots more taxes. Are you ready for that?


  13. "Oh, but you should have seen what Lakeview was like back in the 80s"...... Blah, blah, blah...

    I coincidentally just talked to an obvious gay senior citizen that lived at Belmont/Sheridan from 83-85. His synopsis was entirely different about how "bad" the area was. Seems parking was the biggest issue of the day. It took us a while but we pinpointed the exact intersection and years.

    Like me, his gay hiney relocated back to the other side of the pond for some reason or another. Maybe the lack of parking, who knows?

    I could write a book about Chicago. As a matter of fact.....

  14. "Chicago's detective force dwindles as murder rate soars"

  15. And through it all - the cowardly mayor never has given up even one officer assigned to him

    1. Officers has been added to his security detail like he is some King!
      There are now two Officers per car all the time.
      Before there was just one per car, when his security force started!

  16. It's definitely time to leave Chicago behind !