Residents and business owners in Chicago’s 19th Precinct this week will have the opportunity to speak directly to police through a series of community conversations after a string of recent violent crimes – hijackings car to armed robberies to kidnappings – has left the neighborhood on edge.
“Like everyone who lives in the area, I’ve been following what’s been going on with public safety,” State Representative Ann Williams said Tuesday at such an event. “We are all extremely worried.”
The virtual and in-person events, hosted by police and dubbed “Conversations with a Commander”, aim to gather public input to help shape a strategic plan around public safety for the next year.
According to police data, robberies in the district – which includes parts of Lincoln Park, Lakeview and Wrigleyville – are up 48% from a year ago. Overall, crime in the district increased by 66%.
Earlier this year, a 23-year-old man walking through Lincoln Park at night was nearly killed after being shot at close range in an armed robbery. Last month, a doorbell camera captured the moment a woman was violently robbed in broad daylight as she walked down a street in Lakeview.
And just last week, authorities said there were at least five different incidents in which people near Wrigley Field were forced into cars at gunpoint before be stripped of their property. Chicago police are still looking for the gunmen responsible.
“I think people still want to feel that law enforcement is able to do their job effectively, efficiently and actually solve these crimes,” Williams, who is running for re-election, said on Tuesday.
A d. Tom Tunney, whose 44th Precinct includes many neighborhoods in the North Side District, said in his newsletter last week that he has repeatedly called for Chicago police to increase patrols in the area.
“These recent crimes underscore the need for additional police coverage in our entertainment areas along Clark and Halsted,” said Tunney, who is also considering a possible mayoral race. “I called the CPD leadership and reiterated the request I have made many times to increase the number of police assigned to the 19th District. In the short term, I told them that they must deploy police to our area for Halloween weekend.”
Chicago police would not confirm whether more patrols have been added, but says the department regularly reviews and adjusts resources to ensure sufficient numbers.
CPD will provide two more “Conversations with a Commanderevents residents and business owners can attend this week. The first is taking place virtually from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, and the second is scheduled as an in-person event, starting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the 19th District Police Station , located at 850 West Addison.
Both events are open to the public.