Community safety is a leading concern for the majority of ward residents. The good news is that this is something we can improve through short- and long-term strategic planning and proactive leadership.
We are not for a lack of knowledge or studies in what works. We are without leadership that prioritizes the urgency to rectify the problems.
What Can We Do?
Take it seriously. We need to prioritize an action plan toward solutions.
- Employ long-term solutions to reduce gun violence, including trauma treatment, street outreach, workforce development, and collaboration with organizations, such as Chicago CRED, READI, Institute for Nonviolence Chicago, Northwestern/Andrew Papachristos, and University of Chicago Crime Lab.
- Invest in new technologies and strategies in violence prevention, including engaging data teams to assist in the 49th Ward to identify individuals with the highest risk factors. We can monitor social media interactions to give us insight as to when there is potential for another shooting and intervene. This level of work can also assist our police in making arrests.
- Establish safety task forces in each area of Rogers Park to meet regularly. Teams will consist of local partners and connect with CAPs teams, with regular communication between groups and the CPD.
- Engage and assist our local violence interrupters and establish better communication between those engaged in street outreach to ensure groups are working toward common goals.
- Lobby city and state for funding toward best practices in violence reduction. This includes advocating for the allocation of available resources to fund violence reduction programs.
- Improve relationship with 24th District Police. This includes developing a relationship built on mutual respect, establishing monthly meetings with Commander Brennan, and maintaining an open line of communication with police.
- Provide additional resources and support for local law enforcement. This includes advocating at the city level to provide adequate staffing for the 24th District, demanding that the city provide qualified new police officers, ensuring that budgeting is in place to provide adequate resources, and installing additional cameras to aid officers with video evidence.
- Increase support to local businesses and residents. This includes implementing plans and providing security to prevent break-ins and robberies, developing educational materials for local businesses, encouraging local businesses to install more cameras and provide access to city law enforcement to aid police in searches, and finding resources to help businesses with associated expenses.
- Increase support to property owners. This includes encouraging the installation of more cameras and motion lights outdoors and in common areas, encouraging more safety updates and communication to tenants via newsletters, portals, and flyers, and establishing a dedicated line of communication between property owners and the ward office to ensure sharing of vital information and visibility.
- Increase public awareness and information accessibility. This includes maintaining readily accessible information for crime on the ward site, encouraging the sharing of helpful information to local police or ward office, educating the public on the importance of cameras, motion detectors and other instruments of deterrence, extending rebate support from the city for reimbursement of residential security equipment.
- Hold law enforcement accountable. This includes advocating for equitable treatment of people who are apprehended and setting expectations for officers to act honorably and professionally and speak out if Chicagoans are not treated respectfully.
- Demand that our mayor and district attorney are acting responsibly to protect our citizens, property owners, and businesses. Government has a prioritized responsibility to ensure safety in our city and wards.
There are no magic pills we can take to solve the systemic issues that have been at the root of the violence problems in Chicago. However, we can take advantage of the various studies and proven programs to mitigate gun violence and other crimes that are making our community less safe.