Community safety update

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Due to demolition at the former Children’s Hospital site, there has been heightened concern about rats. The demolition contractor has stated that it is going to do everything it can to combat this problem.  Let’s hope they are successful.

Neighbors can help by paying attention to their immediate property. Keep garbage container lids tightly shut, make sure trash is picked up and that animal waste is properly disposed. One item of concern is pet owners who do not pick up after their pets or simply leave the plastic bag at the site instead of in a garbage container where it should be.  This is just plain laziness. There continue to be the same complaint about certain business owners who keep overflowing dumpsters or garbage cans on their property. This lack of maintenance results in immediate neighbors being unable to use their patios or decks due to the rat infestation.

The city has been made aware of these complaints and is trying to correct them. If you feel that you have an undesirable situation with a restaurant or fast food vendor, contact your alderman. 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith is very aware of the rat problem, but needs specific information in order to be of assistance.  Everybody needs to help with this effort.  

With all the residential construction projects in tour neighborhood, one should be aware that there are rules, especially about work hours. I have received complaints of early start times. If you feel the contractors are not abiding by the start and finish times, which should be posted at each site, call 311 or your alderman’s office to lodge a complaint.  Also, be aware of the no parking signs due to construction or street work and avoid a ticket.

Enjoy the upcoming summer with all the pleasures that come with it and be safe.

The neighborhood has had an overall drop in crime due to increased police presence. To help them in their jobs, citizens need to report suspicious activities that they might observe. A billboard quote sums it up: “For a question call 311, for a crime call 911.”

As I have mentioned before, I am involved in the court advocacy program that gives support to victims of crime by appearing at hearings related to local incidents.  By participating in this program, you are showing the court that you as a neighbor are concerned about local crime. The latest court hearing was about a peeping Tom case on the 900 block of Belden. I urge you to contact the Chicago Police Department to learn more about this program.

Crime Reminders, Bulletins

  1. Always remember that when something seems suspicious or you witness a crime, do not hesitate to call 911.  Without your help, the Chicago police have a harder time protecting the neighborhood.
  2. SNA urges you to sign up for crime bulletins provided by the Chicago Police Department’s Sergeant Schumann. The bulletins advise the community of the area incidents and/or criminals that are operating in this neighborhood. Sign up by sending a request via email to  If you have any questions regarding the latest crime bulletins, call the 18th District Community Policing Office at 312-742-5778.

Crime Track

For some time, SNA has tracked the major incidences of crime, to keep the neighbors informed. Your vigilance has helped the police to keep this area’s crime incidence down.  Please keep up the good work by getting involved with the BEAT meetings and calling 911.

Initially, the project has been tracking non-domestic crimes to persons that occur on the streets, sidewalks, and alleys. The statistics will be somewhat dated in that they are based upon what is available from the Chicago Police Department’s CLEARpath website on the date that material must be submitted for publication.  Thus, for this issue, the project tracked crimes from January 23, 2016, through April 23, 2016. This is not every incident but gives a good representation of the activity.

Feb 7 / 9:30AM  2000 N. Seminary Sidewalk

Strong Armed Robbery

Feb 7 / 7:00PM   2100 N. Sheffield               Alley Sexual Assault
Feb 18 / 3:35PM                   2000 N. Kenmore Garage Strong Armed Robbery
April 10 / 3:52PM 2100 N. Bissell  Sidewalk Strong Armed Robbery
April 12 / 1:00AM 900 W. Fullerton Alley Simple Battery


January 23-April 23 (approximately 92 days) x 5 incidents = 1 incident per 18.4 days

Upcoming Dates to Remember

BEAT Meetings: Have been moved to St. James at Fremont & Dickens.

The Chicago Police Department’s bi-monthly BEAT meetings are helpful in understanding the policing efforts in our district (the 18th).  The police prepare charts and maps that identify all crimes committed in the last month and discuss their efforts to arrest the perpetrators.  They also bring the incident reports if a member of the community wants further details of a crime.  In addition, the police bring guest speakers from the various departments to discuss their roles in the prevention of crime and give suggestions on how the community can help.  The police have a number of pamphlets pointing out ways to protect yourself and the community, as well.

Attending a BEAT meeting is the best way to communicate your concerns to the officers who patrol your community.  SNA members attend the meetings but they need your support.  I strongly urge members of the community to take an active interest in the BEAT meeting program to show community support for the police.

*Beats 1811, 1812, 1813 and 1814

(1811-North Ave north to Fullerton, Sheffield west to the Chicago River)

(1812-Armitage Ave north to Fullerton, Sheffield east to Sedgwick)

(1813-North Ave north to Armitage, Sedgwick west to Sheffield)

(1814-North Ave north to Fullerton, Sedgwick east to the lakefront)

2nd Thursday of every odd month at 6:30 pm, St. James Church, Fremont & Dickens.

John Roberts chairs SNA’s Community Safety Committee.