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11th Ward Alderwoman Nicole Lee speaks at the Beat 912 community policing meeting on January 11, 2023, at the McKinley Park field house.

Community Policing Cutbacks, Crime Spike Lead Concerns at Beat 912 Meeting

Published January 18, 2023

Attendees at the Chicago Police Department Beat 912 community policing meeting on January 11, 2023, got a double dose of bad news.

 
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They learned that beat meetings would be held every other month in 2023, instead of monthly. And they heard that serious “index” crime in Chicago's McKinley Park neighborhood had increased by 34 percent in 2022 over 2021, according to neighborhood crime data analysis conducted by the McKinley Park News.

 
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At the meeting, 9th District community policing Officer Jason Sollis explained that a citywide shortage of police officers led to the reduction of beat meetings this year. Instead of community policing, officers have been deployed to other areas to combat increased crime, ride Chicago Transit Authority buses and patrol during school dismissals, Sollis said, which makes it harder to staff monthly meetings in each beat.

Following the meeting, Sollis said that an extra police car had been assigned to Beat 912 because it was one of the top 100 beats citywide with an increase in crime.

An Easy Mark

In 2022 in McKinley Park, police received 591 reported of serious index crimes: homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and battery, which collectively serve as a common indicator of criminal behavior. This compares with 441 index crimes reported in 2021.

Sollis noted 13 car thefts reported between December 14, 2022, and January 10, 2023. In three of these, motorists had left their cars running with keys inside, an easy mark for thieves, Sollis said.

Scam Burglary

Sollis also warned about scam burglaries: A homeowner near West 35th Street and South Damen Avenue answered the door for two men who said they were “there to check the water meter.” While one man distracted the homeowner in the basement, the other ransacked the house, Sollis said.

 
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At the meeting, attendees submitted concerns about teen-agers riding all-terrain vehicles on neighborhood sidewalks and alleys, and a dog-walker allowing his two pit bulls to roam freely without leashes. Sollis noted to the 20-plus meeting attendees that such behavior was illegal, and that citizens should call 911 to report it.

High-Capacity Glock

Police seized a 9mm Glock pistol with a switch attachment and high-capacity magazine on January 11, 2023.Police seized a 9mm Glock pistol with a switch attachment and high-capacity magazine on January 11, 2023.Sollis detailed the crime statistics for Beat 912 from December 14, 2022, through January 10, 2023, including 1,010 calls for service and 16 shots fired. Reported crimes included one aggravated assault, one aggravated battery, three robberies and three burglaries.

Sollis said five arrests took place in this reporting period, including one on January 11, 2023, in which police recovered a loaded weapon.

The Twitter account of the Chicago Police Department's 9th District noted that a local tactical team viewed a car crash in the 3900 block of South Wentworth Avenue, then investigated. They took three suspects into custody and seized a 9mm Glock pistol with a "switch" attachment and a high-capacity magazine, the Twitter post stated.

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"Further investigation revealed Illinois State Police were in pursuit of that vehicle for being stolen," police wrote in the Twitter post.

 
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11th Ward Alderwoman Nicole Lee attended the Beat 912 meeting and pledged her office's attendance at and support for future beat meetings. A representative for 12th Ward Alderwoman Anabel Abarca's office also attended the meeting. No candidates for the new 9th District Council of the Chicago Police Department were present at the meeting.

The next CAPS Meeting for Beat 912 is at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at the McKinley Park field house, 2210 W. Pershing Road, Chicago.


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