CHICAGO (CBS) Inhabitants of River North faced rising crime in Chicago and the fear and deterioration that came with it – so they spent months looking for solutions.

Now the downtown neighborhood association wants your input as it presents it to every city leader.

CBS 2’s Tara Molina has been following the rise in crime in the city center and on public transport for months. has more on their proposition and how you can get involved. As Molina reported on Thursday, concerned neighbors from River North heard from over 400 people on the first day of spreading questionnaire with detailed safety recommendations for everyone, from residents to prosecutors and the police.

They want to be clear – you don’t have to live or work in the center to get involved.

The residents who compiled the survey are fed up with the crime scene tape and fear as they just stroll the downtown streets.

Violent crime figures show aggravated att*cks and beatings in River North, which are at their highest level in more than five years. This year, qualified assaults totaled 55 and accumulators totaled 62.

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CBS 2


So River North Residents Association – has around 24,000 members – said they have finished asking for help and are now demanding action.

The organization had been working on the survey for months, detailing the changes they want to see in the city and examining solutions that work elsewhere.

There are specific detailed recommendations for all kinds of stakeholders, including:

  • City Council;
  • Prosecutors and courts;
  • public security officials;
  • Large corporations / foundations;
  • Hospitality industry owners / operators;
  • Licensing Officers and Regulators;
  • community and homeowner associations;
  • Residents and entrepreneurs.

Recommendations include returning police patrols and more training, a change in the prosecution of juvenile offenders, more accessible information on crime, better use of current camera technology, and better security practices for businesses.

Brian Israel is the president of the association.

“When something like this happens, it is obviously bad for everyone – bad for business, bad for residents, bad for the government,” Israel said.

Israel said the organization knows it cannot directly change public policy, but hopes raised votes could do so.

“We try to encourage participation and involvement, lead the conversation, involve people – and hopefully make a positive impact,” he said.

The association has already sent a questionnaire to the following people:

  • Mayor Lori Lightfoot;
  • Deputy Mayor Elena Gottreich;
  • Police Overseer David Brown;
  • Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart;
  • Cook County Attorney Kim Fox*;
  • Cook County Chief Justice Tim Evans
  • Councilors Brian Hopkins (2nd), Walter Burnett Jr. (27) and Brendan Reilly (42);
  • Near North (18th) District Police Commander. Jon Hein;
  • Cook County Commissioner Bridged Degnen (D-12);
  • Illinois State Officials.

The association emphasizes that the survey comes from a downtown group – but not only those who live, work and spend their time there.

“I want to make it clear that while the frequency and severity of crime in our community is unprecedented, it is a situation that many communities have been experiencing for decades,” said Israel. “No one who lives here, works here, visits should not be afraid for the safety of themselves or their family.”

Molina has contacted every city leader and office that now has this poll in their inbox. Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) came back to us and said he hoped it was a sut. David Brown reviews these recommendations:

“I appreciate the RNRA for their advocacy on behalf of the neighborhood where I live and represent in the City Council. I am glad that the organization conducted this survey and tested a number of proposed solutions that I have been implementing over the past two years.

“The fact is, people no longer feel safe in their neighborhoods – whether you live downtown, Beverly, Bridgeport or Chatham. problem.

“I sincerely hope the Superintendent of Police will read and consider this important feedback. I have been asking the Superintendent of Police for a long time to consider many of these suggestions and initiatives without success.

“People are tired of taking monthly police statistics from all over the city – they just want law and order to be restored to their neighborhoods and blocks. Like most people in Chicago, my constituents are tired of all the promises and the latest CPD plans – they want to see proactive police, well-stocked police districts and, most importantly, they want results. “

Chicago Police released the following statement:

“The Chicago Police Department works closely with community organizations across the city as we all work towards a common goal of strengthening public safety. We will continue to work with members of our community to listen to and resolve security concerns so that all of our residents, visitors and business community are not only safe but feel safe. “

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office released this statement late Thursday:

“While we are still analyzing the survey, the Sheriff’s Office is committed to promoting public safety in the River North community, where we have established a command center and open a second one in November. As of 2020, the Sheriff’s Police have maintained an active presence in River North, Streeterville and nearby locations where our officers have made thousands of contacts with residents and businesses, as well as making criminal arrests and taking illegal firearms off the street.

“Some of the potential solutions proposed in the survey have already been successfully implemented by the Sheriff’s Office, such as our Virtual Co-corresponder Assistance Program (CVAP), which provides an immediate co-response from the Sheriff’s Police for mental health to calls where a person may be experiencing a mental health crisis. . Since its inception in late 2020, five city police departments have teamed up with the Sheriff’s Office to use CVAP clinicians on calls for service in their jurisdictions, and we expect the number of communities that benefit from this innovative program will continue to grow.

“Other measures proposed in the survey are things the Sheriff’s Office has asked for, such as new helicopters, to enable the Sheriff’s Office and other agencies in the Carjacking task force to more effectively combat the scourge of car thefts that have terrorized the public. in the coming days we will learn more about the survey results and will continue to work with residents, members of the business community and private and public stakeholders to fight crime and protect the health and safety of all. ”

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