In 2012, in order to address areas where there was a higher rate of drug and gang activity, I started a business corridor group made up of Uptown businesses, social services, the 19th District Police, court advocates, and the Community Justice Center from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. At this meeting, businesses learned how to identify drug dealing within their establishments, how to make effective 911 calls, and the importance of showing up to court when charges were filed. We have had amazing success in areas where businesses have participated, so we strongly encourage businesses where concerns have come up to participate.
Changes observed where drug dealing occurs
As expected, when businesses in a particular hot spot became more vigilant about crime, drug dealing shifted to other areas that did not have as much monitoring. Businesses that don’t cooperate with steps to address drug dealing inside and outside their premises know that I will take whatever steps necessary to get their attention to address crime. Best of all, when businesses address crime in and in front of their business, as required by City ordinance, their sales improve.
Follow-up with Starbucks
I have had some great conversations with the corporate office at Starbucks since the shooting incident last Thursday and I believe we’re now all on the same page of making that area feel safer for shoppers and area residents. When we work together, real progress is made. Starbucks has already added a security guard to monitor the inside and outside of their store since Saturday. There is an increased police presence as well to respond to any threat of gang retaliation after this recent shooting.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about the incident at Starbucks last Thursday night, there are a number of ways you can find answers and get involved. You can come to my office hours on Mondays from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to speak with me in-person or contact me through our website, email, or text me at (773) 906-4609. You can also attend the CAPS meeting for the police district beat where this incident occurred, 1914, which will take place on Wednesday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the Clarendon Park Community Center, 4501 N Clarendon Ave.
We have seen great success with a team approach to public safety interventions with businesses in our ward through our business corridor group. I will continue to promote these interventions and assist businesses when there are ongoing incidences of crime in and around their stores.
Please join the 19th District Police, officers from the Chicago Police Headquarters and me on November 7 at 7 p.m. for “Operation Wake Up” as we canvass the area to encourage more community participation to work together to stop violence.