Second murder in Portage Park this year - we really need to get a committee together that is going to do something about this. We need to come together as a community and make certain that we have the support of everyone to change things around here before it's too late.
We can work with the police - we can research what types of actions have helped other cities - we can inform our neighbors - sign more people up for this website. There is a lot we can do. Simply sitting by, acting helpless won't do any good. A 22 year old man lost his life this evening - we can't simply sit back and do nothing at all.
All fine and dandy but you didn't answer my question. Let me put it this way - What can you do to help stop gang on gang violence? Think about this as if you were running for office and tell us, the constituents, what we can do to stop a death such as this.
And don't get me wrong this may not be a gang related death but something tells me it is.
First of all I don't have to answer any of your questions. If you would like to sit by and criticize someone wanting to do something positive, then feel free. I am not running for office. However, I am a resident of Portage Park that doesn't want to see her neighborhood become another area of Chicago where gang violence and murders are accepted. I am someone that feels the need to do something along with other people in her neighborhood to change things around here before they get any worse.
I've lived here my whole life & I love this neighborhood and stories like this just make me shudder. I wish it could just be written off as an isolated rare incident but I'm starting to think that's not really the case anymore...
my aunt lives in the building where it took place and as of yet the police are saying nothing just that a man got shot in gangway of building, they are not letting anyone in or out of building ,she found out he died on internet,scary stuff my 10 year old was there visiting and left around 7 happend a couple hours after ,I have lived in portage park 14 years never seen it so bad ,I love this niegborhood hate to see this.
This may be a long hot summer!!!! some sort of war seems to be in place....more activity than normal.......report anything that don;t look right to police, there seem to be a power struggle in our hood
too many people self absorbed, not knowing their neighbors and minding their own business. get to know your neighbors and watch out for them. be aware of the normal things that happen in your neighborhood so you know the abnormal, report any abnormal activity to the cops, go to beat meetings (you don't have to go to everyone, go to meet your neighbors that are there to make a difference). i know most of the owners that park their cars on my block, i know the normal visitors as well, when there is a car that is not a regular, i will keep an eye on it and/or call my neighbor to see if they know who it is. walk or drive around your house and your block when you go out or are coming home. take some neighbors that you got to know for a walk around the neighborhood. post suspicions areas/persons on everyblock, then everyone on everyblock go patrolling that area or keeping an eye out for that person. i guarantee you coat guy is scamming less people now then he was before everyone started posting him on everyblock.
inactive is right on the money. too many times we insulate ourselves from our neighborhoods. a friend who worked the scene is telling me the victim is a spanish cobra who possibly sold weed in that area. the best thing we can do is know our neighbors and keep our eyes open. if necessary call police and let them investigate. one of the big problems is that the 16th district is considered slow and as such, has seen a reduction in police. it also happens to be the biggest district in the city. calls for service dictate how many police personnel are sent to 16 but if it takes those officers 30 minutes to get from one end of the district to the other, your going to see less and less of them. and you can be sure, the bangers are keeping track of where the police are not.
After last Saturday's shooting at Montrose/Central, didn't some say that there is no cause for concern as "things aren't that bad" & "serious crime is down" around here? That criminal street gangs "aren't an open presence" or these are just "misguided youth living with Mom"?
Perhaps people will take this seriously, including the authorities. And perhaps, with the recently announced reinstitution of CPD strike teams, the 16th District will get the resources it needs to get in front of this, PREVENTING escallation, instead of reacting after the fact while it's spinning out of control.
There have been some useful suggestions in this and similar threads. I'll add these....
Get involved with CAPS. Supposedly it's being reorganized to decentralize it so that control is put back in the District Commander's hands. Yet from what I've heard and read, monthly beat meetings will not be restored and will remain on a bi-monthly basis. This is likely due to two reasons. The puzzling lack of interest by the community at large, and the phrase of the day at City Hall, "lack of funding".
Attend these meetings and support CAPS. Demand our local elected officials & police command fully restore the CAPS program. At the slightest hint of criminal/suspicious activity call 911, your neighbors, and the other reporting hotlines set up for this purpose.
Dawn mentioned that we should start a committee and work with Police to help combat crime in the neighborhood.
Good news, it is easy to start a committee that does that. It is called a Block Club and it starts with YOU and the people on your block. It helps reduce crime, unites the neighborhood and works with Police. Don't wait for someone to start one on your block, if you are committed to making a difference, get started.
Block clubs can help reduce crime. When neighbors are organized and collectively address issues and concerns, they can achieve most anything. Being involved in and caring for the neighborhood helps provide a safe environment for everyone.
Remember C.A.P.S. involves community policing and that means YOU! have to do something with the Police to make neighborhoods safer.
I would agree that sometimes the best benefit of C.A.P.S. meetings of meeting other neighbors in your area that are committed to making a difference. It would be nice to see more young people at these meetings including teens. Maybe parents can convince them to go sometime.
In an updated Tribune article it states that the man that was shot was a resident at the location where he was found. There is a lot of drug activity in this area - as I've stated in the past I see people on the corner of Dakin & Linder selling drugs all the time, I see cars rolling down the block and people running into houses or people simply walking down the street making an exchange. I call the police if I see any of this - yet there doesn't seem to be an increase in police activity in the area. They seem more worried about handing out parking tickets rather than keeping an eye on these thugs. @ Victor - thank you for the suggestion of a Block Club - it sounds like a great place to start.
Yes, Bill, I was the one pointing to the statistics showing that Portage Park doesn't have nearly the crime rates of other parts of the city. That's still true.
I'm also the one of the people who pointed out that there have been gangs in this area for a long time, and that there were at least twice as many murders in this city twenty years ago. We don't know how bad things were in Portage Park twenty years ago because we don't have the stats and we didn't have the Internet as it is today to spread the word about every incident.
And finally, I'm also the one who said we need to hire more police and that I'm willing to have taxes raised to pay for it. And all I heard was hemming and hawing about us being taxed to death. Well, no, we're not taxed to death - quite a few suburbs are taxed more.
So if you want to do something, IMO the first thing you do is speak up to our elected officials about increasing the number of police in this city and your willingness to pay for that.
And you'll need to make your voice heard over the people who complain on everyblock about every single incident and how the neighborhood is way worse than it used to be (except they can't prove that). These are the same people who complain that we need more police but when they're challenged to pay for them, they'd rather debate about what else to cut rather than put their money where their mouth is.
So how about it, Bill? I'm contacting the alderman right now to tell him to raise my taxes and hire more police. What are you going to do?
And you know what else I'm going to do? I'm going to make reservations to eat at the Portage restaurant. I'm going to continue going to movies at the Portage and Patio theaters. I'm going to check out the Filament Theater and buy tickets to the Gift Theater. I'm going to go back to Central Kitchen and Tap and have another beer at Fischman's, as I did last night with my wife. Because I'm not going to let gangbangers or cynical everyblock posters run down this neighborhood.
Email sent to my Alderman. email@example.com I'm going to follow up with a phone call to his office later today (not open on weekend. And I've got time off on Wednesday, so I think I'll stop in there to talk as well. -------- The office is located at 4754 N. Milwaukee Ave. We are open Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. Our phone number is 773-286-4545, and our website is ward45.org. Ward Night is every Tuesday from 5 to 7 pm. -------- For those of you in the 38th, here's your contact infor
5817 W. Irving Park Rd. Chicago, IL 60634 Phone: 773.545.3838 Fax: 773.283.3343 firstname.lastname@example.org
Will you should care -these people will be walking in our neighborhoods with guns. These individuals don't care about who they hurt, the live their lives thinking they are above the law. An increase in gang members in the area means an increase in drug activity, an increase in crimes and a decrease in good people wanting to support our local businesses that are attempting to change things around here. You could care less about the individual that was killed - however have some concern about where it happened.
Time to stop "whistling past the grave yard". The BEAST is here! True, gang problem is not as severe as in other areas but it is here. If the CPD would dedicate just one week of saturating our area with one of their new mobile teams (about 20 Officers) the problems would diminish quickly. Follow ups would be needed but gang bangers would soon realize this is not fertile ground. Saturation means street stops and field interrogations. Minor arrests for weed, etc. Good kids might get caught up in the sweeps. Can you deal with that? It is not normal for 22 year old men to be riding bicycles in sub freezing weather, unless they are riding to work. Time to wake up! Alds Arena and Cullerton.....can you talk to 16 Commander and get that done? WE DESERVE POLICE SERVICE TOO!!
This may be the best thing that could can happen in our neighborhood....I think that MANY EYES HAVE BEEN OPENED!! Now let's see what open eyes see & more importantly what they do. It's harder to fix a problem when most don't see that there is one....
I will also request a meeting with Mayor Emanuel to seek additional Police resources, and recommend that laws be amended to treat known, self-proclaimed gang members a domestic terrorists, and to share with the public any and all information regarding all known locations where gang members reside.
I wll post the time and place of a Community Meeting to discuss these matters as soon as I am able.
This shooting/homicide occurred at 3945 N. Central sometime before midnight last night. The victim lived there in an apartment with his mother and sustained a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. The victim was reportedly a member of the Spanish Cobras, and although the motive for the shooting is unknown, it is suspected that the shooting is gang related. 16th District Commander O'Donnell, was the first to arrive on the scene, and has informed me that patrols in the area have been stepped up until further notice. The Commander also will be coordinating gang suppression patrols here in the 16th District with Commanders in the 17th and 25th Districts.
I certainly do not disagree one bit that we need more Police Officers here in the 16th District. However, that said, I'm not so sure that even if we had twice the number of Police Officers that we now have that we could prevent this type of incident from occurring.
Like it or not, known, self-proclaimed gang members live here in Portage Park and other areas of the 16th District where they feel it is safe for themselves and their children and families to live. In this instance, it appears that this individual was intentionally targeted, hunted down and killed for God only knows what. Nevertheless, this is the second incident in recent times and whether or not they are related to some type of turf war or not, there is simply no way for me to know.However, I will contact Area 5 Deputy Chief Escalante and Commander O'Donnell to request that they meet with the entire Community to tell us what they are doing to control this activity, and how we as a community can participate.
I hate to break it to everybody, but these new "saturation teams" won't be setting one foot in the 16th District, those resources will be sent to the high crime areas of the South and West sides where I'm sorry to say, the war is lost. The people of 16 don't matter to city hall, we go to work, we pay our taxes, and we stay quiet. Besides these "strike teams" are made up of displaced desk personnel...not exactly the hard chargers of the department
Thanks, Alderman. Gangbangers do, and likely always will, live among us.
When I lived in Uptown, we would hold community "night out," where residents met at hotspots and hung out for a couple hours in the evening. Not only does it show these guys/gals that the community stands together against them, but it also builds a sense of community and safety.
Alderman Cullerton - when you have your community meeting, could you throw this idea out?
Hmm, lived with his mother. Now who was disparaging that angle...?
But, thanks Alderman. You're right, we will never get rid of gang crime - it was here when I moved in more than 20 years ago and it's still here. But please pursue an increase in the number of police in the city even if it means raising my taxes to pay for it, because there's evidence that more police over a sustained period of time can make a difference. No offense tdubb, but it'll take more than just a week of increased presence to make a difference.
@ Chicago Scott.... when I lived in Logan Square we had quite a few "nights out" . We would set up a grill, bring lawn chairs, chips and pop and have a good ole time. The gangbangers didn't know what to do with 20-30 residents taking over their corner. They eventually moved on. It does work !
Broderick..... I'm in constant communication with my alderman on all manner of things. Same with the CAPS office.
One of the things that I've forwarded to him a lists of city departments, grants and initiatives that suck 10's of millions out the budget and only benefit a few. That's Taxpayer money that can be used to pay for a bolsterd police force. Without raising taxes. So raising taxes in not necessary, and in fact would be extremely detrimental.
And your comment equating concerned neighbors with gangbangers is not only wrong, it's offensive.
Get to the owners, managers, and owner/residents of buildings. Identify where "mothers and their sons live" along with assorted gang members reside and put legitimate pressure on the owners to evict them.
There has to be legal and effective structures to clear out the neighborhood of gangs and assorted criminals.
In my block building owners work together to regulate tenants.
To Everyone - I don't mind putting together a meet-up group for those of us that want to take some action. Perhaps we could meet twice a month to discuss different ideas that would increase awareness in our community among our neighbors. We could also set up dates to promote community 'night outs' as well. I put together a running group not that long ago to meet at portage park and a group of us running around the park three times a week isn't something these gang-bangers and drug dealers want to see. If anyone is interested in running this with me please send me an emails via EB and we can set up a time to meet, possibly even this weekend, and get this thing up and off the ground. We clearly know we can't depend on the police to take care of this 100% - we need to come together as a community and do all we can to stop criminal behavior in Portage Park.
Jim, exactly right. When I was with the Building Department, I helped coordinate the Strategic Task Force, STF, which targets buildings where drug and gang activity Is prevalent. We need more resources, however, as the number of inspectors has declined dramatically in recent years, while the number of gang members has increased.
It seems to me that a lot of us expect our aldermen to make this problem go away, I have faith that Tim Cullerton is doing all he can... he and his family live here too..If the aledrman could make it go away....It wouldn't be here....He can help...but not much more
The best way to handle this is to go to CAPS meetings and every time you see something call CPD. If you do that with in a few months there will a change, CPD will be forced to send units to that area, to bring the call level down. I have used that plan is some much worse areas and have got some good results. If you don't call and go to meetings CPD will not know.
Based on various past EB threads in Albany Park, looks like block phone trees, email groups, block clubs and groups of neighbors regularly grilling in front of their houses or talking around a fire pit have proven effective. The more eyes on the street & on the alleys, the better people get at trusting their gut that something is just not right.
@Ruth Marie For every 'boo-hoo mother' who defends her gangster son we need a no nonsense building owner who will evict them for harboring a criminal. All of that can be done behind the scenes silently and successfully.
I'm speaking as a mother of two children - one 16 and the other 20. Any mother that does not know what her son is doing is either 1. lying through her teeth or 2. turning a blind eye to the situation. My guess is this man had tattoos symbolizing his gang, didn't work but had money, would hang out with an undesirable crowd. She was his roommate - living with him, she had to have some idea what was going on.
kenjiSlap / The Jap / With / Iron / Scrap / Burma-Shave
For anyone interested there's a 59MB PDF file of the 2011 Gang Map used by the Chicago Police. It lists all 25 police districts and color codes gangs location on the map. Look at the 16th District, the 17th District, and the 25th District to get a glimpse of what was charted around here.
Area North Deputy Chief John Escalante, 16th District Commander James O'Donnell and I will host a Community Meeting at the Portage School next Wednesday evening, February 6th, starting promptly at 6:30 PM, to address the recent events here in Portage Park. Please use the entrance on the 5300 block of W. Berteau Avenue.
Kenji, regarding that gang map, ive been told it is not always accurate do to the high mobility of the gangs. also, certain commanders dont want it being too crowded with gangs because then they have to answer up for what is happening in the district. to be fair though, those maps were done before our current commander was put in. they are a good reference point, but not the end all for determining gang territory. another good website, though it is outdated, is the chicagogangs.org (i think). with the destruction of high rise public housing, gentrification, and the housing market crash, the fact is that gangs have gotten transplanted all over the city. in places like 16 where gangs are not as obviously holding down the corner, it becomes like the gangs have discovered a brand new country and are free to set up shop uncontested. and yes, the 80's into the 90's saw much higher murder rates. but there are several contributing factors for that including the introduction of crack and its huge profits, worse medical care at the time, and, in my opinion most importantly, the advent of cell phones. prior to cell phones, if a person was shot late at night, the victim or a witness would have to either find a pay phone or wake up the neighbors to have them call 911. now the ability to call is in everyones pocket, drastically reducing the response times for police and ambulances. that may not account for the entire drop, but it does answer some of the reasons why murders are lower. and no offense tim, i dont want to wait for those murder rates to jump back up to the 600-700's. im not saying the sky is falling, all im saying is that we need to get our heads out of the sand(or at least take off our earphones) and reingage with the other members of the neighborhood. more police wouldnt hurt either.
and i have to agree that there are huge amounts of cash being wasted in this city im sure that could be redirected into essential services. look at quinn and the state of illinois. they raised our taxes by what...70%? and exactly how much of our 8 billion dollar debt was paid off? zero. they spent the money on new stuff. you cant trust our politicians to spend the money the get now correctly yet you want to give them more? im not saying all our politicians are crooked, but enough of them just want to kick the problems down the road while buying votes for the next election that we are at the bottom when it comes to debt and credit ratings. at least thats my opinion and probably should be a thread all its own.of course, i think the amount of posts people would enter would take down the site
There's also the hoodup site, but recently it's not getting as much traffic as it used to.
goog the hoodup and see the Midwest links
I'd post the URL directly but I once a while back got thrown off EB for posting the direct URL because there's pron ads at the bottom of all their pages if you don't have an adblocker installed on your browser.
kenji, i get a headache when i try to decipher the posts on websites like hoodup. its a crime what they do to the english language. if anyone is interested in a more academic look at gangs, search "into the abyss" by mike carlie PHD. its a little out of date and most of its data was from west coast gangs but it seems very comprehensive. not sure how the academic or police communities responded to it but it covers alot of ground from causes to possible solutions. it is a very large document and i have only begun to really try and get through it but its on the web and its free. most enlightening, at least to me, are some the quotes from actual gang members. one recounts how his own gang beat him so bad with bats that he has permanent brain damage and another acknowledges how youths are used to further the gang's goals while admitting that the juvenile justice system is a joke. so far it seems like a decent starting point for those who have not had much gang experience.
Bill, I don't try offend, but there are people on everyblock who seem to thrive on saying the sky is falling every time some bad happens. I just don't think that helps figure out how to respond when bad things really happen.
tim, i dont mean to be an alarmist but just because jefferson park is "not as bad as some neighborhoods" is not a reason to be complacent. neighborhoods change slowly and its hard to pinpoint when it starts to tip. admittedly, freaking out is not an answer but identifying and addressing concerns in a timely manner can prevent a neighborhood from being overrun. yes, gangs have been a part of our neighborhood for decades but, as i stated earlier, we are seeing an influx of new gang members with the expansion of scattered site housing and section 8. if the bangers are allowed to set up unchecked, they will bring more bangers to the neighborhood because its safer for them then where they were at. there are not as many hard core bangers up here to conflict with and there is not the police presence to dissuade them from operating. thankfully we live in a nice neighborhood with a majority of good, hardworking people that can make a difference. all we need to do is become more invested in our neighborhood. and ill be the first to admit that i dont get out and around as much as i should but i try to know the neighbors and observe anything that looks out of place or suspicious. anyway, if i can get out of work, i intend to be at the meeting with the alderman, commander etc. if others on this site really want to become involved, i think this is a good first step.
Lots of good thoughts and suggestions. I think being involved in your block,knowing your neighbors is crucial.The problem is multilayered and cannot be fixed by Tim Cullerton,John Arena or the police alone.People have to be involved and stand up. Recently I was on the west side near Chicago/Pulaski-very poor and lots of violence. I was struck by one block-possibly Springfield.It was beautiful-no garbage on street,houses attended to,no gangbanger/drug dealers on the street. A very peaceful scene in an otherwise violent neighborhood. I discovered that it was the work of one woman and the block club. She/block club have refused to tolerate the destruction of their beautiful block.They are invested in their homes and block. Sometimes complacency allows bad things to happen. I for one will not be forced from my beautiful home or neighborhood by thugs. I will continue to be involved and pay attention.It is imperative that thugs know they and their behavior will not be tolerated. They are bullies and the only way to deal with them is to Stand Up to Them. My neighbor thought that in addition to block parties ,neighborhoods have "alley" parties-allowing one to get to know the neighbors behind you. sounds like a good idea.
Bill: yes, but no one I know is complacent. They're concerned, but they're also suspicious that some of the complaints about "change" refer not to gang bangers but to irrational fears about minorities. I'm not saying you're doing that, but it's definitely an attitude that I and other people have observed. I'll be at that meeting as well.