I would like to congratulate the 24th District Police Department, and all the community residents who participate in CAPS, for their continued good work As reported in this week’s News Star, the 24th Police District, which includes the 49th Ward, continues to experience a sharp decrease in serious crime.
According to the Chicago Police Department’s mid-year statistics, index crime in the Rogers Park district fell 15.6% in the first half of 2007 as compared to the same period last year.
Crime fell in nearly every category, including over a 50% reduction in arsons, and double-digit percentage decreases in robberies, aggravated assaults, thefts, and motor vehicle thefts. Burglaries saw a small increase of 1.3% and, tragically, the 24th District experienced five murders so far this year as compared to four murders in the first half of 2006.
This percentage decrease in crime in our neighborhood was over twice the citywide average of 7.3%, and exceeded all but one of the five north side police districts.
This represents a continuation of a crime reduction pattern that first began in our neighborhood in the early 1990’s when we became a pilot project for CAPS, Chicago’s community policing initiative. In addition to community involvement in CAPS, the blue light safety cameras and police crackdowns on five open-air drug markets over the last two years contributed to the reduction in serious crime.
While these statistics are promising, we still have much work to do. I have encouraged our Police Department to continue to focus on neighborhood “hot spots,” especially Morse Avenue and Howard Street, and we must continue to crack down on bad landlords who do not properly screen their tenants and manage their buildings. And if you haven’t already done so, I urge you to actively participate in CAPS. An involved and engaged community is our ultimate solution to the crime problem.
Again my heartiest congratulations to our brave police officers and community residents!