Community cooperation with police has produced another neighborhood victory in the war on crime and drugs, and the new “blue light” safety cameras played a decisive role in the operation.
An open-air drug market was shutdown, gang members were arrested and drugs and cash were seized during raids on Wednesday, March 28. The market was operating in the area bordered by Sheridan, Clark, Rogers and Juneway Terrace.
Police report the raids were the result of a 2-month investigation. Fourteen people were charged in connection with the busts. Police also seized a total of 31.6 grams of crack cocaine and $2,200 in suspected drug money.
On behalf of our entire community, I want to personally thank Commander Bruce Rottner and the brave officers of the 24th District who put these gang members out of action. One of those officers, Lieutenant Varrick Douglas of the Narcotics and Gang Enforcement Section, said a new blue light safety camera recently installed by police at Howard and Ashland was critical to the success of their mission.
Community involvement was the other key in making the raids a success. We thank those brave community residents who helped lead the police to the criminals and helped make the streets safer for all of us.
Past cooperation between neighbors and police has lead to the recent shutdown of drug markets in the 1300 block of West Morse, the 1300 block of West Lunt, the 7500 block of North Hoyne, and the 7600 block of North Sheridan.
We continue to work to make community cooperation with the police the center of Rogers Park crime-fighting activity. We have installed anti-crime blue light safety cameras at sites around the neighborhood to help police function with more effectiveness.
These raids remind us all what the police can accomplish when they have the support of the community. I will continue to support their great work by giving them the tools necessary to get the job done, tools like the safety cameras. I hope everyone will join the fight by reporting illegal activity, wherever and whenever they see it.
At times, I know, these long investigations can seem frustrating to community residents who see crimes occurring but don’t always see arrests being made. As a father of two sons, I sometimes share that frustration. But I also know that these longer investigations are more likely to result in convictions that get gang members off our streets for good. I encourage you to have patience and to continue to work with your local CAPS Beat organization, with the police and with me and my staff as we continue our work at making our neighborhood safer.