Our new 24th District Police Commander, Roberto Nieves, is picking up where former Commander, Thomas Waldera, left off in adopting a strong proactive approach to gang violence.
Commander Nieves personally visited five of the top gang members in the 24th District and their family members and told the gang members they were being closely monitored by the police. He shared their arrest records with the family members and warned them they faced long prison terms if they continued the gang violence.
During those visits, Commander Nieves offered more than just a stick. He brought along social service representatives, who offered to connect them with schooling, job training and other services as an alternative to life on the streets.
In addition, Commander Nieves requested and received reinforcements from Chicago Police tactical and gang units and 10 police officers on bicycles, assigning all of them to neighborhood hot spots.
These efforts come on the heels of an uptick in shootings, including two on Monday afternoon. A shooting at Jonquil and Ashland is believed to be gang-related and a suspect is being sought. A shooting at Birchwood and Hoyne arose out of a domestic dispute and is not believed to be gang-related. In that case, the offender was apprehended and the weapon recovered.
Commander Nieves will provide a progress report on his efforts at a community meeting I am sponsoring onTuesday, June 30th, 7:00 p.m. at the Loyola Park Fieldhouse, 1240 W. Greenleaf (at the Lake).
In the meantime, I will keep you advised of any new public safety developments.