The Chicago Police Department 2007 crime statistics are in, and it’s good news for our neighborhood.
The Rogers Park 24th Police District last year experienced the greatest percentage decrease in serious crime of any police district in the city. Total index crime in Rogers Park fell 13.6% in 2007 as compared to 2006, far outpacing the citywide reduction of 3.8%.
Index crimes include violent crimes, such as homicide, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault, and serious property crimes, such as burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.
The 2007 drop in crime continues a trend that began in our neighborhood in the mid-1990s with the introduction of community policing. Since 1994, index crime in the 24th District has fallen by over 50%.
The 24th Police District is divided into nine geographical areas known as “beats.” The three police beats with the lowest incidence of index crimes in the 24th District are all located in the heart of the 49th Ward.
Beat 2431–the Morse Avenue area (bounded by Lunt, Farwell, Clark and the Lake)–experienced the greatest percentage reduction in crime in the district. Once a neighborhood hotspot, Beat 2431 had the fewest index crimes of any police beat in the 24th District, with 312 incidents in 2007.
Beat 2423 (bounded by Jarvis, Lunt, Clark and the Lake) and Beat 2424 (bounded by Howard, Pratt, Ridge and Clark) reported the next fewest number of index crimes in the 24th District, with 428 and 465 incidents respectively.
The number of index crimes in our neighborhood is still unacceptably high, but we are definitely moving in the right direction.
The continued police crackdown of open air drug markets, the presence of the blue light safety cameras, and our success at shutting down bad buildings, such as the notorious buildings at 1340 W. Morse and 1345 W. Lunt, have contributed greatly to a safer neighborhood. But we still have a long way to go. We must continue to build on those successes if we are to have a neighborhood that is truly crime-free.
I congratulate Commander Bruce Rottner and the men and women of the 24th District Police District for their hard work and commitment to the safety of our neighborhood. I also commend the hundreds of community residents who attend the CAPS meetings and who vigilantly report any incidents of crime and suspicious behavior. Neighborhood safety is truly a team effort, and the 49th Ward boasts the most active and committed citizenry of any ward in the city.
If you haven’t yet done so, I urge you to become involved with CAPS, Chicago’s community policing effort. Citizens meet with the police officers who patrol their neighborhood every month in each of the nine police beats in the 24th District. Together, the police and citizens identify neighborhood hotspots and develop crime reducing strategies.
Click here to find the date and location of the beat meeting in your area.
Let’s keep up the good work!