I am writing to urge you to attend a “Positive Loitering” event this Saturday evening, April 7th. The event is being held in response to several recent shootings that have occurred in the vicinity of Morse and Ashland and is organized by the Positive Loitering Group of Rogers Park, a collection of Rogers Park residents who have come together to provide a positive presence on our streets.
The group conducts weekly neighborhood walks and other positive events that target areas in Rogers Park where suspected gang and drug activity is taking place. They are not a vigilante group and they never directly confront the suspected wrongdoers. Instead, they provide a peaceful and passive distraction to the illegal conduct and serve as “eyes and ears” that assist the Police Department with eyewitness accounts of suspicious activity.
24th District Commander James Roussell strongly supports the Positive Loitering campaign and believes the group plays an important role in reducing crime through its positive presence on the street. He will provide police officers to support Saturday night’s efforts.
If you would like to participate in Saturday night’s event, please send an e-mail to John firstname.lastname@example.org and he will reply with the specific time and meeting location. At the group’s request I am not publicizing the precise time and location of the event, so as to not give the suspected criminals advance notice.
According to Commander Roussell, the shootings are a likely outgrowth of an ongoing gang rivalry. The latest string of shootings started shortly after midnight Saturday, March 31st, when an alleged gang member shot at a car of other alleged gang members at the intersection of Morse and Greenview. No one was injured.
The suspected assailant from Saturday’s shooting was himself shot shortly after midnight Sunday, April 1st, near the intersection of Morse and Glenwood. He received minor injuries and was treated and released from the hospital.
In the most recent shooting incident, an alleged gang member was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting shortly after 2:00 yesterday afternoon (Thursday, April 5th) at the intersection of Pratt and Ashland.
Commander Roussell tells me the police are making significant progress in solving the cases, which he believes are all connected to the same gang rivalry, but are being hampered by the refusal of the victims to cooperate with the police. The Commander stated that one of the victims even shouted expletives at police officers as the ambulance crew was treating him at the scene. He noted that both police and private security cameras have provided police with important evidence to assist in their investigations.
Information from area residents has also proven extremely helpful to the police. Commander Roussell urges all residents to call 911 if they witness any suspected illegal activity. He also encourages residents to participate in the Positive Loitering activities, especially the activity taking place Saturday evening.
Once again, if you are interested in participating in Saturday night’s Positive Loitering effort, please e-mail John at email@example.com.
In the meantime, I will keep you apprised on the Chicago Police Department’s efforts to stem the violence in our neighborhood.
Let’s all pray for a peaceful and happy Passover and Easter.