I am writing to invite you to join me for an outdoor police roll call TONIGHT (Wednesday, September 14th) 6:00 p.m. at the intersection of Pratt and Ashland Boulevards. The roll call will be followed by a community walk to Morse Avenue and returning to Pratt Boulevard.
The roll call and community walk are being held in response to a shooting Monday night that left three teens injured. The teens were on the northwest corner of Pratt and Ashland at 7:30 p.m. when an unknown male fired at them and fled. A 13-year-old boy was shot in the chest and is listed in serious condition. A 19-year-old male was shot in the arm and is hospitalized in stable condition. A 15-year-old male suffered a graze wound to his arm and was treated and released.
I have been in regular contact with 24th District Commander James Roussell who reports that Area 3 detectives are following several leads. A news media report falsely stated that the nearby blue light safety camera was not operating at the time of the incident. The camera was in fact functioning and the incident was caught on tape, which is currently being examined by the detectives. The Commander has asked for and received additional tactical officers who patrolled the area last night and reported no further incidents.
The Police Department had already provided the area with heightened patrol following several recent reports of shots being fired. The heightened patrols will continue for the foreseeable future.
In addition, Beats 2431 and 2432 will hold a joint Beat Community Meeting on Thursday, September 15th, 6:00 p.m. in the 24th Police District Auditorium, 6464 N. Clark. Pratt Boulevard is the dividing line between the two beats. I urge to attend this meeting to hear the latest information on the investigation of the shooting, as well as to learn what additional measures the Police are undertaking to address some of the public safety problems in the area.
Though the police and the political leaders must do their share, a neighborhood can never be truly safe without the active involvement of community residents. “Positive loitering” campaigns are one of the most effective tools at addressing neighborhood safety concerns. Under positive loitering, neighborhood residents bring out lawn chairs and sit on corners where trouble has been known to occur. Sometimes folks will even bring out a barbecue.
It’s all done in a very nonconfrontational manner. Neighbors have used this as an effective tool to enhance public safety on Morse Avenue and at Jarvis Square.
My office and I stand ready to assist you and your neighbors in establishing a positive loitering campaign at Pratt and Ashland, or any other 49th Ward location for that matter. Reply to this e-mail or call my office at 773-338-5796.
In the meantime, I will keep you posted on any further developments in the shooting investigation and our efforts to enhance safety in the 49th Ward community.