Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Information

Public Safety, Policing, and Citizen Responsibility; Safety Tips

A service of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and its website, www.hydepark.org. Help support our work: Join the Conference! Report to us problems and concerns and how you think the Conference can contribute to improved community safety. Watch for news of a new HPKCC Community Safety committee.

To still-controversial University of Chicago alert/update message from Hank Webber, April 12, 2005, with listserve and reply addresses. Views and analyses of HPKCC board: Community Safety. Shortcut to West Nile Virus. To "10 things you can do"-from the Conference. Independent of this site: http://hydeparkcrime.blogspot.com
Police District merger. Early HPKCC and block clubs strategy

SEE NEW DISTRICT 002 BEAT BOUNDARIES AND NEW MEETING DATES/PLACES PAGE. Its phone- 312 747-8366. New commander Crystal King-Smith.

(HPKCC) has reactivated the WhistleStop program. Whistles vailable at 13 locations. Call Stephanie Franklin at 773-955-3622 to volunteer to sell whistles on that day. Thanks.

WHAT IS A BLOCK CLUB please visit this link: https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/portal/BlockClub/Resources/WhatIs

City Council weapons legislation
Are you winter-ready? visit ready.gov.

Want to know where/why the power's out? https://www.comed.com/_layouts/comedsp/OutageMap.aspx

911 is changing and will no longer dispatch an officer for non-life-or-danger-threatening or minor complaints. Such reports will now tbe made over the phone. UPDATE 2013:


If you wish to sign up for the e-mail Security Alerts, please follow these instructions:

Go to the signup page at https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/info/community-alerts/.
Select “subscribe” from the left-hand menu, and click “OK” when the pop-up window comes up.
Enter your e-mail address in the box.
A message will be sent to your e-mail account that includes a password. Enter that password into the box as requested, and click the “subscribe” button.
You will then be logged in and will see “community-alerts” in the “Your Lists” area on the left side of the page.

Coming June 2015: consolidated U of C Safety-Security-UCPD website: June 2015, and the information will reside on the Department of Safety & Security’s website, http://safety-security.uchicago.edu/.

For more information about the guidelines that we use to determine if an incident warrants a security alert, please visit http://safety-security.uchicago.edu/services/safety_alerts_communications/. Anyone not affiliated with the University may sign up to receive security alerts at http://lists.uchicago.edu/web/info/community-alerts/. To ensure the timely delivery of emergency notifications to the campus community, the University is upgrading to a new cAlert platform. Current University students, faculty, staff, and University of Chicago Medicine staff, will be automatically migrated to the new cAlert platform this summer. Please login to the cAlert website, calert.uchicago.edu, to make any necessary updates to your contact information so that you continue to receive these important messages via your preferred phone number or email address.

Updates October 2015. Better than clearpath: the city's Chicagodataportal.

University of Chicago Police will not respond and take reports except for "in progress" unless the matter is in a university property or on its campus.


Police contacts in a nutshell- revised 2014 UC POLICE WEBSITE- safety-security.uchicago.edu.

U of C Police: email/report to, comments to: ucpd-p10@uchicago.edu. About: http://safety-security.uchicago.edu. New Chief is Kenton W. Rainey, who reports to Eric M. Heath, Assoc. VP for Safety, and Security.

Area Central Detectives (312) 747-8380

2nd District Police commander - terence.williams@chicagopolice.org his responsibility is most of east Hyde Park.

The police commander responsible for the park area just south of 56th Street to 57th Street and beyond is Glenn.Evans@chicagopolice.org. His responsibility includes the Iowa Building,

The individuals responsible for parking enforcement in parks (in the lot at 55th & South Shore Drive and preventing loitering in the Iowa Building) are the parks security chief, Thomas.Byrne@chicagoparkdistrict.com and Lorenzo.Chew@chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Additional informational resources- what's happening on the ground:



Dial 311 when: (911 2ill be rerouted to 311 when + certain non-threatening crimes will NOT have an officer sent but require report-by-phone)
a. The situation is non-emergency
b. The offender is NOT on scene

Dial 911 emergency when:
a. The crime is in progress
b. The offender is on scene
c. A serious offense is being committed

** Always obtain a police report when a crime has been committed. If an arrest is made, sign complaints and be prepared to appear in court.

To give or receive additional information in regards to a report, contact:
a. Area Detective Division
b. District Tactical Team (when applicable)

Chicago Police Dept. 3rd District Desk 312-747-8201
Commander’s Office 312-747-5530
Tactical Unit 312-747-8619
CAPS Office 312-747-7004
Area Central Detectives (Property Crimes) 312-747-8384
Area Central Detectives (Violent Crimes) 312-747-8380

Directly to HELP, POLICE CONTACTS . Safe and Sound-How not to be a victim; gen. safety tips
Get city's emergency alerts and instructions at http://www. alertchicago.org.

Visit crime maps and news in 1537- http://1537news.com/1537Crime.php and http://1537news.com/Blotter.php.

Visit report on HPKCC's April 19, 2010 "Keeping YOU and Your Computer Safe" seminar

On the Safe Side- a website on safety and preparedness tips by Hyde Parker Timika Hoffman-Zoller: http://safethz.web.officelive.com/default.aspx. Poisonous Houseplants.
General tips from her block club site on a safe home (this is in PowerPoint): http://bc52plus.weebly.com/numbers.html

To In this page contents.

To CAPS News and Views and Tips. Beat meetings schdule is there and expanded in Community Meetings-standing meetings sect.
To Community Safety Focus Group (New initiative of HPKCC)
To Crimes - concern over Attacks and Robberies
See there also discussion of effects of juvenile and community vs adult criminal prosecution.
To WhistleStop HPKCC "crime stopper" Project and HPKCC WhistleStop Committee
To Community and Business Relations with Students and Youth, present concerns
To Quality of Life issues
To Persons with Disabilities- needs and rights
(U of C Police, SECC have joined the Hyde Park Disabilities Task Force.)
To U of C institutional and student responses to recent incidents
To University and Community
To Government Services (city & county emergency and routine contacts and services)
To Helpline (non-government)
To Community and Neighborhood News
Tracking Community Trends

In this page:

One neighbor argues for concealed weapons- others disagree!, another praises police heroism in the Promontory high rise fire.

Meetings and Forums- are in the safety updates page.

General news

April 13 2015 the University released changed policies on transparency and streamlined information online (Safety and Security website). Most will start in June, a few immediately. The information that will be available includes traffic stops and field contacts ("cards") and the full info therein including race and gender, whether there was a search or arrest- and if so the ongoing tracking report and recommendations of the independent review committee and related IDOT and Chicago Police reports. (review and disposition and appeal procedures are not addressed here.) Mr. Douglas and Mr. Lynch hoped this would become a model for all such departments and thanked all those who gave input. The revised website divisions were given.

U of C Security Self Defense Classes. From Herald Radio: http://safety-security.uchicago.edu/services/self_defense_class/

City Council ordinancees on weapons passed in 2013. From Ald. Hairston's office:

Chicago's Assault Weapons Ban
Chicago’s City Council passed an ordinance that prohibits the import, sale, transfer and possession of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in the City of Chicago.

The ordinance would ban a list of specifically named weapons and their equivalents; any semiautomatic rifle or handgun that is capable of accepting a detachable magazine and has at least one military feature; any shotgun that is capable of accepting a detachable magazine and has at least one military feature, or has a fixed capacity of more than five rounds; and any weapon with a fixed magazine of more than 15 rounds. Military features include telescoping stocks, pistol grips, grenade launchers, barrel shrouds and other features.

Penalties will remain the same as the current law, and any person who violates the law would be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 and incarcerated not less than 90 days nor more than 180 days.

Increased Weapon Penalties around School, Parks and Public Transit
•Penalties are being increased for possession of weapons near schools, parks and public transportation to keep children safe in places were they frequent the most. Children should be allowed to play and go to school without worrying about gun violence and for anyone who has plans of bringing weapons to these areas there will be severe penalties.

HPKCC in January 2013 put questions to Ald. Burns about the state of staffing and success in the new 002 district. One of our questions was answered at least in part by the shakeup in CAPS:
January 2013: Chief of Patrol Joe Patterson is now in charge of CAPS. The officers are being distributed from downtown to the districts where tehy are to revitalized the CAPS program tailored to the districts' needs. They are to deal with local problems, build relationships including via social media, and be held accountable with CompStat evaluation. In each district will have a CAPS sargeant and two officers plus a communityoragniozer adn access to youth service providers and area coordinator. Four citywide coordinators wil oversee for seniors, youth, domestic violence, and victim assistance. All police will be trained in CAPS strategy incuing "procedural justice and police legitimacy"- 2,500 officers and 400 recruits were said already trained. The present practice of using those on the shift on duty at CAPS beat meetings will continue.

New Curfew Ordinance- Starting September 18th 2011, the new curfew ordinance will go into effect. Kids younger than 12 will have to be home by 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The curfew for 12 to 16-year-olds will remain 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Violence Stops Here

Just in time for summer: Enter the Violence Stops Here Campaign - Chicago Public School Students ages 13 – 19 can submit a short video of a rap, song or spoken word telling the world how Violence Stops or what it will be like to live without Violence in their community.

The VSH committee, made up of local residents, will determine the top 20 entries to appear online for voting by the community, relatives and friends of the competing artists. Submissions opened June 15th on YouAspire.com

For more information you can visit the website at www.violencestopshere.com

More anti-violence programs for youth- see in AfterSchool.

First Response Team (CERT). Timika Hoffman-Zoller, HPKCC Safety Co-chair, writes:

I am a CERT - a volunteer emergency first responder for the City of Chicago.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is free and offers an all-risk, all-hazard training designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood in an emergency situation. The CERT 20-hour program educates citizens about disaster preparedness and trains individuals in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, disaster psychology disaster medical operations, and terrorism and homeland defense. http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/oem/provdrs/edu/svcs/become_a_cert_volunteer.html.

It’s a valuable course and I would like to encourage everyone in the community to take it because the more of my friends and neighbors who are trained the more it will help lighten the burden should an emergency arise. Then after taking the 20 hour course, you’ll have a choice of taking the CERT knowledge for your own personal use or you can also consider becoming a volunteer first responder for the City. Then when emergencies happen, you will be able to give critical support to first responders, and provide immediate assistance to victims. Also, as a CERT member you can also assist with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community. I must add that we CERTs have a great time throughout the year by participating in a variety of educational, fun, and free refreshers first responder activities.

So please consider taking the CERT course. You can email Matt at chicagocitizencorps@cityofchicago.org to find out when the next CERT classes are coming up.

Safety tips including for seniors from Timika Hoffman-Zoller (who works at UC Police) -
http://safethz.web.officelive.com, http://safetz.web.officelive.com/seniors.aspx

Electrical outages- residential call 1 800 EDISON1, business call 1 877 COMED1.

Visit http://safety-security.uchicago.edu.

Be sure to keep up at CLEARpath, www.chicagopolice.org. Report, post comments and questions, get information.

NotifyChicago is a new city service that provides residents with recorded telephone messages,
text messages and/or e-mail alerts on various emergency and non-emergency situations taking place throughout Chicago.

You can register to receive up to date information on everything from weather related emergencies to traffic alerts.

Signing-up for NotifyChicago is free.
(You may be charged for incoming calls, messages and data on your devices. Please contact your mobile service provider to find out the cost.)

Notify Chicago - Online Voluntary Registration https://webapps.cityofchicago.org/NotifyChicago/checkDisclaimer.do.

  1. From www.chicagopolice.org/text2tip: There is a fast way to give a TIP if you have cell phone text messaging: TXT2TIP.
    Accepts text, pics video, audio ANONYMOUSLY. Up to $1,000 if it leads to an arrest!
    Enter 274637 ("CRIMES."), type "CPD" and your message. You should receive a response with your automatic"alias" - note number the delete. If you fear someone will "find out" from your phone; to block replies text STOP to "CRIMES." . Note, police only know you by your "alias," with a third party in between. To check for a reward, call Cook County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-535-STOP (7867) and give the alias.

Timika Hoffman-Zoller writes in May 2011: I would like to invite you to join BC52Plus, the Virtual Block Club for 52nd Street and Kenwood Avenue.

(Even if you do not reside on 52nd Street or Kenwood Ave, please free to get safety tips and resources by visiting our web site http://bc52plus.weebly.com/ This is a good resource for All members of the community.)

Join this group to work with neighbors to deter crime and improve the quality of life, on and around the blocks and in the buildings on, 52nd Street and Kenwood Avenue in order to help build a stronger and safer community.

Join this group to receive safety tips, communicate with neighbors, and share and receive information on community event and neighborhood issues.

The BC52Plus Virtual Block Club has been created to encourage neighbors to know one another, watch out for each other, and report suspicious activity. Please forward this email to other neighbors and join us for our first “BC52Plus” face-to-face Block Club meeting sometime in July 2011.

Use this Virtual Block Club to and help solve problems that affect our community. To Join visit http://bc52plus.weebly.com/index.html


Getting stats and info

Online go to www.chicagopolice.org. (click CLEARpath).To get stats by district, beats, although only short-period breakdowns:
http://gis.chicagopolice.org. Call also South East Chicago Commission 773 324-6926, try http://www.hydeparkchicago.org. University of Chicago Police. CAPS 21st District 312 747-2930.

Meetings, tip-sharing etc.

CAPS meeting dates often are changed in November and December and in summer-- check CLEARpath site or call 312 747-2930. Known: 2133 (Union Church)- Wed. Nov. 26, Mon. Nov. 29.

Concern of the Conference, alerts issued by Police, SECC

Looking back on 2004, the members of the Board of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Conference feel that, statistics aside, our community, especially certain areas, have slid backward in terms of our goal of a community that is secure and attractive. We are exploring facts and causes with knowledgeable parties and what we can do to develop and promote remedies in conjunction with our neighbors. HPKCC may well form a Community Safety Committee. We will surely invite the community, perhaps including via a community forum, to participate in discussion and action. Other initiatives are underway.

This page, WhistleStop, and CAPS News sets forth some of the information, resources and practical tips we have already discovered, many furnished by the 21st Police District Community Policing Outreach Office or the University of Chicago. You might begin with the last item, on perceptions.

- more recent are in "Latest" page.


Getting help

Emergency numbers

Get emergency alerts and instructions at http://www. alertchicago.org.

Hyde Park and Kenwood are in the 21st Police District 300 E. 29th (Prairie) and Area 1, 5101 S. Wentworth Detective District-- these are about to change as 021 merges into 002. Jackson Park and Woodlawn are in the 3rd Police District 7040 S. Cottage Grove (Grand Crossing) and Area 2, 727 E. 111th St.

A citizen's Guide to 911 Caller Anonymity

As a matter of policy, call-takers ask callers reporting gang- and drug-related incident whether they would like to remain anonymous. As a result, the 911 dispatcher and the officer receiving the call do not see the caller's name or address. Any person reporting a crime may inform the call-taker that he/she wishes to remain anonymous.

While citizens who witness serious crimes have an obligation to come forward and cooperate with law enforcement authorities, it is the policy of the Chicago Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, to honor citizen requests to remain anonymous, whenever possible.

  • Clearly state your request to remain anonymous to the call-talker.
  • The call-taker will note this on the event record, which will make your information unavailable to a police dispatcher. The dispatcher will not have the caller information to pass along to police field personnel assigned to investigate the incident.
  • If you call 911 again with additional information, you must request to remain anonymous, as another call-taker may take your call.
  • Do not mistake basic police investigative techniques as ignoring your wish to remain anonymous. Police officers have a duty and an obligation to canvas crime scenes for potential witnesses. Without knowing you called and requested to remain anonymous, police may knock on doors in the surrounding area attempting to locate potential witness.


University of Chicago Police and Safety

6054 S. Drexel 60637. uchicago.edu/safety. commonsense.uchicago.edu. twitter.com/UCPD.
incident log and alerts: uchicago.edu/safety.
general email cops@uchicago.edu
Services: SafeRide, Umbrella Service, Bike Registration, StopTag Program, WhistleStop Program.
For a Safety Presentation call 773 702-8181 or 123 campus phone
Lt. JoCathy Roberts- jocathy@uchicago.edu
Sgt. Troy Bryant- troy.bryant@uchicago.edu
Sgt. Clarence Moore- cmoore52@uchicago.edu

U of C Police: email/report to, comments to: ucpd-p10@uchicago.edu. About: http://safety-security.uchicago.edu.

University of Chicago Police 773 702 8181 (or 123 from campus phones) The UC Police now patrol south to 63rd- and north to 47th, soon to 39th- but not in Washington and Jackson parks. They have full police powers and are often able to respond more quickly than CPD. (Note: Park District Police may not have full police powers under every circumstance.) Push the Red Button on white emergency phones. UC Police respond to all 911 calls. Also 4-HELP from a regular campus phone or 834-HELP from other phone. 5555 S. Ellis, 60637. There are 150 officers, 80% of whom are off-duty city police. They claim a response time of 3 minutes. They are planning a state-of-the-art communications system for their new headquarters to be built at 61st and Drexel.

The University has two safety awareness and alert systems in place.

The Safety Awareness Alert system is an e-mail communication clearinghouse and system designed to provide factual information about certain crimes, crime statistics and patterns, prevention tips, announcements, policing information to help the community make prudent safety decisions. All crime reported to the University Police Department wil be logged on the safety Web site each business day. The revamped web address is:
Comments or suggestions relating to security related issues should be directed to: ucpd-pio@uchicago.edu

To subscribe (register) to receive alerts and tips automatically by e-mail follow this link:
http://calert.uchicago.edu. Note- it appears that only persons in a UC electronic network can subscribe for the alerts.

The Emergency Notification System, called cAlert enables authorized University officials to reach members of the University community through mechanisms other than regular University e-mail and telephones. This new system can transmit short notifications by e-mail to any outside e-mail address, by text message to a cell phone, or by voice message to an off-campus telephone. This system allows the University to contact individuals in case of emergency, a University closing, or some other event that requires rapid, wide-scale notification of the community. The cAlert Emergency Notification System can send safety messages to an individual e-mail address, cell phone or other device. Visit
http://calert.uchicago.edu to register.


Regular number 773 702-8190, cops@uchicago.edu. Comments and suggestions about University security provisions and programs can be addressed to sauc@uchicago.edu. or communityaffairs@uchicago.edu.

Other/ More information on safety:


In fall 2008 the University Department of Transportation and Parking added on a pilot basis two evening (from 5 pm) inner circulator shuttles seven days a week, in addition to the existing evening routes (Central, North, and... ). They are available free to persons with UC ID (and an accompanying person without ID). They run 5 pm to midnight Sunday-Wednesday and 5 pm to 6 am Thursday through Saturday. Service "stops" are supposed to be every 12 minutes provided by 4 buses. These year-round routes are in addition to the CTA-UC routes, which are mostly daytime but some in the evening open to all who pay fare.
Phoenix Route: basically north south counterclockwise along Ellis, 60th, Woodlawn-59th-University and 55th back to Ellis.
Maroon Route: basically east west clockwise along 57th, Stony Island, 60th, and Cottage Grove back to 57th. Note that for staff as well as students this provides fast, safe routes to every bus route out of the neighborhood except (#10) and including four (+?) express routes including to downtown with access also to the Els and Metra.

Late Night Van Service 773 702-2022. Info:

SafeRide program 5 pm-6 am: 773 702-2022 (give precise address and have UC ID ready). info on this and evening buses:
http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/07/071121.saferide.shtml also

Umbrella: call 773 702-8181 or press red button on ephones. info:

More tips and crime information, statistics http://www.uchicago.edu/uchi/resources/citysafety.html,

Safety and emergency resources from the Dean of students Office: http://help.uchicago.edu/safety/
Student Counseling and Resource Service, 5747 S. University 773 702-9800
Campus minister, 773 702-7111
24-hour resources- 773 834-HELP
Counseling for faculty and staff- Perspectives, 5751 S. Woodlawn, 800 456-6327

Medical (security being assumed by the University)
UC Medical Center Emergency: 702-6250
Peds Emergency: 702-6269
Dean/Sexual Assault/Therapist on call-773 834-HELP (4357)
Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) 773 702-7200
Poison Control Center 800-942-5969

Student Care Center-routine 773 702-4156
SCC Nurse Advice 773 702-1915
Physician on call after hours 773 702-6840 http://scc.uchicago.edu
Student Care Center 773 702-4156
Mitchell Emergency Room 773 702-6250
Primary Care Group Appointments 773 702-6840
Mental Health Counseling (SCRS) 773 702-9800
SCRS Therapist-on-Call 773702-3625

Committee on University Security 773 702-6815
Committee on Crime Prevention 773 702-8803


Sexual predators http://www.familywatchdog.us. A non-government is http://www.surveillance-video.com/neighbors-august-2009.html.

On the Safe Side. Developed by Timika Hoffman-Zoller. safethz.web.officelive.com, safethz@gmail.com.


(Don't forget to carry your whistle, learn how to use it appropriately.)


Community Policing/CAPS

Community Policing (City of Chicago site)

Special Community policing numbers :

Drug and Gang: 312 747-2776

Graffiti Removal: 312 744-5000 or 312 744-1234

State's Attorney Crime Victim's Line: 312 890-7200

Youth Explorers, 21st District 312 747-2930 (Sgt. Scott Lee). 3rd District also has


CAPS Beat meeting schedule and locations in Hyde Park-Kenwood-all at 7 pm except 2124 Harris Bank on 47th- 6 pm.

CAPS (Community [or Chicago] Alternative Policing Strategy) meetings

For general calendar and beat boundaries see CAPS News, - call 21st District community policing office for exceptions, especially for summer and holiday seasons-- 312 474-8340 or 2930). Usual meeting time is 7 p.m.

Sgt. Theresa Odumtheresa.odum@chicagopolice.org, 21st District overseer of CAPS and HPKCC liaison for CAPS information.

Levone Treadwell is CAPS Implementation Office Community Organizer for the 021st District. 31 2745-1972.

Learn about community policing in CAPS News and Views or the City of Chicago/Police Department website.

Deputy Chief of Faith Based Initiatives Vance Henry

CAPS BEAT MEETINGS SCHEDULE- SEE IN CAPS. A more extensive list covering more of the mid South Side is in Community Meetings Calendar - go to Standing Meetings.


District 21 is now in Detective Area 1, 5101 S. Wentworth, 312 747-8380 (violent), -8284 (property), -8385 (youth).

Programs include (see more in CAPS News)


Power outages: 1 800 EDISON1


University of Chicago emergency phones

The University will be adding five new phones along 47th Street and other locations in west Hyde Park (presently not covered) in summer 2006.

Push the red button! The phones thin out or are not deployed south of 62nd, west of Cottage except one by 61st, and northwest of diagonals running from about Cottage/54th through Hyde Park Blvd./Greenwood and west of Kenwood Park thence 51st/Blackstone and east of the tracks north of 5220 Cornell.

The City recently announced that it will beef up, and connect in a fiber-optics grid, the state of the art cameras along the lakefront, as well is in certain high-crime, drugs and gang areas.

2004 trends: violent crime including burglaries were down-overall 6.5 percent, although the perception was that crime is becoming more common and brazen

In a nutshell- down sharply: aggravated assaults, burglaries. Down modestly: thefts. Up: murders (from 0 to 3 when 1 is too many), car thefts, robberies

[Note: in the first three+ months of 2005 while robberies and assaults shot up burglaries went down by 14 (21%) thefts by 17%,overall crime by 8% despite the increase of 29% in combined violent crime categories.]

SECC says... Total crime in HP and SK dropped 8%, lowest on record. Violent crime was the second lowest number since SECC started collecting statistics and has declined during six of the past eight years. Aggravated assaults/batteries are down 35% over the past 5 years, theft 28%. The total of all categories fell 17% since 2000.

North Kenwood-Oakland: Overall down 3-4% in violent crime in 2004, Robberies down 27% although aggravated assaults increased by 4%. Property crime was down 2% although burglaries were up 14%. Thefts were down 6% and motor vehicle thefts 11%.

Hyde Park Herald, December 29, 2004. By Nykeya Woods

The number of overall violent crimes in Hyde Park and Kenwood are down 6.5 percent from last year, according toe the South East Chicago Commission. [Indeed, Bob Mason, SECC Executive Director, told a group of HPKCC board members that 2004 has the next lowest overall crime rate, next to 2002.] Violent crimes include murders, sexual assaults, aggravated assaults, robberies, burglaries and thefts. "The safest year was 2002, and we could very well be having [numbers] come close to that," said Bob Mason, executive director of SECC.

Aggravated assaults had the biggest drop from last year, down 24.7 percent. Burglaries followed with nearly 66 fewer this year than last year. Hyde Park and Kenwood thefts dropped nearly 7 percent each.

There is some discouraging news, including three reported murders this year versus zero last year. The number of motor vehicle thefts increased by nearly 8 per scent and nine more robberies took place this year. Listed below are server al [late year] crime incidents.....

In September, a 20-year-old Hyde Park woman was shot several times by a passerby near the 5200 block o South Harper Avenue. [She was with a group; the shooter was on foot; she had cocaine.]

In October, two teenagers were char aged in a series of carjackings that included stealing the car of a Hyde Park federal judge. Alden Welch, 16, of the 8600 block of South Drexel Avenue an Antonio Miller, 15, of the 800 block of East 51st street were charged as adults.....

[Also in October] SECC announced that they detected a pattern of 34 home burglaries around Hyde Park, which had begun in early August. Mason said that most of these burglaries are being committed by the same person or group o people during the hours when people are traditionally at work.....[Especially targeted were 5200-5400 blocks of Hyde Park Blvd., and the 5500 block of South Blackstone. Another set was in the 5100 block of South University an nearby on Woodlawn.

[Mason reminded people to never buzz strangers in, or let them follow you in. Also the vast majority of burglars are feeding drug habits.]


2003 crime statistics, area trends over 5 years, comparison

(See comparison to 1999 below)

SECC figures 2002 2003 % CHANGE
MURDER 1 0 -100%
ROBBERY 218 249 14
BURGLARY 264 401 34
THEFT 1,421 1,192 -9
MOTOR VEH THEFT 355 267 -25
PROPERTY CRIME 2,040 1,960 -4
TOTAL CRIME 2,388 2,333 -2

Statistics reported by the University of Chicago under the Federal Campus Security Act (from Common Sense and www.uchicago.edu/commonsense)


Agrav. Assault-campus 1 2002, non campus building 1 2001, public property 4 2001, 3 2002
Arson - campus resid. 1 2001, public prop. 1 2003
Burglary- campus resid. 8 2002, 2 2002, 2 2003; campus 62 2001, 60 2002, 41 2003; non campus 7 2001, 8 2002, 12 2003; public prop. 4 2003
Manslaughter/Murder- none
Motor vehicle theft- campus 1 2001, 5 2003, public prop. 73 2001, 66 2002, 40 2003
Robbery- campus 2 2001, 2 2002, 2 2003; non-campus 1 2001, 4 2002, 1 2003; public prop. 15 2001, 15 2002, 14 2003
Sex offense forcible- campus 1 2001, 1 2002, 2 2003; non-campus2 2001, 1 2003; public prop. 12002
Sex offense non forcible- none
Other, hate crimes- none

2001-2003 Arrests (residence halls-none)

Liquor law -none
Drug law - campus 2 2001, 1 2002, 1 2003; public prop. 2 2002
Illegal weapons- non campus 1 2001

2001-2003 Disciplinary referrals (included employees starting in 2002)

Alcohol- residence halls 9 2001, 5 2002, 14 2003; campus total 10 2001, 5 2002, 14 2003; non-campus 1 2001
Drugs- residence halls 7 2001, 15 2002, 7 2003
Weapons- residence halls 2 2001, campus total 2 2001, 1 2002

Rate of Crime in Hyde Park-South Kenwood 1999 and 2003

  1999 2003 % Change
Homicide 9 0 -100
Aggrav. Sex. Assault 17 7 -59
Robbery 237 249 +5
Aggrav. Assault 155 117 -25
Burglary 314 401 +28
Theft 1,764 2,292 -27
Motor Veh. Theft 421 267 -37
Violent Crime 418 373 -11
Property Crime 2,499 1,960 -22
TOTAL 2,917 2,333 -20

Comparable communities (This has to be culled from records as the DPD keeps these for police districts only.)

Rate of violent crime per 100,000 in the early 2000s was about a third under the citywide average for 2e003 (867 vs 1,363) according to SECC based on CPD and 2000 census. the HPSK rate has been comparable to comparable districts on the north lakefront; in 2003 higher than Town Hall/E. Lakeview) and Rogers Park and lower than East chicago 18th (River North to Fullerton).


Stopping burglaries; latest burglary/break-in patterns

First the good news--crimes continue to dip in summer 2004. For 2004 through July property crimes dropped 11.2%, both burglary down 13.5% and theft down 16.7% (both of which have seen several spikes over the past 12 months) down, and violent crimes (murder, criminal sexual, aggravated assault) down 9.6%. Overall, there are 5 fewer robberies and 22 fewer burglaries to date in 2004. A recent one-night spate of street thefts by a man in a car was followed by an arrest.

Then some bad-- burglaries are having another bulge in summer-fall 2004, though not as extensive as last year's. It seems to be the work of one or two pairs.

also, auto thefts are up 23.9 percent. Drivers can do a lot to make it harder to steal a car or from a car.

Two patterns were discerned in March and April, 2004. Despite several arrests, the patterns expanded in coverage and only later subsided.

By late April the first of these had intensified in Central Hyde Park, especially between 54th Pl. and 57th. A new pattern emerged in east Hyde Park centered around 55th Cornell to Everett. Arrest of a pair of burglars at the end of April apparently made a dent.

Steps you can take

General Safety Tips



Safeguarding against elder abuse: http://thesafetyreport.com/2013/02/safeguarding-against-abuse-of-the-elderly/

Safe and Sound: How not to be a victim

The Chicago Police Department conducts an hour and a half personal training program on keeping safe. Discussions-talks-demonstrations are followed by a martial arts demonstration that can be participatory! Call the 21st District CAPS 312 747-2930.

Key points include that you can no longer give a stranger the benefit of the doubt or your hand. Do not let the stranger get along your side--the controlling position! Do look the stranger in the eye (showing self-confidence, alertness, and friendliness but not naivete) so you can remember key features about that person should things go wrong. Obey your radar, show yourself alert, especially from a distance--avoiding what seems it could be danger is the better part of valor. If you have to get close to a group, maybe take out and seem to call on your cell phone; stay on the outside of them; if trouble starts, position yourself in a line with the 2 or 3 so you can push one into the other if necessary. If you must defend yourself say STOP! first or you could be legally in the wrong--and it might work or give you time. Women, also smile at a man starting trouble and meanwhile figure your action, such as sending your purse flying in one direction while you go in the other. If someone has his hands on you or a gun (or just might be a weapon) the game has changed. Training ahead of problems is best in order to be ready with what to do next, such as, if in a choke hold- bring your arms up outside the offender's, then between to separate then grab the hand and twist-rotate. If you have a sharp item, get it into whatever is vulnerable on the offender. Try not to go alone, and have someone meet you at your destination--let people know when and where to expect you.

Here is from their flyer:

Protect yourself and:


If you feel threatened, call 911 immediately! You have the power...the community is your strength!


Help for panhandlers doesn't come in a dime; and new ordinance

Dina Weinstein, Herald commentary, November 24, 2004

I haven't seen one particular Hyde Park street character in a while. I wonder where he is even though when I see him (and some days our paths cross a few times) I'm filled with a mixture of pity and fear. I feel pity for him because he always looks bloated and raw. Maybe it's the effects of a beating, Maybe it's the effects of alcohol abuse. He walks the streets of Hyde Park, looking behind him, as if being pursued, sometimes changing his course. He is often overdressed for the weather, sometimes with gloves.

I feel fear because there is an air of aggression around him; I don't have a sense of this man's mission. He seems unpredictable. And we often cross paths without another soul around. He never asks for a handout, but it's somehow common knowledge that he doesn't have a home and he lives in the 53rd street Metra station [sic]. My friend offered him food once and he declined it. That friend said he didn't make much sense. His communication was impaired. Perhaps you've seen him too. And you'll et me know if he's OK.

There are a whole cast of street characters on our streets. Many are asking for a handout. Take a walk down Hyde Park's main commercial strip on 53rd street and you'll pass psychotics, junkies, crack heads, alcoholics, panhandlers and drug dealers. Go through Nichols Park, there's an encampment of homeless. The other day, I saw a street character looming behind the utility boxes behind Borders. I think he was urinating. It was not a pleasant site for me or my two small boys.

According to a Chicago Police Department beat cop, people come from all over the city to Hyde Park to panhandle and hustle because people here don't mind giving money. Another cop put it this way: the neighborhood is more liberal than others and people usually are generous.

But police would tell you that as much as those street people seem to be in need, handout s don't help. More often than not, when you give a dollar or some change, you're just enabling an addiction or habit. It may be heartbreaking to stonewall an often blunt, aggressive or pathetic appeal, but Hyde Parkers have got to stop giving money on the street. Police hand out information cards to people who appear to be in need, which are put together by NAMI, the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Chicago. The card offers resources for homeless, substance abusers and crisis/mental health services in Chicago. Officers have told me that moments after they hand out the car they find them discarded on the sidewalk.

But the spirit of giving is sometimes instantaneous. Most people do not think of a panhandler when they are inside their homes. The urge to give often comes up when one is about to pass a panhandler and then rummages for change or a bill or two. I would seek out those selling Streetwise, a newspaper dedicated to empowering men and women who are homeless. Streetwise vendors are legitimate; they must display a badge to prove they work for Streetwise. Sixty percent of what you give goes into their pockets. They are in no greater financial condition than a typical panhandler, yet they sought out Streetwise as an alternative.

I asked one vendor why she sells Streetwise. She told me that she does not have any other skills but cannot hold her hand out to beg for money. To donate to Streetwise, call 773 554-0060 or email abarner@streetwise.org.

George Rumsey, chairman of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, works with people to address the neighborhood's issues. He is also a small business owner. He says aggressive hustlers and panhandlers have hurt his business. Over the years, when he's told prospective clients his training sessions are in Hyde Park, they've simply hung up on him. "There's a sense that Hyde Park is dangerous," Rumsey said.

This month a new panhandling ordinance becomes effective in the city that according to a Chicago Police Department Legal Bulletin "strikes a balance between the rights of citizens to solicit money or other gratuity and the rights of citizens to be free from intimidation and threats by panhandlers."

It means there are restrictions for panhandlers. They can't beg within 10 feet of a bus stop, near public transportation, in a sidewalk cafe or restaurant, in a filling station, near a teller or near a bank. The ordinance says they can't approach people in an aggressive manner. That means no touching. No approaching people who are waiting in line. No blocking one's path. No following behind, ahead or alongside a person who walks away from a panhandler. And no usage of profane or abusive language that makes people feel afraid.

Police can give aggressive panhandlers a violation notice and a fine. The ordinance does not impose a jail sentence. Bluntly put, if panhandlers bother you, you need to complain to police. If you feel your peace has been disturbed, tell the closest cop. Or pick up a phone and call 911...Work with the police to solve chronic problems by attending ...CAPS beat meetings in the neighborhood.

Let's put our resources into more effective ways to help those in need.


Police warn large crowds may attract pick-pockets

Police warned in conjunction with such events as the 57th St. Art Fair, 4th on 53rd, and 57th Children's Book Fair that pick-pockets and other criminals often follow crowds.

The most effective means to stay save is to stay aware of your surroundings- human, social and physical.

If attacked...

Holiday safe food tips

Halloween tips form Illinois Dept. of Public Health


Carbon Monoxide poisoning prevention tips- Access the toolkit on website of National Public Health Information

State health agency offers holiday food safety tips

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced a food safety message for the upcoming holiday season.

There are three basic rules to keep in mind. Keep food that requires warning from a stove, oven or microwave heated and food that requires refrigeration cold. Keep everything in the kitchen clean and be sure to wash hands frequently.

In a letter, state Public Health Director Eric E. Whitaker said, "During the holidays or anytime, people can prevent food borne illness by following some simple steps":

Refrigerate cooked foods that are not served immediately, otherwise food sitting longer than two hours can increase bacteria growth.

Proper thawing and cooking are crucial to avoid food borne illness. Many warm-blooded animals, like turkeys and other poultry, often harbor Salmonella and other organisms. Special thawing and cooking guidelines apply to turkeys. Start early and thaw the turkey in the refrigerator or a place where the air temperature is not higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the inner cavity of the turkey is still frozen, the outside of the bird will finish before the inside and the inside and the inside temperature will not be high enough to destroy the disease-causing bacteria. It is easier to cook the stuffing separately. Insert a meat thermometer into the center at the thickest part of the thigh or breast. Temperatures should register 190 degrees Fahrenheit for a whole turkey.

Food containing raw or undercooked food, like raw egg drinks, raw oysters and mouse should not be eaten unless they are made with pasteurized eggs or an egg substitute.

Healthy people may recover from a food borne illness without medical attention. However, if nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever or abdominal cramps begin, it may be food poisoning. Symptoms may appear 30 minutes to two weeks after eating contaminated food. If symptoms are severe, seek medical attention.

For a listing of safe meat and poultry temperatures visit www.idph.state.il.us or call 217-782-4977.

What to Do if a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulb or
Fluorescent Tube Light Bulb Breaks in Your Home:


Tips for staying safe in cold weather-and safe winter driving

Driving defensively in winter. Prepare, give yourself plenty of time. Keep vehicles properly maintained, use recommended tires and pressures, recommended gas mixes (tank half full. Have winter clothes (layers) in the car and an updated emergency care kit- jumpers, flares/reflectors, windshield washer fluid, scrapers, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food, first aid kit.
Everyone in the seat belts or proper car seat.
Scott's Law- Move Over Law- yield to moving emergency and road care vehicles with Mars or flashing lights. Don't crowd or tail the plow
Watch for black ice, slow down at intersections, off ramps, bridges, shady areas.
Inters ted into at 1 800-452-IDOT (4368)


Staying cool in summer heat; city program

Cooling centers- Keep Cool Illinois at illinois.gov/keepcool/pages/default.aspx, Il Dept Humajn Services hotline 800-843-6154.
Cooling buses- call local emergency mangaement agency .

The National Weather Service issues high temperature and heat index alerts. A Heat Watch is issued when conditions are expected, Warning when they are present. This triggers a city emergency response. These include:

Please check on relatives and neighbors, especially the elderly and those with special medical conditions.
Register to receive well-being calls.
Report any suspected medical condition - 911.
For location of cooling centers call 311.

Tips: From Ald. Burn's office:

Call 311 to request a well being check if you are unable to make contact with your neighbors.

If you do not live in a household that has air conditioning you can seek shelter in the various cooling centers that the City of Chicago provides during these times of extreme heat. The designated cooling center in our community is the King Center, which is located at 4314 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

Drink lots of water and natural juices; avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee and colas.
Avoid going outside in the blazing heat.
If you don’t have air conditioning, keep shades drawn and blinds closed, but windows slightly open.
Keep electric lights off or turned down.
Minimize use of your oven and stove.
Wear loose, light, cotton clothing.
Take cool baths and showers.
Don’t leave anyone (including pets) in a parked car, even for a few minutes.

Latest tips:


Extremely high temperatures can be particularly hazardous for children, the elderly, those with special needs, and pets.
It is important to treat extreme heat temperatures as you would any other emergency. This means being personally prepared whether you are athome, work, or on-the-go.


Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

Avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee and soft drinks.

Stay indoors and, when possible, stay in an air-conditioned place.

Take cool baths or showers; use cool towels.

Wear loose, light cotton clothing.

Avoid preparing and eating heavy meals and using cooking ovens.

Avoid or minimize physical exertion.

Do not let anyone sit in a hot, parked car, even for a few minutes

If you must be out in the heat:

Limit your outdoor activity to morning & evening hours

Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.

Try to rest often in shady areas

Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide brimmed hat & sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen.

http://webapps.cityofchicago.org/ChicagoAlertWeb/resources/pdf/Heatbooklet.pdf http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.1a019a978f421296e81ec89e43181aa0/?vgnextoid=a69ff6c5fd47b110VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD


Being safe in traffic

Re the debate over speed cameras, there were two posts by Chicago Magazine analysing the matter and citing strong evidence that the cameras do lead to reduction in the behaviors that cause traffic and pedestrian accidents and are also correlated with crime in general. The cameras, if known and location-stationary, are also considered by most to be more fare than "hidden car" and random stops. Many still think the main purpose is to increase revenue. Statistics show that children are more likely to be struck in the roadway (between crosswalks) while seniors are more likely to be struck at crosswalks- many times from turning cars.

Power outages and severe weather links

Power lines and trees-- stay away! For power lines or outage call 800 EDISON1. Use 311, ward office for trees unless imminent danger (911).

Check outage status- http://www.comed.com, customer service or call/text 800 EDISON1 (334-7661) with your account number.

No lights/power. Call as above. Use battery-powered lights, not candles! If generator going, keep it outside and away from windows or vents- beware when fueling and of carbon monoxide, proximity to flamables, or using over-long cords or of way-wrong size cords.

Hot- see Keeping Cool in the Heat section above.

Food- keep refrigerator an freezer doors closed as possible. Once temp is above 40 degrees perishable food is only good two hours. Use a food thermometer or non-powered thermometer in the refrigerator/freezer to tell.
Keep a supply of non-perishable food and at least a gallon of water. If containers are sealed, have a non-powered opener handy.
Don't forget food and water for pets.

Phone. One reason to have a cell phone and keep it charged and extra batteries or a battery powered charger handy. A cordless phone is not a substitute- it won't work.

What to have on hand. Emergency kit with at leat a gallow of water, non-perishable food, Battery powered or hand-crank radio, extra charged battery flashlights, full supply of medications.

Keep gas in car at least half full. Know weher to the garage door manual rlease lever is (in and out).

Check on the elderly and their needs, try to get them moved.

Prolonged outage, also:

Turn off all appliances including your furnace, water heater, and water pump.
Leave a lamp on so you know when power has been restored.
Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed and open them only when necessary. Food will stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer, if the door remains closed. A half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for 24 hours.
Customers who are on medical support equipment are strongly encouraged to evacuate to a place where they can be comfortable and safe.

Severe weather links


Take the Bite out of West Nile Virus

From a city brochure

Yes, IT's back. This fall it may be the biggest beast in town unless some animal flu outbreak comes along--being stockpiled against now. And don't forget to take a flu shot, if it's available.

From the Chicago Department of Public Health, (then) John Wilhelm, MD, MPH, Commissioner

What is West Nile virus?
West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne infection that can cause West Nile encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Mosquitoes get the infection by biting infected birds. People are infected by the bite of an infected mosquito. Chicago saw its first human cases of WNV in 2002.

What are the symptoms of West Nile virus?
Infection from WNV causes illness in approximately one-fifth of people who are infected. The illness is usually mild, with symptoms of fever, muscle aches, rash, and headache (called "West Nile Fever"). Less commonly, serious illness may occur such as meningitis (symptoms include fever, headache, and stiff neck) or encephalitis (symptoms include fever, headache, and confusion or muscle weakness). Encephalitis can lead to prolonged recovery, disability, and even death. Symptoms of the disease being thee to 12 days after a bite from an infected mosquito. Adults over the age of 50 and those with weak immune systems are at greater risk for severe infections. The risk is very low for children. There is no specific medication to treat infection from WNV.

How can I control mosquitoes around my home and neighborhood?
Mosquitoes that spread WNV lay their eggs in containers of standing water. The most effective way to control mosquitoes is to eliminate or reduce standing water. Take a close look around your home and neighborhood and follow these tips. [Two paragraphs above.)

Don't stand for standing water

How can I prevent mosquito bites and reduce my risk?
During Chicago's mosquito season (May-October), wear protective clothing and use a mosquito repellant on exposed skin if outside between dusk and dawn:

What is the City of Chicago doing to control mosquitoes?

Standing water reduction. City departments and agencies are working to reduce sources of standing water in parks, building sites, and other places. The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation will issue citations to commercial and residential property owners who do not eliminate conditions contributing to mosquito breeding.

Larviciding. When standing water cannot be removed, the city uses agents known as "larvicides" to prevent mosquito larvae from growing into adult mosquitoes. The Chicago Department of Water Management will apply larvicide briquettes to public catch basins throughout the city. I addition, the city will treat lagoons and bodies of water that are found to be mosquito-breeding sites.

Adulticiding. Spraying to kill mosquitoes may be done in areas where the Chicago Department of Public Health has determined that WNV poses a threat to human health. If spraying is needed, the pesticide Abvuk(R), registered for residential use in the U.S., is sprayed at an ultra low volume from trucks that move through streets and alleys. If spraying is planned for your area, residential will be notified through the news media and the City's web site, http://cityofchicago.org.

What is the connection between dead birds and West Nile virus?
Crows and blue jays are some of the many birds known to be susceptible to WNV. However, people do no get WNV from dead birds. The Chicago Department of Public Health uses reports of dead crows and blue jays to help track WNV in Chicago. If you discover a dead crow or blue jay, please call 311 to report the bird's location. You may b asked to carefully dispose of the bird. In selected instances, the Chicago Department of Public Health will arrange for the bird to be tested for west Nile virus to assist in tracking the virus.


Poison Tips from On the Safe Side by Timika Hoffman-Zoller. Poisonous Houseplants- see in pdf.

· Keep a list of your medicines to take to doctor appointments and for emergencies.

· Store family members' medicines in separate locations so you won't mix up their medicines with yours.

· Never take medicine in the dark--turn on the lights so you can see what you're taking.

· Read the label before taking your medicine. If you wear glasses, make sure you put them on first!

· Keep a daily record of each dose of medicine you take. This will help you not to skip a dose or take too many doses of your medicine.

· Never take extra doses of medicine.

· Never take expired medicine.

· Never take anyone else's medicine.

· Just because you feel better, don't stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor.

(And take care with house plants, including for your children and pets!)

For more poison prevention tips, please visit the following websites
Speciol Thanks To: The American Association of Poison Control Centers - Poison Prevention Tips for Adults http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/PoisoningPrevention/Adults.aspx

Special Thanks To: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Tips to Prevent Poisonings http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Poisoning/preventiontips.htm

Personal Safety Tips

Updated by CPD 2008

You're often told not to be a victim of crime. But you may wonder how to ensure that. While no one can guarantee your total safety, you can lessen the chance of being a victim by making it more difficult for a would-be thief or attacker

At home: Don't be surprised. Keep your doors locked when home alone and lock your windows too when leaving the house for any long period of time. Open doors and windows are an invitation that you don't want to send. Turn your porch lights on at night and illuminate your backyard to ensure that anyone lurking there will be easily detected.

On the Street: Be alert. Make sure you are not an easy target for crime on the street. Carry your purse in a manner that makes it hard to get -- across your chest or under your arm where more than a simple grab is needed to snatch it. Men should carry their wallets in their inside coats or side pants pocket, never in your back pants pocket where it is easy to grab. If you walk to and from work or public transit stations, particularly at night, use well-lit and populated streets. When possible, walk with friends and, if you can, vary the route you take each day or night.

On Public Transit: Be Prepared. Have the exact fare [or card] ready before you leave home so that there is no need to open a purse or wallet. During late night or early morning stay near the agent on duty in subways and when possible sit on the aisle seat where you will have more mobility should trouble occur.

In Your Car: Secure Your Ride. Lock your doors and be sure to store your purse, wallet or other valuables beneath your seat -- not on the seat next to you where they are easy and inviting targets for theft. Park in a well lit area for the safety of your car and yourself and always lock your car. If you notice that the street lights are out, call 311 or your Police District's Community Policing Office to make sue this "condition of crime" is remedied.

Going Home: Be Ready. Always carry your keys in your hands so tha you are ready to open the door. If yu know you will be coming home after dark, make sure you leave some lights on.

Finally, Wherever You Are: Remember -- a crime-free city requires that everyone report suspicious activity by calling 911 and report conditions that make crime possible by 311.



Recognizing a suspect

Observe and remember -

Time and date, location, duration, direction of flight, decoys and accomplices

General description (estimate if nec.)
Gender, color, age, height, weight, build (fat, husky, slim, muscular), hair, eyes, glasses, complexion qualities (color, pores, pockmarks, scars, acne, razor rash, bumps, shaven),
peculiarities: marks, scars, deformities, mustache, goatee etc, makeup, voice-pitch, tone, rasp, lisp, talk/lingo/speed of talk, weapons, auto and license, direction of escape

Hat (color, style/type, ornaments), shirt/dress etc incl. sleeves and buttons, jackets, ties, trousers/skirts incl. bell, cuffs, socks, shoes, accessories, jewelry, general appearance, oddities like oversize

Color, dyed, texture, hairline, style

Height, skin/wrinkles-crease

Shape, length, nostrils

Cheeks and cheek bones
Sunken, oily; wrinkles, lines by nose an mouth, bones prominent-high/low, wide lo, fleshy or not

Size, prominence/protruding

corners, upper and lower lips

Front: double chin, prom. Adams apple. Sides: hanging jowls

Shape, peculiarities, dimples

Safety tips for being out and about

Based on the University Chicago publication Common Sense


On bicycle

Public Transportation


At Home

Police encounter

University Police complete a contact card after any investigative contact. This may be inspected at 5555 S. Ellis during business hours.


How to Prevent Street Robberies

From the 21st District, 312 747-8340.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially when using a personal stereo, mobile phone a at ATM stations.

Avoid short cuts and alleyways, stick to the busy routes.

Both men and women should always get a licensed taxi or go home together late at night -- don't walk alone.

If you think you're being followed on foot, cross a road and keep walking. If you still think you're being followed, walk towards somewhere busy and well lit. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Always keep sight of your valuables such as your bag and mobile phone. Don't leave them unattended n tables or hung on the back of chairs. Also, keep your bag and wallet secure in busy places where you suspect pickpockets may operate.

In an emergency call 911.

How not to be burglarized; what to do in case you are

The Chicago Police Office of Crime Prevention offers seminars around the neighborhoods. One technique is to ask ex-burglars to advise on preventing burglaries. Tips include varying daily routines, going out and returning. Use a layered security system so it takes the burglar too long or noise calls attention. Teach your kids not to tell what you have in your home. Initial your property so you can prove 1) that it's yours, 2) that it was stolen. Keep a full inventory of your property and take out insurance. If you find your home or burglarized go out and call police--don't confuse the issue with your own prints! To get started you must file the report. Then stay with the process despite its frustration--or the perpetrator goes free. Top

How not to be a burglary victim- from the 021st District Burglary Mission Team (condensed by GO)

Home Exterior:

Garage and storage sheds:


Home Interior:

General Tips:


Tips for dealing with sexual assault

Drawn from the University of Chicago publication Common Sense. This website cannot vouch for the appropriateness of every step for dealing with this particularly traumatic crime, which requires special response.


Avoiding vehicle theft


Curfew restrictions help protect children

The City of Chicago says its Curfew Ordinance is an important tool for ensuring the safety of our children. Much of the gang violence in our communities occurs in the late evening hours. It is your responsibility as a parent or guardian to ensure that your children do not violate this City ordinance. Know what your children are doing and be sure they are home on time.

Sunday-Thursday curfew is 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday 11:30 p.m.

Ordinance 8-16-020 (190.02) Children on Streets at Night

It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 17 to be present at, or upon any public assembly, building, place, street, highway, in the city between the hour of 11:30 p.m. Friday and 6:00 a.m. Saturday, between the hours of 11:30 p.m. Saturday and 6:00 a.m. Sunday, and between the hours fob 10:30 p.m. an 6:00 a.m. on any other day of the week, provided, however [accompanied by parent or adult as spelled out, presence is required at employment, going to and from adult supervised activity of a school, church, civic or not-for-profit organization.]


Safe building tips for landlords

One bad building can destroy a block; a bad block an entire neighborhood. To help break this cycle, the City has enacted the Gang and Drug House Ordinance. The ordinance, being enforced by the Police Department, the Building Department and the Law Department, contains new tools to deal with problem buildings. Landlords need to be partners in preventing buildings from becoming havens for gangs and drugs. These tips are designed to help you keep your buildings and profitable.

Find out more about how you can get involved in making your neighborhood safer by calling 311 or visiting the CAPS home page on the World Wide Web at www.cityofchicago.org. To find out more about the City's new Landlord Training Program, call 312 744-3430.

Safe Building Tips for Neighborhood Residents


Alley Safety Tips

Chicago's system of alleys provides community residents and the City departments with convenient garbage pickup and access to off-street parking. Unfortunately, alleys can also provide cover for burglars and other criminals.

Auto safety and smarts


While carjacking and other vehicular crimes have received considerable attention of late, they still occur relatively infrequently. Nevertheless, there are several ways you can protect yourself and your passengers while driving.


Tips when you are away on vacation

To ensure a safe summer vacation for you and your family, Allstate recommends the following tips:

Make sure your home is protected while you're away:

* Stop mail and newspapers, or ask a neighbor to pick them up every day.
* Put several household lights on timers so they turn on and off at appropriate times.
* Arrange to have grass mowed while you're gone.
* Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway overnight - anything that might suggest someone's home.

Make sure you don't pack unnecessary items and that your valuables are protected:

* Clean out your wallet or purse before you go; take only essential credit cards.
* Carry your purse close to your body, or wallet in an inside front pocket. Better yet, take a "fanny pack" or wear a money pouch under your clothes.
* Pack as lightly as possible. Lots of heavy, cumbersome bags will slow you down and make you more vulnerable to getting robbed.
* Keep a separate record of the contents of checked luggage. Keep anything of value such as medicine and jewelry in a carry-on that stays with you.

Try to blend in with the crowd and not look too many like tourists:

* Don't display expensive jewelry, cameras, bags, and other items that might draw attention.
* Check maps before you go out so you can tour confidently.
* Stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets at all times.
* Leave an itinerary of your trip with someone at home in case you need to be contacted. Carry an extra passport photo with you just in case you need to replace a stolen passport
* Don't use your home address on you luggage tags. You don't need to let anyone know where your empty house is located. Consider using your business card instead.

Computer safety and security tips




News and announcements


Blotter bits and hefty bites

Watch for suspicious activity on Lake Shore Drive overpasses. A kenwood man was taken to hospital after unknown persons dropped a concrete rock from the 35th overpass. This was the second incident.

Extensive police blotters with maps and descriptions are found in Hyde Park Herald, Chicago Maroon, and Chicago Weekly News. Here are few sample items intended to encourage all to be aware of their surroundings (often it's isolation) and demeanor that might attract criminals to think of you as a potential victim. Report unlawful activity promptly and thoroughly (see how in CAPS).

One example of violent crimes, a pair (or more) of carjackers was caught in October, 2004. Among Hyde Parker victims was a federal appellate court judge. Coordination of city and UC police, observant and cooperative witnesses, and one-too-many chances by the perpetrators bought the underage culprits to bay.

New state laws: It's a Class 1 Felony to recruit for gangs in schools and now background checks are required for all school employees. The gang competition at Kenwood has required more police patrols there due to incidents at dismissal times.

Beatings and robberies of elementary students by large gangs of high school- ages--some from Kenwood but most apparently not in school--have occurred. These incidents stopped after increased police surveillance, including undercover, and school assemblies.

The Chicago Department of Buildings named the following area buildings as having the highest heating complaints over the past 3 years:

6104 Woodlawn, 4915 Drexel, 4800 S. Lake Park, 4909 Cottage Grove, 5554 S. Everett. Buildings are required to maintain 63 degrees September 15-June 1. Call alderman's office, 311 or TTY 312 744-5699.

Disturbing incident in Bronzeville. A Bronzeville respected author and scholar, Dr. Sokoni Karanja, former head of Centers for New Horizons, was allegedly insulted and hounded by police while walking his dog. See material. A local group led by Dr. Susan Johnson of Hyde Park Union Church joined others protesting at Karanja's hearing Friday, August 13, at which the case against Karanja was summarily dismissed. At the courthouse, Karanja said, "This never should have gotten here... We've got to stop this kind of treatment... It happens every day and we need to put a stop to it."

Hyde Park's most talked about homicide (and the term for this event is debated) occurred November 25, 2005. The tragic circumstances of the shooting of Mr. Curry (with friends and confrontational but unarmed) at the 53rd McDonalds by a security guard who was also an off duty Chicago policeman are controversial. Differing accounts were published in the Herald and Chicago Weekly News. In a later letter to the Herald December 17, the Hyde Park Committee Against War and Racism argues that witnesses say the security guard, an off-duty Chicago Police officer, was not endangered. They ask, "Have we as a society become so comfortable with the stereotype of young black men as threatening that we are simply willing to accept [the 'if the officer is in fear of ...life'] rationale for the use of deadly force?...also the social conditions that create the effect of young black men as dangerous to be so easily accepted."

Indeed, witnesses say the offenders had their arms raised and were retreating when the guard shot Curry in the back then fired four more rounds at him.

And released: Hyde Parker Dion Bufkin, one of the persons arrested and convicted for battery in conjunction to the above-described security guard's shooting to death of Steven Curry during an altercation at the old McDonalds in 2003, was released after being held nine months--at about the same time as he was convicted August 25, 2004 to serve a year (the 6 charges reduced to one count of misdemeanor battery) . A 16 year old also arrested was released some time previously. Several civil lawsuits, mostly filed by McCurry's father, remain in progress and investigation.

Three or four homicides occurred and robberies with shooting in 2004

The Chicago Police have acted to separate noontime fighting and beatings between far-ranging students from Kenwood and Hyde Park high schools by declaring a line at 57th that the schools are expected to tell students to honor. Both remain open campuses, although Kenwood restricts freshmen to campus and is adding a class each year. Leader of the Kenwood LSC did not expect the LSC to move to close the whole campus at this time. The student activities have led to several beatings, including inside local businesses and on busses, including kids hauled off CTA busses. Then a steady increase of teen attacks on random targets started, including 39 incidents between January and April 7, 2005.

Serial burglary patterns emerge in concentrated areas from time to time. Burglaries are nevertheless occurring in every part of the neighborhood despite a return to declining crime rates early and again late 2003. One pattern is entry through windows. Keep them locked, really secured, and well lit.

Burglaries in summer 2003 started a series of spikes that were the highest in seven years (251 for that year through August), a doubling the previous year's rate. Arrests, particularly of one offender, would lead to a dramatic reduction, then things would start again. In 2005 burglary was one of the bright spots, with a 21% reduction in the first four months.

The level of violent property and personal crimes rose seven percent Jan.-April from its all-time low last year--especially the 111 burglaries. Some categories went back down, but there have been some really brazen crimes continuing. However, car theft is down 47 percent. Still no homicides this year.

Be aware: robberies and assaults on the street occur sporadically in every part of the neighborhood and time of day and year. Including on the quietest side streets in plain daylight. Many of these crimes are very brazen and involve assailants emerging from cars to prey or else car-jacking or young groups picking random targets. The majority result in quick arrest. Also insidious is the deliberate stalking and targeting of certain elderly persons over and over or near ATMs and banks.

The outbreak of gang violence has lately abated near 47th and Cottage Grove. Care is merited. The police there are concentrating on loiterers, looking for illegal concerted or individual activity such as gun possession and narcotics trade. CAPS is also working with a new local association, North Kenwood Homeowners Association. However, noted in mid summer 2004 was an outbreak of prostitution and other crime activity in the area of 52nd and Kenwood and it is possible that this could join up with the upsurge of activity in Nichols Park.

University police coverage expansion to 39th is welcome in North Kenwood/Oakland, as it is in Woodlawn and may move to 35th.

There are no plans at present to mount any of the crime surveillance cameras in Hyde Park side street light posts, etc. Top



In response to brutality concerns, UCPD discusses complaint process

Note: Clemmie Carthans had filed suit regarding being detained and questioned in January 2004 on campus by UC police at 3 am, alleging brutality. In December 2005, the court found the U of C police officers innocent of brutality charges. Even the plaintiff's witness said Carthans was not beaten or kicked. A campus-community group, Coalition Against Police Brutality, had conducted marches since the 2004 incident. A supporter of Carthans told the Maroon in January, 2006 that the issues is not brutality or mistreatment but profiling- the automatic assumption that the black male is suspicious, especially around white women. He says that the whole affair shows that institutionally and in attitude the UC and its community are not on King's long arc toward justice.

Chicago Maroon, November 19, 2004. by Aaron Midler

The Provost's Initiative for Minority Issues (PIMI) and the Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA) held a conference at Ida Noyes Tuesday evening to discuss the practices of the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) with concerned students. But once the event began, the topic on everyone's mind--the Clemmie Carthans case--was immediately called off limits.

"We're not going to discuss the Clemmie Carthans case," said steve Klass, vice president of the University and dean of students, in his opening remarks.

The panel included Vice President of Community Affairs Henry Webber, Executive Director of UCOPD Rudy Nimocks, and Associate Clinical Professor of Law at the Law School Craig Futterman. It was aimed at easing the fears generated by the incident and encouraging students to voice their concerns about the UCPD and the complaints process.

Carthans, a black graduate student in the School of Social [Service] Administration, alleged that on January 23, 2004, he was physically assaulted by two UCPD officers after producing a valid UCID and attempting to cooperate with authorities. This incident and Nimocks's refusal to apologize to Carthans upset some in the University community and sparked a wave of protests. Carthans has subsequently filed a civil suit against the University, explaining the premium the University has placed on not discussing the case.

Nimocks, when pressed about the Carthans case, reasserted the fact that investigations began immediately upon receiving complaint. He also explained the complaint process. "Once a complaint is filed, an internal investigation begins immediately. Each week a progress report is due, so that we can see how an investigation is advancing. Once this is complete, we send our findings to the University Security Committee, which has the power to disagree with what we've found and request further investigation." He added that one can make a complaint against a police officer to anyone in the police department, and further, could speak to the university administration.

Webber acknowledged the fact that the University Security Council lacks a timetable for its action, and was willing to propose revision. In his remarks, Webber also emphasized the UCPD's importance to Hyde Park safety. "When I ask what the University can do to promote stable fixed-income high quality communities on the South Side, the first answer I hear is, 'expand the borders of the university police force.' This was done from 61st to 64th [Street] and from 39th Street to 47th Street," he said. "This happened after very large public hearings and extensive review."

According to Nimocks, the UCPD has 20-21 police cars (150 officers) patrolling the streets on a normal evening. The Chicago Police Department, by comparison, has four to five cars patrolling Hyde Park.

Futterman ended the lecture by speaking about what can be done to improve relations between police departments and the communities and they serve. "The legitimacy of a community police force depends upon how open and transparent their procedures are, whether or not they treat community members with respect, how they involve the community in their activities, whether or not they make the effort to reach out to the community, and whether or not a culture of integrity exists," he said.

Futterman also emphasized the problem of racial profiling. "The unconscionable reality now in 2004 is that racial disparity continues to pervade the entire criminal justice system," Futteman said. "It is important to realize and acknowledge the role that race plays in formulating policy decisions. We must admit we're not immune to this, and that the problem is not just a national one, but here in our won backyard." Futterman prefaced his remarks by saying that he was in no way an expert on the UCPD, and that his comments were directed to general, wide-sweeping issues.

Students seemed pleased with the discussion.... Attendees also felt there was room for improvement. "This is the first in what needs to be a continuing dialogue.." [said David Ferguson.]"The element that's missing is the South Side Community. What police are doing is mistaking students for members of the African-American community in Hyde Park; What does that say about our view of the community? They should be here because they're implicitly involved."

Complaints were filed in March, 2005, not about mistreatment but about alleged incompetence and badgering by specific UCPD officers and breakdowns in communicating and issuing broad alerts. The oversight committee will review procedures.
The Chicago Maroon said on April 1, the train of unfortunate events in the main crime incident "are not minor mishaps but serious mistakes that reflect sloppy police work. As a police force, the UCPD should be embarrassed by these mistakes and take measures that will prevent this kind of error from recurring. ..[Also,] in some cases, students have not been sufficiently apprised of the danger[s]."

In fall, 2006, Jemelle Lloyd, a 17 yo black student of Chicago Military Academy was arrested by U of C police, apparently for being near a brutal beating on 55th Street and wearing the same school uniform (ROTC) that some of the perpetrators wore. Charges were later dismissed, but the student is said to have been affected, and there have been no apologies from U of C or Chicago police.


In 2005, Rudy Nimocks, Director of the University Police, recently told a large meeting that UCPD will patrol the new charter school opening on 37th this fall and will seek regular patrols to 35th Street. The University already expanded south to 64th and north to 39th, although without much expanding its force. Top


Profiling continues to disturb

There is disagreement as to what constitutes an unacceptable profiling. Senator Raoul says the records being kept of auto stops shows three times as much stopping of African Americans as of others. He would like to expand the study to pedestrian stops.

Mandel Clinic, section director and prof. Craig Futterman help exonerate, win settlement for Corethian "Dion" Bell

In 2000 Bell discovered the body of his his slain mother and was subjected to Chicago Police interrogation for over 50 hours, subsequently confessing. Bell intermittently was homeless, had mental disabilities, and sold Streetwise on 57th. Thanks to the intervention of many friends, the Mandel Clinic sued for DNA evidence that eventually cleared Bell and then filed a civil suit on his behalf that resulted in a $2 million settlement delivered October 10, 2006 (which still needed City Council direction for payment as of this writing). Futteman told the U of C Chronicle that the police procedures still occur despite changes in state law that include videotaping of interrogation and confessions. Bell wished to thank the folks at Mandel and the many others in the community who supported him.



Disaster Preparedness for Chicagoans


In case of emergency

Disaster Supply Kit: Maintain in an easy to reach and carry container in home and office;


Tips for Coping with Power Outages

First call 1 800 EDISON1.

The Conference Reporter, September-October 2002. by Sgt. Scott Oberg [then 21st district community policing officer]

With the numerous high rises in Hyde Park, power outages can be a serious problem for residents and building managers alike--whether the outage is the result of heat or some other factor. Many of the following tips should be useful to any and all residents experiencing power outages, whether they live in high rises or not.

Building Managers



-Battery-powered radio
-Canned food and non-electric can opener
-Bottled water
-First aid kit
-Battery-powered or wind-up clock

-Standard telephone (not cordless)
-Extra batteries
-Fire extinguisher
-List of emergency phone numbers


Community Prosecuting: Grass Roots Approach

From the September-October 2001 Conference Reporter

First came CAPS, the Community Alternative Policing Strategy, a citywide program for developing a coordinated strategy to resolve community crime problems, utilizing all available resources.

Now comes an exciting program--new to Hyde Park--formed under the auspices of the Community Prosecution Division of the Illinois State's Attorney's Office.

Established four years ago as a pilot program, the Community Prosecution Division was formed to be a proactive rather than a reactive presence in Chicago communities, according to Dorothy Cappers, supervisor of the division. It represents a gras roots approach to front-end dealing with crime in individual communities.

The Community Prosecution Division's purpose is three-fold: (1) prosecution, (2) problem solving, and (3) prevention through education.


Attorneys assigned to districts receive cases through CAPS, the district commander, community organizations, and individuals, then work with them to prosecute alleged offenders.

Problem solving

Attorneys work with the community on cases brought to them--from problem bars to neighborhood disputes.

Prevention through Education

Attorneys assigned to the district work to educate the community through workshops, community meetings, and informational sessions--e.g., how cases go through the system.

The Community Prosecution Division is also concerned with prosecution, problem solving, and education related to hate crimes.

The division has four offices, each comprising several police districts:

5333 N. Western, the first to be organized, which includes Districts #20, #19;

9059 S. Cottage Grove, which includes Districts #4, #6, and #22;

4 W. Chicago (in Oak Park), which includes District #15, #25, and Oak Park; and

1142 W. Taylor St., which includes District #12 and # 21.

As the program continues to develop, the rest of the districts will be added to one of the four offices. In Hyde Park, District #21 has become part of the fourth office. In the 21st, Attorney Judy Martinez represents the State's Attorney's Community Prosecution Division.


Safe Haven program

From the Conference Reporter, November-December 2001

Have you walked down the street recently and seen a "Safe Haven" sign in the window of a local business? Did you wonder what it means? "Safe Haven." It means just that--a "port in the storm" for anyone in an emergency situation.

Who is Helped?

That person could be a lost child, a disoriented senior citizen, an injured individual, or a confused person who needs directions or needs to make a telephone call. Those businesses are safe havens for anyone needing help.

Participating businesses agree to call the police, the fire department, the school district, or any other appropriate agency when they encounter a person in need. All of the necessary telephone numbers and other appropriate resources are provided by the city. It is helpful if someone has CPR training.

A usual response would be for the owner or employee of a business to invite the person inside in order to find out the nature of the problem, then allow the individual to make a necessary phone call or to make one for that person.

Helpful for Businesses Too

Being a Safe Haven has advantages for participating businesses, too. It makes the business and integral part of the community and is seen as a caring neighbor. A poster or decal in the window reminds residents of the commitment of the business to the community.

Safe Haven is a program sponsored by the Chicago Police Department, Allstate Insurance Co., the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, and community residents.


Some discussion and impressions of the state of public safety in Hyde Park-Kenwood. (See Trends of 2003-2004). To update this see Teen Attacks and Robberies, and Comm/Bus. relations with Students/Youth.

With another set of burglary patterns showing up by March, 2004 and two (or as many as 4?) homicides so far this year, the tips here and in the CAPS News page remain relevant.

We would like to hear from you. At least as many HPKCC members list safety and crime-related concerns on their membership forms as any other community topic. The November shooting death of Steven Curry by a security guard/off-duty policeman at McDonalds and the beating of a UC student by U of C police have raised most disturbing questions.

U of C police expanding patrols north to 39th. Alderman Preckwinkle promoted the proposal before the city council police and fire committee and the full City Council later approved. When the new charter school is set up at 737 37th, the UCPD will patrol it and would like to expand regular patrols to 35th Street according to head Rudy Nimocks.

Public Safety as a goal and concern:

Quality of life and public safety. This is hard to gauge and varies according to the observer. Traffic congestion, parking, and noise are worse in places, considerably so where an increased number of construction projects are underway. Whether there is more apathy toward crime and unpleasant behavior is a subjective judgment. Crime is down to where it hasn't been in thirty years, but is often more brazen and damaging. some of the improvement is due to enhanced cooperation between city and University police (whose territory has been extended). SECC works vigorously on crime prevention and solving. The proliferation of panhandling and of homeless persons on commercial streets and in parks is disturbing. As many good buildings seem lately to be undergoing neglect than are undergoing rebirth, and part of the robberies problem may well stem from subleasing condos without due care. Yet Hyde Park still seems to be a safe, nurturing, confident place where walking is a pleasure (when weather permits). Things to watch: The post-CHA crime and gang wave in northwest Hyde Park (in a lull at present) and other areas.

Public Safety as a software (as it were) component of the community's structure.

The shooting death of Steven Curry has raised large general questions, especially since witnesses report that Mr. Curry was just plain gunned down while he and another had his hands raised and were moving away from the guard. See Blotter Bits, above. Lawsuits have been filed.

Also raising questions is the hassling then beating of an African American U of C student by A A U of C. police.

Early February, Hyde Park had its first homicide of 2004. A man was found early in the morning on Ellis south of 53rd Street dead of multiple stab wounds.

Trends (table)

SECC figures 2002 2003 % CHANGE
MURDER 1 0 -100%
ROBBERY 218 249 14
BURGLARY 264 401 34
THEFT 1,421 1,192 -9
MOTOR VEH THEFT 355 267 -25
PROPERTY CRIME 2,040 1,960 -4
TOTAL CRIME 2,388 2,333 -2


Good progress has been made in reducing crime year by year to levels not seen in decades despite short term upticks, especially in burglaries (counterbalanced by a drop in car thefts). The Hyde Park Herald reports that statistics for 2003 rank Hyde Park as one of the safest neighborhoods in Chicago, with decreases in both violent and property crimes. The 21st District as a whole showed a 60-percent drop in homicides (from 10 to 4) . (The one in Hyde Park was not ruled a homicide.) All violent crimes were down 7.5 percent. Over the past 5 years violent crimes are down 11 percent and overall crime 20 percent. Burglaries and robberies did rise 53 and 14-percent each between 36th and 61st St. east of Cottage Grove. A major effort has been put into intercepting gang violence over turf and drug control following CHA demolition.

Partnerships between police and the University have helped--UC police, measures with students, and South East Chicago Commission efforts. CAPS (four beats) is active, along with some block clubs (many now established by CAPS) and new, geographically larger anti-crime homeowner associations. There is increased effort to control problems with Kenwood Academy and the Harper corridor to the south. Efforts are strong to keep the pressure up on gang and drug infiltrated buildings, but is enough being done about problems at 52nd/Kenwood and in Nichols Park? Are those owning or managing buildings, and condo owners subleasing exercising enough due diligence? Many problems remain with burglaries, broad daylight robbery/batteries, drugs, and car thefts.An steady increase in visible homeless and panhandling has also increased feelings of insecurity and of unpleasant experience. There is a perception that there are fewer eyes on the street than in past times. Also, whether improvements occur in surrounding neighborhoods and how the dismantling of CHA is handled, many think, will have a strong influence on the long-term trend in public safety. Recently, the meaning of public safety has been expanded to include post 9/11 concerns, especially at the University and Hospitals. Some academics are challenging the "broken windows" "standard model" of policing, and there are continuing complaints of profiling.

A recent disturbing event was the crime, gang, and drug wave in northwest HPK, in a lull after of late spring/early summer. The problem is thought to be at least in part related to the emptying out of CHA into Section 8 housing. The police continue to targeting loitering as a way to targets guns, considered the key to dampening drugs and gangs. On the other hand, it is to hoped that the consolidation of youth services into a new city department and increased funding will help curb crime. Alternatives for youth are needed, and constitutional issues continue with anti-loitering laws and profiling.

A large spike in robberies/burglaries (75% over 2002 as of fall, then with another spike at year's end, but totaling 53% increase for the whole year) has been vigorously countered. Several active career criminals implicated in robberies have been arrested in autumn 2003. We shall see if a corner has been lastingly turned.

Other current issues are 1) whether the city will undertake a significant shift in beat resources and possibly boundaries (as recommended since 1993 and recently requested by 30 of 50 aldermen and seemingly being implemented by Supt. Cline) and what positive and negative effect such division into fixed and mobile sectors might have, 2) related proposals to use private-hire off-duty city police to cover special events, 3) continuing concerns about enough ambulances, 4) police units spending surprising amounts of time at Nichols Park apparently waiting to see a dog off leash-- and not because responding to a complaint-- and on the other hand perceived uneven response to much more serious problems in parks.

A serious question is how to handle the presence of registered offenders, especially sex offenders, in the area. Kozminski's principal alerted staff and, after outside media questioning of school parents, decided to alert parents that they should consult the state's registry.

Some have recently suggested that parking enforcement may be better handled by non-police and suggest our aldermen seek a pilot project.



A challenge to the standard model (but regardless, see what other benefits to communities, including economic, cleaning and greening have--in Green page.)

University of Chicago Law School professor Bernard Harcourt with Jens Ludwig of Georgetown, authors of Illusion of Order: the False Promise of Broken Windows Policing and Broken Windows: New Evidence from New York City, and a Five-City Social Experiment believes an in-depth correlation of findings about gun violence, punishment, and criminal law justice and procedure, political and social theory are needed to find practices that help people stabilize their lives and neighborhoods and bring down crime. Harcourt and Ludwig particularly challenge the paradigm known as "broken windows" or "order maintenance," announced in 1982 by James Wilson and George Kelling. Harcourt says there was no difference in results for areas that tried broken windows techniques of stressing policing of misdemeanors with regard to the crack cocaine spike and subsequent abatement of serious and violent crime, and furthermore the practice diverts scarce resources.

However, it would be interesting to see the authors' discussion of communities needs to balance out attack on serious crime that may affect any individual rarely if ever (but traumatically and sometimes tragically) with need to handle those criminal or antisocial acts that affect individuals continually and greatly diminish quality of life and community standards and livability, even viability. It depends on what the priorities are--and in Hyde Park, we hear plenty about both.

"Broken windows" asserts that if police target minor crimes of disorder (drunks, loiterers...) and sweep away signs that "people here don't care, stay off the streets, and won't report crime", then criminals may become wary that people are vigilant, care, and will report. Chicago's on-again-off-again gang loitering ordinance is based on this idea.

Not only has Harcourt not found a correlation between such neighborhood-disorder enforcement and crime incidence, he has found there are many unintended negative consequences that seem to impact disproportionately on minorities. He finds stronger correlations with unemployment (and treatment of the unemployed--equals loiterers?), neighborhood poverty levels, and stability (turnover?). He wonders if the disorders approach is worth it when "a disproportionate number of minorities have been arrested, and police misconduct complaints have increased as stops, frisks, and arrests for minor crimes have multiplied."

Harcourt especially points to disarray, polarization, and confusion in approaches to gun intervention and says we should focus on evaluating the real effects of distinct approaches. His Guns, Crime, and Punishment in America was released spring, 2003.

Others say that the perception of physical and social order is an important part of quality of life and a neighborhood's self-stabilization and that there are ways to curb minor disorder without harassment and profiling. Still others hold that there is at least some truth in the polarized views that, on the one hand the hands of the police are tied behind their backs (by a variety of factors ranging from rulings to police administration and fearful, resentful populations), and on the other that some police lack training, sensitivity, and priorities.

Incidentally, Harcourt indirectly backs up what our Aldermen say about the dispersal of former CHA residents by critiquing the "Moving to Opportunity" program in New York and other cities--moving people into more "orderly" neighborhoods did not reduce the rate at which a part of the moved persons committed crimes.

Harcourt's new book, Against Prediction, calls for random checks to replace profiling. Bernard Harcourt's Against Prediction: Profiling, Policing and Punishing in the Actuarial Age (Chicago, 2007).

Read Harcourt and Ludwig's latest at http://lawreview,uchicago.edu/issues/archive/v73/winter/14.Harcourt.pdf.


Perceiving a safe neighborhood: A neighbor's commentary

Hyde Park Herald, December 8, 2004. By Hannah Hayes

When my son was 7 he asked if he could take his new scooter around the block. I was gardening, and after the usual admonishments about not talking to strangers, I said yes--albeit somewhat nervously. My Neighbor pulled up a few minutes later and disapprovingly asked why my son was on the other side of the block by himself. "This is not your mother's neighborhood," he said, referring to the near-suburb where my mother lives. "People aren't looking out their windows or watching out for other people's children."

We lived in "war torn" Northern Ireland for six years, where my son was born. On the street where we lived, children of all ages played stickball and were used to looking after the younger ones. My neighbor scoffed at how overprotective I was because I wouldn't allow my 18-month-old son outside on his own. She'd yell at me to quit hovering and get to my housework.

She was from a different place and time, of course, and most of my American friends laugh when I tell that story. But the Danish couple who parked their sleeping baby in front of a New York restaurant a few years back and watched out the window as they ate did not think it was funny when they were arrested for neglect. Newspapers in Denmark screamed about the fascist American police and sent photos of a queue of sleeping babies in parked strollers along a street in Copenhagen.

After moving back from Northern Ireland, I found myself checking frequently with parents of kids in all age groups to see how they gauged limitations and boundaries. What is most surprising is that I don't see any pattern, except perhaps that everyone feels there is safety in numbers. I've since wondered how much perception has to do with concept of safe neighborhoods.

My son Zach just turned 9. Some of his friends are allowed to walk from one friend's house to another alone, and some are allowed on the playground with a friend. On the other hand, some of his classmates have stayed on the playground by themselves since kindergarten, others will probably have parental escorts well into middle school.

It doesn't help to compare life to the "olden days" when I was growing up. When Zach asked me how old I was when I walked to school by myself, I mumbled about having lots of brothers and sisters, and managed to avoid letting on that I actually walked six blocks by myself on the second day of kindergarten, sans siblings.

Last March I attended a workshop by author and youth leader Dr. Don Hellison on kids and sports. He opened it up by asking parents what came to mind first when they thought of their kids' sports activities. Someone expressed a desire to let kids play more on their own in the park. Except for Little League, we didn't rely so much on organized sports either, and there wasn't so much parental involvement.

Last week in Nichols Park, I thought of making a quick dash across the street for vegetables but didn't feel comfortable leaving two 8 year olds on their own even for five minutes. I wasn't necessarily worried about what might happen- they have been well coached on talking to strangers and show reasonably good sense. But they just looked so conspicuously alone. Probably they would have been OK. But since I am still uneasy with parameters, I was actually more worried someone would come by and report me to DCFS and I'd become the Home Alone mom of Hyde Park.

On the other hand, last week's blotter reported that someone was held up at gunpoint in broad daylight at Nichols Park, which means it's slightly more than perception. There is real cause for concern. My husband, who was born and raised in Hyde Park, insists that crime is no worse or better than it was when he was growing up. They learned younger than our children how to live in the wider world.

It stands to reason that we all have different perceptions about what makes a safe neighborhood. But I do feel the collective eyes of the community makes a difference, as well as collective action, like a walking school bus. As someone else said, "it takes a village."



John Sutton calls for right to carry concealed firearms, Sharonjoy Jackson praises police heroism in Promontory high rise fire

John Sutton calls in Aug. 9 2006 Herald for right to carry concealed firearms

Marks' death [in Jackson Park] follows a string of savage beatings throughout Hyde Park over the past year...Police cannot be everywhere all of the time... Mayor Daley has a plan for putting the whole city under continuous police surveillance by the means of cameras on poles Should Hyde Parkers support this? The 'panopticon' has already been achieved in London without noticeable effect on rates of violent crime, which continue to rise there.

I think it is a mistake to constantly ask for more public protection in response to crime: There are strings attached to that protection, and its limitations should be obvious.

What we should be asking for is the restoration of our fundamental human rights of self defense. Every year, a bill is introduced in the Illinois Legislature that would give Illinois citizens who have not been convicted of a felony or of misdemeanor domestic abuse and who have take a firearms training course, the right to carry a concealed firearm for their own protection. And every year our elected representatives--House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama and State Sen. Kwame Raoul, have voted against it.

Thirty-five states already have such a law, including our neighbor, Indiana. Chicago aldermen have the right to carry, as do off-duty police officers and jail guards. How did we reach a point where jail guards have more rights than free citizens?

Although we have surrendered our rights, we can take them back. And we will take them back not by plaintive appeals to the police but by demanding action on the legislature.


Sharonjoy A. Jackson praised two police officers for carrying a crippled lady down six flights of stairs and going back for her walker, as well as alerting the fire department to the seriousness of the blaze in the July 24 Promontory high rise fire.