Chairs: Stephanie Franklin and Nina Helstein
Participating in the creation of a safe and secure community has been the focus of the WhistleStop Committee since the program was initiated in the high-crime period. HPKCC rolled out its program February 23, 1972, with sponsorship from the Hyde Park Bank. It was again revived separately by HPKCC and the University of Chicago Police in August, 1988, 1992, and 1994.
By making whistles available and instituting a program based on neighbor attention and cooperation, we saw, in conjunction with policing coordination and other initiatives, an increase in our collective comfort level with the safety and security of our neighborhood, born out by law enforcement statistics.
Recently, there has been an uptick in problems, and WhistleStop is still available to help, but people have to know what the program is and how to use it. The police, both UChicago and city, are very enthusiastic about WhistleStop. The program combines:
Individual Action: I can signal for help and get it.
Neighborhood Action: We can protect one another and work together.
Citizen-Police Action: We can assist the police effectively. This program in no way attempts to circumvent or supersede the police. When possible, your first line of defense is still to call 911 and the U of C Police, 773 702-8181.
Note: These whistles are particularly sturdy and generate a very loud whistle. This is not a toy, and that should be explained to children.
The rules are simple: CALL (when you hear a whistle, call the police and report the location of the sound as best as you can) - BLOW (blow your own whistle and keep blowing) - GO (head for the sound and keep blowing to alert others to join in). Making a lot of noise and attrracting attention will often scare away the danger, and will help attract the police to the exact location of the trouble.
Whistles are available at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, Hyde Park Bank,Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, South East Chicago Commission, Noteworthy Notes, Bank Financial, and Toys Etcetera, with more locations to follow.
For special WhistleStop or quantity purchases, please call (773) 288-8343.