CHICAGO, IL – The mayor of Chicago offered each alderman of the city $100,000 that was designed to pay for different programs in their assigned areas.
While some took the money and spent it on pet projects, one, in particular, decided the money was best spent by hiring security for his constituents.
Chicago Alderman Matt O’Shea said private security guards will begin patrolling in Beverly, Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood. https://t.co/zz991f1iTI
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) June 17, 2022
Matt O’Shea, the Alderman for the 19th Ward of Chicago seemingly decided that the residents in his community needed help in terms of security.
To enhance the safety of his citizens, O’Shea took the $100,000 given to him by Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and put it towards hiring unarmed security guards.
O’Shea’s plan will split the money between the three Beverly area business associations that will hire private security guards from Moore Security, Security Logistics Group, and Law Dogs. O’Shea’s promise to his area residents was that the security guards will:
“Provide a visible security presence as well as additional eyes and ears in the community.”
In O’Shea’s plan, security guards will be visible as they will be in clearly marked cars and uniforms. O’Shea believes the move is necessary with the significant shortage the Chicago Police Department is facing in manpower:
“In the face of troubling CPD staff shortages, we as a community must do all we can to support, appreciate and respect the profession if we expect people to seek the job. In the meantime, we must also explore other opportunities to promote public safety in our community.”
The Far Southwest Side is using a $100,000 pandemic recovery grant to add unarmed private security to its main business corridors.
Alderman Matt O’Shea said a “troubling police shortage” and rising robberies made private security a next option. https://t.co/dTCmSSh3KK
— Mack Liederman (@mack_liederman) June 16, 2022
These security guards will have no law enforcement authority and are not to directly engage with the public. Their only function in their job is to observe and report suspicious activity to the Chicago Police Department. O’Shea said:
“While I believe this program will make our neighborhoods safer, we must be clear that a private security guard is NOT a Chicago Police Officer. The duty of private security officers will be to observe and report. When a private security officer encounters a suspicious activity, he or she will immediately contact the Chicago Police Department and remain on scene until CPD responds.”
In O’Shea’s plan, the security guards would work on a rotating schedule that would be determined by the times in which crime is most likely to occur based on historical statistical information. He also expects that the guards will maintain open communication with officers from the Chicago Police Department.
The move to higher security guards comes at a time when the city is seeing an increase in violent crime, burglaries, and vandalism in the area. According to data for the 22nd Chicago Police Precinct, in the area of O’Shea’s district, burglaries, thefts, and robberies have all significantly increased.
So far this year, burglaries have increased by a whopping 71percent compared to the same time frame in 2021. Thefts have doubled while robberies have increased 69 percent.
All troubling facts that cause some, like Caroline Connors, the Executive Director for the Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association, believes is necessary to safeguard those living and visiting in the community:
“We’re initiating this program to ensure that our business districts and our neighborhood public areas remain safe and secure. We’re looking to reduce vandalism and any break-ins, and we feel this is one way that we can help support the businesses.”
O’Shea noted that residents from his district have complained about crime being a major concern. He said:
“I don’t care who you talk to in any community in the city, people are scared, crime is up. When you drive through the 19th Ward and talk to small business owners, they’re concerned.”
As crime and murders skyrocket, Chicago to move officers from patrolling neighborhoods to protecting movie sets
CHICAGO, IL – According to a report from Fox News, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) will be diverting some police officers from neighborhoods and instead using them to protect TV and movie sets.
The orders came a few days after officers responded to an incident at a film set, when a suspect “lit and threw an unidentified object” near a set on the 1000 block of South Desplianes Street near the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The production was shooting a scene when at about 10:20 p.m., someone lit and threw the incendiary device towards the set. Police stated that the device did not explode and no cast or crew members were injured, thankfully.
A person who works at a nearby gas station said that they were filming “Justified,” a show on FX. A CPD spokesperson told Fox News Digital in a statement:
“The Chicago Police Department works closely with the city’s film and television community to provide safety and security for the production crews, as well as the communities in which they film.”
According to emails obtained by CWB Chicago, the City’s downtown area, known commonly as the Loop, and its surrounding neighborhoods are among the areas impacted by the new diversion efforts, and CPD officials were already preparing for staffing shortages on the evening before the order went out.
CPD First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter ordered the changes on Thursday, August 11th, in the wake of the incident on the film set of “Justified,” which happened on Monday night, August 8th.
A second source said that CPD resources are being diverted largely because the production companies have been unable to find enough off-duty cops to handle the work.
The source said that the city requires “police supervision” for some filming activities and that it usually comes through a city program that lets studios hire uniformed cops on their days off, but fewer cops are volunteering, which is putting productions in a bind.
The orders also come weeks after crews on the set of “Justified” halted production after the occupants of two vehicles exchanged gunfire near the set. A CPD spokesperson told Deadline in a statement at the time:
“The Chicago Police Department is committed to ensuring members of the city’s vibrant film and television community are able to do their jobs safely.
We work in close coordination with the Chicago Film Office, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications to ensure production crews have the resources necessary to feel safe and secure while filming in the city’s neighborhoods.”
CPD is currently facing drastic staffing shortages while violent crime in lakefront neighborhoods increases.
In July, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown announced a 44 percent decrease in homicides and a 26 percent decrease in shootings across the city year-over-year.
Homicides are also down in Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods on the west and south sides of the city, but its northern, lakefront neighborhoods are seeing an increase in violent crimes.
Carter directed Central (1st) District commander to divert two cops from downtown patrol work to sit in a marked squad care on a set from 1:00 p.m. Friday, August 12th to 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 13th.
He ordered the commander to send another cop with another marked vehicle to sit at another filming location from 8:00 p.m. on Friday, August 12th to 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 13th.
Cops were also told to be given up for movie sets in the Near West (12th) District. Carter told that district commander to send two cops in a marked car to sit at a different movie set from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, August 12th.
Near West patrol officers handle calls in neighborhoods like the West Loop, Pilsen, Little Italy, and United Center.
CWB Chicago obtained a copy of the schedule for the Central District for Friday, August 12th. It showed only four sergeants and six beat cops scheduled to be on patrol.
There were 12 more cops scheduled to be on the street, but they were all reassigned to fixed posts and would not be available to handle calls unless changes were made.