This last Friday, the Uptown neighborhood, in the 46th Ward, had its third multiple shooting in 18 days. We've had a relatively quiet summer, so it's upsetting that we're seeing such an increase in shootings as the cold weather sets in. Our 23rd District Police Commander Kathy Boehmer has told me that much of the gun violence is related to recently released gang members who were arrested in local drug busts earlier this year. They are now trying to re-establish their drug territory in the neighborhood.
Area detectives are still gathering evidence and have strong leads on the shooters. As I receive information from Commander Boehmer, I will keep you informed without jeopardizing the police investigation. Our other efforts to work with the police to address these shootings include:
- Exploring steps with Commander Boehmer to restrict released gang members and habitual offenders from coming back into our neighborhoods.
- Working with building managers to stop gang members from hiding in their properties. I support property managers that remove problem tenants by attending eviction court. If managers do not tighten up screening and management standards, they will face serious repercussions.The building owner at 4639 N. Broadway, where the six hour stand off a week ago occurred, has not changed their management practices and is currently in drug and gang court. The next court date is March 8 at 11:00 am. We are working to get this date sooner. Please contact Dana Fritz if you would like to attend to advocate for your neighborhood by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Identifying habitual offenders at our CAPS meetings so that neighbors can be on the lookout when they see them engaged in any type of suspicious activities. These efforts are already starting to pay off.
I will send a clear message to drug dealers that violence will not be tolerated and we will do everything possible to make it uncomfortable for them to live in this neighborhood if they are going to continue down their destructive path. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to participate in your area CAPS program. CAPS can be as effective as you make it. I would be glad to meet with your neighborhood group to discuss more about the efforts we're doing with the police to address crime in your area.
Ald. James Cappleman