12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas speaks on neighborhood issues at the March 13, 2019, meeting of Beat 912 of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS).

McKinley Park Neighborhood Crime Plummets in Late Winter

Published April 2, 2019

Although a plague of gang graffiti has continued to infest the McKinley Park neighborhood, crime statistics for late winter were astoundingly low compared to averages, a notice happily shared by Chicago Police Department officer Jason Sollis at the March 13 meeting for Beat 912 of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS)

"The numbers are absolutely phenomenal," Sollis said, noting that the period of February 13 to March 13 saw only one reported violent crime in the neighborhood and a single significant non-violent crime.

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Sollis said police received a total of 1,066 calls for service in the reported period for Beat 912, with 21 reports of gunfire. Police conducted a total of 14 arrests, Sollis said.

An aggravated assault on March 6 was the only violent crime during the reported period: An offender pulled a gun at 2 a.m. in the Mariano's parking lot off South Ashland Avenue at South Robinson Street. The single reported burglary was a garage break-in in the 1600 block of West 38th Place, Sollis said.

The recent gang graffiti reoccurring in the neighborhood is quickly taken down by Chicago Streets & Sanitation workers with directed assistance from the 12th Ward office, said CAPS Beat Facilitator Glenn Young. Anyone who sees graffiti should immediately report it by calling 311, using the City of Chicago's new 311 phone app, or contacting the 12th Ward service office at (773) 523-8250 or ward12@cityofchicago.org, Young said.

The uptick in gang graffiti is "not just in McKinley Park," Sollis said, but also happening in neighboring Bridgeport and Brighton Park neighborhoods.

In a recent post on a neighborhood watch group on Facebook, 12th Ward Chief of Staff Samie Martinez reached out to the neighborhood for assistance in identifying graffiti for removal and running the offenders to ground. "The speed in which the graffiti goes back up suggests the people responsible live nearby," Martinez wrote.

Sollis also promoted and spoke about the Chicago Police Department's outreach to the citizenry as part of its recent consent decree. The Ninth District is hosting a series of Community Conversations as part of building a policing strategic plan, the first of which took place on Thursday, March 14.

The second is slated for 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, at Fellowship Baptist Church, 4543 S. Princeton Ave. The public is invited to attend and participate. The next CAPS Meeting for Beat 912 takes place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, at St. Maurice Church hall.

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