Drugs and gang activity frustrate Rogers Park residents

Drug and gang activity continue to frustrate residents of the Rogers Park beat 2422.

At Thursday's regular CAPS meeting, Officer Michael Riordan told residents that patrol officers on the beat are targeting the problem areas, particularly near Howard and Clark streets and in the area of the nearby shopping mall.

Crime statistics for the beat this month show 15 narcotics arrests, 14 trespassing arrests, 5 arrests related to property damage, 8 arrests for retail theft, 6 arrests for thefts from buildings, four arrest for assault, 10 arrests for battery, 10 domestic battery arrests and 4 arrests for possession of drug paraphernalia.

The meeting was attended by Alderman Joe Moore (D-49), whose ward includes Rogers Park, West Ridge and parts of Edgewater.

The 24th district will have a new commander on Sunday, as Deputy Chief Steve Caluris takes over for Commander Bruce Rottner, who has been promoted to deputy chief for the Area 3 patrol division.

Residents were also informed of a new plan that will allow them to call 911 anonymously.

Building owner Larry Birch voiced frustration over the vandalism and property damage he deals with on a regular basis as the result of drug and gang activity. "I've lost several tenants because they're just too afraid and I don't know what to do," said Birch, who said the police response was often lagging.

Eva McCann, facilitator of the CAPS meeting, suggested that residents organize a phone tree to urge neighbors to call 911 to report suspicious activity.

McCann also suggested organizing activities like community walks, building clubs, block parties and so-called "positive loitering" to discourage drug dealers from operating in the area.

Beat 2422 is bordered by Clark Street, Morse Avenue and Sheridan Road.


HUGH, 03-17-2008

Thanks for the report on Rogers Park!