Logan Square residents call for more police

Parents and community groups crowded a Logan Square  elementary school auditorium yesterday to demand more police protection for the area's school children.

Citing a comparison that they said showed the police district serving Logan Park was "understaffed and overburdened," speakers at the meeting, part of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association's 46th Annual Congress, were received with ovations and cheers by the standing-room only crowd at McAuliffe Elementary School.

The safety of students has taken on heightened concern in Logan Square since a 13-year-old middle school student died last June after being caught on a playground in the crossfire of a gang-related shooting.

The LSNA, which works with schools, churches and other community organizations in Logan Square, presented a Northwestern University professor's study showing that the police district covering Logan Square has more crime and more public schools but fewer officers than the Lakeview neighborhood to the north.

The comparison shows one officer for every 669 residents in Logan Square's 25th district and one officer for every 393 residents in Lakeview's 23rd district.

Chicago Police 25th District Commander Salvador Avila did not dispute the findings and said the department would look into the matter. 

A group of parents also presented a petition to Alderman Ariel Reboyras (D-30)  in support of more police officers for the district.

Reboyras said he would take the matter up. "We're going to need the support of the community and funds from the state and federal levels," Reboyras said.

The meeting also included a presentation honoring the parent volunteers who have stepped in to shepherd students to and from school.