Chicago neighborhood hires private security to ‘help deter the rash of crime’, reports say
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A Chicago neighborhood group is deploying an armed private security patrol starting Wednesday in a bid to “help deter the rash of crime” happening there, according to reports.
The Bucktown Neighbors Association, in a letter sent to the community and obtained by Fox32 Chicago, described the “armed guard” it intended to hire from P4 Security Solutions as an off-duty or recently-retired police officer who will monitor a portion of the neighborhood in a marked vehicle “for 8 to 10 hours a day.”
“To help deter the rash of crime in Bucktown, neighbors between Winchester and Paulina are organizing a private security patrol,” reads the letter, according to Block Club Chicago. “There are similar patrol programs in place in nearby neighborhoods. Our program is being coordinated by the newly established non-profit, the Bucktown Neighbors Association.”
A FedEx Corp. Ground truck drives through the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, in November 2020.
(Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The letter reportedly asks residents to contribute toward a $190,000 per year fee for the security services.
A P4-branded PowerPoint presentation obtained by Block Club Chicago said the patrols would start in the evening with hours changing depending on the season.
“If someone is being held [at] gunpoint and they feel that this person’s life is in imminent danger, the off-duty police officer will interject and try to diffuse the situation. While they are off-duty police officers, they do not have arrest powers or jurisdiction to make an arrest. It must really be a lifesaving event,” read another document reportedly sent to members of the Bucktown Neighbors Association, according to Block Club Chicago.
The website reports that the patrols will start today and come as Chicago is experiencing a city-wide rise in carjackings.
Chicago police officers work at the scene near where two officers were shot at 63rd Street and Bell Avenue in Chicago on Aug. 7, 2021. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
(Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
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Through Dec. 9, there were 1,658 carjackings in 2021, up from 1,303 and 544 through the same time periods in 2020 and 2019, respectively, Block Club Chicago reports.
In the 14th district, which includes the Bucktown neighborhood, carjackings through Dec. 9 have risen to 86 from 53 last year.
The developments come as concerned residents in another West Side Chicago neighborhood – Pilsen – held a meeting at a church Monday night to address an outbreak of gun violence, WGN9 reports.
“As a community, we cannot normalize the situation,” Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez, who organized the meeting, reportedly told locals.
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Chicago Police Department sources told WGN that the area is now embattled in a gang turf war.
In early December, Michael Hernandez, a 28-year-old who was planning to take a police entrance exam, was gunned down in his car in Pilsen in a shooting investigators suspect might be related to a gang feud, according to Block Club Chicago.
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