16th District sees influx of number of handguns
by BRIAN NADIG
The 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District has been recovering an increasing number of guns through arrests and traffic stops in recent years.
"A lot of people have (guns) out there," district commander William Looney said at the Sept. 20 meeting of the 16th District Advisory Committee. He added that officers in recent months have been responding to more reports than usual of gunshots in the district.
It’s not unusual for suspects to discard their weapon as police are arriving, Looney said. "A lot of times they’re hidden and (officers) are looking through bushes. The good thing is they don’t go back out on the streets," he said.
Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 17, 167 guns have been recovered in the district, compared to 146 in 2017 and 130 in 2016, according to preliminary statistics from the Chicago Police Department. The numbers include some instances of O’Hare International Airport passengers who accidentally left their gun in their luggage.
Several gun-related arrests were discussed at the DAC meeting.
A man was arrested after officers reported seeing him pull a gun from his waistband and throw it away during a July 2 incident at Chopin Park, 3420 N. Long Ave., while a driver was arrested after drugs and a handgun reportedly were found inside his vehicle during a July 31 traffic stop in the 3700 block of North Major Avenue, according to police.
In addition, three suspects were arrested in connection with a reported gang-related incident on Aug. 13 in which shots were fired in the 6500 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, police said. Officers later recovered a handgun, police said.
In an Aug. 27 incident, a 17-year-old male was arrested in connection with a report of shots fired at Portage Park, 4100 N. Long Ave., and a semi-automatic handgun was recovered, according to police.
The committee honored Rene Arriazola and Anthony Sanders as "Officers of the Month" for their June 9 arrest of two suspects in connection with a reported armed robbery in the 3400 block of North Nagle Avenue.
Michael Laurie and Sergio Aponte also received the "Officers of the Month" award for their June 1 arrest of a man who was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon after officers reportedly recovered a .32 caliber revolver. Officers were responding to a report of a suspicious person checking car doors near Roscoe Street and Laramie Avenue.
It also was reported that youth groups at area parks are posting purple ribbons and helping with other plans to promote "Domestic Violence Awareness Month" in October.
The 16th District is holding a "Break the Silence Walk to End Domestic Violence" at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at Portage Park, 5505 W. Berteau Ave. Participants are asked to register at www.eventbrite.com or by calling the district CAPS Office at 312-742-4521.
The district also is reminding parents that curfew for those age 17 and younger is in effect from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. weekdays and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. on the weekends.and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. on weekends.