16th/Jefferson Park police to hold Nov. 15 meeting, a follow-up to earlier conversation on 2022 strategic crime-fighting plan
by BRIAN NADIG
The 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District will hold a follow-up “community conversation” on the creation of its 2022 strategic crime-flighting plan at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15.
The first meeting, which was held virtually on Oct. 18, attracted about 60 participants, and generated a variety of recommendations on what should be the district’s crime-reducing priorities and how the district can improve its community engagement.
“Your input is invaluable,” district commander Maureen Biggane said. “That’s going tp make all the difference in a 2022 strategic plan.”
In 2021 the district has been experiencing drops in the number of reported robberies, burglaries and motor vehicle thefts when compared to the same period in 2020, Biggane said. However, she said, the number of thefts are up significantly due to thefts from autos, including the stealing of catalytic converters.
At the Nov. 15 meeting, the district will present a preliminary analysis of the earlier recommendations and ask for additional input before finalizing its strategic plan.
Those recommendations included having a stronger focus on addressing crimes against the homeless, catalytic converter thefts, gun violence in Jefferson Park, gang shootings and graffiti in Portage Park, and carjackings. An armed carjacking in the 5400 block of North Milwaukee Avenue in Gladstone Park recently was reported.
Some also called for increased beat patrols throughout the district and for the allocation of more resources toward domestic violence and mental health issues.
There also were suggestions that the police “re-engage” with the schools, including an expansion of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program, and that the district post more crime information on social media.
Another recommendation called for the district to host smaller-type “National Night Out” events throughout the year. In August the district holds a “Night Out” celebration at Norwood Park, 5801 N. Natoma Ave., that includes a classic car show, live music, food, the mounted police and children’s activities.
At the meeting, police officials encouraged residents to form block clubs by exchanging contact information with their neighbors so that information on crimes and other important issues can be quickly disseminated among neighbors.
To participate in the Nov. 15 virtual “conversation,” registration is required and can be made at www.eventbrite.com (search “16th District Community”).