Impact of lockdown rules on seniors discussed
by BRIAN NADIG
The impact of lockdown restrictions on seniors and the city’s recent wave of carjackings were discussed at the Jan. 21 meeting of the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District Advisory Committee.
"The lockdown is devastating on the older folks. (It) can cause lots of stress," said Senior Subcommittee chairman Dale Tippett, who also is a chaplain at a local retirement community.
The lack of in-person activities for seniors and in some instances the inability of seeing family members and friends during the pandemic has caused hardships, Tippett said.
"They are very, very important to the well-being of the seniors," he said. "Not everyone has the mobile devices that they can readily use."
Prior to the pandemic the district was hosting monthly meetings for seniors, featuring guest speakers and activities such as bingo.
Group members also discussed the possibility of creating a veterans subcommittee.
It was also reported that those who need assistance in obtaining veterans benefits should contact American Legion veterans service officer Ray Toczek at 312-980-4264 or send an e-mail to raymond. firstname.lastname@example.org. Toczek will help once a claim application is filed, said Tippett, who also serves as the American Legion Illinois 9th District commander.
Also at the meeting, committee members discussed the recent wave of carjackings in the city.
Through the first half of January four carjackings were reported in the district, and, according to police officials, the assailants appear to be targeting victims who are parked near expressways in order to make a quick getaway but that they are occurring throughout the city at a higher than normal rate.
The district’s recent quarterly newsletter recommends that drivers not linger in their parked cars.
"As soon as you get in your vehicle, lock your doors. Again, no texting! Get in and get moving," the newsletter states. "Minimize your vulnerability. If you think you were followed, don’t park. Keep going and call 911."
The newsletter adds that "carjackers seem to prefer cars with lone occupants."
Meanwhile, serious crime has increased by 25 percent this year in the district when compared to the same period (through Jan. 17) in 2020, from 60 to 75 incidents, according to police. There have been four criminal sexual
ssaults (one in 2020), six robberies (four), six burglaries (three), 17 burglaries (11), 26 thefts (23), 16 motor vehicle thefts (18).
Also, the district’s peer jury has not met during the pandemic. The jury decides the punishment, such as community service or a letter of apology, for juveniles who have admitted their guilt in minor offenses.