Downtown Edgebrook could be getting Police Observation Device camera following recent reports of gunshots; POD cameras already in the works for Sauganash
by BRIAN NADIG
Downtown Edgebrook could be getting a Police Observation Device camera as part of an overall effort to install more PODs in the 39th Ward sections of the 16th (Jefferson Park) and 17th (Albany Park) police districts.
Due to reported gunshot incidents in the area, the Edgebrook Community Association recently discussed safety concerns with Alderman Samantha Nugent and 16th District commander Maureen Biggane. One of those incidents occurred on Jan. 20 in the 5100 block of West Devon Avenue when a driver fired shots at another car, according to police.
Nugent told the association that she is working to obtain funding for more cameras, which would include license plate reader technology, and that the Devon-Caldwell area is a candidate for a camera. The cameras would not have a flashing blue light, which can be an option for PODs.
In the last year PODs have been installed in the 39th Ward at the Milwaukee-Elston and Kedzie-Bryn Mawr intersections, and funding has been secured for the Peterson-Cicero and Pulaski-Bryn Mawr intersections in the Sauganash area.
Nugent has said that the cameras along with the license plate reader technology are a vital tool for police investigations given the restrictions on car chases.
In the neighboring 45 th Ward, Alderman James Gardiner has said that the camera installed in the Jefferson Park area helped police identify the vehicle reportedly used by a murder suspect in December.
At the meeting with the association and Nugent, Biggane encouraged residents to report suspicious activity, including sounds of gunfire, to 911 so that police can investigate and determine if a crime was committed. Residents also were asked to call 911 if their license plate is stolen.
On the Northwest Side, several aldermen have been seeking funding for PODs, working with local police commanders to identify appropriate locations. Those working in the Strategic Decision Support Center in each district have access to the POD cameras, allowing real-time crime pattern details to be relayed to beat officers.