City’s Largest Police District Wants More Police Patrols

CHICAGO (CBS) — The crime is going up, and police manpower is going down–a serious complaint coming from aldermen in the 16th police district.

Today they went looking for answers from police superintendent Eddie Johnson.

As CBS 2 Investigator Brad Edwards reports, the worry is high.

A fast food employee, who identified himself as Mohammed, met the butt end of a handgun.

“So he[‘s] banging with his gun on my head ,” he said.

A demand for money, gun wrapping his temple, he’s been in Chicago just one month.

“I can’t, you know, be the free man I used to be,” he says.

It happened in the city’s 16th police district, the Northwest Side. That was one of three armed robberies that happened in an hour that night.

Alderman Nicholas Sposato of the 38th Ward falls in the 16th police district.

It’s the biggest police district in the city. And covering 31 square miles, “I have been able to confirm five [patrol] cars on a given shift. Five is unacceptable.”

While in the 15th police district, the Austin neighborhood, there were more than 30 patrols that include support units.

And in the 11th, Harrison, there were also more than 30 patrols.

The alderman says, no question more squads are needed elsewhere, but, he says he believes police officials have over-compensated elsewhere at the expense of the residents in these wards.

“Criminals know what’s going on, they know where they can go, they know chances of getting caught are less in some areas, they may come to those areas, they may take advantage of it,” Sposato says.

In the 16th district, Max’s Liquor was robbed at gunpoint twice in July. Over the weekend, in the 16th, police were looking for two men,  and as many as five in a group who used a blue steel handgun to rob wallets and sexually assault women in Edgebrook and North Park.

Meanwhile, Mohammad, who says he’s from India and has been in Chicago for a month, hasn’t told his family back home that he was robbed, because he doesn’t want to scare them.

“[This] never happened in my life, it’s the first time I’m facing the gun,” he said.

It happened just two and a half blocks from the 16th district police headquarters.

CPD guaranteed more men for their 16th district, likely out of the October and November recruiting classes. Until then, they’ll be allowed to bolster manpower with overtime.  

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