CHICAGO (CBS) — There’s a unique and perhaps lofty solution to the carjacking crisis in Chicagoland. It’s a proposal for an alert system, similar to an AMBER Alert or weather alert straight to your phone.
CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reports on how realistic the plan is.READ MORE: Family And Friends Of 'School Of Rock' Actor Kevin Clark Call For Improved Bike Safety At Logan Square Intersection Where He Was Killed
With carjackings up 185% so far this year in Chicago, for example, community leaders said they’re wiling to try anything.
The system would be known as the D.W.A.I.N Alert: “Driver Was Assaulted In Need” Alert.
“Dwain” also a nod to one of the many recent victims of carjackings in our area. Retired Chicago Fire Lieutenant Dwain Williams was shot and killed in December during a carjacking attempt in Morgan Park.
Chicago has seen 268 carjackings so far this year.
“And the initiative that we’re hoping to get funded will be hitting Chicago and everywhere else,” said Chief Apostle Dr. William McCoy, IPAE Faith and Community Action Network.
Dr. McCoy said his IPAE Faith and Community Action Network first proposed the plan, which like an AMBER Alert, would ideally send an electronic alert with suspect and vehicle description to devices within a certain radius of the crime.READ MORE: Protesters Demand Arrest Of Officer In Anthony Alvarez Shooting
Sounds helpful. But is it realistic?
“It’s easy to say no and point fingers and say this isn’t realistic but if you don’t try to do it, if you have the right community involvement…but a step in the right direction would be more community involvement,” said Illinois State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-40th.)
Senator Joyce said they’ve started researching and there are still some legislative opportunities this session. Alert systems like the AMBER Alert aren’t without their critics.
The state’s system is susceptible to hoaxes. And some studies have found that it’s been used much less in stranger kidnappings, which was its original purpose.
So far there’s plenty of community involvement on this proposal. As south suburban mayors, law enforcement and other community leaders gathered to discuss it Friday afternoon.
“The more information that they get from the community, makes their job easier and helps solve the problem faster,” Joyce said.
There was also some discussion about a specific carjacking tip line that would funnel tips directly to law enforcement.MORE NEWS: Man Shot And Killed While Sitting In Vehicle In South Loop; Dog Apparently Wounded In Attack
Legislation is still in the drafting stage, but the group said they’re trying to be as proactive as possible, instead of just complaining about the carjacking crisis.