Ald. Tom Tunney and Ald. James Cappelman announced Wednesday that 26 additional officers had been added to the force in the Chicago Police Department’s Town Hall District that patrols their wards.
Tunney, who represents the 44th Ward, and Cappleman, who represents the 46th Ward, were promised more officers after they voted for a $589 million property tax increase last October.
Since that agreement, 26 officers have been added to CPD’s Town Hall District that covers Lakeview and portions of Uptown, Lincoln Square, North Center and Lincoln Park. This includes eight sergeants.
Tunney talked with newly-minted Interim Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson Wednesday to discuss future plans for the district.
“I met with Interim Superintendent Johnson, and restated my expectation for more police, and the need for additional resources in the 19th District,” Tunney said in an e-mail newsletter to constituents. “He fully understands that the need for more officers in the [Town Hall] District is real.“
Nonetheless, the district is seven officers short of the 33 promised by the end of March. In addition to this, 10 officers are also promised by the end of 2016, bringing the total to 43.
“He acknowledged the gradual increase in officers since October, and plans to fulfill the commitment by continuing to send officers our way,” the alderman added.
Tunney also forwarded a letter from Johnson to his constituents that shows a significant uptick in the district's officer movements from last year. In the letter, the interim superintendent pledges to further address public safety in the district.
“The Department takes all issues involving community safety seriously and will work tirelessly to address those matters which may jeopardize the health and well-being of its residents,” Johnson wrote.
Lakeview has recently seen a rash of burglaries this winter. There were 128 burglaries or attempted burglaries in the neighborhood between Nov. 8 and Feb. 8.
In addition to this, Uptown has seen a series of shootings. Among them, a 17-year-old was shot in the leg in the 4600 block of North Magnolia Street. Since 2014, six other shootings have happened in a two-block radius of that location.
Ald. Raymond Lopez recently lobbied Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart for additional police resources in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. In a couple of weeks, about 100 Cook county Sheriff's officers will be patrolling the neighborhood, Dart said Wednesday.