On the heels of a spate of recent muggings and shootings downtown, Chicago Police and Northwestern Police gathered for a strong show of force during an 18th District roll call Friday night.
The district, which covers parts of the Streeterville and Gold Coast neighborhoods, will see a new cooperative agreement between the Chicago Police Department and the police force for Northwestern University.
“The two departments came to a new cooperative agreement to provide law enforcement in this neighborhood,” 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins said. “Our purpose here tonight is to show the community that we will not tolerate the crime that has happened in our midst in recent weeks, and we are going to respond.”
Officers will be out in force Thursday through Saturday nights in the Streeterville neighborhood and surrounding areas in an effort to tamp down on a spate of recent thefts that have left some residents and visitors unnerved.
“You’ll see many of our officers out here including command staff allocating resources from Evanston to help keep the community safe down here,” Northwestern Police Deputy Chief Eric Chin said.
Under the new agreement, officers from both departments will have the same police powers to help deal with the increase in crime.
Neighbors that live near Northwestern’s downtown campus welcome the move, saying that they would like to see more people enjoying parks in the area, instead of avoiding them.
“I’m embarrassed and I’m afraid and I have them at a hotel,” one resident said. “I’m afraid and I’ve never felt that way before. There should be more police presence here.”
According to Alderman Hopkins, the police departments haven’t had the ability to communicate on the same radio frequencies, but the new agreement corrects that.
“Now they can respond effectively,” he said. “They’ll have the exact same police powers, and they’ll be focused on the Streeterville community because that’s where Northwestern is.”
The new agreement comes on the same day as a new police alert went out, detailing a string of robberies reported near the downtown area. In each of the six robberies, offenders approached the victims from behind and forcibly grabbed cell phones or purses from their hands. The thieves then fled the scene in a white vehicle or a dark grey Ford vehicle.
The robberies have been reported in:
- 200 block of East Pearson St., Tuesday, May 28, 2019 in the evening hours.
- 800 block of North Lake Shore Dr., Friday, May 31, 2019 in the evening hours.
- 100 block of East Oak St., Monday, June 3, 2019 in the evening hours.
- 200 block of East Chestnut St., Monday, June 3, 2019 in the evening hours.
- 800 block of North Lake Shore Dr., Monday, June 3, 2019 in the evening hours.
- 0-100 block of East Oak St., Thursday, June 6, 2019 in the afternoon hours.
Anyone with information on any of the thefts is encouraged to call Chicago police.