Fulton Market

Group Calls For More Surveillance Cameras in Fulton Market Area in Effort to Curb Crime

Fulton Market Association releases video drive-by shooting at sidewalk cafe to show need for more cameras

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The Fulton Market Association is calling on Chicago's mayor and the City Council to spend $5 million immediately for 200 police cameras from Fulton Market west to Garfield Park.

The group just released one business’ surveillance video of a drive-by shooting that sent customers ducking and running for cover in September at Hubbard and Aberdeen.

"This is not a movie. This is not make-believe. This is life or death for people in Chicago," said Roger Romanelli, Executive Director of the Fulton Market Association.

"Never in the 22 years I’ve worked in Fulton Market have we ever seen anything like this."

The Fulton Market Association says the city of Chicago has more than $300 million available for the area in Tax Increment Financing, or TIF money.

“In those two areas (Fulton Market and Garfield Park) we’re sitting on over $300 million in neighborhood property taxes that are TIF dollars," Romanelli said.

The group wants the new cameras would help catch criminals like those behind a West Side shooting of a rideshare passenger on Lake Street in September.

"I know a lot of people don’t really feel safe walking around, especially young woman with the kidnappings and everything that’s going on," said Dillon Duchesne who lives nearby. "Anything to make it safer we should absolutely be doing."

People who live and work in the area agree they want to see less crime.

"I won’t walk around here at night. Daytime it’s fine, but at nighttime no way," said Ben Green who works in the area.

"It would be great if the government here, the city council and mayor had a great relationship with police. That would probably help things."

But there's disagreement on how exactly to reduce crime.

"Gun violence is a thing. It’s not isolated to this area. It’s terrible nonetheless," said Aaron Smothers who works in Fulton Market. "I don’t know if cameras are the way to resolve this issue. I think it’s more of public health and figure out what these people’s needs are."

The Fulton Market Association says it's been trying to help those in need.

"Our community organization continues to work with non-profits to help people in need to get away from criminal activity - addiction rehabilitation, job training, job placement," said Romanelli.

The Fulton Market Association also wants to stop crime with a better police camera system like other big cities.

"You go to London, you go to other cities, security cameras are standard safety infrastructure," said Romanelli. "Tell would-be criminals if you come to our community, you are going to have your picture taken and we are going to find you and we are going to arrest you and you’re going to be prosecuted."

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