Lake View residents voiced their concerns to CTA officials and Chicago Police on Wednesday after an increase in crimes reported on trains and platforms.
“I’m mad as hell, and I want something done about it!” one resident said during the meeting, which took place in the 800 block of West Addison Street. 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney called the meeting, arranging for representatives from CPD and the CTA to be in attendance.
Several people who have been victims of recent CTA attacks attended, telling their terrifying and traumatic stories.
“The guy just hit me in very quick succession, four times just (punching me),” Edgewater resident Gregory Ignatius said.
Several residents told NBC 5 they were attacked and robbed between the Roosevelt and Harrison stops on the Red Line about a week ago. Chicago police also warned CTA passengers of a pair of robberies reported last week on Pink Line trains in the city’s Lawndale neighborhood.
On Jan. 2, police indicated that a man robbed and attempted to sexually assault a woman on a northbound Red Line train near Morse Avenue.
In response to the spate of attacks, Chicago police say they’re adding officers to more dangerous areas, but despite assurances that trains are safe to ride, people in the audience still do not feel safe.
“We do not (feel safe),” one woman said. “You need a plan because what you’re doing is not good enough.”
According to city data, more than 5,500 crimes were reported at CTA stations or during rides last year, up more than 50 percent over the numbers from four years ago and up at least 300 reports from 2018.
Police also say that the number of arrests have skyrocketed in recent years, crediting “mobile transit teams and the prevalence of HD cameras” at and near CTA stops.
“Over a million and a half people ride the CTA, and 99 percent of them get to their destination safely,” CPD Spokeswoman Sam Hancock said.
Even with those gains, 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman said that the city will continue to look at making changes.
“Those trends guide us in giving more direction to the mayor and the police superintendent about police staffing,” he said.