Robberies Declining, Burglaries Remain Steady in Lake View
The police district’s new commander reports new data proving his new crime fighting tactics are working, but there’s still room to grow.
Commander Elias Voulgaris has been leading the Chicago Police Department’s 19th District for roughly two months, and he’s already reporting a decline in robberies in the Lake View and the surrounding neighborhoods.
The 19th District covers all of Lake View, as well as neighboring communities like North Center, Roscoe Village and Lincoln Park. Voulgaris attended the Southport Neighbors Association meeting Monday evening introduce himself to residents, as well as announce some positive news about new policing tactics.
“The two biggest concerns in this district are robberies and burglaries,” Voulgais said. “Robberies are on the way down, thankfully. For the last 28-day period, we’ve seen a seven percent decrease. We’ve been putting pressure on areas where it’s most needed.”
And according to the City of Chicago Data Portal, the hottest spots for burglaries and robberies in the last five months have been in Lake View. (See the photo of the heat map above.)
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More than 1,000 burglaries and robberies have been reported in the 19th District between June 1 and Nov. 1, with a majority of them occurring in the neighborhood surrounding Wrigley Field, North Halsted Street in Boystown and the Belmont Avenue CTA stop. The corner of Wrightwood Avenue and Clark Street in Lincoln Park also ranked highly on the heat map.
Voulgaris attributes the decline in robberies to new “quality of life” squad cars that handle issues dealing with residents’ quality of life, including burglaries, robberies and intoxicated or suspicious individuals on the streets. In addition, the commander says there’s a new plain-clothes team that patrols the district.
However, while robberies may be declining, the number of monthly burglaries remains the same, according to Voulgaris. He says, in most cases, residents have to know how to avoid becoming the victim.
“As much as we’re trying, our burglaries are steady,” Voulgaris said. “I’d say as high as 95 percent of burglaries can be prevented if we just shut our windows, shut our doors and shut our garage doors. Along with our enforcement mission, we’re going to try to get the word out on how to not be a victim of burglaries and robberies.”
That includes simply being aware of surroundings when walking at night. Police say to ask yourself if taking a shortcut through a dark alley with music headphones blaring is worth being robbed.
And while the commander says his team is off to a good start, he encourages anyone with an issue to call the police station.
“I’m very big on communication back and forth,” said Voulgaris. “…I really need your feedback folks. It’s a two way street. In order to get rid of the criminals out there, we need your help.”
The non-emergency line for the local police station on Addison Street is (312) 744-8320. In the event of an emergency, always call 911.
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