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LETTER Safety stance anniversary

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Dear Editor,

As we approach a significant milestone date here in Boystown/Lake View, we would like to share the following information with the community to recognize and thank all the persons involved in the hope of maintaining the momentum.

Nearly five years ago—at the Aug. 7, 2013 CAPS meeting held at the police station, after three months of citizens raising valid safety concerns—the police department and others implemented a dramatic and sustained improvement. We were hopeful the improvement would be continued but also concerned the efforts might wane in time. We are very pleased to announce that, after nearly five years, the dramatic improvement has not only been sustained, but has also been bolstered and fine tuned like a well-oiled machine. This is a remarkable achievement we must not allow to subside.

The safety we now enjoy on Halsted Street is the best we have seen in 14 years, in our opinion. This was not accomplished by only one person or group of people, but by the coordination of many groups/persons working together to make this happen. Cooperation, mutual respect and communication are key. This is what makes a neighborhood a real community and a great place to live safely. We would like to thank the following for their contributions to this achievement:

1 ) The Chicago Police Department is a responsive, "in-touch" and efficient organization that works not only harder but smarter. Captain Kane and Sergeant Levine regularly can be seen together and with other officers on their bikes not only along Halsted, but also the alleys and down side streets. This is very effective as it keeps the criminals off balance as they never know when a posse of police will silently come around the corner and see them. Also the police presence in many squad cars is very important. The results have been truly remarkable.

2 ) The NorthHalsted Merchants Association for paying the cost of enhanced security who work with the police to keep us all safe. We thank Ramesh, Chad, Stu, Eric, Dusty and others.

3 ) The bar/club owners/managers/staff do their part by working with the above mentioned organizations to stop crime by keeping watch and communicating with police/enhanced security when needed.

4 ) The enhanced security paid for by the NorthHalsted Merchants Association are top notch and highly professional/highly motivated. They do a great job.

5 ) Ald. Tom Tunney and Ald. James Cappleman for their efforts are thanked, especially for the addition of a special "entertainment district" unit and officers. This team dedicated only to Halsted street has greatly increased police visibility.

Together, the above groups and individuals have accomplished something that could not have been done alone.

As citizens/residents, we all have a role to play as well. As neighborhood watchers, we have seen how so few victims are willing to file a police report and too few citizens are willing to be witnesses or even call the police when they see crime. This not only makes it more difficult for the police to do their job but it also diminishes us as a community and as people. Please think about this and let's all do our part. When you see security and police, thank them for being here and get to know them. When criminals see the interaction between residents/patrons and police/security it puts them on notice we will not tolerate crime here.

The future of the NorthHalsted Street entertainment district is very bright with the continuation of these efforts by ALL parties involved. Perhaps someday we will see an advertising campaign co-sponsored by the City of Chicago and the Association along the lines of: "Have you seen the NEW Boystown in Chicago?" heralding our safe streets and bringing in more tourism revenue.

Ron Woods, Mark B.,

Neighborhood watch and

concerned citizens

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