Press "Enter" to skip to content

Lakeview Residents Say Efforts to “Take Back the Streets” Are Working

Over 100 Lakeview residents — fed up with crime on their turf — have united with local officials to meet monthly on the streets of their North Side neighborhood in an effort to “Take Back the Streets” in their community.

The Triangle Neighbors Association, which oversees the Lakeview community between Belmont and Addison avenues, and Halsted and Clark streets, has joined forces with Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) and the Chicago Police Department in an attempt to prevent violence in their neighborhood.

Jim Ludwig, president of Triangle Neighbors Association, said the “Take Back the Streets” effort began two years ago when residents became fed up with the increase of theft, forced robbery and violence in their neighborhood.

“Kathleen Boehmer (23rd District Commander) suggested we become more visible on our streets late into the night and into the early morning hours,” Ludwig said.

Through meetings with the North Halsted Business Alliance and the alderman’s office, the Triangle Neighbors Association put a plan in action to take back their neighborhood.

So far, monthly gatherings have been successful, police commander Boehmer said.

“The last walk, on Oct. 24, resulted in three arrests,” said Boehmer, who wouldn’t elaborate on the arrests, but said they were drug and weapon related. “There were two walks that night, one at midnight and one at 2 a.m. and over 100 people participated, it was a great turnout.”

“On the last walk, we confiscated a lot of weapons, mostly knifes and broke up several fights,” Ludwig said. “We even saw one guy trying to break into a house at the corner of Halsted and Belmont. If we have a feeling that they are up to something suspicious or out of place, we approach them and find out what is happening.”

John Dalton, Lakeview resident and co-owner of Minibar, 3341 N. Halsted, said the walks have been a great success in preventing crime and cleaning up the streets.

Jay Lyon, executive director of the North Halsted Business Alliance, who’s participated in the safety walks, said it is an attempt to prevent crime before it happens and show that the Lakeview community won’t tolerate crime. The Uptown neighborhood is using the same “positive loitering” technique.

“Being active in keeping the streets safe and promoting this type of community involvement is good for everyone,” he said. “It helps prevent crime towards both business owners and home owners, and we will continue to participate and promote these types of activities.”

Boehmer said the safety walks show a community is willing to take action.

“The idea is to have people out at times where there wouldn’t normally be a street presence by the neighborhood residents,” she said.

Max Bevar, spokesman for Tunney, said the alderman’s office not only supports the “Take Back the Streets” effort in the Lakeview community but joins in on the effort by participating in every walk. Both Bevar and Bennett Lawson, deputy for the alderman, have participated in the walks.

Boehmer said Lakeview is a safe neighborhood because there are residents who will not accept it any other way.

“Lakeview is one of those areas that have a lot of support from different community organizations that want to keep the neighborhood safe,” she said. “We will continue to work with these different organizations, whether it is a safety walk or providing tips on crime prevention.”

Ludwig said an official date hasn’t been set for the next walk, but it will be within the next two weeks.

“This is definitely a crime prevention tactic for our community, and we plan on continuing the walks as long as we have participants,” he said.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *