Wealthy Chicago suburbs are hiring private security details of armed off-duty cops to patrol their streets as crime soars up to 86 per cent in some neighborhoods.
At least five neighborhoods north of Chicago have have hired or plan to hire patrols, including Lincoln Park, Bucktown, and Lakeview.
The patrols consist of off-duty cops patrolling the neighborhoods in marked cars equipped with advanced surveillance and communications tools.
Though the patrolmen do not carry out arrests – their presence is meant to act as a deterrent – they do carry guns as they are still police officers.
The patrols are contracted out by private security companies such as P4 Security Solutions LLC, or United Security Inc., companies which are usually hired out to guard malls and businesses but have seen skyrocketing requests for their services.
Chicago has experienced a slight decrease in the amount of homicides this year compared to last, despite other crimes are on the rise
‘It’s crime,’ he said. ‘Straight up crime,’ Sean Meehan, director of sales and marketing at United Security Inc. told the Wall Street Journal, ‘and the people in those areas not feeling safe.’
P4 Security compiled data from the Chicago Police Department that shows a 30% increase in crime in Bucktown in 2022 compared to the same period of time in 2021, and an increase of 47% and 86% in two nearby neighborhoods.
One Bucktown resident, 34-yeard-old Josh Lane, told the Wall Street Journal about how he was attacked by two men toting a fake gun while he was walking his dog last summer.
‘It’s a little like a dystopian sci-fi movie when you see the flashing green lights go by,’ Lane said.
Shortly after Lane’s attack, his Bucktown neighborhood set up an association to organize the hiring and payment of patrols.
One section of Lincoln Park sought $175,000 in donations from residents to hire a years’ worth of security services.
The employment of private security comes as Chicago has been plagued by skyrocketing crime, and it’s citizens feel their leadership has been failing to protect them.
In April, reporter William J. Kelly squared off in a press conference with Mayor Lori Ligthfoot over the issue.
On Tuesday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot (pictured) got into a testy exchange with reporter William J Kelly when he called her out for saying that things are going well in the city
‘Across the street we had a police officer on duty, the victim of a hit and run, we have Michigan Avenue, the Magnificent Mile, now referred to as the mile of fear and the Water Tower Place has thrown the keys back to the lender, they say they don’t want to be in Chicago anymore.’
‘Real Chicagoans are asking me, how can you possibly even consider running for re-election for mayor of the city of the Chicago after all the harm you’ve caused?’ Kelly asked the mayor.
According to data from the Chicago Police Department, as of February 2022 murders are up in the city 7 percent over the same time last year, sexual assaults are up 12 percent from last year and aggravated assaults are up 14 percent from last year.
The largest increases, however, were to the number of burglaries and thefts.
Burglaries are up 28 percent over the same time period last year, with 835 already reported in 2022, compared to 651 reported at this time last year, and thefts are up a whopping 60 percent, with 1,636 reported in 2022, compared to 1,020 reported in February 2021.
Motor vehicle thefts are also up 42 percent compared to the same time last year, with 1,571 reported in 2022 and 1,108 reported in 2021.
An elderly Chicago couple, Bob and Kathryn Tataryn was brutally attacked by a stranger as they walked home from a subway stop in Irving Park – where houses go for $550,000 to $750,000 – in February.
Bob was left with a broken nose and severe bruises to his face in the aftermath of the attack, and Kathryn needed two surgeries to deal with broken wrists and a broken jaw.