Streeterville officers vow to crack down on drug sales, seek help from residents
By Jesse Wright, Staff Writer
Published Oct. 2, 2018
At their September meeting, CAPS police officials told Streeterville residents they were cracking down on drug dealers and buyers in the area.
Officer Thomas Baker said officers are trying to make cases against drug distribution networks, as opposed to people merely carrying illicit substances. However, he said, police need assistance from residents – “Our biggest thing is we obviously need help from the community, especially when you guys see everything,” Baker said.
The police action comes amid community concerns that drug activity is getting worse. One resident said open drug sales along Chicago Avenue are becoming problematic. Baker suggested forming block clubs that could create email and phone trees to channel information to police regarding problematic areas, and said police could help set up the clubs.
“We can train you, if need be, if you have a community room available,” he said.
A private security officer in the audience said drug dealers are selling to students, starting fights and criminally trespassing on the property of the Chicago Avenue McDonald’s where he works. Baker said police would soon hold meetings with the city attorney to find ways to more effectively stop drug sellers from loitering near a methadone clinic in the area.
Sergeant Christopher Schenk said residents safely taking pictures of drug deals and illicit activity could help arresting officers. “I don’t want you to put yourself in harm’s way,” Shenk said. “I have to say that. But if they have photos or anything they can take, or information that could help us out, that would be great.”
The officers added that anyone who has crime tips or would like more information can contact law enforcement for non-emergency situations at (312) 742-5778 or CAPS.email@example.com.
The next CAPS meeting is set for 6 p.m. on Oct. 4 at 115 W. Chicago Ave.