An online petition has been started to save the 13th District Police Station in Chicago. This station has been targeted in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2012 budget and is one of three district stations being targeted. There is also a plan to consolidate police and detective areas from five to three, although they have yet to be identified.
The letter of the petition starts strongly by stating not to close the 13th District Police Station and then spells out the safety concerns of the residents.
Do not close the 13th District Chicago Police Station at 937 N. Wood St
On October 12, 2011, Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy issued a proposed budget where three police stations out of 25 would be closed, this includes the 13th District Police Station on Wood located at 937 N. Wood St. The Mayor has cited reasons such as these are the three oldest stations located in relatively low crime areas, and the surrounding newer stations can absorb the additional police, plus he claims this act will get more beat cops on the streets.
However, removing this station would diminish safety in our neighborhood by removing guaranteed police presence. With the station located on Wood St., there are police always around and patrolling the 13th District. Also, by removing the station, the decision on where police officers should patrol in the 13th Dist. will be left to the mercy of bureaucrats and administrators who know and care little of our neighborhood. Vital decision making personnel will be removed from our neighborhood and disrupt long-standing relationships between district commanders and our community. The closest police station after Wood St. is more than 2 miles away and contrary to what the Mayor and the Superintendent state, those stations cannot absorb the officers and it is more likely the officers will be relocated to the Southside. Also, the number of administrators in the 13th District station is very few in comparison to other stations. The City will save insignificant amounts of money by closing this and the the other two stations, but the cost to the community is much higher if they are gone. There are still burglaries, break-ins, car thefts, vandalism, armed robberies, physical assaults, thefts and other serious crimes in our neighborhood which endanger the safety of our children, our families, ourselves, and our property.
The online petition has been started by Anne Shaw and thus far has received 1414 signatures. Here is Alderman Scott Waguespack’s response to Anne.
Ald. Scott Waguespack explained to more than one by e-mail that he does NOT support the closing of the 13th Dist. Police Station:
“I don’t. I was told by Supt McCarthy a few weeks ago after the initial Suntimes story not to worry about it because 13 was NOT closing. He told me that it was a unfounded rumor. My comments then were the same attributed today- weeks later. My comments were if they are contemplating it, they need to be honest and straightforward with residents about the implications of a closure, including public hearings. I found out yesterday evening that they are closing two that serve the ward, after he and Rahm sat down with the media to tell them, and before they warned or spoke to any elected officials or officers. This was totally contrary to what they said a few weeks ago. And, the Mayor’s office told us in a budget briefing yesterday morning not to worry about Police and Fire because the Mayor himself would be briefing us.
The petition is being sent to the following city officials. City of Chicago Hon. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Alderman Proco Joe Moreno, Alderman Scott Waguespack, Ald. Walter Burnett, Jr., Alderman Roberto Maldonado, Jr., Alderman Robert Fioretti, Alderman Jason Ervin, and Alderman Brendan Reilly.
The letter ends in spelling out the goals of the petition.
1) We strongly oppose closing the Wood Street Police station;
2) Cutting costs should not mean cutting public safety; the City can save money by not closing the station – The Station needs to be modernized to save maintenance costs;
3) Nothing is more important to public safety than a strong local police presence.
4) There are other areas where the City can cut wasteful spending without sacrificing citizen safety and well-being. Including cost cutting across all 25 police stations to save the three stations considered for closing in the Mayor’s proposed budget.
This is community activism at its best.
A community meeting in the 32nd Ward is scheduled on October 25th at 6:30 p.m. at the Ukranian Cultural Center located at 2247 W. Chicago Avenue. Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy will be speaking and it will be hosted by Alderman Scott Waguespack.
John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books