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Edgewater residents, community leaders and CPD come together

It was a packed house at the Broadway Armory this evening as easily over 100 concerned residents came out to hear from the Alderman’s office and Chicago Police Department after Saturday evening’s incidents. The crowd was standing room only just after 7, with people crowded in the back, along the walls, in the hallways and sitting on the foor. At least four news network crews were also in attendence.

Nick Roti, head of the CPD organized crime division recapped Saturday’s disturbing events, while Alderman Smith, police Commander Moy and State Rep/Alderman-elect Harry Osterman discussed ways to improve the neighborhood and answer questions from neighbors. Roti, who has been on the force for 25 years, says the three suspects were some of the most violent individuals he has dealt with in his career. The Chicago Tribune is now confirming that the two surviving suspects, who today were charged with multiple crimes from Saturday, are also linked to three other drug-related mass murder killings from last year where people were duct taped and killed.

While some people were adament that they would not sleep until there were police officers on every street and corner in the Ward (extremely unlikely in Chicago’s budget mess), there were productive discussions about how the community and the police can fight crime together. Most discussed by community leaders and the police was court advocacy. The CPD stated some impressive facts about how many raids, investigations and arrests are made but that once locked up what happens to the criminals is up to the justice system, who sometimes set free criminals after just 6 months. Court advocacy is one way to get longer sentances for convicted felons. Other topics discussed included having landlords screen tenants more thouroughly, and seeking out those who don’t, positive loitering events, attending CAPS meetings, block club meetings, and walking dogs and not being afraid, taking back our streets. It should be noted that the building where everything began is not suspected as a “trouble building” and neighbors described it as one of the better kept buildings with numerous families living within it. The Alderman also mentioned her office’s blog, ActionEdgewater, but we notice it has not been updated since early 2010. Multiple people thanked and applauded the Chicago Police Department (deservedly) for their heroic efforts on Saturday evening, and chief Roti said they would give Thorndale “a harder look” after many people complained about loitering and open air drug deals.

Another Tribune update here, as the story continues to unfold.

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