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Police: VLive Still Tops the Area for Most Crime Reports

By Victoria Johnson | December 12, 2012 7:03am
 The VLive nightclub at 2047 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The VLive nightclub at 2047 N. Milwaukee Ave.
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DNAInfo/Victoria Johnson

LOGAN SQUARE —  For the third year in a row, 911 calls have gone down at VLive, police said, but added that the 4 a.m. nightclub on Milwaukee Avenue still generates the highest number of crime reports in the area.

Police, neighbors and VLive staff met Tuesday morning for the club's second deleterious impact public nuisance hearing to talk about ways the club could continue to improve on issues that have been bugging police and neighbors.

At their first meeting on Oct. 23, police reported some 30 percent of the battery calls in the entire police beat originated at VLIve, 2047 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The beat, 1431, extends from Western to California avenues between Logan Boulevard and Armitage Avenue.

The club still accounts for the most calls, 14th District Cmdr. Linda Flores said, noting that most of the calls came in after midnight. The club opens at 10 p.m. most nights, and at 7 p.m. for special events.

"We're working on it," VLive owner Jose Luis Terrazas said of the club's issues. "We're doing the best we can."

Sgt. Joe Giambrone reported that the last three years have gotten considerably better at the club, which in October 2009 was the site of a 17-year-old boy's shooting death.

Between Oct. 23 and Dec. 10, Giambrone said 24 people called police for various problems at the club — mostly theft and fights. Those numbers are down from the same period last year — down from 36 in 2011. In the same time period in 2010, some 56 people called police with complaints about the club.

"They're on the right path, and they're doing the right things," Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) said at the hearing, adding, though, that there was still room for improvement.

Nearby residents Joe Kopera and Sally Hamann said they were frustrated that the VLive continues to have mostly DJs performing when they were promised the club would become a more run-of-the-mill concert venue when it was granted a 4 a.m. license four years ago.

"What we've seen as a result [of the 4 a.m. license] is the promise hasn't been upheld on your side and that really bothers neighbors," Hamann said.

"We were lied to, basically," Kopera added.

But owner Terrazas said after the meeting that the claim depends on how one defines concerts.

"DJs are concerts," he said. "I mean, they pack Allstate Arena."

Still, Kopera said he thought VLive staff were handling fights the right way by immediately calling police.

Both Hamann and Kopera said they and other neighbors were still frustrated with the number of posters and fliers put up on poles in the area. VLive staff promised to clean up the posters and tell promoters to stop putting them up.

The next hearing was scheduled for Feb. 26 at 10 a.m.