GRAND BOULEVARD — The new commander is bringing a change of philosophy to the Chicago Police Department’s Wentworth District.
“That person gambling on the street will be your victim three to four hours later,” Williams said.
He said there were two tacts to addressing crime and his philosophy diverged from former Cmdr. Fred Waller.
“People believe you do not arrest individuals for misdemeanor crimes, you issue citations so you leave officers on the street to prevent larger crimes, and there’s nothing wrong with that philosophy,” Williams said. “Zero tolerance, broken windows theory, that’s what I believe in. If someone’s committing a crime you lock them up.”
Williams previously served as commander of the Calumet District in Roseland and commanded the Rogers Park District for less than a week in April before being moved to Wentworth. He was also a sergeant in the Prairie District in Douglas in 2006. The Prairie and Wentworth districts were combined under Williams’ predecessor, Cmdr. Waller.
Since starting at the Wentworth District on April 16, Williams’ officers have arrested 15 drug dealers in an undercover operation between East 46th Street and East 57th Street from South Ellis Avenue to South Champlain Avenue.
“In that same area, we created a vacuum — the people who ran that area are gone,” Williams said. “Other people are going to try to come in.”
He said residents should work now to reclaim that area by going out to chat with neighbors and show there is strong community presence a before a new crew tries to move in.
“The more the community is engaged the better,” Williams said.