ALBANY PARK — "Positive loitering" has been a popular tactic employed by community groups to deter crime in Uptown, Edgewater, Irving Park and Rogers Park. Now Albany Park Neighbors are going to give it a try.
The community group, which formed in the fall, is organizing its first positive loitering "Neighbors Night" from 6:30-8:30 p.m. June 25 at Ainslie and Lawndale avenues.
"We're going to figure out how it works and move them around the neighborhood," said Shylo Bisnett, founder of Albany Park Neighbors, speaking at the group's monthly meeting Monday night.
Positive loitering is essentially a group of people hanging out at a neighborhood trouble spot to encourage positive behavior.
The location for the June event was chosen for its proximity to gang activity, with recent graffiti declaring the area Latin Kings territory despite the presence of a police camera, she said.
Neighbors Night aims to counteract this negative presence with positive energy — a festive block party vibe complete with sidewalk chalk and bubble machines for the little ones.
"It brings neighbors together," Bisnett said.
Ald. Rey Colon (35th) is expected to attend, and his office has provided money for light snacks. Residents are encouraged to pack a picnic, bring along games and enjoy an evening out with neighbors.