UPTOWN — A North Side alderman is renewing his call for more police officers in Uptown in the wake of a 14-year-old being shot in the head this weekend.
Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said in a email to ward residents, that he and a number of aldermen "are insisting on a commitment of more police officers on the street before we vote on the 2014 City Budget," which is expected to be submitted to the City Council in October.
The shooting happened about 6 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Wilson and Broadway, and also injured a 22-year-old man who was shot in the wrist, police said. The teen was listed in critical condition at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
Cappleman's email said that "for the past few weeks, my staff and I have been in constant contact with the police about our concerns on the growing crowds at this particular corner," and cited problems with public drinking and disturbing the peace.
"I'm quite frustrated that these behaviors have escalated to this senseless act," Cappleman wrote.
The alderman said he had worked with the owner of a nearby currency exchange to install a video camera to "discourage the public drinking and drug sales on the north side of the store."
The cameras were put up the day before the shooting and "one victim was shot within close camera range," Cappleman said. Police are reviewing the footage, he said.
The shooting happened despite a temporarily beefed up police presence in Uptown.
Officers were stationed at three undisclosed area crime "hot spots," in response to an Aug. 19 gang-related shooting two blocks east of Saturday's shooting, along a school district Safe Passage Route, according to Cappleman. Five men were hit in that shooting, including 21-year-old Darius Oliver, who died four days later.
Seventeen people have been shot in Uptown since June. Most were hit in gang-related shootings that have neighbors on edge and demanding solutions from police and Cappleman for troubled parts of the neighborhood riddled with gang activity and drug sales.
"Simply put, more police are needed on the streets so that we can get a better handle on all of the crimes committed in the area," Cappleman said in his note to residents. "Public drinking and disturbances of peace, as the 'Broken Windows' theory states, can lead to more violent crimes in an area.
"A number of aldermen and I are insisting on a commitment of more police officers on the street before we vote on the 2014 City Budget," he wrote in the email.
Efforts to reach Cappleman to elaborate were not immediately successful.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2014 budget features a $338.7 million shortfall on revenues of $3 billion.