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Tunney Calls On Neighbors to Form More Block Clubs to Fight Crime

By Serena Dai | October 7, 2013 4:00pm
 Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) says block clubs foster community among neighbors and serve as watchdogs against crime.
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) says block clubs foster community among neighbors and serve as watchdogs against crime.
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DNAinfo/Serena Dai

LAKEVIEW — Lakeview may already have 10 active neighborhood groups and monthly community policing meetings, but Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) wants neighbors to get even friendlier — to fight crime.

Tunney wants the ward to form at least five new block clubs by the end of the year, he said in an email to constituents.

Ultimately, he wants every block in the neighborhood to have a club, said Erin Duffy, Tunney's director of community outreach. 

The idea behind the push is that neighbors will share information, watch each other's property and alert police of any suspicious activity.

"Block clubs play a key role in increasing the quality of life and safety in city neighborhoods," the alderman wrote. "They foster unity among neighbors, set community standards and serve as watchdogs against crime."

As of Monday, Lakeview had zero block clubs registered with the city police, but Duffy said several blocks have shown an interest in forming such groups. Already, Stratford Place has planned it first block club meeting for Oct. 22, according to Belmont Harbor Neighbors.

And if more people join block clubs, hopefully they will join one of Lakeview's 10 neighborhood groups, too, Duffy said. 

"Our community groups have larger boundaries, and we would like to have a more localized focus," Duffy said in an email. "Oftentimes in city neighborhoods, residents do not know many of their direct neighbors."

Tunney and Chicago Police Town Hall Cmdr. Elias Voulgaris have come under fire this summer for the area's robberies. The alderman has repeatedly emphasized community involvement as a way neighbors can help combat crime and, while some community members have started to connect, no formal crime-focused neighborhood group has formed. 

Tunney wrote to constituents that both he and Voulgaris would like to attend initial block club meetings. 

Neighbors interested in forming a block club can visit the Chicago Police Department website to learn more.