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Two Police Cameras Installed at Uptown Intersections That Attract Gangs

By Adeshina Emmanuel | December 2, 2013 11:35am
 Two more police cameras were installed in Uptown this fall after residents voting how to spend $1 million in aldermanic discretionary funds cast ballots in favor of the cameras.
Uptown Police Cameras
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UPTOWN — Uptown residents concerned about some crime-ridden intersections voted to bring more police cameras to the area, and Ald. James Cappleman (46th) announced the addition of two more cameras late last month.

In an email to constituents, Cappleman said voters during the participatory budgeting process earlier this year chose to have the cameras installed to help curb crime.

The final placement of the devices was based on crime patterns, Cappleman said.

One camera was installed at the southwest corner of Montrose and Magnolia avenues. The other was installed just northeast of that camera, at the southeast corner of Sunnyside and Racine avenues.

Both cameras occupy territory west of Broadway (a dividing line of sorts between street gangs in the area) that is frequented by members of the Black P Stones street gang.

Residents at a recent community policing meeting said Magnolia Avenue between Montrose and Wilson avenues attracts gang and drug activity, and several shootings have occurred on or near the stretch in recent years. There's already a police camera installed at Wilson and Magnolia avenues.

The area around Sunnyside and Racine avenues, behind Harry S. Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson, also has a reputation among some residents. In June, a 29-year-old man with alleged gang affiliations was left in critical condition after a shooting in the 1200 block of West Sunnyside Avenue, behind Truman.

The cameras are both near the Sunnyside Mall, a two-block pedestrian area at 1100-1300 W. Sunnyside Ave. Residents who pushed for installing the cameras, which cost about $50,000, cited "high crime at the Sunnyside Mall," according to presentations for proposed projects during the participatory budgeting process.

Other police camera locations in Uptown include known crime hot spots, such as Wilson Avenue and Sheridan Road and Lawrence Avenue and Sheridan Road. Both locations have seen multiple shootings, some fatal, this year, although shootings and murders in the two police districts encompassing Uptown are down this year, compared to 2012.