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Cops With Mobile Interrogation Rooms Launch Crackdown in West Rogers Park

By Benjamin Woodard | December 12, 2013 8:55am
 More than 150 officers from across Cook County assisted in the early morning operation Wednesday.
West Rogers Park Crackdown
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WEST ROGERS PARK — A police crackdown Wednesday involving more than 150 police officers nabbed a possible shooting suspect and at least seven other people with outstanding arrest warrants, officials said.

For the third time, the Cook County Sheriff's Office coordinated a large-scale operation throughout the Rogers Park Police District and Evanston.

Evanston and Chicago police departments participated.

"It's good for the community, it's good for the politicians and it's good for the police," said Lt. Nathan Camer from the Sheriff's Office, who coordinated the daylong operation beginning at 5 a.m. in a Howard Street Target parking lot.

Buses equipped with interrogation rooms were parked in the lot to help process those arrested.

By 10 a.m. Wednesday, Camer said the officers had arrested an armed felon who might have been involved in other shootings in the area.

They also checked in on parolees, served criminal warrants, removed graffiti and kept an eye out for solicitations of prostitution.

A total number of arrests was not immediately available.

During a similar sting last year, police arrested 10 people on prostitution charges, while others were busted on firearm and drug possession charges.

Camer said the operation was the 14th of its kind throughout the county since 2012. He said the main purpose of the operation was to practice coordination among different law enforcement agencies to be prepared for larger-scale incidents, like a terrorist attack.

During Wednesday's operation, Sheriff's Deputies Todd Knepper, 39, and Valli Kinsella, 55, served court summons, orders of protection and other legal documents throughout West Rogers Park.

"This poor woman is like, 'What the heck is going on here?' " said Kinsella, with a laugh, from the driver's seat of her squad car as a woman with a puzzled look drove her white sedan through the Target parking lot full of police officers.

Kinsella said she usually works on the Far North Side, including Uptown.

In the 1900 block of W. Granville Ave., she attempted to serve a man court documents relating to $7,300 in outstanding debt on a car loan. But the man had moved, she said.

"I woke up Samir," she said, referring to the apartment's new tenant. "He wasn't too happy."

Two blocks away, another man wasn't home when she tried to serve a notice that he allegedly owed $18,700 in outstanding credit card debt.

Other officers throughout the area checked on warrants and parolees.

And Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th) said she couldn't be happier about it.

"I'm so grateful that the sheriff has been able to come out," she said. "It's always great to have them in the neighborhood."