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Shakespeare Police District Answers Questions in First 'Twitter Town Hall'

By Emily Morris | April 28, 2014 10:49am
 During the Twitter Town Hall, the Shakespeare District tweeted, "Cmdr. Valadez is still fielding questions from residents of the 14th District"
During the Twitter Town Hall, the Shakespeare District tweeted, "Cmdr. Valadez is still fielding questions from residents of the 14th District"
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CHICAGO — The most "social" police district in Chicago answered questions about area crime on Twitter Monday night during the police department's first virtual Town Hall.

Shakespeare District Cmdr. Francis Valadez, Capt. Mark Buslik and Sgt. Felipe Reyes hosted the "Twitter Town Hall" from roughly 7-8 p.m.

The district, which covers Logan Square, Bucktown and Wicker Park along with some of Avondale and Humboldt Park, tweeted Sunday that residents can ask them "almost anything" during the online meeting.

The district's Twitter account, which was launched in December, has been used to post photos of suspects, traffic alerts, safety concerns and more. It's also become the top tweeter out of the city's police district accounts.

"We're trying to ensure that the community and the police enter into partnership," Reyes said. "We believe social media is an avenue to get that community involvement."

One question, from @LeahTIME, was about Wicker Park crime. The district said Wicker Park's "biggest challenge is thefts from vehicles and robberies. Ofcs patrol the side streets and reach out to the community......with with tips/clues on how to avoid becoming a victim."

Another tweeter asked about the weekend shooting near 26th Ward Ald. Roberto Maldonado's office in the 2500 block of West Division Street. The district said the shooting appeared to be gang-related, but that the Near West district was handling the investigation.

Though the district tweeted before the Q&A that it likely wouldn't answer questions about ongoing investigations, representatives appeared to respond to most of the questions tweeted at them.

For questions about weather and crime, the district tweeted that it hasn't seen "a significant" rise in crimes as temperatures climbed this spring.

The district tweeted, "With warmer weather more people are out and we may see an increase in outdoor crimes. We focus on where the data is."

@CJPJustProj asked how many officers have been assigned to the district in 2014 and how that compares to the number of officers in 2011. 

The district responded with: "261 including supervisors. We dont have the numbers for 2011."

As to the question of how many officers are on duty at a given time, the district tweeted, "The district has 12 beat cars. However, on average there are 30-35 officers working at any given time."

On the lighter side, such as how the district got its name, the account tweeted, "'Tis an easy one - we are foundeth on Shakespeare Street at California Avenue!"

Check out the full Q&A on the Shakepeare District's Twitter page, @ChicagoCAPS14.