ROGERS PARK — Police have put up a "Road Closed" sign and two other barricades on a Rogers Park street in an area that has been prone to violence lately.
Neighbors say the barricades are apparently being used by police to corral crime on Jonquil Terrace and in an area north of Howard Street area, the scene of several daytime shootings, including last month's murder of Glenford Johnson.
"We never had anything blocked off before," said Teresa Wheeler, a resident of the street.
Ben Woodard says the barricades are often accompanied by police:
Wheeler said she and her neighbors first noticed the road closure sign go up in the 1400 block of Jonquil Terrace in the evenings about two weeks ago. Usually they had been moved by the morning. They were also usually manned by a patrol car, she said.
But several times over the past two weeks the barricades were in place during the day, too, and were watched over by a police officer for at least part of the afternoon. On at least two occasions, however, the officer did not attempt to stop drivers from passing through the barricade during the daytime, including Wheeler, who drove past the sign and parked outside her home on a recent weekday.
Still, the barricades were successful in deterring some drivers who were attempting to turn left from Sheridan Road onto Jonquil. Those drivers tended to make a U-turn in front of the closure sign and drive away.
A Chicago Police Department spokesman didn't return requests for comment about the closure signs, but Wheeler said they might be used to help capture or prevent drive-by shooters from entering or leaving the area.
"That's all we can think of," she said.
Rogers Park Police District Cmdr. Thomas Waldera has said at CAPS meetings that one of the strategies to curb violent crime was to monitor the handful of entrances and exits to the area.
Resident Carl Newey, 27, said the road had been closed for construction when Jonquil was repaved recently, but the signs remained long after crews left.
"When it first came up, I thought it was from the construction," he said while walking his dog Monday.
Wheeler said the road closure doesn't bother her.
"It doesn't matter to me," she said. "We feel like we know why it's there."
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