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Uptown Police Targeting Managers of Troubled Buildings to Curb Crime

By Mina Bloom | June 3, 2015 10:47am

UPTOWN — Police have identified a few more troubled buildings in Uptown where there are gang-related crimes and plan to meet with the property managers to address the issues, a Town Hall police officer said at a CAPS meeting Tuesday evening.

"We've tried a bunch of things and different steps. Right now it's not enough. We're throwing more resources, seeing what we can do to really nip it in the bud," Sgt. Jason Clark told a packed CAPS meeting Tuesday evening held at Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave.

"If they hear it from me, it's different. Say you're a slumlord and you don't want to act on this. The last thing you want is ticket after ticket. We have leverage over a lot of these establishments," he said.

Clark said Town Hall police will focus on three buildings — one of them is 4528 N. Malden Ave., or the Malden Avenue Apartments. It was not clear where the other two buildings are.

Clark and other officers will sit down with the property managers and representatives from the office of 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman and bring data, including 911 calls, the number of arrests and a list of people who use the property as an address, to work on issues related to the building.

"We've had really good success with it," Clark said. "There's not one property that we haven't gotten something out of it when we finally sit down with them."

Cappleman's office and Town Hall police worked with Chicago Housing Authority officials to take legal action against a troubled unit at 4650 N. Malden Ave., close towhere witnesses saw 27-year-old Demarcus Adams before he was fatally shot in February.

A legal case was then filed against the occupants of the building. 

When asked about increasing the number of cameras at the Malden Avenue Apartments, Clark said: "Believe me, that's on the table to put pressure on them to use cameras."

But when another resident asked if an arrest was made after a shooting outside of Truman College, where there are cameras, Clark said that cameras don't always help.

"It depends on where it was facing at the time," he said. "I can't speak to any active investigation for obvious reasons. But was a car driving past? There are lot of things that come into play. I love cameras. It's placement, too."

As always, Clark urged residents to call 911 when they spot chronic issues at or around the same buildings. 

"We want to make it as uncomfortable and as difficult for them to operate," he said.

"We've got a lot of property owners that do want to  be good neighbors. My whole goal is identifying where all of these gangbangers are hanging their hat."

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