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More Police On The Mag Mile? Northwestern Weighs Expanding Patrols

By David Matthews | February 14, 2017 5:02am
 Northwestern police may boost their patrols off campus through negotiations underway with Chicago PD.
Northwestern police may boost their patrols off campus through negotiations underway with Chicago PD.
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DNAinfo/David Matthews

STREETERVILLE — The Mag Mile could soon see more police officers. But the new officers won't be wearing Chicago Police Department badges. 

Northwestern police are in talks to expand their patrols off the university's Streeterville campus, 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins told neighbors last week. 

The negotiations between Northwestern and Chicago police are preliminary, and an agreement has not been reached. But the talks show city officials are looking beyond the Police Department as they seek to curb rising crime that happening even in Chicago's richest neighborhoods. 

Chicago police reported 67 robberies last year in the two police beats that make up Streeterville, up from 49 in 2015. 

"You’re going to have [Near North] district police officers working in conjunction with Northwestern police to help keep us safe," Hopkins said. 

Hopkins pointed to Evanston, where he said Northwestern police have long patrolled off campus successfully. University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago police have patrolled off campus for years, too.

Right now Northwestern police "do not have ability to pick up the radio and talk to the Chicago police," Hopkins said. "That's ridiculous."

Bob Rowley, a Northwestern spokesman, declined to say how many police Northwestern employs Downtown. But the officers patrol the area immediately surrounding Northwestern Memorial Hospital and other university buildings, from Chestnut to Ontario streets between Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. 

Hopkins hopes the school expands its patrol boundaries three blocks north to Oak Street.

Rowley said Northwestern has had a "preliminary" discussion with Hopkins' office, and is working to meet soon with Chicago Police.

Officer Jose Estrada, a Chicago police spokesman, declined to comment. 


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