Bucktown residents pay for private security patrols to combat rampant crime in the area – CBS Chicago

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Neighborhood surveillance, ring cameras and CPD lobbying.

These things didn’t do the trick in Bucktown. So, the inhabitants open their wallets there. Beginning soon, a source told CBS 2 that as early as Wednesday night, a new security cruiser hit the streets. CBS 2’s Chris Tye has the story.

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Time and again, ring cameras bring the crisis to high definition. CPD offered community alert after alert about armed robberies and vehicle hijackings in Bucktown. Despite begging for beefed up police patrols, Bucktown got nothing, they said.

“I can certainly understand why a residential group feels they need to act now,” said Pamela Maass of the Bucktown Chamber of Commerce.

How did they reinforce the patrols on the northwest side of Chicago? Instead of opening their mouths to complain, they open their wallets.

Downers Grove-based security firm P4 will patrol alongside Chicago police cruisers as it deploys. Sources helping fund the effort tell CBS 2 the patrol will run 10 to 12 hours a day.

When you add the insurance, branded car, and operating costs, that’s $390,000 a year in services. Paid for out of pocket by private Bucktown donors.

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“We all pushed and we didn’t get the results we were looking for, so I can understand why they would go to this particular strategy,” Maass said.

The head of the Bucktown Chamber of Commerce said they were continuing to collect signatures for additional police patrols.

In a statement to CBS 2: P4 said “Only off-duty police officers are employed by P4 and will conduct patrols. Off-duty officers will be present to observe and report. They have no power of arrest and if they witness a crime, they should call 911 immediately.

Chicago Mayor Lightfoot was asked about the effort and although the company said it would work in tandem with the CPD, the mayor had a different view.

“I certainly recognize and respect the desire of some of these companies to have security. It’s really happening across the country, in light of what cities like Chicago have been through. But patrolling our streets is the only province of the Chicago Police Department,” Lightfoot said.

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CBS 2 reached out and had no word from the CPD on the neighborhood effort. Sources said the first nights on patrol will be led by a recent 20-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department.

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