Monthly 9th District EAVI Meeting Report: Back to School Safety, Community Involvement

Each month, the 9th District Expanded Anti-Violence Initiative (EAVI) meets at Chavez Multicultural Academy to discuss to ways to reduce, displace and eliminate crime in the area. This month, community residents and leaders gathered to talk about back to school safety and ways the community could get involved to reduce crime.

The following is a recap of the Sept. 1st  meeting:

CAPS Update

The focus of this month’s agenda is back to school safety, now that regular track and track E schools have started the 2011-2012 school year. Residents, but especially retired people were encouraged to keep an eye for kids crossing the streets on their way to and from school and also to contact the local schools to form parent patrols for the safe passage of students.

The following numbers in the 9th District per Beat for the month of August were also reported:

Beat 914—Arrests: 55, service calls: 3,914, incidents reported: 150.

Beat 931—Arrests: 66 (increase), service calls: 937, incidents reported: 82.

Beat 933—Arrests: 58, service calls: 1,003, incidents reported: 56.

Policing Update

Commander David Jarmusz opened with the sad note that in the area, gun violence claimed the lives of two young men in the last month.

According to Jarmusz, within our area, which was recently expanded and now extends from Halsted to Damen and from 43rd to 55th Streets, police have identified two priority zones. The first zone covers from 43rd to 49th Streets and the second covers from 49th to 55th Streets.

In the first priority zone in addition to the two previously mentioned murders, there were three shootings, six robberies, 71 arrests (one for loaded gun). In addition, there were two gambling arrests operations.

In the second priority zone there were three shootings, eight robberies, 299 arrests, 10 firearms recovered and 16 arrests related to gambling operations.

Police are working at implementing the dispersal city ordinance that identifies gangbangers roaming the streets and issues dispersals which forbid them from coming back into the area, if they get caught violating the warning they can be arrested.

Not everything was bad news on the policing committee; over the summer several events took place  bringing the community together in peace. To name a few there was a vigil on 51st and Halsted, a peace rally on 51st and Racine, the Hoops in the Hood basketball tournament and lastly the soccer tournament sponsored by UNION Impact Center where more than 250 youth had the opportunity to participate.

Housing Update

Commander David Jarmusz reported that there are 935 vacant buildings in the 9th District, and there were 49 vacant building inspections on the area north of 49th Street.  There 43 citations issued for various violations. On the area south of 49th Street, where more than half of the vacant buildings in the area are located there were 335 inspections resulting in 221 citations issued.

Emilio Carrasquillo, announced that Father John Tilford is this year’s recipient of the Hero Award, a recognition given to an outstanding citizen of the community that has shown exceptional leadership in the community.

NHS Chicago will be conducting a series of programs aimed to help homeowners and consumers, the programs will focus on various issues such as money management, homebuyers’ assistance, and homeowners’ assistance, workshops are available in English or Spanish.

Homebuyers Club—a program where homebuyers can have all their questions answered by experts, they meet the first Wednesday of the month.

Illinois Hardest Hit Program—a program that offers mortgage payment assistance for struggling homeowners.

Asset Building Workshops—a financial education program for residents offered in Spanish and English

For more information about these programs, contact the offices of NHS Chicago in Back of the Yards located at 1823 W 47th St. , lower level or visit www.NHSchicago.org.

Education Update

After the hard work put by many of the residents throughout the summer, the Unity in the Community mural will be ready for the long awaited unveiling on September 24 at 49th and Loomis. The mural will immortalize six fallen heroes who lost their lives while serving others. However, this is not the only mural project going on in our community, Mothers for Peace also has been working hard to spread their message of peace on another mural project at 49th and Winchester.

On another note, UNION Impact Center will be offering free ESL classes for adults at Richards High School and Chavez Multicultural Academy starting on Monday Sept. 19. They will also offer Tae Kwon Do classes for youth at St. Joseph starting Sept. 20 and there will be an indoor soccer program for children at Chavez that is scheduled to start on September 20.

Last but not least, the Law and Leadership institute at Richards High School is looking for high school youth interested in pursuing a career in law or criminal justice.

For more information about these programs, call 773-279-5824.

Want to know what’s happening in your community? Attend the next EAVI Meeting on Thursday Oct. 6, 6 p.m. at Chavez Multicultural Academy 4747 S Marshfield Ave.