November CAPS Meeting Beat 2031: Graffiti, an Ongoing Nuisance

By Patty Wetli | Friday, December 3, 2010

“We have a relatively quiet district,” Officer Cesar Garcia said of Beat 2013 at the most recent CAPS meeting, held Nov. 30. But when it comes to graffiti, the area (Lawrence to Foster, Leavitt to the Chicago River) receives more than its share.

While much of the scribbling is tagging, some of the graffiti is gang-related (look for crowns and pitchforks). Officer Garcia aims to have this removed as quickly as possible, before it sparks retaliation from rivals. He encouraged residents to contact him directly at 312.742.8770 to report graffiti, providing a description of the artwork as well as an address. Pictures also can be emailed to him, again with an address.

Other issues discussed at the meeting:

  • A rumor that Superintendent Jody Weis plans to pull officers from safer North Side neighborhoods and move them to areas with higher crime rates is just that, a rumor. “It’s just a news story right now,” said Garcia, but he and other beat officers present encouraged residents to contact their alderman and voice opposition to this plan if they’re concerned about the safety of their own neighborhoods.
  • During the holiday season, residents were reminded to stow packages in the trunks of their cars, away from the prying eyes of thieves. Don’t buzz people into your building unless you’re expecting someone.
  • Recent high-profile home invasion cases across the city aren’t cause for alarm. Officers noted that in these instances, the individuals tend to know each other and are looking for something specific (i.e., drugs). This isn’t a growing trend.

Highlights of the Top 10 crimes reported since the last beat meeting in September:

  • Theft is down from 30 instances to 13.
  • Battery held steady, with the majority being domestic occurrences. A question was raised about the difference between battery and assault. Officers defined it as such: Battery is physical contact, such as hitting or shoving, without use of a weapon. Assault is a verbal threat to do harm.
  • The one “sex offense” reported did not occur within Beat 2031 or District 20. The report was simply taken at Swedish Covenant Hospital, so it shows up on the beat’s crime statistics.

The next CAPS meeting for Beat 2031 is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2011, 7 p.m., Anderson Pavilion of Swedish Covenant Hospital, 2751 W. Winona.

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