Crime in Pilsen has decreased
Letter to the editor
05/11/2011 10:00 PM
Over the past few weeks, the City of Chicago saw nearly 20 different shootings in several neighborhoods from the North Side to the South Side. Interestingly, only one of these shootings occurred in Pilsen, often considered a high crime neighborhood riddled with gang activity. Statistics show that over the past 15 years, violent crime in Pilsen has seen a 25 percent reduction. This reduction in crime is a huge leap and a great improvement for our community.
Much of the violence that has plagued Pilsen for many years is gang related. In order to prevent our childrens’ desire to participate in gang activity, they must be given positive alternatives. To that end, there have been continued expansions and improvements in the community by schools and community groups working in collaboration with Alderman Solis. There are new after school programs and facilities — the field house and soccer field at Benito Juarez. There is also a new library coming to the Whittier School. All of these improvements give the kids of Pilsen an option for their time that doesn’t involve gangs or violence.
Furthermore, Alderman Solis’ office had directed the placement of 28 Police Observation Device cameras throughout the ward. Alderman Solis also regularly surveys the ward with Police Commander Keane and holds smoke outs. These smoke outs bring dozens of neighborhood residents together who want to work with the Chicago Police Department and Alderman Solis to bring down gang violence on their blocks. Hosting these on gang corners discourages gang members from acting violently in those areas, around children and families.
Pilsen has made significant progress but we must continue to work together to reduce crime in the community and protect the families in our neighborhoods. I’m proud that Pilsen has seen such a significant reduction in crime in the past several years and I hope that this trend continues.
Marco L. Gallegos