The 2014 Chicago Pride Parade, held June 29, was among the topics at the July 2 CAPS meeting held for the 19th Police District. Ald. Tom Tunney was on hand at the meeting, held at 19th Police District Headquarters, 850 W. Addison St., fielding questions about the parade's future and how well Lakeview can sustain an event of the parade's size.
At the opening of the meeting, one audience member asked police officials whether the parade has "overpowered" Lakeview.
"As far as the police department goes, we're here for anything that comes our way," answered Sgt. Jason Clark.
Some audience members described serious problems throughout the neighborhood at the time of the parade however. Craig Nolden, who lives near Roscoe and Halsted, said the area around his home was a mess by time Sunday's festivities were over.
"I don't think the parade is being a good neighbor … . My neighborhood is trashed," Nolden said, adding that the most serious problems were not during the parade itself but during "the mayhem that goes on afterwords." He added that he likely was putting his home up for sale because of Pride weekend, which another woman said she likely would do as well. Nolden and others called on Tunney to survey area residents about the parade and accused him of being too non-committal.
"I think you're going to get an earful on the subject," Nolden said.
Tunney answered that he and other city officials have a wrap-up meeting about Pride two or three weeks later, and added, "I'm not hedging or being politically correct. The decision is not made by me unilaterally."
He further encouraged participants to email his office with feedback. "One year ago we sat here and had this same discussion. … There were many more post-parade resources than ever before [this year]."
Police officials at the meeting said that there were about 45 arrests made in the area between 5 a.m. June 29-5 a.m. June 30. They were unable to explain the figures released by CPD News Affairs Sunday evening that said that there were only 8 arrests. They guessed those might have been the number of arrests that happened during the parade itself.
Clarke said that burglaries and robberies would be a key focus for police throughout the month. He reminded residents who would be out of town to "make it look like they were not out of town" using timers, and asked that local residents also leave their porch lights on at night, to aid in illuminating the streets.
Some in attendance complained of individuals loitering on sidewalks in front of their homes. Officials said that, if someone obstructed a resident's path when they tried to get in or out of their home, they should call the police and file a complaint. They added that persons obstructing access have to be given a warning by police first, but, a "no trespassing" or "no loitering" sign on a building serves as a first warning.
Attendees also discussed business owners who were lax about calling police over loiterers. They mentioned the possibilities of reporting business owners to corporations if the business is franchised, or the business' landlord, which Tunney encouraged.
"That's a set of scrutiny that the building owners don't want to be involved with," Tunney said.
The regular August CAPS meeting will not be held. Instead, police will be meeting with the public when they take part in National Night Out at Clarendon Park, 4501 N. Clarendon Ave., from 5-8 p.m. on Aug. 5.