The following announcement from Alderman Matt O’Shea was shared with business owners and community members on June 16, 2022.
Starting next week, the 19th Ward and our local business associations will provide private security along our commercial strips. The framework for this plan was developed in consultation with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and several area public safety experts. Private security officers will travel along commercial strips, reporting any suspicious behavior to the Chicago Police Department. Our goal is to provide a visible security presence as well as additional eyes and ears in the community for the 22nd District.
This program is funded by a City of Chicago micro-grant awarded to the Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association, 95th Street Business Association, and Mount Greenwood Community & Business Association. Prior to launching this program, a survey was conducted on various ways to help local commercial strips recover from the pandemic. Private security was the top choice of business owners.
Security will operate on a rotating schedule based on the most recent calls for service. While I believe this program will make our neighborhoods safer, we must be clear that a private security guard is NOT a Chicago Police Officer. The duty of private security officers will be to observe and report. When a private security officer encounters suspicious activity, he or she will immediately contact the Chicago Police Department and remain on scene until CPD responds.
This private security pilot program is part of a larger public safety strategy that includes a significant investment in our camera network. By investing in technology and funding outside resources like private security, we can better provide for the safety of residents and businesses. In addition to our investment in cameras, the City of Chicago offers a rebate program on safety technology for homes and businesses. More information on that program can be found below.
In the face of troubling CPD staff shortages, we as a community must must do all we can to support, appreciate and respect the profession if we expect people to seek the job. In the meantime, we must also explore other opportunities to promote public safety in our community. I would like to thank the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Office of Budget and Management, Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association, 95th Street Business Association, and Mount Greenwood Community & Business Association for their partnership on this effort.
Alderman, 19th Ward