Chicago Neighborhood Policing Initiative Joins Residents in “Positive Loitering” Events at Local Gas Stations
By Mecole Jordan-McBride
This past summer community leaders and the Chicago Neighborhood Policing Initiative (CNPI) organized “Operation Safe Pump” in the 3rd and 6th districts to raise awareness about carjackings at gas stations.
With Chicago on pace for 1,960 carjackings by year end, a level six times higher than just eight years ago, the CNPI is focused on ways to prevent future carjackings.
At the Operation Safe Pump events, community members and CNPI District Coordination Officers (DCOs) spoke with gas station owners about ways to help make their stations a safer place for the community, including installing better lighting at night and not allowing loitering on the premises. Gas station patrons received fliers with information about safety and ways in which to contact the DCOs in the district.
Positive loitering events like Operation Safe Pump allow a community to combat violent crimes before they happen and take back public spaces in their neighborhoods. CNPI is partnering with communities to make this happen.
“CNPI is grounded in the principle that public safety is the responsibility of everyone who works and lives in the neighborhood – that we are safer when we communicate effectively and work together,” said Mecole Jordan-McBride, CNPI Community Director.
This summer, the Chicago Neighborhood Policing Initiative community engagement team supported nearly 40 community events, reaching hundreds of community members across 10 CPD districts. Some of these events included community clean-ups, positive loitering in areas with high public safety concerns, community cook-outs, and sharing information and resources through street fairs and community walks.
At many of these events, CNPI DCOs and other CPD officers actively participated, meeting residents and passing out their business cards to connect with the community. They had the opportunity to hear directly from community members about chronic public-safety concerns and begin the process of co-developing ideas to make the neighborhood safer.
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To learn more about preventing carjackings or submit tips in carjacking cases (including uploading video, photos and other potential evidence to help investigators), go to the Chicago Vehicular Carjacking Task Force website.