By LINDSAY WELBERS
In May of last year the Chicago Police Department 2nd District received new leadership.
Former Commander Fred Waller was transferred from the 2nd District to the Auburn-Gresham Neighborhood. Terence Williams took his place and implemented a tough-on-crime, broken windows approach to policing in the area.
“We want to be aggressive in fighting crime under my regime,” Williams said at a Fourth Ward Community Meeting in May of last year. “If anyone is going to commit a crime, lock them up.”
Arrests have ticked down slightly overall from 2012 levels. Within the Hyde Park community area, as defined by the City of Chicago as 51st Street on the north, Cottage Grove Avenue on the west, 60th Street on the south and Lake Michigan on the east, 2012 saw 1,281 arrests overall and 2013 saw 1,220, between May 1 and Dec. 31 of each year.
Williams took over command of the 2nd District in May 2013.
Assaults were down 26 percent from the previous year; 66 were reported in 2013 and 89 in 2012. Battery was also down 9 percent, with 142 reported in 2013 and 155 in 2013. Robberies were down by 44 percent, with 48 reported during 2013 and 72 in 2012.
Thefts, far and away the most common crime in Hyde Park, stayed about the same with 441 in 2013 and 449 in 2012.
Burglaries were up 22 percent from 2012. Chicago Police have issued multiple warnings about burglaries inside homes and vehicles during this period. Motor vehicle thefts were up 20 percent: in 2012 52 vehicles were stolen and 2013 saw 65 vehicles stolen.
In contrast, Lincoln Square, a neighborhood nearly one square mile larger than Hyde Park and with nearly 14,000 more residents, saw a 7 percent drop in assaults, a 22 percent drop in burglaries, a 37 percent drop in motor vehicle thefts, a 45 persent drop in narcotics arrests and a 21 percent drop in robberies. Lincoln Square’s arrests for theft stayed largely the same, with 492 reported in 2012 and 487 reported in 2013.
Crime in Chicago declined 16 percent overall last year. Homicides dropped 16 percent citywide, robberies were down 12 percent, battery was down 16 percent burglaries were down 22 percent, motor vehicle thefts dropped 23 percent and thefts dropped 23 percent.