To the Editor:
Thank you for your December 14th article on the relaunching of the WhistleStop program. The two articles, on robberies near campus and the shooting in Cornell Park, are prime examples of why WhistleStop is needed and effective. Very likely, people blowing whistles would have alerted the police more quickly, enabled someone to get a license number, and/or scared away the assailants.
WhistleStop is a long-standing neighborhood safety program, originally instituted in 1972 by the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference with support from Hyde Park Bank. The program is designed by providing easy way for people to see signal for help. It combines three basic principles: 1) Individual action: I can signal for help and get it 2) Neighborhood action: we can help protect one another, and 3) Citizen Police action: we can assist the police effectively.
The procedure is simple: carry a WhistleStop whistle with you at all times, preferably in your coat pocket on your key ring. If you hear a whistle, call the police, blow your whistle, keep blowing, and move towards the sound of the whistle you heard. If you are in trouble, get to safety, call the police, and blow your own whistle repeatedly to signal others for help. If you see trouble happen, call the police, blow your whistle, keep blowing, and move towards the scene. Summarized, the procedure is Call-Blow-Ho.
The HPKCC Safety Committee is currently in the process of recruiting more sites for whistle purchases- Kimbark Beverage Shoppe and Toys Etcetera have been added to the list- and purchasing more whistles. We will also be coordinating a WhistleDay Safety Event with the U of C Police Department as soon as possible. We genuinely need more volunteers for the Committee, especially those who could help with publicity, including on the various social media outlets. The WhistleStop program works because the entire community knows about it, knows how it works, and participate in making sure it works. My personal story exists (“How WhistleStop Save My Life “) and PR coordinator could help us get those stories out.
Please look up WhistleStop on the HPKCC web site (Hydepark.org), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 773-288-8343.
Stephanie Frankline, from the HPKCC Stafety Committee