New police commander talks tough

Staff Writer

Chicago Police Department 2nd District Commander Fred Waller was transferred last month to the Gresham neighborhood’s 6th District, where he serves as commander.

The 2nd District’s new commander, Terence Williams, told neighborhood residents on Monday night at Ald. Will Burns’ (4th) ward meeting that he takes a zero-tolerance approach to policing.

Williams also said he takes a “broken windows” approach to policing.

The broken windows theory argues that a building with broken windows, if left unrepaired, will eventually have more windows broken by vandals and it may eventually become a place for squatters and breed more crime. If the windows are repaired early, the devolution into a crime-ridden place will never occur and crime is prevented preemptively. It contends that addressing this sort of smaller problem has an overall effect on the crime rate.

“We want to be aggressive in fighting crime under my regime,” Williams said. “If anyone is going to commit a crime, lock them up.”
Williams took over after Waller’s promotion on April 18. He previously served as district commander in the 24th District in Rogers Park and as captain in the 15th District in Austin. He is a 21-year veteran of CPD. He said he also previously served in the 2nd District and 21st District long before they combined territories.

“The smaller crimes, to me, lead to the larger crimes. That same person who is gambling on the street with five individuals will be your victim two hours later,” Williams said.

Williams said since his arrival the 2nd District had seen shootings every weekend until the weekend of the 18th and 19th, when he placed officers strategically and banned taking lunches during hours when crime is most prevalent.

“We had no violence this weekend,” Williams said. “We put the people in the right spot, at the right time, where the crimes were occurring.”
According to a police blotter released to the Herald the 2nd District marked 30 incidents of violent crime on Saturday May 18 and Sunday May 19. Crimes included domestic battery, battery with a dangerous weapon, simple assault, robbery, offense involving children, and unlawful possession of a handgun. None of these offenses occurred inside Hyde Park.

Williams said he ordered that there be an increased police presence along 53rd Street because there had been robberies.

Williams boasted that a narcotics roundup over that same weekend put 15 known narcotics dealers in jail, though another five remain on the run. Williams put an increased police presence in the space between 46th and 52nd streets from Ellis Avenue to Champaign Avenue to help prevent new criminals from moving into the area.