Hyde Park crime down overall, but sex crime, narcotics incidents up from last year

Crime figures pulled by CAPS civilian facilitator Howard Niden for beats 231, 233, 234 and 235, showing data from January through October 2018 and January through October 2019. (Contributed chart)


Crime has declined in the 3 Chicago Police beats covering Hyde Park in the year to date compared with January through October last year — gun violence is down 17% and robberies 40% across the 2nd District.

But local Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) coordinator Howard Niden presented numbers at a Nov. 7 CAPS meeting that showed sex crimes and narcotics-related incidents have increased over the same time periods in Beat 231, which covers a section of the Washington Park neighborhood, and beats 233, 234 and 235, which cover Hyde Park.

Police Sgt. Yolanda Walton said she would review the statistics over the weekend and comment on them later.

In Beat 233, which covers Washington Park and the area between Hyde Park Boulevard, 55th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, there were 5 arrests, 99 traffic stops and 14 investigatory stops between Oct. 2 and Nov. 7. In the previous reporting period, Aug. 1 through Sept. 5, there were 10 arrests, 138 traffic stops and 38 investigatory stops in Beat 235.

In Beat 234, which covers the area between Woodlawn Avenue, Hyde Park Boulevard, 55th Street and the lakefront, there were 15 arrests, 140 traffic stops and 14 investigatory stops over the most-recent reporting period. In the reporting period before that, police reported 10 arrests, 111 traffic stops and 15 investigatory stops.

In Beat 235, which covers the area roughly east of Cottage Grove Avenue between 55th and 61st streets, excluding Jackson Park, there were 9 arrests, 54 traffic stops and 2 investigatory stops over the last reporting period. In the reporting period before that, there were 11 arrests, 57 traffic stops and 6 investigatory stops.

The 2nd District CAPS office will have its second public meeting to assist in the drafting of a community policing strategic plan on Thursday, Nov. 21, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Oakwood Shores Community Center, 3825 S. Vincennes Ave. Police said that the last strategic plan yielded the 2nd District’s successful summer basketball program and other engagement work for 16- to 24-year-olds.

“They drive what the community wants us to focus on,” Walton said. Participants at the last public meeting, on Oct. 28, focused on quality of life issues such as drug-related crime, gang activity, vagrancy, idleness and loose cigarette sales as well as more officer engagement at community events.

The 2nd District, 5101 S. Wentworth Ave., will hold a memorial service for Officer Samuel Jimenez, who was killed in the line of duty during the Nov. 19, 2018, shooting at Mercy Hospital, on Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

There will be no CAPS meetings in December; a sector meeting is scheduled for January, but no date has been set. CAPS meetings will resume in February.

The 2020 CAPS meetings for Beat 233 will be included with the beats covering the Washington Park neighborhood, on the first Thursday of every month at the Washington Park fieldhouse, 5531 S. King Drive.

Beats 234 and 235 will meet on the second Thursday of the month at Congregation Rodfei Zedek, 5200 S. Hyde Park Blvd. The CAPS meeting for Kenwood’s Beat 222 will continue to meet on the second Tuesday of the month at the Kennicott Park fieldhouse, 4434 S. Lake Park Ave.