Tips and Trends Explained at 2017 SOAR Safety Forum

On their way to speak at the SOAR Safety Forum on May 30, Officer Joe Incaprera and Sergeant Amanda Vanek, Chicago Police 18th District Community and Business Relations Office, counted 39 pedestrians who were looking at their phones or wearing headphones or ear buds-in a single block! "If you take only two tips away from this meeting," Officer Incaprera told the sell-out audience at Northwestern University's Robert H. Lurie Center, "they would be: 1) Be aware of your surroundings and 2) Avoid using any distracting electronics." Sergeant Vanek urged managers of all residential, commercial and public buildings to install exterior safety cameras to deter and record criminal activity. "New technology has made cameras more effective and economical," she said. Bruce Lewis, Associate Vice President and Chief of Police, Northwestern University Department of Safety and Security, said that their security police force patrol Streeterville, from Chestnut to Ontario, by car and on foot, on a regular basis. He reminded the audience that Northwestern looks out for the safety of all stakeholders in the community and urged residents to use the Blue Light Emergency phone system when in the Northwestern Campus to report crimes or suspicious activities in the campus area. Gregory Wing, Supervisor Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigations, focused on gang activity in Chicago and screened a new video that can be seen on their website
Gregory Wing, Deborah Gershbein, Bob Johnson, Bruce Lewis, Amanda Vanek, Charlie DeMar, Joe Incaprera
SOAR President Debby Gershbein said, "Safety is among the top priorities for SOAR and Streeterville. We are fortunate to have Bob Johnson as Chair of the SOAR Safety and Sound Task Force. As a former firefighter and Fire Chief his expertise is highly valued by the organization." Bob announced the launch of a SOAR partnership with WhistleStop, an action safety program that provides residents practical protection on the street. Free whistles were given to audience members and will be distributed at the SOAR Farmers Market and other venues for a suggested donation of $2.00. He introduced the panel and Charlie DeMar, a reporter for CBS2 and moderator of the panel. Special thanks to Charlie and to Northwestern University for hosting.
Safety and Sound Task Force Members 
Gail Spreen, Bob Johnson, Nicole Lehman, Susan Caraher, Vaune Carr, Dietrich Muller

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