Living in a Safe Envionment in Streeterville
The SOAR Safety and Sound Task Force presented a panel of safety and security experts to discuss “Living in a Safe Environment in Streeterville” on Wednesday, July 20, at Baldwin Auditorium, Lurie Medical Research Center. More than 80 residents attended. Special thanks to Associate Director Martha Music, event chair; Vaune Carr, task force volunteer and program moderator, Bob Johnson, recentlyappointed Chair, Safety and Security Task Force, and to Jennifer Kunde, Executive DirectorGovernment Relations, Northwestern University.
Gloria Graham, Deputy Chief of Police, Northwestern University: Office Graham was one of many speakers who said that “Streeterville is a safe neighborhood,” one of the safest in Chicago. With Streeterville headquarters at 200 E. Superior, the professional NU police force is “fully integrated into the community.” They patrol University spaces, respond to service calls, organize prevention education meetings and function as official and informal “good neighbors.” The University intends to appoint the firstever Commander of the Streeterville police force in the fall.
Christopher Schenk, Officer, Chicago Police District 18: Even if we don’t fully know it, “everyone is a trained observer” who can recognize “reasonable suspicion and patterns and irregularities on the street,” said Officer Schenk. “That is why “the majority of crimes are solved by the community.” Office Schenk gave some basic safety tips and encouraged the audience to attend CAPs meetings. (Note: These meetings are listed in SOAR eNews under “Safety and Sound Management.”)
Gregory J. Wing, Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Chicago: Exploring the question, “What is the FBI doing about violence?” Agent Wing traced the presentday types of gang violence in Chicago to a diffuse gang leadership that may involve organization within a twoblock area. He acknowledged that “violence is spilling into Streeterville,” citing recent shootings in South Streeterville and described how FBI Chicago works with Chicago Police and other law enforcement, generally undercover, to counter violence and terrorism.
Donna Kobzaruk, Vice PresidentRegional Security Manager, JPMorgan Chase Bank: With four branches in Streeterville, the most important safety responsibility is to “protect our assets—our customers and employees,” Ms. Kobzaruk said. “Criminals coming into a bank have only one target, and that is money. Our employees are trained to meet the requests and, bolstered by onsite cameras, our security officers are trained in lockdown procedures and dealing with protests.” She described a “robust” cyber group that monitors and deals with intelligence before a cybercrime is committed.”
Rick Weil, Asset Protection Solution Manager, Walgreen’s Corporation: “Because 75% of the nation’s population is only five minutes from a Walgreen’s, safety is our #1 concern,” Mr. Weil said. He described the privatepublic partnership Walgreen’s creates in every community, starting with “getting to know the officers.”