Lincoln Park residents meeting with Chicago police over rising crime on North Side

CHICAGO (WLS) — From thefts to shootings, residents of Lincoln Park met with police to discuss public safety following a recent rash of crime on the North Side.

The meeting was moved to St. Josaphat church in Lincoln Park due to safety concerns. Some people in Lincoln Park feel a constant fear looming over them.

«It’s frightening! You can’t park your car. You can’t walk anywhere,» said Michelle Lezotte, whose catalytic converter was stolen.

The group of thieves who stole the catalytic converter off her SUV Sunday night were caught on camera. She was parked near Webster and Wayne avenues at the time.

«It’s frustrating, given that there was a shooting right here just two days before. You’ll think there would be more support, more patrol cars,» she said.

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That shooting victim, Dakota Earley, continues his road to recovery. Alderman Bran Hopkins said he mouthed his first words Tuesday.

«We do believe it’s the same perpetrators that have been out almost every night in this neighborhood sticking a gun to people’s heads while they’re walking down the sidewalk. No one can live like that!» Hopkins said.

And that led to the 18th District public safety meeting.

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«Our focus is on building and continuing to strengthen the dialogue between us and our local police officers,» said Brian Comer, president of the Sheffield Neighborhood Association.

No cameras were allowed inside as neighbors voiced concerns about rising crime.

«There used to be more police around here, it seems like. Maybe they need more,» said resident Art Schalk.

And numbers back that up. CPD data shows in that between January and October of 2021, 900 officers left the force while only 51 joined.

«Until we have more police on the streets, we need to be a community response. It’s a community problem, not just here but everywhere else in the City,» Comer said.