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If you see something suspicious, call the police!



And the more who reach out to the police, the better it is for the neighborhood.

That was the message that came out loud and clear at a meeting convened by Alderman Debra Silverstin, held at the Bernard Horwich JCC on Tuesday, July 19. Some 200 West Rogers Park residents attended the meeting to express concerns about crime and safety and to ask questions of police representatives.

"Everyone should call," said Ald. Silverstein, emphasizing that residents who witness drug dealing or other criminal activity should not rely on others to contact the police for them.  

Among the speakers were former Interim Superintendent John Escalante; 24th District Sgt. Shawn Sisk, and 17th District Commander Elias Voulgaris.

Amid a broad range of issues raised by residents -- from panhandlers, illegal fireworks, and bicycle scofflaws to racial bias in policing to improving police-community relations -- concern about shootings and gang violence in West Rogers Park predominated discussion. Clearly, speakers were as concerned about violence in the neighborhood as community residents.

Specifically mentioned were shootings near Pratt and Ridge; on Howard; at Devon and Albany; on the 2900 block of Lunt, and bullet casings found in an alley behind Bell Avenue.

Speakers informed residents that gangs come into the neighborhood from East Rogers Park, Skokie and other areas.  The 24th and 17th police districts, which serve the 50th Ward, have ongoing communication and collaborate with other city and suburban police departments to combat the problem.  They also work with landlords and social service agencies as needed.

Issues of specific concern to the Jewish community were also addressed. "We are extremely responsive to the Jewish community," said Sgt. Shawn Sisk of the 24th District, when concern was raised about safety on the streets at night, particularly on Shabbat and Jewish holidays when Jews are out late.

Said 17th Dist. Commander Voulgaris:  "We have a safe, secure area, and we plan to keep it that way." Speakers suggested waving to police when they drive through the neighborhood to let officers know their work is appreciated.


The 24th District can be reached at:  

Email: or phone: 312-744-5907

The 17th District can be reached at:  

Email: or phone: 312-742-4410

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