Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Everything Evanston: Behind the boba in downtown Evanston

City opens police outpost on Howard Street

Amidst sushi, police tape, and throngs of Evanston residents, Evanston celebrated the grand opening of a new police outpost in the southeast corner of the city Wednesday night. The Howard Street Outpost is the product $320,000 in federal and city funds and several years of work by the Evanston Police Department and City Council.

The new outpost is not the first attempt Evanston has made to establish a police presence in the southeast corner of the city. The city had previously rented space at 741 Howard St., but was evicted for refusing to pay rent after a series of plumbing and insect problems.

The new location, 633 Howard St., was once a synagogue. The City Council had to turn to Marty Stern, a representative of the Chicago powerhouse U.S. Equities, when the owner of the building didn’t want to sell. Stern negotiated the sale quickly and easily, without charging the city.

Ald. Ann Rainey (8th), who spoke at the ceremony, presented a plaque in honor of the outpost’s contributors and a pair of before-and-after photographs illustrating the improvements made to the building since its purchase.

Evanston officials are optimistic about the outpost’s role in the community. “It makes a statement that we’re serious about preventing crime,” said Evanston Mayor Lorraine Morton, who was in attendance at the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Chief of Police Frank Kaminski called the opening of the Howard Street Outpost a “revolutionary” step in Evanston’s “partnership” style of policing. “This is an active part of the city, so the Howard Outpost will be a positive thing to change the neighborhood,” Kaminski said.

“Partnership” policing aims to further police-community relations by providing residents an opportunity to interact with Evanston police officers. The space inside the outpost will be used for holding neighborhood watch meetings, resolving local disputes and hosting safety seminars to educate the public on how to keep the neighborhood safe.

Much of the talk at the event pertained to what is perhaps the most visible of EPD’s efforts to get the community involved, the Citizen Police Academy, a 12-week seminar for community members. In the course of the seminar, citizen volunteers are educated on the importance of interaction between the police and residents, given a tour of the police station, and taken for four hours of ride-alongs and 911 situations.

Officer Tom Guenther, the coordinator of the six year-old program, described Citizen Police Academy as “an avenue to involve citizens with the police force.”

Joan Hickman, an alumna of the first seminar, agreed. “(Citizen Police Academy) gives citizens an opportunity to find out how they can help facilitate the police in what they do,” Hickman said.

This kind of community involvement is what city officials say they hope will make for an effective outpost.

“This place is going to revitalize this section of the city. It’s gonna happen here,” Mayor Morton said.

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City opens police outpost on Howard Street