Police discuss recent incidents in 9th Ward, new resources

Jennifer Ball, Reporter

Evanston police on Friday night urged 9th Ward residents to be vigilant in light of a spike in motor vehicle thefts and a shooting last month.

Chief of Police Richard Eddington began the meeting, held at Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St., by explaining that residents should give their feedback.

“We need your eyes and ears and your participation,” Eddington said.

Officer Enjoli Daley and Officer Reginald Napier are both members of the Evanston Police Department’s Problem Solving Team, which focuses on community relations. They told the residents about new initiatives for reaching police and viewing crime data.

Daley, who represents the 9th Ward on the team, said she has seen a “huge jump” in motor vehicle thefts since last year. From April 2012 to October 2012, the 9th Ward had seven motor vehicle thefts. That number increased to 15 during the same period this year.

Daley also cited a shooting, which happened Sept. 15 in the 2000 block of Oakton Street, as another incident of concern. A 46-year-old man was shot in the leg and taken to St. Francis Hospital in stable condition.

(Man shot in south Evanston)

In addition to the shooting, both officers discussed burglaries in the 9th Ward. Daley and Napier called burglary a crime of opportunity and told residents how to avoid it.

Some of these tips were stopping the mail and newspapers while on vacation, installing motion-sensor lights and requesting a “special watch” before going out of town, where the beat officers will monitor a resident’s home while he or she is gone.

Napier, who represents the 2nd Ward on the team, also suggested residents install surveillance cameras at their homes and businesses.

The officers urged residents to report suspicious activity such as someone walking down the street trying to open doors.

“If something is not right then call us,” Napier said. “Suspicious is something that does not look right to you.”

One new resource for Evanston police, Daley said, is an armored surveillance truck equipped with the latest in camera technology. However, residents also have to keep an eye out for potential crime, the officers said.

“It comes down to knowing the neighbors and fellowshipping with the neighbors,” Napier said.

Dottie Coppock, a resident of the 9th Ward, said she appreciates EPD’s efforts to reach out to the community, especially after graduating from the Citizen Police Academy.

“It’s just wonderful to see how they are always trying to improve things,” Coppock told The Daily after the meeting.

Residents may use Text-a-Tip to send text messages with anonymous tips, which go directly to the 911 dispatch center. Napier told the group of residents that the program has been “particularly helpful” among teens.

People may also submit their tips online via Crime Reports, where they can enter their addresses and view incidents in their areas.

Napier told residents they can sign up to have the daily crime reports emailed to them every day. The daily reports can also be viewed on the city’s website.

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