Evanston police plans to roll out new crime alert system

Evanston+Police+deputy+chief+Jay+Parrott+speaks+at+the+special+third+ward+meeting+Tuesday+night.++EPD+is+planning+on+rolling+out+a+new+crime+alert+system.+
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Evanston police plans to roll out new crime alert system

Evanston Police deputy chief Jay Parrott speaks at the special third ward meeting Tuesday night.  EPD is planning on rolling out a new crime alert system.

Evanston Police deputy chief Jay Parrott speaks at the special third ward meeting Tuesday night. EPD is planning on rolling out a new crime alert system.

Abizar Bagarsawala/The Daily Northwestern

Evanston Police deputy chief Jay Parrott speaks at the special third ward meeting Tuesday night. EPD is planning on rolling out a new crime alert system.

Abizar Bagarsawala/The Daily Northwestern

Abizar Bagarsawala/The Daily Northwestern

Evanston Police deputy chief Jay Parrott speaks at the special third ward meeting Tuesday night. EPD is planning on rolling out a new crime alert system.

Ryan Wangman, Reporter

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In response to community concerns about crime, Evanston police said at a Third Ward meeting Tuesday that they plan to launch an alert system in next two months designed to notify residents of crime happening in the area.

Evanston police decided to roll out new crime alert technology amid concerns from residents in the Third Ward over the increase in “Part I” crimes, which include anything from murder to theft or aggravated battery. More than 100 Evanston residents gathered at Lincoln Elementary School, 910 Forest Ave., to discuss the uptick in crime in the Third Ward.

During the meeting, residents said their main concerns are vehicular and residential burglaries, which have increased since June of this year.

“There has been a series of events that have been attention getting,” Eddington told The Daily. “When you have residences being entered while they’re occupied, that is very disturbing. That’s something we need to address in settings like this so people are aware of it and can undertake common sense safety precautions to prevent those.”

The crime alert technology, “Everbridge,” is a media alert system that allows residents to receive email or text updates with information about crimes happening in the area.

“(Everbridge is) going to be an extremely handy way to push the needed information out to the community,” Evanston police chief Richard Eddington said.

Although official crime statistics reported by EPD show the overall crime index is down by 17.1 percent since last year, these numbers have done little to lessen residents’ fears.

Ald. Melissa Wynne (3rd) told The Daily she has received many calls from residents concerned with the recent burglaries.

Wynne shared with the audience her own experience of being robbed, saying “it can happen to anybody.”

During the meeting, deputy police chief Jay Parrott took time to highlight common sense safety precautions that residents should follow. He said people should leave front porch lights on and invest in motion-activated lights for backyards, as well as lock their house and car doors.

All of the 21 incidences of vehicle burglary in the Third Ward between June and September this year were instances of unsecured cars, according to crime data presented during the meeting. Parrott said burglars will target unlocked vehicles rather than breaking into secured cars in order to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

Additionally, Parrott emphasized the importance of common sense and individual awareness of one’s surroundings to ensure one’s safety.

“Evanston is a great city, but it is a city,” Parrott said. “People walk around with headphones on and sometimes they like to tune out the world — but you can’t do that. You have to really be aware of surroundings, really just for general safety.”

Rhoda Kamin, a Third Ward resident, told The Daily she was concerned about safety after her neighbors were robbed.

“I feel [the police] are being very responsive, and they certainly took these concerns seriously,” she said.

Email: ryanw@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @ryanwangman

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