Neighborhood Public Safety Update – August 9, 2020

On Thursday August 6th, Leaders from River North Residents Association (RNRA) and Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR) met with Chicago Police Department 18th District Commander Jill Stevens, Sergeant Chris Schenk, Alderman Brendan Reilly and Alderman Brian Hopkins, to discuss what can be done to address and stop the increasing crime in  River North and Streeterville. Both neighborhoods are experiencing the same disturbing illegal and criminal activities. Fortunately we learned that there are many plans and initiatives in place to address our concerns, which include the need for a greater police presence, additional external resources and technology to reduce crime, late night street parties, Divvy bike controls, hotel occupancy oversight, and recurring motorcycle illegal activity.
We are in constant contact with CPD and our Aldermen and plan to have regularly scheduled joint meetings to maintain strong communications and governance. The safety and security of all residents, all businesses and all visitors and guests remains our highest priority with our public safety partners.
Commander Stevens highlighted the following aspects of the 18th District plan to curb the increase in violence and lawlessness in the neighborhood.
Commander Stevens has requested and received two platoons of 50 officers from the recently created Critical Incident Response Team to supplement patrol officers in response to recent criminal activity. They will work the afternoon and evening watches. In addition she has requested and will receive additional bike patrols, canine officers, and mounted officers when not assigned to protests. The Commander has also re-established foot patrol officers on specific streets.
Police Presence
There will be a joint surge mission on weekends with the adjoining 1st District (Loop) to show a police presence on certain hot spots in both Districts. This will involve multiple police cars moving thru an area.
Late Night Street Parties, Illegal Drinking and Drugs, etc.
At the request of Alderman Reilly (42nd) and Alderman Hopkins (2nd), the Commander has placed no parking restrictions on specific residential streets from 11pm until 6am. RNRA encouraged Commander Stevens to increase this coverage as needed.
Divvy (Lyft) Bike
Aldermen Reilly and Hopkins have both put pressure on Divvy to address the issue of stolen bicycles and resulting criminal activities. Divvy has presented a three pronged plan involving credit card checks (no prepaid debit cards), reducing hours of operation and upgrading docking stations with stronger locking devices. If these changes don’t work, the Aldermen said they will require Divvy to replace all of the docking stations with new theft proof units at their expense.
At a recent meeting with the Hotel Management Association, Alderman Reilly told the hotels they had to have a security guard in the hotel lobby with a clipboard to check off the names of the people who are registered guests. Only two persons per room will be allowed. They will have only two key cards issued to the named occupants. The hotels were notified that the occupant’s friends were entering the hotels through the fire exits and that the hotels needed to address this issue. Sgt. Schenk said the Community Policing Team is visiting the hotels to advise management of their obligations.
The Illinois State Police (ISP) has a motorcycle contingent. Commander Stevens has requested ISP to attend a roll call and instruct CPD officers on specific methods and laws to curtail illegal motorcycle activities. Alderman Reilly reminded the Commander that he had a law passed last year that made “straight pipes” illegal.
We will continue to provide alerts, updates and details as we receive them. We realize that this is just a start and there is much more that needs to be accomplished. This is a work in progress, but please know that our Aldermen and the CPD 18th District are working overtime on our behalf to address all of the issues that are affecting the quality of life and safety for River North residents.

Attend Your CAPS Beat Meeting
This is an opportunity for you to share your concerns directly with CPD.  These meetings have most recently been via Zoom.

CAPS Beat Meetings are posted on the RNRA Event Calendar:  Not sure what Beat you are in? CLICK HERE.

If you see something, say something. Call 911!  Do not assume that someone else will report crime. Take and send videos whenever possible.  Do not call 311 to report criminal activity. The police don’t know what is going on if we don’t tell them. We provide additional eyes and ears on the street!  911 calls will help us to secure additional CPD resources. We need to demonstrate to city leaders that our residents mean business and have zero tolerance for illegal activities.

If your building is not a member of the River North Residents Association, now is the time to join our organization of over 70 homeowner associations/rental complexes and 20,000 members. Ask your Property Manager or HOA Board Leaders to go to There is strength in numbers.

To find out more about how you can help and become more active in supporting quality of life issues in our neighborhood, volunteer at