Public Safety Survey FAQ

Q: Why is RNRA making these recommendations?

A: Serious crime in our community has reached an unacceptable level and our members and partners are demanding that more be done to address the problem.

Q: Do you feel that the CPD isn’t doing enough?

A: We have great respect and appreciation for the Officers who risk everything to keep us safe, but they need additional resources and support. More Officers, more technology, and more training will go a long way. We also feel that more emphasis on community-based violence prevention and alternative emergency response programs will compliment CPDs efforts and lead to better outcomes.

Q: The crime statistics you present are shocking, where does this data come from?

A: We downloaded data from the Chicago’s Public Safety Crimes Map, which lists all reported crime in the city. The stats reflect incidents from August 2021 through July 2022 in the eight 18th District Beats south of North Avenue. After excluding domestic incidents and less serious crimes, these were the results:

  • 177 aggravated batteries
  • 36 vehicular hijackings
  • 269 weapons violations
  • 163 aggravated or armed robberies
  • 138 aggravated assaults
  • 8 homicides

Q: Is RNRA only concerned with crime in River North?

A: Absolutely not. Although the frequency and severity of these incidents is relatively new to our community, it has been the reality in many neighborhoods for decades. No one should have to live or work in fear for their safety, or that of their family, which is why a number of these recommendations address issues affecting all of Chicago.

Q: Why is this presented as a survey?

A: So that our members, and anyone interested in public safety can express support for, or opposition to, our suggestions, and also submit other serious ideas on the subject. We think our recommendations have merit, but they’re not the last word.

Q: What will you do with the responses?

A: The top line results will be posted on our website and updated periodically. All results, including any narrative commentary, will be shared with city, county and state officials.

Q: You’re recommending more cameras. Doesn’t this create the potential for privacy violations?

A: Our understanding is that the proper deployment and use of Police cameras and license plate readers helps to solve and prevent crime, and that there are fewer in use here than in many other cities. Naturally, the use of this technology must be subject to appropriate regulation to protect civil liberties.

Q: You’re calling for more investment in disadvantaged communities, what does this have to do with crime in River North?

A: Generally speaking, when communities thrive, everything gets better. Public health improves, local economies stabilize, truancy declines, life expectancies increase, and crime rates fall. Thoughtful investment in low-income neighborhoods pays dividends for the entire society.

Q: Doesn’t pre-trial custody risk incarcerating innocent people?

A:  Keeping people in jail primarily because they’re poor is a bad outcome. Allowing violent offenders to commit new crimes while awaiting trial is also a bad outcome. There are no perfect solutions. By limiting this recommendation to individuals with a prior felony conviction for a crime involving violence or a weapon, who are later apprehended for another crime involving violence or a weapon within 10 years, we’re trying to find a reasonable middle ground.

Q: Why should wealthy people and companies be responsible for contributing to youth centers?

A: They shouldn’t, but for a variety of reasons, including the pandemic, government is struggling to meet its obligations. According to Mascola Group, Illinois has over 2,700 Ultra High Net Worth Individuals ($30mm+). Large corporations, foundations, and wealthy individuals are often looking for suitable investment opportunities. Helping to create safe, nurturing spaces that can get at-risk Chicago kids onto a path to productive citizenship seems like a worthwhile investment to consider.

Q: The survey includes quite a bit of content about the hospitality sector. Is RNRA “anti-bar”?

A: Not at all. A diverse and thriving nightlife is one of the things that makes River North special. We appreciate and support responsibly managed hospitality venues and are proud to have more than 1,300 of them in the area. But at any given time, a small handful are associated with an inordinate amount of disruptive or criminal activity in or near their establishments. Our “Best Practices” are designed to help licensees operate in a way that’s profitable, but also demonstrates good corporate citizenship. Bottom line: run your business as though you live next door.

Q: Does every individual really need to concern themselves with public safety?

A: If we want to live in a healthy, prosperous, and sustainable community, we must look out for one another. There are many ways to be involved: attend a Beat Meeting, connect a private security camera to the OEMC, become a court advocate, designate a public safety liaison for your building, and never hesitate to call 911. A lot of people doing small things can make a big difference.

Q: How does RNRA expect these recommendations to be implemented?

A: As a non-profit neighborhood advocacy organization, we obviously have no authority to implement any of these recommendations. That’s up to elected officials in city, county, and state government. By raising awareness, promoting local engagement, and encouraging productive dialogue, we hope to have a positive impact on one of the most important issues facing our community.

Q: Can anyone participate? How do they access the survey?

A: We welcome and encourage participation by anyone. Just go to