Alderman Daniel La Spata, police from the 14th District and residents of Logan Square and Bucktown gathered on the 1900 block of N. Campbell Avenue Nov. 22 for a police roll call and community assembly after shooting that took place Wednesday night.
The Nov. 20 shooting at Campbell Avenue and Cortland Street resulted in no injuries, however, it has been an unfortunate addition to the block’s recent spout of criminal activity, the alderman said.
A large group of officers came into formation for the evening roll call, which ended with residents and police officers getting a chance to talk to each other and hear concerns from neighbors about the block and how to improve violence moving forward.
”I have lived on this block for 41 years, so I’m kind of used to a lot of what’s been happening over the decades, and what’s going on here is really no different than any other neighborhood,” said Tammy Callejas, a longtime resident of the area. “I’ve never felt unsafe here, but it’s nice to see that people are actually trying to come out and engage instead of just hiding.”
During the roll call, many residents expressed their worries about the dilapidated building owned by the city of Chicago on the corner of Campbell and Cortland and some residents believed it was a factor that played into the recent past shootings of the block.
La Spata acknowledged the building concerns as “valid” and listened to neighbors about what solutions could be brought to it.
“We know that the building we’re standing next to is supposed to be managed by fleet and facility management,” La Spata told LoganSquarist. “It looks like a derelict building, because of the lack of maintenance. I brought this up to the commissioner, David Reynolds, to let them know we need TLC and we need more of a presence in this building.”
Not all of the residents shared the alderman’s view of the building, which is now used as a city storage facility. One local resident said she believes that the building has no correlation to the events that have taken place on the block and that street violence is the main factor.
Either way, actions are underway to improve the building as La Spata addressed his plans to renovate the site.
“We put in a request to have the weeds pulled around this building a couple of weeks ago, I was told by my superintendent, [which was] kind of slowed down by the snow,” he said. “We followed up on that request today and that should be happening soon.”
He went on to say the city plans to repaint the building and replace the doors, but that won’t happen until spring because of the winter weather.
The roll call had an impressive turnout, with more than 40 people from all over the district coming together to show strength and support for the neighborhood. Standing shoulder to shoulder, connections were made between both neighbors and police alike.
“I think it’s encouraging that there’s this many people in the neighborhood who are paying attention and trying to generate change,” resident Mindy Ardnt said. “I’m glad to see the alderman here tonight. I think having the police here makes us feel like somebody’s trying to do something about the violence that’s been popping up.”