19th Ward Launches Private Security Patrol For Commercial Areas
CHICAGO — Starting June 20, private security officers will travel along commercial strips, reporting suspicious behavior to the Chicago Police Department. The plan was developed in consultation with Chicago police and area public safety experts, to provide a visible security presence as well as additional eyes and ears in the community for the 22nd Police District.
“In the face of troubling CPD staff shortages, we as a community must do all we can to support, appreciate and respect the profession if we expect people to seek the job. In the meantime, we must also explore other opportunities to promote public safety in our community,” Ald. Matt O’Shea said in an email blast to 19th Ward residents.
Security will be on a rotating schedule based on the most recent 911 calls for service. Private security officers’ primary responsibility will be to observe and report. When the private security officer encounters suspicious activity, he or she will immediately contact Chicago police and remain on the scene until officers respond.
“While I believe this program will make our neighborhoods safer, we must be clear that a private security guard is NOT a Chicago Police Officer,” O’Shea said. “This private security pilot program is part of a larger public safety strategy that includes a significant investment in our camera network. By investing in technology and funding outside resources like private security, we can better provide for the safety of residents and businesses.”
The program was funded by a City of Chicago micro grant awarded to the Morgan Park-Beverly Hills Business Association, the 95th Street Business Association and the Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association. Prior to launching this program, local businesses were surveyed on various ways to help local commercial strips recover from the pandemic. Private security was the top choice of business owners.