By Gary Jenkins
BAPA Community Safety Liaison
Officer James Connell is the Chicago Police Departments Abandoned Buildings Officer for the 22nd District, and he has been in that role for the past six years. One of his responsibilities in that role is to follow up on complaints from residents regarding buildings and homes. Although the abandoned building officer fields all types of complaints about problem properties, complaints involving overgrown yards, and buildings and homes in need of obvious repairs are usually referred to Pat Hefferman, Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation, 312-933-2763.
If a property appears to have been abandoned or is vacant or unsecured, Officer Connell will initiate an investigation to determine the ownership status. If a property owner can be identified, efforts will be made to have the owner address the problems. If the owner does not address situation, or the in the case of an abandoned or vacant property, where the owner cannot be located, Officer Connell will refer the property to City of Chicago’s Law Department for legal action.
If residents have tangible information regarding illegal activity in a vacant or abandoned building, or if they have questions or concerns regard potential troubled buildings, they should contact Officer Connell, 312-745-0620 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Besides notifying Officer Connell, residents can call 311 or visit City of Chicago websites that have very helpful information: 311.chicago.gov orwww.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dcd/supp_info/troubled_buildinginnitiativetbi.html.