Community Safety: Team Work at the 22nd District 

In the early morning hours on a recent summer Sunday, a young man pulling into his West Beverly driveway was the victim of an armed robbery. The thief made off with his wallet, cell phone and PIN number, and would have disappeared into the dark had it not been for outstanding teamwork by 22nd District Police personnel and new technologies made available by the Chicago Police, the 19th Ward Office, and the victim.  

The crime was just a few hours old when Sgt. Vladan Milenkovic, Coordinator of the 22nd District Strategic Device Support Center (SDSC) and Police Officer Theresa Johnson arrived for work at the 22nd District.    

The SDSC Room handles the information coming in from Police Observation Device (POD) cameras, CPD license plate readers, and other tech devices. Sgt. Milenkovic watches what is happening on all the surveillance devices, supervises the SDSC Room personnel, and works with detectives, police officers, and even other police districts to gather as much information about crimes as quickly as possible.  

The trail that was unraveled in the SDSC Room began at the scene of the crime that summer morning.  Although the thief was masked, the robbery had been captured on the home’s security camera, providing a good image of the distinctive tattoos and beard, as well as a glimpse of the thief’s vehicle that gave Sgt. Milenkovic a good idea of the make and model.  

With an idea of what direction the thief was headed, Sgt. Milenkovic was able to start picking up images of the the vehicle as it passed a series of POD cameras and license plate readers.  

Even though 22nd District Detective Kathleen Dorich was not yet on the clock, Sgt. Milenkovic began looping her in right away.  Det. Dorich, a lifelong neighborhood resident, is passionate about keeping our community – and especially her parents – safe. Sgt. Milenkovic knew she would want start working on the case right away.  

As the SDSC team tracked the perpetrator’s movements on the POD cameras, Det. Dorich swung into her investigation, getting search warrants to follow the perpetrator’s GPS, and sharing information to help Sgt. Milenkovic and P.O. Johnson tap in to the POD cameras what could provide more images of the thief and his vehicle as he traveled across the city, using the stolen cards to access about $500. At each of the places  the thief stopped, he was caught on cameras, each of the images adding to the evidence that identified him and led to his arrest. The CPD license plate readers revealed that the thief had been driving his own vehicle during the crime, so he was arrested at his home.  

Det. Dorich, a Chicago Police Officer Sgt. Milenkovic, and P.O. Johnson all gave credit to one another for the top quality police work that led to a quick arrest.  

“The team work makes the dream work,” said P.O. Johnson, with COD since 2005 and at the 22nd District since 2007.  

“The camera room is the key to the fast resolution,” said Det. Dorich, with CPD for nearly 22 years and at the 22nd District since last November.  

“This is not a one man show,” said Sgt. Milenkovic, with CPD since 1995 and at the 22nd District since 2017.  “I work with great people.”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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