By Gary Jenkins
BAPA Safety Liaison
Nearly everyone looks forward to the holiday season, which traditionally begins at Thanksgiving and ends on New Year’s Day. We look forward to this time of the year because it usually means a lot of what I call the 3Fs: family, food, and fun!
This year due to the COVID1-19 pandemic, we are forced to reconsider what our holiday celebrations will look like. The health experts are recommending that gatherings be smaller than what most of us are used to having. My simple message to all of Beverly/Morgan Park neighbors is to be smart and follow all the recommended guidelines put out by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as the Illinois and Chicago health officials. The CDC website (www.coc.gov) offers excellent recommendations on coping with coronavirus in your daily life and the holidays. You can read and implement whatever guidelines fit your individual situation. The State of Illinois and the City of Chicago have also issued guidance regarding holiday gatherings.
Holiday travel is another area that will be greatly impacted by the current situation. Most experts strongly recommend that you forgo any holiday travel, and not to have anyone outside of your immediate household in your home. If you do plan to travel, or if you are expecting guests this holiday season, be sure to follow all safety guidelines regarding travel. Make sure you know the current pandemic status of the area where you will be traveling or the areas from which your guests will be traveling. Most recommendations suggest: 1. Quarantine at least ten days before traveling to make sure you are well. 2. Get a COVID test at least three days before you travel. 3. Get a COVID test after you arrive at your destination.
All of us are already experiencing a severe case of COVID fatigue. However, if we do not continue to the very best we can to stop the spread of this hideous virus we will be dealing with this situation for a lot longer than anyone would like.
Crime Prevention & Safety Recap
On Nov. 17, the 22nd District police hosted a nearly two hour Crime Prevention & Safety seminar via Zoom. The meeting was moderated by CAPS Officer Kurrin Beamon, and guest speakers included Officer John Thill, Strategic Decision Support Center (SDSC) room, Sargent Bucki, Property Crimes – Robbery, Burglary, and Theft (RBT), Beverly Carrington, OEMC , Detective Julie Blair, Area Technology Team – Area South, and Maureen Renno, Asst. States Attorney – Community Justice Center (South). Although he was not part of the original program, Detective Blair’s husband, also Detective Blair, spoke about recent upticks in auto thefts and carjackings.
Officer Thill explained that the SDSC room is a central hub of the 22nd district and serves to coordinate with the beat officers, disseminate information to both detectives and beat officers, monitor the 75 – 80 pod cameras, and provide tech support, among other duties.
Sargent Bucki talked about role the RBT unit plays in investigating property crimes and the importance of the public reporting such crimes.
Beverly Carrington gave a brief description of OEMC’s 911 three–tier priority call system, and the importance of the answering why, what, when, where, and how when calling 911. Carrington also gave a brief overview of the Smart 911 system.
Detective Blair spoke about how the Area Technology Team retrieves videos from cameras to aid in solving crimes. The unit works with the Ring company to identify and retrieve videos from residences where crimes occur. Detective Blair noted that turning over video surveillance information is voluntary. The unit also canvasses the neighborhood knocking on doors to seek information on crimes.
ASA Renno spoke about the Illinois Crime Victims Rights and, although is halted due to the pandemic, the importance of the court advocacy program.
A Q&A session followed the presentations.