Lakeview residents tonight will raise their concerns about rising crime on the CTA with Chicago police and transit officials. The meeting at the 19th District (Town Hall) police station, 850 West Addison, will start at 7 p.m.
Alderman Tom Tunney (44th) arranged for representatives from the CTA and the police department’s transit unit to attended the meeting at the request of local residents, according to an invite posted to Facebook.
The get-together comes as just-released data from the city shows crime on CTA trains and platforms is up 104% since 2015 with last year showing a 5% increase. The increases are particularly troubling as the CTA has reported decreasing ridership in recent years.
It’s “time to demand a *true* mass-transit detail akin to what NYC and NYPD have done,” said the invite’s author.
The Lakeview meeting comes in the wake of a series of high-profile crimes on the city’s train system:
- Three juveniles, ages 13, 15, 16, were arrested in connection with the beating and robbery of a 55-year-old Brown Line passenger at Belmont on New Year’s Day.
- A group of six teenagers attacked and robbed two women, one of whom was pregnant, at the Roosevelt station on Dec. 29
- Police are looking for a man who beat, robbed, and sexually assaulted a woman on a Red Line train near the Morse station last Thursday
- A man with a long history of causing trouble along the Red Line, including a previous robbery that sent him to prison, is charged with attacking a Red Line passenger with a group of men at the Jackson station
- A man was slashed with a knife at the Belmont platform in late November
- A 15-year-old boy was stabbed in the Belmont Red Line station vestibule shortly before Thanksgiving
Some Lakeview residents expressed hope that tonight’s meeting will be different from previous community policing events.
“I’ve come away from some of them feeling very disillusioned,” one woman wrote in an online group. “The last one I went, it was very short and it seemed as though the panel just could not wait to get the crime stats [review] done so they could exit. Hoping this meeting will be very different. They need to feel the anger and concern in our lovely community about this!”
“I for one care passionately about this,” the woman continued. “I’m a huge fan of public transportation. I want to be able to use it without being in fear of being the victim of violence.”
Another resident shared a response that he received after he recently emailed Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot about CTA crime.
“I can assure you that I share your concern about crime on the CTA,” Lightfoot wrote. “It is a priority to address it forthwith. Thanks again and happy new year.”