CHICAGO — “When is enough, enough for people?” Alderman Matt O’Shea (19th) wondered aloud during an interview Tuesday. “These offenders were driving around our community like predators looking for victims.”
The offenders O’Shea spoke about were groups of people who robbed a woman and children in two separate incidents in the Beverly area Monday.
One was an incident where four offenders approached a woman and three children on the way home from band practice at a local elementary school. The other was where a young child was approached from behind by a group of offenders while walking back from picking up dinner in the 2400 block of West 105th Street.
In both instances, the offenders rifled through the victims’ pockets and took valuables by force.
O’Shea said crimes like these could be more effectively addressed with more police officers on the force, in addition to money being spent on new police helicopters and patrol vehicles.
In her recently unveiled 2023 city budget, Mayor Lori Lightfoot does set aside $100 million for public safety, but the budget did not include an ordinance introduced by O’Shea in the spring that would have provided hiring incentives in the form of signing bonuses and first time home buyer loans to new recruits.
O’Shea said the Chicago Police Department currently has around 11,500 police officers on the force, compared to having more than 13,300 three years ago.
“This is not sustainable. We’re going to continue to see crimes like this where young children are victimized and the bad guys have no fear of being held accountable for their crimes,” O’Shea said.