CHICAGO — Chicago police have stepped up patrols in the downtown area after a series of violent crimes.

On Wednesday, Cook County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a fight in the 100 block of West Ontario Street.

Tuesday, four people were hospitalized after a shooting in the 400 block of South Wells Street.

District 1 and District 18 contain the neighborhoods in downtown Chicago. According to police data, crime is up by 135% so far this year in District 1, compared to the same time last year. In District 18, crime is up by 85% compared to the same time last year.

Brian Hopkins is the alderman of the 2nd Ward.

“We’ve had a rash of shootings that have really got the whole downtown neighborhood on edge, residents and businesses alike,” he said.

He said he hopes Mayor Lori Lightfoot is looking at these numbers and coming up with more ways to stop criminals.

“There are solutions out there and we have to focus on that,” he said. “Denying the reality doesn’t really help anyone. We have to acknowledge we are facing a crisis right now.” 

Hopkins said he hasn’t given up on downtown Chicago and said criminals do not have permission to run amuck in his district.