CHICAGO — Chicago police say they will increase patrol in Little Village after community members and street vendors called on the city to protect them better.

Neighbors met with police on Wednesday to address the uptick in crime. As a result, city police agreed to increase its presence in the West Side neighborhood from 3-9 a.m. Community members have also enlisted the help of the Black Panthers and Brown Berets to patrol the streets.

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The plea came after recent acts of violence, including early morning armed robberies of vendors and businesses.

“The robberies are still happening, and we want to make sure that the robberies don’t continue into the businesses because once they start hitting the businesses, then we have a big problem,” said Baltazar Enriquez, the president of the Little Village Community Council.

“We’re trying to avoid businesses from closing and we’re trying to keep our tourists that visit Little Village safe and also trying to keep our community members safe,” Enriquez added.

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Last week, a spokesperson for the Chicago police told WGN News that the department is committed to strengthening safety for residents and vendors across the city, including in Little Village. Officials ask street vendors across the city to report any issues they may have experienced to the police.