What's next for Wood Street police station?


13th District station house, 937 N. Wood
 

Mayor Rahm Emanual confirmed Monday that police stations may close in Chicago's efforts to cut costs and add beat cops. In the Chicago Sun-Times, City Hall reporter Fran Spielman singled out the Wood Street station as a target for closing.

It's not a new issue: In 1992, consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton recommended that Mayor Richard M. Daley eliminate seven districts. Spielman's report this week noted that the 13th District station house, 937 N. Wood, is the only one in the seven districts that has not been rebuilt in the past decade.

The Wood Street station was built in 1960 and the station lockup has been out of use for at least four years.

Neighborhood volunteers faced these facts when introducing Ald. Proco Joe Moreno to 1st Ward issues in April 2010, and in discussions with his predecessor Manuel Flores in December 2009.

The East Village Association briefing paper for the new alderman is worth reviewing today to measure progress on community concerns. Here is EVA's statement on "Future Plans for Wood Street Police Station":

In recognition of the eventual relocation of 13th District Police operations from the Wood Street property, the EVA membership has expressed its desire to retain the property for community use. Wood Street is the main residential artery of East Village and has already established itself as a green corridor with three community gardens between Division and Augusta (Frankie Machine, Greenhouse Garden and the newly established Near North Montessori Farm). East Village's grassroots emphasis on gardening and parkway beautification (lead by Jeanne Felknor) and the growing interest in urban food production is making our neighborhood a green leader among urban communities. Using the Wood Street Police property to support additional community-focused activities is the next logical step.

3 comments:

  1. Based upon the comments of our aldermen, the Commissioner and the mayor we have to seriously consider that the 13th District station on Wood will close.
    The community should demand the following:
    1. A Substation perhaps in the Goldblatt's Building with rooms for CAPS meetings;
    2. An opportunity for those officers in the beats that were part of 13 to stay on those beats. They know the beats best;
    3. A commitment of equal or greater policing including an appropriate number of patrol cars;
    4. A commitment that the site of the old station be repurposed for community use or at the least used for open space.

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  2. I think we have to fight the closing. This is not the first time they want to close it. We need to notify the neighborhood. We should just not give up and it is not a forgone conclusion. Having this station as a substation with a reduction in admin but a place for police to work out of and be based would provide the best security for the neighborhood and ensure that we have coverage and not be at the mercy and whim of some admin across town. Having a building with a strong police presence is extremely important especially where our neighborhood is still edged on some dangerous areas. Violent crimes occur and things will not get better. Once we lose a station we will never get it back. We should not have a defeatist attitude as this is the time the City is testing whether we care and I for one do, being a 15 year resident and a former Vice President of EVA not so long ago. Plan to work this weekend on notifying my neighbors and hope you will too. We have support to keep this station open from the Fraternal Order of Police and we should not let it go so easily without a fight.

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  3. Anne,

    I think we are in agreement other than being tied to the building itself. I would not want 13 closed unless there is a commitment that the we get those things we described above.

    ReplyDelete

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