Following a number of carjackings, shootings, and burglaries that have occurred at an increased pace over the past several months, the Oak Park Police Department will host four community forums to discuss crime prevention with the public. The schedule is as follows:
- Tues., Jan. 30 – 6:30 p.m., Oak Park and River Forest High School north cafeteria, 201 N. Scoville Ave.
- Wed., Jan. 31 – 6:30 p.m. Village Hall, 123 Madison St., Room 201.
- Thurs, Feb. 1 – 6:30 p.m. Main Fire Station, 100 N. Euclid Ave.
- Fri., Feb. 2 – 9:30 a.m., Village Hall, 123 Madison St., Room 201.
Residents from every part of the community are welcome to attend any of the forums. These meetings will be held to create a dialgoue between Police and civilians with the overall goal of decreasing crime and becoming better equipt to catch future perpetrators.
One of the topics that will be addressed is the number of patrol officers within residential streets and alleys, according to Police Chief Anthony Ambrose.
“High visibility is a key strategy to prevent crime,” said Ambrose. “That’s why the numbers of marked cars patrolling our streets and alleys have increased significantly over recent weeks. But plain clothes officers in unmarked police cars are deployed strategically as well to make neighborhoods safer by having officers on the street observing, without being detected.”
Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb voiced strong support for the Chief and his approach to crime fighting.
“I understand the concerns of the community about safety. Addressing cime is our top priority,” said Abu-Taleb. “Fortunately, we have one of the finest Police Departments anywhere led by a Chief with more than three decades of experience. I know Chief Ambrose will take the right actions to protect the community. He has demonstrated time and time again that he knows how to get the job done.”
Ambrose believes that connecting directly with Oak Park residents is key to better understanding crime trends and the individuals responsible for committing them,
“After more than 30 years as a police officer in Oak Park, I value residents’ opinions,” said Ambrose. “Meeting face-to-face with citizens to candidly answer the hard questions is an essential component of an effective crime-prevention strategy.”