In the Squad Room — Calling All Cars

Weekly Deployment Meeting Highlights

Every week, Linda Hansen attends the Evanston Police Department’s Deployment Meetings, takes notes on various topics and writes about other police-related matters of interest to ordinary citizens like her.

Deployment Meeting — July 1, 2015

On 6/28 dozens of people (30–50 according to detectives) at separate gatherings in the 1900 block of Brown engaged in a disturbance that escalated into several fights on the block. NU and Skokie law enforcement assisted the EPD at the scene. Two adults and one juvenile were charged with Mob Action and Disorderly Conduct.

Also notable, 16 bicycle thefts. This week, more than half were locked. Last year, the EPD arrested a pair of thieves using a cordless reciprocating saw that was capable of defeating a lock in something like 10 or 15 seconds. If there’s any good news here, it’s that the EPD is focused on catching the crooks.

A note from Intelligence Officer Michael Endre: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is launching its annual Vehicle Theft Prevention Campaign this month. Why July? It’s the month when more cars are stolen than any other month. As of June 1st, there were 28 vehicles stolen in Evanston. Keep your vehicles locked and remove all spare/valet keys from the interior.

Now, the rest of the news:

Past Week:

  • A jewelry store in the 700 block of Main was burglarized on 6/25. Over $9,000 in merchandise was stolen. Some of the plunder was recovered in a nearby alley.
  • Community policing, EPD-style: On 6/24, a community event supporting honoring the victims of the Charleston SC shooting at the Second Baptist Church, on 6/25, a safety talk at Lincolnwood School’s Safety Town, on 6/26, a Father & Son Mentoring Event at the Levy Center and on 6/30, the June Jamboree at the Children’s Center of Evanston. PST officers still found time to log 26 hours on those tricked-out Cannondales.
  • A male juvenile on a bicycle near Callan and Hull battered a twelve-year old female on 6/25. The quick-thinking victim used her cell phone to take a photo of the offender. He was apprehended and charged with misdemeanor battery.
  • There were 8 Shots Fired calls, largely in Beats 78 (the south end), 74 and 77 (west end and Fifth Ward). Each call was investigated, but evidence — bullet holes, shell casings — weren’t found. Setting off of illegal fireworks this weekend will probably produce an equal or greater number of calls.
  • On 6/28 a pickup truck driven by Gerardo Barboza crashed into a home in the 100 block of Ridge, causing significant structural damage. He has been charged with DUI.
  • Robert Hammond was arrested on 6/27 when he failed to pull over in a routine traffic stop in the 1000 block of Sherman. He was charged with Fleeing and Eluding Police. A .38 caliber pistol was recovered near the scene of the arrest. Detectives are continue to investigate in order to pursue further criminal charges.
  • Use a rake: It’s an ordinance — gas–powered leaf blowers, whether handheld or backpack mounted, are banned from 6/15 through 9/30.
  • The Investigative Services Bureau has been alerted to a pair of female identity thieves who have opened warehouse club credit accounts in the names of victims from Kentucky. They have used lines of credit to fund shopping sprees at various warehouse club locations, including one in Evanston.
  • Traffic escorted over 100 riders as they traveled through Evanston honoring the Wounded Warriors Project.

Looking Ahead·

  • As usual, the EPD will be beefing up patrols over the 4th of July celebrations, both along the Central Street parade route and the lakefront, where the department’s electric four-wheeler will also be called into service. The Haitian Festival at James Park takes place on the 4th, too.
  • Look for the EPD, the Citizen Police Academy and the Youth Citizen Police Academy at the parade.
  • Curfew laws will be aggressively enforced. Reminder: free-range teens under the age of 17 are in violation after 10 PM Sunday-Thursday or after 11 PM Friday and Saturday.
  • Remember that “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over/Click It or Ticket” runs through 7/5 as part of a statewide campaign.
  • Joint EPD and CPD outdoor roll call on 7/7 at 5pm at Howard and Custer. Community members are encouraged to attend .
  • Coffee with a Cop is back on 7/8 from 9–11AM at Curt’s Café, 1813 Dempster.

Inquiring Minds:

Another question from a reader: What’s the advantage of having officers on motorcycles? Has Evanston ever had officers on horseback? If not, is that something that’s been considered?

First, a little bit of history:

  • In 1908, the department, according to some, purchased the first motorcycle in the state to be used by law enforcement.
  • This, along with a move to the cop cars of the era, Fords undoubtedly and they were already black, signaled the end of the horse brigade. In fact, the last full-time police horse, Baldy, was put down in 1911 after being bitten by a rabid dog. According to published department history, officers on horseback monitored traffic in Fountain Square during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays for a brief period in the 1930s.

Most of us have seen the CPD’s Mounted Unit, and if bold enough, were able to pet the velvety nose of one of their 32 highly trained, matched-for-size, -color and -temperament geldings. They patrol the lakefront, the museum campus, downtown shopping areas, festivals and in addition to getting to those scenes faster than officers on foot or in vehicles, they are, according to Chicago Police, unabashed “Ambassadors of Good Will”. We all love those horses.

The EPD doesn’t have horses anymore, but the vehicles listed here fulfill pretty much the same role as Chicago’s Mounted Unit. Here’s how they’re used:

  • Harley-Davidson motorcycles (7). You’ll see them in parades, in funeral processions and in traffic applications. According to Commander Dugan, there’s a certain nostalgia associated with them. They’re crowd-pleasers.
  • ATV (1). This is an electric four-wheeler capable of speeds up to 40 MPH. It is, by far, the fleet’s most popular vehicle with residents and that’s why you’ll see it at festivals, cruising along the lakefront or in the downtown area.
  • T3 (3). These are electric three-wheeled transport vehicles that look a little like Segways for people with balance issues. Like the other rides here, they can get in and out of places that Ford Explorers and Crown Vics can’t. If you attend games at NU, you’ll probably see one.
  • Bicycles (10). They’re everywhere, especially in summer and are usually ridden by PST officers. There’s just something friendlier about a cop on a bike, but they are also effective burglary suppression tools. An officer on a bike cruising a neighborhood alley at night has been known to spot and apprehend a thief. In fact, it happened just a few months ago.

There’s an access issue here too — these rides can go almost anywhere, and do. The more important benefit, though, is that they eliminate the barrier between a police officer and the community that a squad car can sometimes create.

Please keep your questions coming. Send them to Commander Joe Dugan and we’ll do our best to get you the answers. If you put In The Squad Room in the subject line, they’ll find their way to me.

The ON-GOING GUN BUYBACK PROGRAM allows Evanston residents to turn in an operational firearm to police at any time in exchange for $100. Residents can utilize this service by calling 311 or the Evanston Police Department non-emergency line at 847–866–5000. A police officer will pick up the unwanted firearm at the resident’s address and present the resident with a voucher that can be exchanged for $100 at the city collector’s office located in the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave.

Firearms should not be brought to the police department, unless prior approval has been granted from a supervisor at the police department. An officer will call the resident after a request is made for the officer to come to a person’s residence and retrieve the firearm.

What would you like to know about what the Evanston Police Department is doing to fight crime? Let us know if you have specific questions or concerns about issues in your neighborhood. Submissions are always welcome at or by calling the community strategies bureau at(847) 866–5019.

If you’d like to receive Evanston’s Daily Crime Report by email, you can subscribe here or view the Monthly Crime Statistics that are reported on a yearly basis to the FBI by clicking here.

The Fall 12-week Citizen Police Academy class begins September 2, 2015. If you’d like to learn more about the Evanston Police Department, take an active role in Community Oriented Policing and join the ranks of 900 graduates since 1995, please visit the Citizen Police Academy webpage. Enrollment deadline for the Fall 2015 class ends August 26, 2015. There is no cost to anyone who lives or works in Evanston.

The weekly deployment report is an informational bulletin prepared by a community member that keeps citizens informed about what police do on a weekly basis. Information contained in this report is not to be considered as a media/press release. Any information considered by a media source from this bulletin needs to be verified by an official from the department. This can be done by contacting the media line at 847–866–5026.

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