Since moving to East Village a short while ago I have always gotten some degree of comfort from driving past the 13th district police station at 937 N Wood, right smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood. There were always a ton of police cars around, which meant they had to drive back and forth across the side streets to come and go from this station. I figured that was a pretty good crime deterrent. On the other hand I always thought the building was a bit of an eyesore.
Then right around the end of the year they closed the station in order to consolidate the 13th and 12th district police at the new station near my old neighborhood of University Village - 1412 S Blue Island Ave. Well this move was in the works for a while and it had everyone in East Village up in arms since they also liked the idea of a bunch of police driving around - until they get caught running a stop sign, running a red light, or speeding.
So Alderman Joe Moreno had an alternative in the works which he just announced yesterday according to OurUrbanTimes. The former police station will soon be home to the Cook County Sheriff's Central Warrants Unit, which will include 100 sheriffs based there. Now I'm not that familiar with the difference between police and sheriffs but I believe they both go after bad guys and I bet sheriffs like donuts too. I think the jurisdiction of the sheriffs is broader - like the whole county, with more of a focus on the suburbs. You know...I think Andy Taylor was a sheriff, right?
I'm not sure of the political process for making this happen but apparently Alderman Moreno still has to introduce an ordinance at the City Council meeting next Wednesday that will finalize the plan - whatever that means.
One other plan in the works that should make East Village residents more comfortable is an increase in the number of police patrolling the new combined district but I don't think anyone has the details on that yet.