It was all fun and games in the South Loop tonight on 15th Street at Cottontail Park when the 1st District cops put on our local National Night Out--and served up hot dogs and brats and Italian sausage doused with mustard and peppers, accompanied by barbecue potato chips and sweet corn on the cob with lots of butter and tons of watermelon and soft drinks.
Because getting to know each other and having fun together strikes a blow to crime.
There was tightrope walking and rock climbing and a raffle with many prizes like Bears tickets and Brookfield Zoo tickets and fanny packs from Target (there are two Targets in the 1st District; one on Roosevelt Road and one on State Street) and gift cards from Mariano's. Not to mention free frisbies and jump ropes and whistles--and art projects for the kids.
Yes, it was all fun and games. Until I realized what a night it could be for the bad guys.
Ahhhhh….. The neighborhood. And the cops. All in one place in the park.
Do the math.
Maybe the bad guys didn't know about it. Or figured it might be a trap. And of course, a lot of the neighborhood didn't go.
And all the identifying information you had to put down on the sign-in sheet for a raffle ticket was your name and email--not that easy to cross reference like it would be with an address and telephone number. And time was of the essence because the whole event was pretty much over in an hour and a half--not like the couple of days the bad guys generally get to plan a caper when they read the obituaries and figure everyone's going to be at the funeral and….
Which leads me to a topic of cocktail party conversation I should have started tonight (sans the cocktail party) with the neighbors. Something I didn't remember until recently. And then forgot again.
You know that incredible recent prison escape of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel Drug Lord who had an underground tunnel built straight from his Mexican prison shower drain right up and into a nearby house?
Well, the drug cartel he headed had a lot of business connections in Chicago. So many that as recently as 2009, his drug empire was using two large luxury South Loop town homes (as well as other homes in other Chicago neighborhoods) as warehouses to store drugs. The two in my neighborhood were at Cullerton and Prairie and 13th and Indiana.
Yes, we've had bad guys in the South Loop who've made all different kinds of news from time to time. And we probably still do. Wonder what they were doing while the neighbors had a night out tonight with the cops?
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