This has not been a very good year for Oak Park and crime. It started with the annual stolen bike tradition. Gangs of white-shirted Chicago youths not only were stealing unlocked bikes from property but also knocking people (not just kids) off their bikes and stealing them. Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley’s response was to blame residents for not locking up their bikes at all times. Then we had a form of wilding where Chicago youths would indiscriminately assault people on the street. Recently we had a Chicago gang member gunned down in North Oak Park at 3 a.m. The response was that it was a spillover from a Chicago gang turf battle. Now we have a shooting of a local resident who was involved with drugs and guns one block from Brooks Middle School.

I think it’s time our police chief and his “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” police force admit we have a crime problem in Oak Park and actually start doing something about it rather than just have the police complete crime reports like highly paid clerks. Some pro-active patrolling to prevent crime would be greatly appreciated. Maybe the police could get out of their squad cars while patrolling to question people who appear to be up to no good or are acting in a suspicious manner. This might actually act as a deterrent and prevent crime.

If Tanksley doesn’t have the answers as to how to stop the burgeoning crime rate in Oak Park, then maybe it’s time to get someone who does have a clue!

Robert Larson
Oak Park

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