Last week, I attended the meeting at Oak Park Village Hall regarding the rash of carjackings recently in our village. I expected the police department would discuss what happened and what steps they intended to take. It ended with frustration and a politician informing the crowd that he would tell the Cook County Sheriff to bring in his people to patrol the streets of the village with total disregard of our chief of police. Commissioner Boykin missed his opportunity to ask how he could help collaborate with the residents and the village police to bring people to the table to discuss an effective plan to help residents through this.
Chief Anthony Ambrose called the meeting to present facts and hear from residents. People were angry and understandably so. He gave the residents the floor and allowed them to speak. Steps can only be taken if we work together, understand what action can be taken immediately, and what long-term actions will be taken to protect the residents. Those who think they can come into our village and commit these brazen crimes need to be arrested and brought to justice.
As residents of Oak Park, our time is now! Open discussion about the issues and ways to resolve them collectively; steps to be taken can only happen with effective communication between vested parties. Directing concerns so they can be resolved to make our community a better place to live is a good choice. Giving our police department an opportunity to inform the community would have jump-started a path to resolution and working together.
I would like to think the next meeting will.