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Crime in Skokie: 'What's the Story?'

In this Letter to the Editor, Skokie resident Mel Weintraub questions the statistics regarding crime released by the village.

Crime in Skokie has become an issue in this year's Board of Trustees campaign. , says violent crime is up.  Spokesmen for the Village Board say overall crime is down, adding that it's a perception issue.  So, what's the story?

The latest issue of "New Skokie" gives the crime statistics for the past 20 years.  Very nice.  However, the lead headline says that Skokie crime for 2012 is 12% lower than the 20 year average.  Is that what the residents of Skokie are interested in? 

Looking a little closer at the data in that issue shows, that Skokie crime against persons (the statistic that concerns me the most, how about you?) is up 5 percent compared to the 20 year average (436 vs. 416).  Also, the 5 year average for crime against persons is up 15 percent compared to the 20 year average (479 vs. 416).  These are numbers the village officials do not want to talk about.  

Surprise, surprise.

What do you think? Do you feel crime is down in Skokie?

Sincerely,

Mel Weintraub
8307 Harding Ave.
Skokie, Ill. 60076

John Tobin April 04, 2013 at 11:51 AM
I FEEL violent crime is up in Skokie. In the thirty years I've lived here I've noticed the Skokie crime reports looking a little more like our neighbor's, Evanston, police reports. There used to be quite a contrast: Evanston reported gang recruitment, muggings, guns in school, even rapes and murders, while we reported, police officer leaves donut shop without paying; woman sets off store security alarm when sales clerk forgets to remove security tag; man seen racing down street in pursuit of wind blown yarmulke. I use, "FEEL" because I don't have the official data I thank Mr. Weintraub for supplying them. I question the motives of the Village Officials in this regard.
Frank April 04, 2013 at 12:33 PM
Pretty clear to me that violent crime is up. If people look at the real statistics (thanks Mel) they may be more apt to vote a few of the "status quo" trustees out of office and bring in the new blood, so needed at village. Trustee Roberts points to inexperience of the independents running for office. If you read their bio's you'll quickly see great experience, and the welcome change we need at village Hall. I've lived here for 37 years and have no plans to move. My expectation for village trustees is that we get crime under control.
Hank April 04, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Years ago Skokie never demanded that landlords do the work the police should be doing, if crime is not up why the change?
Steve Mottel April 04, 2013 at 01:18 PM
Please go vote early and vote all incumbent frauds out. They have the audacity to report crime is down! Shame on them and their party. VOTE INDEPENDENT TODAY FOR THE FUTURE OF SKOKIE
dt April 04, 2013 at 01:41 PM
The stats may show that crime is down overall but I definitely believe that violent crime as increased. As a 25yr resident of Skokie, I've seen serious changes on the very block where I live. I live across the street from a park and over the past several years have witnessed violent group fights on many occasions where 911 had to be called. I never had to deal with this type of thing when I first purchased my home. The current board doesn't want to acknowledge the problems that are staring them in the face. This is why I will be voting for independents. I realize that the Caucus Party will still have the majority, but it's important to start somewhere.
Mike Reid April 04, 2013 at 03:57 PM
What park are you talking about here? Mike Reid President--Skokie Park District Board of Commissioners
J April 04, 2013 at 08:15 PM
From: http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/il/skokie/crime/#description The crime rate in Skokie is considerably higher than the national average across all communities in America from the largest to the smallest, although at 29 crimes per one thousand residents, it is not among the communities with the very highest crime rate. The chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Skokie is 1 in 35. Based on FBI crime data, Skokie is not one of the safest communities in America. Relative to Illinois, Skokie has a crime rate that is higher than 83% of the state's cities and towns of all sizes. However, compared to other communities of similar population size, Skokie has a crime rate that is noticeably lower than the average. This means that for comparably sized cities all across America, Skokie is actually safer than most according to NeighborhoodScout's exclusive analysis of FBI crime data. The crime data that NeighborhoodScout used for this analysis are the seven offenses from the uniform crime reports, collected by the FBI from 17,000 local law enforcement agencies, and include both violent and property crimes, combined. (cont)
J April 04, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Now let us turn to take a look at how Skokie does for violent crimes specifically, and then how it does for property crimes. This is important because the overall crime rate can be further illuminated by understanding if violent crime or property crimes (or both) are the major contributors to the general rate of crime in Skokie. From our analysis, we discovered that violent crime in Skokie occurs at a rate higher than in most communities of all population sizes in America. The chance that a person will become a victim of a violent crime in Skokie; such as armed robbery, aggravated assault, rape or murder; is 1 in 461. This equates to a rate of 2 per one thousand inhabitants. NeighborhoodScout's analysis also reveals that Skokie's rate for property crime is 27 per one thousand population. This makes Skokie a place where there is an above average chance of becoming a victim of a property crime, when compared to all other communities in America of all population sizes. Property crimes are motor vehicle theft, arson, larceny, and burglary. Your chance of becoming a victim of any of these crimes in Skokie is one in 38.
rzdw92 April 04, 2013 at 08:55 PM
the latest NewsSkokie is a campaign flyer created by the Caucus Party. In it they tout distorted crime statistics as well as a feeble list of economic accomplishments. It's well timed fluff. nothing more nothing less.
Mary Marks April 04, 2013 at 09:05 PM
M The reality is that crimes are taking place in Skokie at a higher level than 20 years ago. Why is that? Why is it that criminals think its ok to congregate, do their deals, infect the neighborhoods and hide here? A message needs to be clear from the Village that crime is NOT acceptable anywhere in the Village. Neighbors need to be alert and proactive when they see stuff happening, or they think things aren't right. The police are directed by the government. If the governing power is not acknowledging that crime has been breeding and growing in this community and allowed to fester and attract more criminal behavior, then we are in serious trouble for a long time to come. It didnt happen overnight and it will take time to reverse or quell the increase in property and personal crimes that the government denying exists. Independent views will help shake things up even if its little by little. We need new energy and determination to leads this town in the right direction.
Brian Hickey April 04, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Here Mike Reid, ....... pick a park...any park...Why not Gross Point Park? The park the Gangster Disciples claim is "Theirs" on their web site...as they have for many years. Would that suit you? If I were you I would be outraged that "The GD's" claim Gross Point Park as theirs. Have you done anything to secure it or done any noticeable work to reclaim it? Why not see about getting it off the GD Web Site at a minimum? Look 7 entries up from the bottom !!! http://chicagogangs.org/index.php?pr=gdn Or check this other gangster Disciple web site which simply lists "Skokie" as their turf..... not to mention many other unsavory communities....how nice to be included in these elite "clubs".... Damn Proud of My Damned Diversity 17 up from the bottom...Yes Mike...what a shocker !!! Just as in the "Big City", the gangs nest first in the parks and alleyways......thanks for your hyper-awareness and the great job you and the rest of the board and John Ohrlund are all doing....shades of Mayor Van Dusen being asleep while SWANCC was plundered by it's director under Mayor Van Dusen's watch....seems narcolepsy is contagious in municipal jobs here in town. Just good kids shootin' hoops is all.............sure.... http://liljrjunior.webs.com/gangsterdisciples.htm
Brian Hickey April 04, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Looks like it's time you started hanging out in the parks Mike...or started reading the police blotter...or started talking to some beat cops....go ahead...take your pick. Better yet, just do something!
dt April 04, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Mr. Reid, I'm speaking of Lee-Wright park. Are you not aware of what has been happening there the past few years??
John Wagner April 04, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Mr. Reid Its time to get a Park Police Dept like other towns do. We need personnel that have full police powers. Park monitor, what a joke. Time to take back the parks. Instead of having old park employees making extra money driving around in the lil pickup
Ann Gersh April 05, 2013 at 12:06 AM
village officials just want to down play all the crime. They pretend all is well. They need to be voted out.
Ann Gersh April 05, 2013 at 12:07 AM
Agreed everyone should vote INDEPENDENT.
shp April 05, 2013 at 02:12 AM
We pay for the New Skokie Not the Caucus Party. I thank them for publishing the violent crime numbers. If you can count you know that the violent crime has increased. Why deny it. It's just a fact. The headline is meant to confuse voters. I never read about any arrests of these more serious crimes. Where are the arrest? I've already voted for the independents. Time for a different kind of leadership.
Sweetg April 05, 2013 at 04:06 AM
Politicians use statistics the way drunks use lampposts - more for support than for illumination. Is crime up or down? I'm sure statistics can be found to support either claim, but all that's really important is perception. Residents of Skokie don't feel safe. And until perceptions change, property values will be down, homes won't sell, foreclosures will be up, and the only people who rent here will be the ones who can't afford to live in a safer (feeling?) community or who belong to the gangs that reside here. So how do we fix this? Resident police officers, village dollars invested in improving aging rental properties, brighter street lights, getting the gangs out of the parks, and a village board that works with the community rather than against it. What will hasten our decline? Politics as usual, like the proposed Tenant Tax. (Get the facts at www.SkokieLandlord.org) I'd say vote Independent, but both the Independent candidates come from the same organization that pushed for the Tenant Tax. So ask your favorite candidate where they stand on the new tax. Do they stand for the little guy or on top of him?
Lorel April 05, 2013 at 11:45 AM
I wonder when it will dawn on the indie candidates that even if they get elected they will have to work with a board that is still majority Caucus Party?
Susan Donian April 05, 2013 at 02:13 PM
@Brian Hickey, thank you for the enlightening links
Conceal Carry April 05, 2013 at 04:11 PM
This town is a joke as are the "officials" who run it. Ive lived in Skokie for 40+ years and Ill tell you, its been on the decline for the last 20. I wished we had people in charge who knew what the hell they were doing,not to metion whats going on around them. They live in some bubble that needs to be popped. I would love to have someone like Brian Hickey somewhere in the mix. Maybe next time around??? think about it, we need to rattle some cages around here...
A Skokie mom April 05, 2013 at 08:51 PM
It is depressing to see any little corner of the world, no matter where, claimed by any gang. But do you all REALLY think all your problems will be solved as soon as we get more police or as soon as other government officials are voted into office? Do you really believe the current government body loves Skokie any less than you do? I know many of the individual members of the current government do what they do for long hours, very little pay, and very little thanks. How about taking a look in the mirror, people, and ask yourself what YOU can do to help? Stop complaining and pointing the finger. Brian Hickey - who are you and how much time do you spend on the web rather than actually getting out of your house to actually help the community? People, there are things you can do! Organize a neighborhood watch - those have more power than you think. Ask questions and find out what your kids are doing! Attend Village Board meetings and voice your opinion! How about volunteering on one of the many committees the Village offers? Adopt a section of a public street and make sure it is clean and well cared for!! I agree with the suggestion to have better patrolling of the parks, but everything costs money, people - something most people forget. WE have to pitch in and help - we can't leave it all on the police! A group of individuals created the Skokie Voice - you and your own neighbors can have a voice too! Wake up and look around and ask what you can do to help.
Vicki April 06, 2013 at 01:45 PM
I wonder when it will dawn on Caucus Party supporters like you Lorel that this is only the beginning. They may be a minority now but you have to start somewhere. Hopefully the Caucus Party will be no more after a few election cycles.
Brian Hickey April 06, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Remember the good old days when we used to think Jackie Gorell sucked as a mayor? Before she appointed Mayor Looks Homeless? Somebody buy this guy a shave and a suit !
Susan Donian April 07, 2013 at 05:07 AM
@Brian Hickey, Agreed 100% I think Jackie Gorell was actually an excellent Mayor, wish we had now
Schoolmarm April 07, 2013 at 12:44 PM
"Be careful what you wish for," while trite, seems to be true. And, on't forget: "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone!"
Skokie Resident April 08, 2013 at 06:13 AM
Well here's an idea, posters for the affected areas where gangbangers infest: Beautify Skokie - plant a thug daily.

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