CHICAGO – Demolition will begin this afternoon on twelve buildings that serve as hubs of violence and hives for gang activity. This comes just three days after Mayor Emanuel and Police Superintendent McCarthy announced a new initiative that will help Chicago Police tackle crime by identifying, securing, and demolishing vacant buildings. This represents an unprecedented amount of coordination for demolitions in a day.
“We are sending a clear message to gang members: you do not have a home in Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These buildings are coming down because community members, the police, and the City are working together, calling out the criminals and removing their shelter from our neighborhoods.”
The Chicago Police Department and the Department of Buildings have identified two hundred vacant buildings for possible demolition based on their structural instability and location in high-crime areas. The first twelve of these will begin demolition today. Subsequent demolitions will also be determined based on the structural stability of buildings and their status as havens for gang activity and crime.
“Gang members all too easily find refuge inside of vacant buildings, allowing an environment that fosters criminal activity and tears apart our communities,” said Police Superintendent McCarthy. “We will not cease to find creative strategies to eliminate gang activity in our neighborhoods.”
This initiative targets the 3rd, 7th, 8th, 10th, and 11th police districts initially, and works in parallel with the City’s recent crackdown on liquor stores and convenience stores that have been used by gangs as hangouts and centers for illegal activity. The Department of Buildings will also board and secure properties that are gang havens but are structurally sound and can be eventually put to good use, determined through increased coordination between the Department of Buildings and the CPD.
The twelve buildings that will begin demolition today are below. CPD has reported receiving calls for service and community complaints about each of these properties, including incidents of drug sales, criminal trespassing, shots fired, theft, and assault.
# # #