Concerned Chicago residents pack Lincoln Park church for safety forum

FOX 32 NEWS - A series of sexual assaults on Chicago's North Side have concerns about safety running high. On Monday night, dozens of concerned residents packed a Lincoln Park church for a safety forum.

“I'm terrified, I was terrified with the armed robberies, and with the sexual assaults I'm even more terrified,” said one women.

The concerns were heightened by three sexual assaults in Lakeview and Lincoln Park in the past few weeks. On Saturday, a woman was attacked  at knife point. On Thursday, a woman was carjacked at gunpoint, sexually assaulted and stuffed in the trunk of her car, and another woman was also sexually assaulted by a man with a gun on February 28th.

“I am actually looking to move, that is the number one reason that I don't feel safe here anymore. So I'll be putting my place on the market and I will be moving out of Lincoln Park, possibly Chicago,” said Sarah Spang, who has lived in Lincoln Park for the past 11 years.

Others echoed those concerns, including a man who said he moved to Lincoln Park in his 20’s.

“Now I'm married, have a kid. My wife reads the headlines and she wants to move,” he said.

The complaint tied directly to the crime concerns is the sense that there aren't enough police patrolling Lincoln Park, which is something Alderman Michelle Smith said was the top concern people shared in a recent survey.

The 19th District Commander told those gathered at the forum that overall crime is down over the last four years.

“The police are here. Just because you don't see them does not mean the police are not here,” said Commander Marc Buslik, 19th District.

But whether it's perception or reality, residents don't feel safe like they used to.

“What are we going to be doing differently? Because what we're doing right now is not working and so I'd really like to have a better understanding of the plan to move forward so my family feels safe and comfortable living here,” one woman said.

“What good are Parks if you aren't safe in them? I think at the very least we take the money from the parks and give it to the police,” said another woman.

Residents said they wanted Alderman Smith to push for more police.