Cook County Sheriff's Office sets up River North command post in response to bump in crime

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office launched a new command post Wednesday in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.

Located at Clark and Illinois streets, the new center is part of an effort to fight crime in the busy entertainment district, where there has been a disturbing increase in violence.

The command center will bring anywhere between 25 and 100 Cook County Sheriff's officers to work with Chicago police. They will be performing functions such as traditional police work, traffic and crowd management, interactions with citizens and checking in regularly on local businesses.


"We know we have a difficult job," Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said. "We know we have a lot to do, and we're going to be doing that collectively together. It's something that I feel very strongly that we are going to be able to sustain this, and we're going to see positive results coming."

Dart said the command center will be staffed and open 24/7 and will be a permanent fixture in the River North neighborhood. There will also be a group of Cook County civilian employees stationed out of the office who will work directly with the local homeless population.

Last Saturday, there was a shooting near Hubbard and Clark streets, when the area was crowded with people. A man in his 20s was critically hurt. Police said it stemmed from an earlier altercation.

There have been armed robberies, shootings and stabbings near CTA stations in the neighborhood. 

Residents have been calling for more police to be visible. Now, Cook County Sheriff’s deputies will be assigned to the new office in the heart of the nightlife area.