Hundreds of Chicagoans weigh in on crime surge during virtual meeting

Leaders in the Gold Coast neighborhood met Tuesday night to address public safety concerns from the community.

The "Gold Coast Safety and Security Meeting" was organized by 2nd ward Alderman Brian Hopkin's office.

Organizers say about 500 people registered for the virtual meeting. Many submitted questions highlighting their concern about recent crime in and around the neighborhood.

The public safety forum was held just days after a disturbing incident in nearby River North was caught on camera. Video shows two people being beaten and robbed on State Street sparking concern from residents and businesses.

"People are justifiably concerned about what they perceive as an increased risk to their safety every time they walk out their door," said Alderman Hopkins.


Hopkins says the Gold Coast is seeing an increase in carjackings and armed robberies — two topics of public concern addressed during the virtual meeting.

He also says the neighborhood is seeing an uptick in illegal drug sales. Commander Jill Stevens with the Chicago Police Department shared statistics within the 18th District during the meeting.

"So the 18th district, as the alderman said, is completely aware of these narcotic sales in the Division Street corridor and we’ve been using the information you guys have been giving us and we’ve conducted numerous narcotics missions," said Stevens.

To help deter crime, the Cook County Sheriff's Office says it has been assisting CPD patrol the streets of downtown for about two months.

Alderman Hopkins says there will be another virtual forum for Gold Coast residents on September 7 where the issues of reckless driving and drag racing will be discussed.