As the weather warms – or is expected to, at least – and teens are out of school, the Evanston Police Department adjusts its deployment accordingly. Mirroring similar deployment changes in recent memory, the Police Department rolled out its Summer Plan 2015.
Chief of Police Richard Eddington said the basic goal of the summer plan is to get more officers on the street during times of need. The department hires back an additional officer for an 8 a.m. to-4 p.m. shift, he said, and moves the departments Problem Solving Team officers to the afternoon shift where they “focus on crime and disorder on their respective beat.”
School Resource Officers are shifted to the juvenile section, said the Chief, and the department works closely with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department to determine areas of deployment need. All told, the shifts “beef up manpower” throughout the City to address longer daylight hours, warmer weather, and a straightforward increase in the number of people out and about.
This year’s summer plan “is very similar to prior years,” said Chief Eddington.
Starlight Concerts have been “well attended but non-problematic,” and therefore “a non-issue for the Police Department,” he added. The larger festivals, however, require schedule adjustments.
“Not all festivals are created equal,” said the Chief, with serving of alcoholic beverages being a major determinate in the level of need for additional police presence. The department “shifts days off” to provide additional police coverage of festivals while limiting the amount of overtime hours required.
Overall, the summer plan acknowledges the shifting needs of the City and attempts to prevent trouble before it starts.
Meanwhile, Chief Eddington said, the investigation continues into the murder of Chicago resident Ray Owens, who was shot and killed on the 2000 block of Emerson on June 8., the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force, (NORTAF), is making “pretty good progress,” said the Chief, and he said he expects them to come at least to an investigative resolution in the next several days as they sift through technical and physical evidence as well as witness interviews.
The June 8 murder is the first reported homicide in Evanston in 2015, and the first since June 28, 2014. “It’s been almost a year,” said Chief Eddington, who paused before adding. “I’ll leave it at that.” The June 2014 murder of Albert Norman has not been cleared, said the Chief. “It is not a closed case … but at some point and time” the department expects resolution.