For months, several 4th Ward residents (and some business people) have said that they complained to the Police Department and their alderman about drug activity by a Caucasian male and female in a nearby parking lot and alley. There were also concerns about drug activity in the park next to the Nichols School playground (Fitzsimmons Park). I, too, have spoken to our alderman and to the City Council about the alleged drug problem in the Park and alley across the street from the Park.
Some residents now say that they will not call the police any more because they feel the police did (and will do) nothing. Residents pointed out that the police did not even frisk the suspects. Our alderman has explained that the alleged perpetrators of the drug activity can hide their drugs, and the police cannot do anything unless they find drugs on or near the alleged perpetrators. So, now what? Residents (I included) cannot help but compare this lack of searches to the “stop and frisk” police activity on the west side of Evanston.
In August, I contacted District 65 to sign up to make a statement about the drug activity in Fitzsimmons Park at the next District 65 Board meeting. District 65 officials encouraged me to wait in order to give the District time to address the problem. A meeting with concerned neighborhood residents would take place. That has not happened. So, now what? Are kids so unimportant that drug activity near a school can be ignored, or has District 65 addressed/remedied the problem and just not informed residents? Sigh. We are all in this together, aren’t we?
“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly…” Martin Luther King, Jr.