While we never like to see or hear about our beloved neighborhood being used as the poster child for an article about crime in the city, it is important to realize that we have to be aware that these things happen.
The Tribune has a good and lengthy article exploring the uptick in crime and some of the various reasons and solutions being implemented to combat it:
First came the nightclub shootings, which were terrifying but could be explained away as a mix of late hours and alcohol. Then came the brazen gang shooting in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in January, which signaled something different was happening.
But the last straw for many in the South Loop was the murder of one of their neighbors in August while he walked outside for a morning cup of coffee. That's when things boiled over and spurred residents to take action.
As the numbers of shootings and killings skyrocket in Chicago, most of the violence has been driven by traditional gang conflicts on the South and West sides.
But over the past two years, violence in developing and more affluent areas close to the Loop has also spiked, giving more well-heeled Chicagoans a taste of the danger and fear that people in the city's poor neighborhoods have experienced for decades.
And it threatens to undermine the many hard-won gains in those areas that officials have pushed for in recent years. If not checked, experts warn, it can put the overall health of the city at risk.
"If I am a public official in a great city, and dealing with issues of gentrification and issues of economic vitality, public safety is an essential background condition," said Harold Pollack, a University of Chicago professor who studies crime and its effects on society.The sentiment definitely hits home and accurately portrays what we (and we presume many of you) feel.
Not an easy answer to some of these tough questions, but acknowledging and being aware of it is a critical first step.
(Hat tip: ND!)