Mayor Richard M. Daley joined residents of the 9th Ward today including police and elected officials and community and faith-based leaders at a CAPS anti-violence rally at the St. John M.B. Church, 211 East 115th Street.
"CAPS has helped Chicago reduce crime and take back our neighborhoods, corner by corner; block by block; street by street; from the dangers of gangs, guns and drugs," said Mayor Daley.
Also participating in the rally were 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale; Police Superintendent Jodi Weis and 5th District Police Commander John Ball.
CAPS rallies bring police together with schools, churches and neighborhood organizations to help solve and prevent crimes and address quality of life issues.
At the rally, Daley emphasized the importance of education and the need of positive alternatives for Chicago's youth.
"Education is also one of our greatest crime fighting strategies. The more we get our young children and teens interested and excited about education and involved in constructive activities the more likely they are to stay out of trouble," said Daley.
"Education saves lives and is the path out of poverty, homelessness and despair. It is also the path to opportunity, self-respect and success."
The City of Chicago and its sister agencies as, it does every year, continue to provide positive alternatives for youth during the winter months.
The Mayor encouraged parents to enroll their children in the many positive alternatives and activities offered to keep them safe and constructively occupied.
Over the winter the Chicago Park District continues to offer winter programs for young people throughout the city. Through this program youth can participate in recreational activities, enjoy arts and crafts, take field trips, or play sports.
Additional activities and programs are also being offered throughout Chicago for young people this winter including:
"With families under more stress than ever because of the economy, we have to use every tool available to give our children alternatives to hang out on the street corner," said Daley.
"There are still openings in these winter programs, so I want to ask every parent and guardian to accept your responsibility and help us fill these empty slots."
"Parents should always know where their kids are - especially at night," he said. "And if they don’t keep their kids off the streets at night, the Chicago Police will – because they’ll be strictly enforcing the curfew."
Chicago's curfew ordinance states that children under the age of 17 may not be out after 10:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday or after 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Information on most winter programs is available by calling 311; at Chicago Public Library branches and Chicago Park District field houses; and on the Internet at www.chipublib.org, www.afterschoolmatters.org, www.chicagoparkdistrict.com and www.youthreadychicago.org. Most local government departments and agencies are linked to the City of Chicago site, www.cityofchicago.org.
CAPS has been recognized as one of the most ambitious community policing initiatives in the United States. It has been cited as a model by numerous national experts, including officials at the U.S. Department of Justice and academic authorities on community policing. Across the City, the CAPS partnership is tackling serious crime problems, as well as those neighborhood conditions that breed crime such as abandoned buildings and vehicles, vacant lots, drug houses, and graffiti.
For more information on how you can get involved in your beat, please call 311, or visit us on-line at www.cityofchicago.org/CAPS.