Chicago police crack down on excessive signage in Roseland - KMSP-TV

Chicago police crack down on excessive signage in Roseland

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago's top cop laid out a new initiative to target crime on Monday. Residents in the Roseland neighborhood on the South Side say they want to take their streets back from prostitution, drug dealers and illicit activity.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Calumet (5th) District Commander Larry Watson and Ald. Anthony Beale (9th Ward) introduced a new crime-fighting initiative on Monday they hope will do just that.

Colorful signs posted on the windows and doors of local businesses help attract customers by advertising great deals, but Chicago police say they can also cover up crime if there are too many.

The stretch of Michigan Avenue between 100th and 120th Streets has been filled with prostitution and drug dealing, according to the Roseland Chamber of Commerce and many residents. In January, they asked from help from local police.

McCarthy said the new effort will crack down on excessive signage that prevents police from seeing illegal activity that may be going on inside a business or knowing what to expect when they respond to an alarm.

"When you have illegal activity, somebody darts into one of these stores, the police can't see in and out," Ald. Beale said. "They can't see where that person went so we don't know what's going on inside there. That's why we have to make sure they abide by the rules and regulations we have."

There's a city ordinance that states business signage can only cover 25 percent of store windows.

FOX 32 News spoke with the owner and manager of the "Shop ‘N Save" at 11th and Michigan Ave. He said he had no clue there was any problem with the signage. But he did start taking them down once he found out what the new initiative was all about.

FOX 32 also talked to the manager of the Taste of Chicago restaurant right next door. He said if the police want those signs down, he's more than happy to do that. He said wants to do everything he can to be a good neighbor to the people in the Roseland community.

The Walgreen's across the street is a large brick establishment with very little window/glass door space. Beale said since the drugstore has security inside, so police do have an idea of what's going on there.

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