Blackhawks celebration violence prompts police foot patrol on Clark Street

September 26, 2013 (CHICAGO)

The nastiness on North Clark that night the Blackhawks won the cup marred an otherwise spectacular sports event. But now because of the violence of June 24, Chicago police will be putting their foot down, literally, with the addition of an old fashioned walking patrol on Clark Street.

The newly-deployed cop on Clark started last week and will be assigned to a foot patrol every evening.

Against a backdrop of so-called celebratory gunshots-- hundreds of them citywide-- this was the scene on Clark Street in Wrigleyville shortly after the Blackhawks won last summer. There were dozens of arrests and tickets for municipal violations that night, as police and their horses tried to clear the crowded street. The night was marked with flying glass, a few injuries and three dozen businesses vandalized or looted nearby in Lincoln Park.

Last week the Hawks sent the cup on a goodwill tour of some businesses damaged in the violence, and Thursday night, according to this announcement from 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith, more good news: Smith says at her insistence, Chicago police will begin an evening foot patrol on Clark Street.

That angled artery through the 19th police district is lined with shops, bars and businesses-- and dotted by crime reports.

A Chicago police statement says that the 19th has seen a drop in robberies and a drop in batteries and overall crime. A police spokesman tells us the foot patrol isn't a result of large issues, but that police heard concerns from residents and will ensure that their quality of life issues are addressed. And so the cost of this difficult night in June is one police officer, walking a beat every night of the week.

The Clark Street foot patrol isn't the only one being assigned in the 19th district. A second police walking beat has also been started on North Broadway. That is near an area the I-Team investigated last month after it became number one in the city for robberies.

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