Private security firms to patrol Beverly, Morgan Park and Mt Greenwood, Alderman Matt O'Shea says

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Friday, June 17, 2022
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Chicago Alderman Matt O'Shea said private security guards will begin patrolling in Beverly, Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Private security guards will begin patrolling commercial strips in Beverly, Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood next week.

The private security guards will not be armed and they will start next week.

They won't be engaging with the public, but they will report any suspicious activity.

RELATED: Demand for private security in neighborhoods, businesses grows in Chicago and suburbs

Alderman Matt O'Shea announced the program to residents in his 19th Ward.

"So last year, city of Chicago included in the budget $100,000 micro grant for each ward and I thought public safety was the best way to spend it," Alderman O'Shea said.

While the alderman acknowledged the Far South Side neighborhoods are safe communities, he cited crime citywide and a shortage of police officers who are stretched to their limit.

"We cannot ask any more of them," O'Shea said. "This is just a plan that will partner with security and police to make our community safer."

Caroline Connors, the executive director of the Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association, said many businesses in the area feel like this will be a deterrent.

"We've seen an increase in some vandalism and some theft in the overnight hours and the goal of our business association is to support our local businesses," Connors said.

Some neighborhoods on the North Side have hired private security after seeing recent violent crime trends. Now this area is following suit.

Some families welcome it.

"I think extra security is probably never going to be a bad thing," resident Patrick McConahy said. "Obviously, this neighborhood has lots of cops and firemen so we feel pretty safe already in the first place, but I've definitely heard of a couple instances of things happening along Western, so certainly I don't think it could be a bad thing."

O'Shea said the private security guards are not police officers, but if they see any illegal activity, they will contact police immediately and stay on the scene until they arrive.