Englewood: Working toward more positive headlines

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Witness cooperation, or lack thereof, is one of the biggest challenges the Chicago Police Department say they face in shooting investigations.

Englewood community members are looking to break down those barriers.

Several Englewood residents discussed solutions to neighborhood crime, like preparing young people for productive careers, at Teamwork Englewood Monday.

"There's no opportunities to get a job, there's a lot of barriers," a resident said.

Monday's meeting was previously scheduled but comes after several violent incidents happened over the weekend. In West Englewood, a drive-by shooting happened as a family gathered for a baby shower Saturday. At least six people were shot, including two children.

Police have an event scheduled on Tuesday to generate leads in the unsolved case, amid a legacy of distrust.

"That's our battle every day, to win the confidence of the community, so that partnership is greater and we can keep going and they feel they can trust the police," said 7th District Cmdr. Roderick Robinson.

The biggest challenge is finding real solutions to bridge that divide.

"There is some trauma and healing, things that need to go on with law enforcement, and the community," said Maurice Pha'tal of Teamwork Englewood. "There's some trust that needs to be built on both sides."

This discussion has been going on for a year as part of T.I.M.E., This Is My Englewood, and the 21/36 for the zip codes here.

It's happening as part of a DOJ grant to reduce crime, so that what is discussed here has an impact on Englewood streets.

"Our work still continues, this doesn't discourage us it keeps us going," said Asiaha Butler with the Residents Assoc. of Greater Englewood.

"We want a better quality of life we all deserve that," Pha'tal said.

As police investigate Saturday's shooting, participants in TIME 21/36 plan to implement their anti-violence actions next month before the start of summer.
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