Over the past several years, RVN has worked diligently to strengthen its relationship with local law enforcement. Those efforts include installing an RVN Board member to serve on District 19’s Advisory Committee, which provides RVN direct access to the most senior leadership at District 19 as well as a voice in how our District implements local policing efforts; building, maintaining, and utilizing RVN’s private camera network to support law enforcement’s efforts to solve and deter crime, and making a memorable and positive impact in the life of every officer and staff member at least once a year by hosting RVN Police Appreciation Day.
Each day the rank-and-file of the Chicago Police Department – composed of men and women of every race, color, creed, and sexual orientation – are asked to do a difficult and dangerous job. In 2020, that job became even more difficult for reasons as disparate as the global pandemic; the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, and similar incidents as close to home as Kenosha, Wisconsin; the protests and civil unrest that followed Mr. Floyd’s murder; and, the tumult of a contentious presidential election year.
In this difficult environment, the residents and business owners of Roscoe Village paused to express their gratitude to these brave men and women who accept the risks and dangers of their job to keep us safe by feeding every officer (over 240) and staff member at District 19. It would be an understatement to say the officers and staff of District 19 were deeply grateful for RVN’s day-long show of support. Many expressed how it was especially meaningful given the events and challenges of the current year.
This event also marks the third anniversary of the “Neighborhood on Watch” (NOW) video camera program. Under the program, RVN installed more than 25 high-definition security cameras and license plate readers in key locations. All footage is uploaded to the Cloud where, if a crime occurs in its self-described “Village Within the City,” it instantly can be retrieved and provided to Chicago Police detectives. Since inception of the NOW network, RVN has honored more than 25 requests by the Chicago Police Department to retrieve video footage to facilitate criminal investigations.
During the same time period, Roscoe Village has seen a 23.75% drop in reported crimes through December 31, 2019 (261 crimes in 2017 vs. 199 crimes in 2019). Complete figures are not yet available for 2020, but partial numbers indicate a continuing decline. As told by RVN President Nina Buik, “Roscoe Village has been made safer by our NOW video camera program, by our pro-active residents and business owners, and by our close working relationship with the men and women of the Chicago Police Department. We are grateful for the sacrifices they and their families make to keep us safe. [RVN’s] Police Appreciation Day is a way by which our ‘Village Within the City’ can say ‘Thank you!’”