Friday, January 23, 2009


24th District Commander Sobczyk responds to the
'Open Letter' regarding 'gang shrines':

"Sir, I certainly regret that you are unable to come and discuss your concerns with me in person. In your response to wanting an “official, written response” regarding the policy of gang memorial removal, I will answer as follows: First and foremost, the Police in the 024TH District in no way condone or wish to promote criminal street gangs. Having said that, the guiding light in the removal of a “memorial” is common sense and practicality; two highly valued attributes that do not lend themselves well to intractable/official policies. In other words, the precise method and timing for the removal of such a memorial is based upon the careful consideration of one or more of the following circumstances and/or concerns:• Officer Safety• Public Safety (traffic obstruction issues) • Location of the Memorial (i.e., public versus private property)• Availability of Required Street & Sanitation Personnel• Memorial Content (generic versus gang-related)In today’s world, the placement of candles, signage and stuffed animals has become a universally conventional practice in honoring the loss of a loved one. For those memorials which have no gang-related connection, the police will typically assess the situation and respectfully inform the family and friends that such a memorial will have a finite existence. Those memorials which are gang-related, will be removed in a more expedient manner pursuant to the aforementioned considerations."

Commander David Sobczyk
024TH District
Chicago Police Department

My response:


The concerns are of the community as a whole, not mine alone, thus the request for a written response on the matter. Because of 'community nature' of this issue, your response will, of course, be made public, through a variety of means, i.e., e-mail, blogs, etc.
Based on my communication with a number of community residents, it is very likely we will request a meeting with you to further discuss our concerns. In that event, what is your availability for such a meeting?
Thank you for your response.

M. Luckenbach

No comments: