Board of Education's failed 'security' policies have left the door wide open to gang feuds across Chicago, while the Board and others remain ignorant of the players in the often fatal game of drug gang violence...

Chicago police cordoned off part of the 4800 block of N. Albany Ave. recently as a result of a brazen daytime shootout. Police officials said that the daytime shootings were the result of internal disputes within the Latin Kings gang, but most public officials are ignoring the fact that somehow the Latin Kings are now in their fourth (or fifth) generation in power in large sections of Chicago and able to identify certain schools as "theirs." DNA Info photo.While at least one faction of those promoting the April 1, 2016 "Day of Action" want to further hamstring the Chicago police, it's worth taking a closer look at the explosion (or at least increase) in drug gangs violence across Chicago's public schools during the 2015 - 2016 school year. Teachers working in virtually every general high school (and many elementary schools) as far north as Steinmetz and Taft high schools are reporting informally that gang violence in and around the schools has been increasing, even during the school day. What's not usually reported is that the sources of the violence are well known and long understood, but are erupting in cynical joy as many officials go out of their way to ignore them or even promote policies which guarantee their increase.

Because of the refusal of the Board's security executives to deploy security people who know the city's streets and drug gangs against the drug gangs, the violence is increasing from one end of town to the other -- and expanding into areas where it was once rare.

During the days (2001 - 2004) when I served as Director of School Security and Safety for the Chicago Teachers Union, the union ran an aggressive campaign to stop the activities of the drug gangs in the schools. By 2004, we knew of about 100 schools where the gangs were most dangerous and had identified them, including with a map on the wall of my office, so that we could work with the Chicago Police against them within the schools. That knowledge, despite some breakdowns of the larger gang "nations" in Chicago, still holds. Every child who needs to know, knows that Amundsen High School is a "People" school (Latin Kings, Black P. Stones, and their allied gangs) while the next school to the west, Roosevelt HIgh School, is a "Folks" school (Maniac Latin Disciples, Black Gangster Disciples, and their allies, including those from the mostly white gangs).

No matter how much some leaders of Chicago push programs like "restorative justice", without a serious anti-gang work, updated regularly and with the cooperation between street cops and the union at the local school level, things are going to explode, as they have been exploding. Part of the problem is the ignorance that blames the police (or some variation on the them that the government is "fascist" or "repressive" or whatever). The other part is the fact that CPS officials remain safely hidden away from reality in their Loop bunker, the most recent of which is the old Sears building at Dearborn and Madison (purchased, like its predecessor, as as a form of corporate welfare when Sears began selling off its real estate to raise cash...).

By early 2016, while street beat cops in the districts, some police leaders, and some school people know what gangs are operating where, the ability of the union, the Board, and the police to cooperate in suppressing that gangs has been handcuffed. And the gang leaders at the local school level know how to play on the mistakes of officials like playing a harp. Some of them have been playing that same tune for three or four generations.

And so, on March 31, DNA Info was reporting that the commander of the Albany Park police district identified a major reason for the escalation of gang violence in the area (which includes Roosevelt High School) on skirmishes within the Latin Kings. Left out of the stories, however, is the fact that for more than a generation, Latin Kings have claimed for themselves the territory extending roughly from Ashland Ave. on the east to Kedzie Ave. on the west, with the northern and southern boundaries shifting a bit but never in a huge way. If such stability can be known over decades, the only question is why the schools -- and the majority of children in those schools -- have to suffer from the gangs' continuing violence or the threat thereof.


Recent Albany Park Shootings Result Of Internal Gang Strife: Commander

By Patty Wetli | March 31, 2016 9:12am



Meeting with members of the Hispanic community, Albany Park Police District Cmdr. Elias Voulgaris said, Meeting with members of the Hispanic community, Albany Park Police District Cmdr. Elias Voulgaris said, "We know who the bad guys are." View Full Caption DNAinfo/Patty Wetli

ALBANY PARK — During a first-ever "Hispanic Beat Meeting" on Wednesday night, Albany Park Police District Cmdr. Elias Voulgaris blamed gangs for a recent spate of shootings.

Neighbors specifically pointed to Albany Avenue and Argyle Street — where West River Park's soccer field, track and playground attract large groups of all ages — as an area that, as one man put it, is getting "hotter" by the day.

"The gang violence you're seeing is internal strife of Latin Kings," Voulgaris said.

Residents asked for increased police patrols and cameras in the park, the latter of which Voulgaris said was "in the works."

Without divulging specific policing strategies, Voulgaris said the area was a "priority" for his officers.

Patty Wetli · DNAinfo Reporter

Do police have enough resources to combat gangs?



"We know who the bad guys are," the commander said.

Though he's only held the district's top post for the past nine months, Voulgaris is no stranger to Albany Park, having been assigned to the neighborhood in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

"The little kids I used to chase are now big kids," he said.

"I'm proud to say [the district] is relatively safe, but we do have our gang activity," he said.

"The only way we're going to defeat these gang bangers is with everybody's help," said Voulgaris. "You have to call on any gang activity."

Among the violence that has neighbors on edge: A March 20 mid-afternoon shooting in the 4800 block of North Albany Avenue that left one man dead and another critically wounded; and a March 29 shooting of a man in the 3100 block of West Carmen Avenue.

Among the violence that has neighbors on edge: A March 20 mid-afternoon shooting in the 4800 block of North Albany Avenue that left one man dead and another critically wounded. [Provided]


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