COOK COUNTY, IL – Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today the opening of a Sheriff’s Office command post in Chicago’s River North neighborhood to help deter crime, an expansion of the Office’s effort to combat violence throughout the city.
The River North command post at 500 North Clark has been opened since January and is aimed at increasing law enforcement presence in the area and supporting the Chicago Police Department. Sheriff’s Police started assisting in the downtown area during the unrest in May 2020. Sheriff’s Police also have a command post in Austin on Chicago’s West Side and have been engaged in constant collaboration with CPD throughout the city, including in Chinatown and the Central Business District.
“I’m committed to helping ensure the safety of our city and its suburbs,” Sheriff Dart said. “We’re here in River North to bolster police presence, and we will continue to collaborate with Chicago Police to create a safer downtown for everyone who works, visits, and lives here.”
Sheriff Dart was joined by Deputy Mayor John O’Malley, CPD Superintendent David O. Brown, Alderman Brian Hopkins, Cook County Commissioners Bridget Degnen and Scott Britton, the River North Residents Association, and the Magnificent Mile Association.
“The Chicago Police Department and the Cook County Sherriff’s Office share a long history of collaboration,” Superintendent Brown said. “This new office location in the city’s central business district and the historic River North neighborhood is just the latest example of our shared commitment to making our city and our county safer for all.”
“I welcome Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s satellite office on N. Clark Street and his partnership with our other law enforcement agencies,” Alderman Hopkins said. “This office will provide additional resources and diverse tasks to combat crime and mayhem in the Central Business District.”
Sheriff’s Police presence in Chicago is not out of the ordinary. Sheriff’s Police have had permanent post in Austin since 2018 and since then the area has seen a decrease in shootings and homicides.
Shootings were down 15% in 2021 compared to 2020 in the Chicago’s 15th Police District, which includes Austin. Homicides were down nearly 30%.
This year through April 24, the 15th district has seen an 11% decrease in shootings and a 17% decrease in homicides when compared to the same time period last year.
In addition to proactive policing in Austin, the office has strong partnerships with local organizations and regularly engages with its residents to strengthen the bond between the community and law enforcement.
In 2020, Sheriff Dart formed the Sheriff’s Police Community Safety Team, which focuses on suburban areas with high criminal activity. The team focuses on proactive policing as well as engaging residents and business owners to help address their public safety needs.