Alexis Bocanegra

Alexis Bocanegra

Resolve to make the neighborhood safer

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By Alexis Bocanegra

Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge

(773) 949-1509 • grcl.alex23@gmail.com

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Happy New Year! I, for one, felt the holiday season crept up on us. It went by too fast for my liking.

Now that the holiday festivities are past us, it is time for our New Year’s resolutions. The first few days are always the hardest in starting and keeping healthy habitats. They can be as simple as making more time for friends or family, exercising, saving money or becoming more involved in your local community.

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Alexis Bocanegra

A simple resolution to take into consideration is getting involved in our community. In 2024, attend your local CAPS beat meeting. The beat meetings are led by Chicago Lawn (8th) District police officers and a community CAPS facilitator. Meetings are held monthly at 7 p.m. There are four beats in Garfield Ridge and Clearing: 811, 812, 813 and 814.

Becoming community-involved is essential if this is your first, fifth, 10th or 20th year in Garfield Ridge or Clearing. Come out to a beat meeting and get to know your beat officers. Find out what is happening in our neighborhood and don’t forget to invite a neighbor.

It’s a great place to learn about problem areas, crime statistics and resourceful tips. You can come prepared with questions/concerns to have the CAPS police officers and your aldermanic representative help answer.

The purpose of the beat meetings is to unify police officers, residents, community leaders and stakeholders. The open dialogue aims to keep the community informed and create strategies for finding solutions to the problem.

Residents also hear from the 13th Ward and 23rd Ward aldermanic representatives. Some beat meetings also invite guest speakers such as other city representatives, state representatives, community organizations or local business owners.

The Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch combines their meeting with CAPS Beat 811. This is one of the most heavily attended beat meetings. The Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch periodically patrols the area and reports issues to the respected aldermen’s office, 311 or the CAPS department. They not only care about the safety of the community but also plan many great family-friendly events in Garfield Ridge. Join us at the next meeting!

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Among other things, CAPS Beat 811 meetings give Garfield Ridge residents the chance to speak directly with leaders of the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch group. –File photo

  • Beat 811 meets Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. at Ward Hall, 5157 S. McVicker. If you can’t attend, consider streaming it on the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch’s Facebook Live.
  • Beat 812 meets Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Clearing Branch Library, 6423 W. 63rd Place.
  • Beat 813 meets Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. at West Lawn Park, 4233 W. 65th St.
  • Beat 814 meets Thursday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. at Vittum Park, 5010 W. 50th St.

Also…

  • Girls Day of Play is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9 at Hale Park, 6258 W. 62nd St. This event, set for girls age 6-12, offers participants an opportunity to engage in sports, arts and crafts and fun. This free event is available during a public school day out of school. Please bring a lunch. For details, call the park at (773) 229-1032.
  • Please remember that you can always read the Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound online 24/7, for just pennies a day. Simply go to southwestregionalpublishing.com and click on the Subscribe tab to learn how you can get started on staying better informed now and all through 2024.

Finally, I am scheduled to write this column on the first Wednesday of each month this year. So I’ll see you next on Feb. 7. If you have news you’d like to have printed in that column, please let me know in the next two weeks, so I’ll have time to include it. Thank you!

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