Blue Line, Green Line Land on List of CTA Crime Hotspots
Chicago Tribune analysis shows high-crime activity, with local routes ranking high on the list.
The rail routes frequented by many local CTA riders are high on the list of crime hotspots, according to a Chicago Tribune analysis of more than three years of crime data. The analysis is part of a larger Tribune series examining crime on the CTA, from dissecting the rise of smartphone robberies to tagging along with late-night commuters. Be sure to check out this infographic, which breaks down the stats.
The Roosevelt stop in the Loop, which serves the CTA's Red, Green and Orange Lines and bus routes, was tops on the list, the Trib's analysis found, and the entire 23-mile stretch of the Red Line sees a high rate of crime. And then there's this:
In addition to the Red Line, which operates around the clock between some of Chicago's most affluent neighborhoods as well as through some of its poorest, crimes committed against rail passengers were also pervasive on the Green Line, which goes through the West Side, and the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line, which also travels east-west, the analysis found.
According to the Trib's analysis, the highest number of crimes on the Green Line occur at stations on the West Side, with the highest concentration of crimes on that line at the Pulaski stop — right in the middle of an Oak Parker's typical commute to and from the city.
Earlier this year, authorities warned commuters after a series of robberies on the Green Line in which as many as four men punched their victims or displayed a handgun and demanded belongings like purses, wallets, cash and cell phones.
In May, a retired Oak Park cop thwarted a strong-arm robbery that began at the Green Line's Clark and Lake stop downtown. About two weeks later, a man was mugged at knifepoint while aboard a westbound CTA train at the Ridgeland stop in Oak Park.
To help combat the crime, police in Oak Park have long been part of the CTA's Secondary Employment Detail, a grant program that pays for an Oak Park police presence at transit stations, bus routes and rail cars.
The officers typically patrol the stops along the Blue and Green Lines or they'll hop aboard train cars during rush hour, generally from 2-8 p.m.
Det. Cmdr. LaDon Reynolds said CTA buses traveling Austin Boulevard from Roosevelt Road to North Avenue are also given special attention, and said beat officers with transit stops in their territories undertake mandatory "station checks" during their shifts.
"Not only are they checking on the day shift and midnight shift, but they ride trains, they ride buses. There is a high visibility to the ridership," he said.
Stay alert and awake
• Do not sleep on the bus or train, or become too engrossed in a book.
• Keep personal audio players at a low volume at all times.
• Be wary of noisy passengers arguing or causing a commotion. This could be
staged to distract you.
Keep yourself and your belongings safe
• Keep your belongings close to you.
• Conceal expensive electronic equipment and jewelry.
• Carry wallets in a front pants pocket.
Prepare for your trip
• Know your route ahead of time. Call 312-836-7000 for travel information.
Also, If you see someone suspicious of the train prior to your stop call ahead to the OPPD and we will have an officer meet you.
Source: Oak Park Police Department