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New agreement allows community members to help fight crime near CVS in Gold Coast

Neighbors fighting crime near Gold Coast CVS through new agreement
Neighbors fighting crime near Gold Coast CVS through new agreement 02:14

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Only on 2-- we're learning of a new way that neighbors are fighting crime by setting a new standard with businesses notorious for criminal activity to fight alongside them.

CBS 2's Sabrina Franza explains how it works.

"What can we do to mitigate or ameliorate this problem?" said Mel Jones.

The problem is the CVS on Clark Street -- for a history of drug-related crimes.

"People tell me that they wanna leave Chicago because they're concerned about it."

Jim Stoller works next door. His company manages 7000 units of housing across Chicago.

Some of his tenants…

"Are telling me that they don't want to feel like the victims anymore."

Neighbors in the gold coast are doing something about it. 

"This agreement is really clear about the obligations and expectations are," Jones said.

This 'Plan of Corrective Action' was months in the making -- pushed by the community and signed by CVS and the city's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

"It is community policing readdressed — taken up by collaborating with police with the alderman with retailers and with neighbors," Jones said.

A multi-step mandatory plan of action for the CVS specifically. 

"It's not just what's going on within their store but is also outside the store," Stoller said.

Of the rules -- the store needs cameras and a security guard is required to observe and report criminal activity as well as show up in court if there's an arrest. Something organizers say was not happening before. 

"Just getting someone arrested... they'll be out within a matter of hours because of I.S. bond programs. and the idea that is if there is a crime, we want people to be responsible for it," Stoller said.

CVS told us in a statement regarding this Clark Street location that they:

"Remain committed to ensuring (our) stores are a safe environment to work, shop and fill prescriptions and will continue working collaboratively with the city of Chicago and the local community on ways to further enhance safety and security."

This is just one example about how a community is coming together to fight crime. The organizers hope this is a new standard that other neighborhoods can copy.

"The document can be used as a gold standard to any business," Jones said.

Violating these rules could impose fines, license suspensions, or even a cease-and-desist order.

The BACP told us the rules are not overarching and that a plan like this can only come about after a community meetings process on a business-by-business basis. 

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