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'A Lot Of Legitimate Fear And Trauma': South Loop Neighbors Band Together To Curb Crime In Their Neighborhood

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A seemingly endless barrage of shootings, carjackings and other violent crimes.

Now, the community is coming together with a possible solution.

CBS 2's Marissa Parra reports on their plans to take back the streets.

It didn't take much digging into the numbers to see there is an uptick in crime, something that's been seen across the board.

Just beyond downtown Chicago is the South Loop...

"Is a lot of legitimate fear and trauma surrounding recent shootings and carjackings," said Scott Monaghan.

The numbers for the Chicago police 1st District, which South Loop is a part of, shows crime is on the rise, part of a trend across the board.

Take the 1st District data in the month leading up to June 13 for 2020 and 2021:

Last year there were roughly 52 violent crimes including three shootings.

This year, there were 62 violent crimes including 10 shootings.

"What we perceive is an uptick in violent crime. And essentially, we as citizens in police beat 123 are going to take back our streets. This isn't Gotham City."

Jim Wales is leading the charge to start a South Loop neighborhood watch group.

There's already several online versions. But Wales wants to take it a step further and create a formal and official one in person. Specifically, for the part of South Loop between Ida B. Wells and Roosevelt.

Within those streets and within the last week, a violent carjacking last Friday on West Harrison. And a person shot and killed in their car across the street the very next day in broad daylight.

For Wales, the next step is obvious:

"To really engage citizens in the South Loop in actively taking a part in our community," Wales said.

For fellow South Looper Scott Monaghan, he fears a simple solution to a complex problem could cause more problems.

"My major concern there is that it ends up putting undue burdens on harassing folks who are already dealing with problems like homelessness and mental health," Monaghan said. "There's always the chance things can go really, really wrong."

The meeting is at 7:00 p.m. Monday at Grace Place. You can either attend virtually or in person.

Grace Place, 637 S Dearborn St.

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