Police trying to curtail panhandlers in Hyde Park

  • By Mia Boyd
  • July 24, 2009 @ 4:45 PM

Police are continuing aggressive patroliing in Hyde Park and are urging panhandling victims to sign complaints.

“We need actual victims to sign complaints. That’s been a huge problem and mainly because people are worried about retaliation," says Chicago Policy Sgt. Tom Wieczorek, who attended a community meeting with residents last night.

Residents in wealthy Hyde Park -- the home of President Barack Obama and the University of Chicago-- have been experiencing aggressive solicitation from panhandlers. Police have advised merchants and customers not to give panhandlers money or food.

“We need the community to step up,” says Wieczorek.

Recently there were two calls for service regarding panhandler disturbances between 1323 – 1331 E. 57th Street in the Hyde Park neighborhood.

Calls have been going down and police are continuing to patrol, says Officer Donna Whisenton.