A police sweep of the South Side resulted in dozens of arrests and citations this weekend in what authorities are calling a public safety enforcement blitz.
A news release from the mayor's office indicated that 26 arrests were made along with 148 traffic citations, 76 towed vehicles and 30 non-traffic citations.
Police, firefighters and building inspectors flooded East Carson Street late Friday into Saturday morning and returned Saturday night for the saturation patrols. The intent is to stem what has evolved as a pervasive flow of alcohol-fueled incidents on the South Side during the weekends.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said the patrols included six teams that scoured bars, clubs and restaurants for building and fire code violations. The teams contained combinations of firefighters, building inspectors and police officers. Over the course of the weekend 67 bars were checked in all.
Additionally, about two dozen police in cars and on foot were added to the East Carson Street corridor and surrounding alleys.
The mayor said the saturation patrol is intended to be a part of a broader, multidisciplinary plan to address problems in entertainment districts.
While the South Side has long been plagued with bar-related crimes like noise, public urination, drunken scuffles, and impaired driving, police and public officials have said crime has worsened.
Last weekend, five off-duty officers working private security details fired on a car as it swerved down East Carson Street as a crush of bar patrons flooded the sidewalks following last call. The driver, who now faces charges in the incident, and his mother were wounded.
First Published January 20, 2013 11:00 AM