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CPD Roll Call at Perspectives Charter Schools-Calumet Campus

Students and community members gather for CPD Roll Call outside Perspetives Charter School-Calumet Campus.

Chase Woodward

Last Thursday around 25 members of the Auburn-Gresham community congregated near the Perspectives Charter Schools-Calumet Campus at 81st and May Street to participate in a Chicago Police Department 6th District Roll Call.

At 4:15pm four officers from the 6th District Police Station parked their cruisers and stood in line for inspection, to answer questions, and most importantly to make themselves visible to the students and community. Representatives from the 611, 612, 613, 623, and 624 beats were in attendance, along with Perspectives-Calumet Middle School Principal Tamara Davis and the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation's (GADC) Executive Director Carlos Nelson. 

Perspectives Charter Schools-Calumet Campus celebrated its first graduation ceremony.

Chase Woodward

Earlier in the day Perspectives-Calumet celebrated its first graduation ceremony as the 8th grade class received their diplomas.  A group of students observed the roll call and asked questions. The school’s code for living is called “A Disciplined Life” and two of its principles are to solve conflicts peacefully and to live a healthy lifestyle.

GADC appointed Chase Woodward, a Chicago Health Corps member, to develop health and safety programs at the school. An important part of the mission of the Chicago Health Corps is to promote safety in the community so students can spend more time in the classroom learning. 

As people gathered Betty Jo Swanson, co-facilitator of the 612 beat, talked about the importance of the Roll Call: “This event shows the unity between the community and the police. It is crucial that we demonstrate to our young people that the law is important, and periodic CPD Roll Calls help us make that statement.” A Roll Call was also held at Perspectives-Calumet in the month of April, but it was later in the evening when all the students were already at home. Ms. Swanson stressed the significance of having the event as students were dismissed from school. 

Gary Breathett addresses the crowd.

Chase Woodward

The four officers stood at attention as several leaders took turns speaking. James Drake, co-facilitator of the 611 beat, addressed the group and emphasized the need for parents to take action: “At beat meetings we inevitably talk about the safety of our children. Parents have to step up and get involved. We need to establish as many parent patrols as we can.” The group was reminded that if they see something going on, they need to call the police and other community residents as soon as possible. 

Since last February there has been an after school patrol along Racine between 78th and 81st street. In cooperation with the CPD, GADC has partnered with the St. Leo Campus for Veterans, Perspectives Charter Schools, and St. Sabina Academy to start a “Pedestrian Safety Travel Zone” or PSTZ. The PSTZ is made up of veterans, parents, and other concerned community members. Carlos Nelson said, “The purpose of the patrol is to provide a safe passage for our children. Utilizing veterans in our community to help our students be safe is a novel idea. They have more experience in this world than you can imagine. Their primary station is at 79th and Racine so they are able to serve students from Perspectives-Calumet, St. Sabina Academy, St. Leo High School, and Hirsch Metro High School.” 

Gary Breathett, co-facilitator of the 613 beat, makes it a priority to be on the street when school is dismissed: “At 4pm I’m on the corner here telling the kids to head home. This is all about saving our kids. They are the future of this community.” He said that at his monthly CAPS meeting the participants try to come up with creative ideas on how to make the neighborhood safer. 

Officers Brown and Lopez stand in line for inspection.

Chase Woodward

Every speaker recognized the police officers for their diligence on their patrols and for making time to participate in the Roll Call. Officer Lopez said, “We are busy at this time of day, many of the officers in this district are deployed, but it is a priority for us to come out to events like this. We want the community to know that we are working with them to make the streets safer for the students.” 

The next CPD Roll Call for the 6th district is scheduled for Thursday, May 29 at 6pm near 81st and Marshfield Avenue.

Notable attendees:

Tamara Davis, Principal Perspectives-Calumet Middle School

Shaka Rawls, Assistant Principal Perspectives-Calumet Middle School

Carlos Nelson, Executive Director GADC

Gary Breathett, facilitator 613 beat

Betty Jo Swanson, facilitator 612 beat

James Drake, facilitator 611 beat

Ms. Plansky, facilitator 623 beat

Herb Bryant, facilitator 624 beat

Mr. Woodhouse, security officer at local school

6th District Officers Lopez and Brown


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