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Logan Square Parents Demand Adequate Safety Protection for Students

Parents from the Funston-Ames school area are calling for steps to halt further violence in the area, particularly at the Funston playground where 13-year-old Ames Middle School student Schanna Gayden was fatally shot on June 25, 2007.

“We need cameras, we need more police protection, and we need it now!” said Reynalda Covarrubias, Funston LSC president and a long-time LSNA activist.We need what’s been promised, immediately!

  • a “blue light” police camera at Central Park and McLean to view the Funston area.
  • Chicago Public Schools (CPS) cameras on the Funston playground.
  • Nearby Mozart and McAuliffe schools also need CPS playground cameras.

"The area needs cameras and more police resources to keep our children safe!" said Ames Principal Lorraine Cruz, who has taken a leadership role on safety and worked closely with parents and LSNA for the past several years.Recently, Aldermen Reboyras and Ocasio each provided a police camera in the area.But funding for the Central Park/McLean camera is still “unavailable.” And playground cameras promised by CPS remain uninstalled.More police protection is also needed, say parents:

  • Dividing lines between police districts 25 and 14 must be moved away from Funston School. The dividing line is Central Park, right in front of Funston.
  • For years, competing gangs have been shooting across the street, into the playground and the school.

The 25th District has only one “school car,” even though it has 48 SCHOOLS! — the most of any district!  The 14th District  has 37 schools! Compare this with Lakeview’s 23rd District (near Cubs park and the lake) which has 3 schools! This is proof that the city places no priority on school safety! The city must redeploy police to address safety issues around schools.

The last police deployment (moving police to where the need is) was in 1984. Well, a lot has changed in the past 23 years! LSNA has worked closely with Funston School for over a decade. The first LSNA Community Learning Center opened at Funston in 1995 and uses the playground for its programs. The area has been troubled with recurring gang shootings during this time. Parents have patrolled, gone to CAPS meetings, created the yearly Safety Summit and worked with all agencies. But we need action now by the Mayor and his police department to address this current crisis and prevent further ones.