Historic Events and Trouble in Englewood 
*Information from The Chicago Reporter

In the late 1990's, Mayor Richard M. Daley announced a $256 million package of improvements, including a new Kennedy-King College, housing, parks and job training. In November, 
President Bill Clinton came to the neighborhood to push his New Markets initiative.

But there are some problems that economic development alone can’t fix
 Englewood needs help repairing its human infrastructure, and the city is coming up short in several critical areas.

Mental health experts say 
crisis intervention, community initiatives,  and counseling services are sorely needed in Englewood. And the Englewood Police District doesn't seem to be meeting the official goals for community policing, laid out by the Chicago Police Department.

Among Chicago’s 25 police districts, the Englewood District ranked in the top three in murders throughout the 1990s. From 1990 to 1998, Englewood recorded 665 murders—twice the city’s per-district average.

A Time Line
The Great Migration brought African Americans from the South to Chicago; the city’s population is now nearly 14 percent black. African Americans make up 10 percent of Englewood and 6 percent of West Englewood. Meanwhile, the foreign-born population falls to about 12 percent in Englewood and 14 percent in West Englewood.

1960: Englewood’s black population hits 67,216—about 69 percent of the neighborhood’s total. In West Englewood, blacks are 12 percent of the population. Most live near 63rd Street, between Racine Avenue and Loomis Boulevard. Family median income in West Englewood hovers near the city’s median of $6,738, but Englewood’s is 17 percent lower, at $5,579.

1970: African Americans account for 96 percent of Englewood’s population, which falls by 8,000 to 89,595. In West Englewood, 48 percent are African American. More than one in five Englewood residents lives below the poverty line, as does one in 10 in West Englewood.

1971: Civil rights activist Anna R. Langford is elected to represent the 16th Ward, one of the first women to be elected to the Chicago City Council

1980: Ninety-eight percent of West Englewood’s 62,069 residents are black. In 20 years, the area’s white population has plummeted from 51,583 to 818. Englewood, now 99 percent black, has lost more than 30,000 residents..

1990: In 10 years, Englewood and West Englewood have lost more than 20,000 people combined. Forty-three percent of Englewood residents and 30 percent in West Englewood live below the poverty line. In Englewood, the mean household income is $18,853, compared to a citywide figure of $34,682. The unemployment rate hovers around 26 percent in Englewood and 24 percent in West Englewood.

1991: Shirley A. Coleman is elected alderman of the 16th Ward. In 1995 and 1999 she became director of People Educated Against Crime in Englewood, defeating Mr. Hal Baskin for the position.

1993: The city launches the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy program in five pilot districts, including the Englewood Police District.

1998: The murder of 11-year-old Ryan Harris in July 1998 became national news when two boys, ages 7 and 8, were charged with first-degree murder; the charges later were dropped. It also focused attention on the troubled South Side neighborhood of Englewood.

The Englewood Police District, which includes Englewood and West Englewood, recorded 56 murders, the city’s second highest total. Combined, the communities are about 99 percent black, and in 1990, about 36 percent of their residents lived below the federal poverty line.

1999: Mayor Richard M. Daley announces a $256 million revitalization plan for Englewood. It includes relocating Kennedy-King College to 63rd and Halsted streets, constructing commercial facilities and residential housing, building a new police station, creating more parks and infrastructure improvements.

In a speech in Englewood, President Bill Clinton declares "there are people and places untouched by [the nation’s] prosperity." He pledges support for Englewood through his New Markets initiative for economic investment. Clinton and Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, agree to make the plan a bipartisan effort but announced no details.

Crime and Community Policing by the Numbers

Community policing was introduced in Englewood and four other pilot districts in 1993, and expanded citywide in the fall of 1994. While crime in the pilot districts declined 4 percent from 1993 to 1995, other districts posted a 5.8 percent drop. In Englewood, crime fell 10.6 percent in the three years leading up to community policing but rose 3.3 percent in the program’s first three years. Crime dropped 5.1 percent from 1996 to 1998.

Crimes in the Englewood Police District decreased by 3.7 percent from 1993, when community policing began, to 1998. The largest decrease—nearly 47 percent—came in Beat 715, which had the fewest crimes in 1998. Beat 725 saw a 13.2 percent increase from 1993 to 1998, and in 1998 suffered more crimes than any of the district’s other 14 beats.

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The Chicago Reporter has been assessing preventive programs in the area. Its work was bolstered by 19 graduate students from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, who surveyed 304 Englewood District residents for their views on crime and police, and profiled some of the people they met.