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Beat 1921 Updates

Beat 1921’s meeting had an attendance of about 40 people and the meeting focus was about problem bars on Western, primarily the Blue Light and Underbar. 

Residents are concerned due to recent incidents of shots fired in the area. Police iterated that no one was hit; shell casings were recovered, inventoried, and fingerprinted, similar to the previous history of issues here. Representatives from the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) and the Law Department were also in attendance.

The police said they need more calls for service from residents and that their resources are allocated by calls; if there is an increase in calls or a pattern identified, extra patrols are put in an area in addition to the regular beat car.

A number of residents brought up the idea of revoking the bar’s license or changing its hours. Both the police and BACP said there needs to be evidence tying the events to a particular bar in order to start this process. The 19th District said they also need complaining witnesses for an investigation. Part of the issue of voting a precinct dry as mentioned is that other licensees who operate establishments with excellent records, such as Liberty or Constellation/Links Hall (a performing arts location) would also be shut down.

The police said they will dedicate more resources here, including more DUI patrols and issuing Administrative Notice of Violations (ordinance violation tickets, excessive noise while in a car or outside, drinking on the public way, etc). The Finance Department has also already been contacted about issuing more tickets to those parking illegally in the neighborhood during late hours.

The Bluelight has been under city scrutiny for years, but has not been shut down outside of temporary periods such as the shooting of a person by Bluelight security in 2019 that led to summary closure, a short term closure instituted by the Superintendent of Police. They operate under an official plan of operation that is overseen by Chicago Police, Department of Business Affairs and the Chicago Liquor Commissioner. Violations of this Bluelight Plan of Operation can also be reported directly to the BACP, Liquor Commissioner, and CPD.


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