Doormen to Combat Wilding Attacks

In an average American neighborhood when crime starts to increase, the residents get together and form a Neighborhood Watch.  Ordinary citizens, armed with  flashlights and walkie-talkies act as supplemental eyes and ears for the local police.

Crime is a growing problem in the Streeterville and Gold Coast areas, so in the next-best-thing to actually getting involved in their neighborhood, concerned residents are asking their doormen to be neighborhood watchmen.  They’ll act as the eyes and ears of the police as the Emanuel administration tries to stop a series of wilding attacks in the area (see our previous coverage here: “Wilding in the Gold Coast“).

Last Thursday, SOAR started polling the residential buildings in the area to see which ones have doormen, which ones would be willing to have their doormen take part in the program, and which buildings have private video surveillance that would be useful to the Chicago Police Department.  In addition, SOAR in looking into coming up with some kind of system to allow the doormen from various buildings to quickly alert each other in the event of trouble.

While I’m sure CPD welcomes any additional help from Streeterville’s hired help, what would help even more is if the people who actually live there went out and did some patrolling, too.  Though SOAR and its members likely have good intentions, they should be reminded the citizenship is not a spectator sport.  Moreover, it reinforces the stereotype people have of Streeterville and the Gold Coast as being full of snobs who will gladly send someone else out to do their dirty work.  As a former resident of the John Hancock Center, I can tell you this is not always true.  But this, and many other SOAR actions, do little to disprove the stereotype.

If SOAR really wants to do good, it shouldn’t only organize the doormen.  It should start organizing the residents.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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