Chicago: A City Coping With Crime

Published September 28th, 2017 | By

 

A Popular Location to Visit

Tourism is key in “The Windy City.” Last year, tourism accounted for more than 145,000 of all jobs and brought in $15 billion to the economy. In 2016, there were over 54 million visitors who travelled to Chicago. Compared to the year before in 2015, there was a 2.9 percent increase in travel. These overall numbers included people both on business and on vacation.

The two main reasons for the increased number of visitors are due to the various large-scale city events and attractions. Famous landmarks draw in an impressive number of people, locations such as: Wrigley Field (home of the Cubs), Millennium Park, Cloud Gate, Skydeck, Field Museum, The Magnificent Mile and others. These places are iconic—people want to be a part of something they have always heard so much about and finally have the opportunity to experience first-hand.

And while tourism growth has reached record numbers, Henry Hartevelt, the President of the Travel Industry Consistency Atmosphere Research Group stated, “The city will need to curb some of the violence continually making headlines to maintain that momentum.” He continued, “It may take a toll on leisure travelers who have complete discretion on where they choose to go.”

So despite Chicago’s popularity, the city will have to tackle its alarming crime rate if it wants to maintain its place as one of the leading travel locations to visit in the U.S. People want to feel safe and secure anywhere they venture—not just visitors but the residents of Chicago as well. One of the best ways to prevent crime is to come together as a community.

 

Life In Chicago

Despite its current issues with crime, Chicago is an appealing city for many people to live in. It is more than a place that continues to have issues with crime— stemming from its infamous Al Capone mafia days in the 1920s during the Prohibition era. Then, there was literally terror openly on the streets. Fast forward to today, Chicago is also more than a city that is renowned for simpler things, such as its deep-dish pizza.

Chicago is a sprawling metropolis with an abundant culture of diverse food, music and art. There is no place quite like it. As the third largest city in the U.S.—ranks just behind New York City (8.5 million) and Los Angeles (3.9 million), Chicago is home to an estimated 2.7 million people. The median age of its residence is 32 and mainly comprises of people of Caucasian, African American and Latino decent. The number of occupied homes is 1,045,560 and consists of mainly family-led households.

 

The Housing Market

Regarding the housing market, those in the metro areas have done best since the Great Recession of 2008. It has taken many areas to bounce back years after the recession ended. Other locations, such as the Northwest side have fared better than those on the Southside. Those on the Northwest side have more home equity, whereas those on the Southside frequently are facing underwater mortgages.

Only 15 percent of Chicago homeowners are viewed as being equity rich, meaning they have over a 50 percent steak in their homes. On the contrast, over 17 percent owe 25 percent or more than their current market home value. Regarding equity wealth, areas throughout the Northwest side are doing the best, including these neighborhoods: Old Irving Park, Mayfair and Jefferson Park, Logan Square and Avondale. These areas and numbers only reflect homeowners and don’t take into account the financial statuses of renters throughout the city.

One thing is clear: neighborhood wealth directly impacts the levels of crime a specific area will experience.

 

Migration to the City

One alarming thing to note is that Chicago’s population numbers are seeing the greatest population losses of any other major U.S. metropolitan city. The U.S. Census Bureau released this data in March of 2015. The report shows that the metro area decreased by 6,300 in a one-year span (July 2014-July 2015). This is part of Chicago’s total loss of over 80,000 people. Within the U.S., Chicago is losing its people to other locations (domestic out-migration) more quickly than it is having people migrate to the city.

Other large cities, such as New York City and Los Angeles see large domestic out-migration as well, but also see migrations to the city, offsetting any losses. After Chicago, the second worst city to see a net population loss was Detroit, which has had a floundering economy.

It goes to say that Chicago is at a crossroads if it’s not careful with things that can negatively impact its population. Crime is undoubtedly one such component that will potentially make people want to pack up and leave.

 

Chicago and Crime

As stated before, Chicago has a complex relationship with crime—stemming from over a century ago. Al Capone set the stage for the mafia presence in the area, but it wasn’t the last stint of corruption it would see. Plenty goes on today in various forms. From theft, burglaries, violent crimes and assault, murder and rape, Chicago is a city that has it all.

To put it into perspective: halfway through 2017, violence in Chicago had claimed the lives of 323 people. From an annual perspective, 2017 is likely to see over 700 homicides—more than what it has been in 20 years. Even in comparison to the more populous cities of New York and Los Angeles, Chicago has a higher murder rate.

Much of Chicago’s violence surrounds its gangs, which have a hand in everything from petty crimes to drug dealing. Other factors include unemployment, racial divide and hardships of the South and Western parts of the city. And while there are police to help prevent citywide crime, Chicago as a whole now faces a strong resentment of its police force due to recent cases of racially-related police shootings of citizens.

 

How Can You Protect Your Home and Family?

Where your home security and personal safety are concerned, there are things you can do to ensure that you are better protected from things such as burglaries and violent home invasions. Every year, approximately 2 million homes experience a home invasion; however, with a home security system, your home will be 3 times less likely to be targeted. Home security systems provide a peace of mind, allowing you to worry less and focus more on the things that matter most to you, such as your family and daily activities. Enjoy all that Chicago has to offer—after all, it’s a city with plenty of great things to offer.

Using Craigslist and Keeping Yourself Safe

Published February 22nd, 2017 | By

Craigslist may essentially still have the same minimal layout as when it started, but with 50 billion page views per month, the classifieds website shows no signs of slowing down. An overwhelmingly large majority of transactions that take place on Craigslist are done so by honest people simply looking to acquire goods and services. However, that doesn’t mean that it is okay to be complacent about the safety of yourself or even your home when it comes to interacting with someone on Craigslist.

There are a slew of measures that you can take to make sure that you safely engage with someone on Craigslist, ensuring that you are not jeopardizing anyone’s well-being. Take into consideration the following tips.

 

1. Insist on meeting in a public place

This should be a given whether you’re the seller or the buyer. Meeting in a heavily used parking lot during the middle of the day is often best for goods that are easily mobile.

If you’re selling something that is difficult to transport, this is where you may run the risk of dealing with someone with a little less honesty. If someone must come to your home, do everything you can to hide all other expensive goods in your position. Close your garage doors, pull the curtains on all of your windows, and if possible, transport what you are selling outside before the buyer arrives.

 

2. Keep your location ambiguous on your post

When you’re looking to sell something, the most that anyone should really have to know is the general city or town that you reside in. Avoid giving out any address (even down to just the street name) in your post. There is often little to no reason why your address has to be made public on your post. Think basic home security.

This even goes for if you’re listing your home or apartment on Craigslist for rental purposes. Only the neighborhood or apartment complex needs to be specified to start. More details can be exchanged as you speak with interested parties.

 

3. Look out for red flags when interacting with someone

Craigslist transactions should always happen with local people—or with someone who is close enough to drive to you. Determining a trustworthy individual is sometimes tricky, but a good rule of thumb is that they are those who provide relevant information regarding the interaction that you two are engaging with, are quick to respond to emails, and are willing to speak with you over the phone before you meet.

 

When talking with someone via Craigslist, there are several things that you want to keep a lookout for. Anyone who provides ambiguous answers to questions or asks suspicious questions themselves (about your home/personal life) is probably someone that you want to avoid doing any business with.

There are addition red flags that you should be cautious of when dealing with someone, these include:

  • An individual who refuses to meet with you at a neutral location or they want you to go to their home.
  • An individual who requests that you provide financial information, such as: bank account numbers, credit card numbers or PayPal information. Never release any of these to anyone!
  • Someone who wants an item that you are selling to be sent to Nigeria (or another country) and that they’ll pay an additional fee to have these items shipped to that country. These individuals will not meet in person and will try to pay you via a fake PayPal account, money order, etc. These are notorious for being scams. Drop all communication with these individuals.
  • Transactions that they want to be carried out by an escrow service, money order, cashier’s check, Western Union or another wired carrier. Never proceed with these!

 

4. Use SafeTrade Stations if possible

SafeTrade Stations started up in 2015 as a program to help Craigslist users have a safe space to conduct their exchanges. SafeTrade Stations are often in the parking lots of police stations, and can sometimes happen inside of the police station themselves. There is no charge for using the service, and hundreds of stations exist across the country.

More information about SafeTrade Stations can be found here: http://www.safetradestations.com.

 

5. Go to the exchange with a friend

It always helps to go to a Craigslist exchange with other people present, especially with someone that you already trust. Find someone willing to take an afternoon to go with you for peace-of-mind. Good friends will likely care about your safety, and rather go with you without you even having to ask.

It’s important to stress that you shouldn’t feel scared to use Craigslist. Hundreds, if not thousands, of interactions happen everyday with no harm done to any of the parties involved. It’s simply important to remember to remain vigilant about your safety as you conduct any exchanges through the website. Keep yourself visible to others and keep your own address secret if possible.

Top Tips to Baby-Proof Your Home

Published September 22nd, 2016 | By

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Your home should both be and feel like a safe place for your family. But as a new parent, it’s sometimes difficult to know what’s a potential danger for your child. You’ll have to switch gears a little and inspect your home for items that are potentially dangerous. Here are some great tips at baby-proofing your home.

 

The Staircase

Each year, around 100,000 children are rushed to the ER for falling down the stairs. That translates to roughly one injury every six minutes. With that said, the stairs can be one of the most dangerous areas for a baby or toddler. Whether they are crawling or walking, they can seriously injure themselves or worse. To prevent a nasty fall, make sure you invest and install a baby gate.

Here is a vital note to make: never use a pressure-mounted gate; these can be pushed on can be made loose. Instead, you should install a hardware-mounted safety gate. Also, make sure your gate opens out and away from the staircase, this is especially important at the top of the stairs.

 

The Kitchen

It’s crucial that your child stays out of reach of detergents, other types of cleaners, as well as dishes. To ensure this, you should baby-proof all cabinets that are within their reach. One idea to keep in mind is to switch standard cleaning products, made of bleach, ammonia, etc. to more organic compounds made of vinegar, mineral oils and other natural ingredients. That way, if something were to potentially be ingested, the product is less of a hazard.

According to the Poison Control National Capital Poison Center, every 14.6 seconds, there is a reported poison exposure to Poison Control. In 2016, U.S. poison control centers gave telephone assistance to over 2 million callers, who were calling about human poison ingestion. Concerning child poisoning, out of 1,000 children (under 6 years of age), there were an estimated 41.3 poison exposures.

Also in the kitchen, you should make sure that any storage or grocery bags are kept out of reach, as these could become potential chocking or strangulation hazards. And it goes to say that all knives and other sharp objects should be properly stored and inaccessible to youngsters.

 

The Living Room

Living rooms aren’t normally decorated with young kids in mind. And it’s likely that some aesthetic sacrifices will be made in the name of safety. After all, there are plenty of dangers in this one room in particular. For instance, coffee and end tables have sharp corners. To ensure that your child isn’t accidentally injured on these edges, make sure you install edge and corner guards. Window blinds have long cords that hang. Make sure your child doesn’t accidentally strangle or harm themselves by adjusting the cord length. If you have hardwood floors, a nice area rug could soften a fall or tumble.

 

Electrical Outlets and Power Cords

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Babies and small kids don’t mesh well where electricity is concerned. The National Fire Protection Association states that nearly 2,400 kids 

suffer from severe shock and burns caused by tampering with electrical sockets. As you can imagine, you’ll want to do all in your power to minimize the risk of electrocution. Make sure all unused sockets have socket guards or electrical outlet caps. You’ll have to keep a heavy that your child doesn’t play with cords. To help with this, try to tidy up your cords and safely organized/kept out of reach.

Want to better protect your kids? ADT Pulse provides the ultimate home protection. Learn more about ADT Pulse.

 

 

Sources:

    http://www.parents.com/baby/safety/babyproofing/babyproofing-home-top-to-bottom/
    http://www.babycenter.com/0_childproofing-your-kitchen-for-babies_755.bc
    parent.guide/how-to-baby-proof-everything-electrical/

ADT Monitoring Saves Lives

Published August 26th, 2015 | By

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Typically, when you think of ADT home monitoring, you automatically think of security protection against burglaries. And while we do provide that valuable service, ADT’s 24/7 monitoring is also great in the event of a fire, flood, carbon monoxide leak and medical emergency. All of these are virtually impossible to predict—some things just happen at random. Rather than taking a chance to encounter something catastrophic, it’s better to be ready at a moment’s notice.

ADT monitoring keeps guard over you, your loved ones and your home— so that you are never unprepared during your specific emergency. We’ve received countless stories about how ADT monitored systems have helped numerous people throughout North America.

Here is just one unique story of many out there. It’s about a couple from Atlanta, GA who nearly experienced a complete tragedy overnight…if it hadn’t been for several factors:

  • Quick thinking
  • The Effectiveness of the ADT operator
  • The skills of the first responders at the scene and the medical team at the hospital

In this specific scenario, Sharron, one of the homeowners, experienced extreme nausea in the middle of the night and into the early morning. Her husband had left the house that morning; that’s shortly when Sharron began to have difficulty breathing. After fumbling with the phone, she realized she couldn’t work the phone…meaning should couldn’t dial 911 for help. Fortunately, Sharon went to her purse and retrieved her ADT security system wireless key fob. All she had to do was press the alert button. She was then connected to Kellee Fair, an ADT operator. Kellee immediately contacted the Puckett EMT in Atlanta. It turned out Sharron was having a heart attack.

Due to the professionalism and dedication of the entire team involved, Sharron’s life was saved. And afterwards, Kellee and Sharron would later meet in person at an ADT office in Altlanta. Kellee Fair, the operator, was presented with the ADT Lifesaver Reward for helping saveSharron’s life. It’s amazing to see how one action can completely transform someone else’s life. And that’s what happened here.

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In addition to the key fob that Sharron used to contact Kellee at ADT monitoring, there is a medical alert system that specifically targets medical emergencies. These aren’t just for the elderly– they are also for anyone who has a medical condition where they may need quick, emergency assistance at any moment. It allows the wearer to continue living an independent lifestyle, but have the security of knowing that help is just around the corner if it’s needed. Call us to find out more about the medical alert system.

At ADT monitoring, we go above and beyond to ensure your personal safety. It’s not a 9-5 job for us; you are our extended family. Rain or shine, we are always here to help you.

 

* $100 Visa Gift Card fulfilled by Protect Your Home through third-party provider, Mpell, upon installation of a security system. Shipping and Handling Fee applies. ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services, which help you manage your home environment and family lifestyle, requires the purchase and/or activation of an ADT alarm system with monitored burglary service and a compatible computer, cell phone or PDA with Internet and email access. These ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services do not cover the operation or maintenance of any household equipment/systems that are connected to the ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services/Equipment. All ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services are not available with the various levels of ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services. All ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services may not be available in all geographic areas. You may be required to pay additional charges to purchase equipment required to utilize the ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services features you desire. Installation starts at $199. Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert monitoring requires purchase and/or activation of an ADT security system with monitored Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert devices. Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert services are an additional charge. Quality Service Plan (QSP) is ADT's Extended Limited Warranty. 36-month monitoring contract required from $51.99 per month, ($1,871.64), including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Additional charges may apply in areas that require guard response service for municipal alarm verification. Prices subject to change. Prices may vary by market. Some insurance companies offer discounts on Homeowner's Insurance. Please consult your insurance company. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Additional monitoring fees required for some services. Photos are for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect the exact product/service actually provided. $99 Customer Installation Charge. 36-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 per month (1,331.64), 24-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 ($887.76) for California, including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Form of payment must be by credit card of electronic charge to your checking or savings account. Offer applies to homeowners only. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Certain restrictions may apply. Offer valid for new ADT Authorized Premier Provider customers only and not on purchases from ADT LLC. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Licenses: AL-17-1104, AZ-ROC217517, AR-2008-0014, CA-ACO6320, CT-ELC.0193944-L5, DE-07-212, FL-EC13003427, DC-602513000006, GA-LVA205395, ID-ELE-SC-39312, IL- 127.001042, IN-City of Indianapolis: LAC-000156, IA-AC-0036, KY-City of Louisville: 483, LA-F1082, LA-F1914, LA-F1915, ME-LM50017382, MD-107-1626, MA-1355C, MI- 3601205773, MN-TS01807, MS-15007958, MO-City of St. Louis: CC354, St. Louis County: 84959, MT-247, NE-14451, NV-68518, City of Las Vegas: 3000002944, NJ-34BF00021800, NM- 353366, NY-Licensed by the N.Y.S. Dept. of State UID#12000317691, #12000286451, NC-1622- CSA, OH-53891446, City of Cincinnati: AC86, OK-1048, OR-170997, Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor Registration Number: PA022999, RI-3582, SC-BAC5630, SD-1025- 7001-ET, TN-1520, TX-B13734, ACR-3492, UT-6422596-6501, VT-ES-2382, VA-115120, WA- 602588694/PROTEYH934RS, WV-042433, WI-City of Milwaukee: PAS-0002790, WY-LV-G- 21499. 3750 Priority Way South Dr. Suite 200 Indianapolis, IN 46240