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Crime in Chicago: Yes, We Know It Exists. Use Common Sense During SHRM

By Aysha Ashley Househ

Jun. 2, 2018

Chicago police officer SHRM
A Chicago police officer rides his bike along the Lakefront Trail. Photo by Andrew Kennedy Lewis

SHRM attendees unfamiliar with Chicago may feel cautious about coming to the Windy City because of the constant crime reports on the news. News flash: There’s crime in Chicago. It’s a big city.

While it’s always good to be cautious, by and large the area around McCormick Place and the South Loop are generally safe to be in every day. In case you’re still concerned, we’ve listed some safety tips provided by the Chicago Police Department and CPD Sgt. Rocco Alioto, much of which is common sense but nonetheless worth repeating:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings and travel in well-lit, populated streets.
  • Travel with other people.
  • Know where you’re going, what route you’re taking and let your group know this information.
  • Communicate your estimated arrival time to others in your group or to people expecting you.
  • Don’t walk with your phone of other valuables in your hand.
  • Try not to leave personal items like bags and backpacks unattended.
  • Hide valuables or secure them in a hotel room safe (“For example, do not leave a purse or other item visible in a car,” said Alioto).
  • Use the ATMs inside the bank instead of on the street.
  • If something is lost or stolen, immediately call the police.

As a warning, there are a number of homeless individuals on the streets and sometimes on the “L” trains and buses. Alioto recommends, “When approached by a panhandler and you do not have or want to give anything, let them know you are not interested and continue on your way,” he said. “I simply say, ‘No thank you’ and most of the time the response has been ‘Have a good day’ or ‘Bless you.’ ”

The officer had nothing to say about crime or anything specific to look out for near the McCormick Place. “[I] hope that the visitors enjoy all that the city has to offer in the summer,” said Alioto.

If anything seems unsafe or suspicious, avoid the situation and immediately call 911.

Go here to read more of our 2018 SHRM coverage. 

Aysha Ashley Househ is a Workforce intern. Comment below or email

Aysha Ashley Househ is a Workforce editorial associate.

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