Englewood community joins police in ‘Operation Cleanup’ effort, as district commander expresses hope about possibilities

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Englewood community is in prayer after two of its police officers had been shot simply days aside just lately.

Chicago Police Englewood (seventh) District Cmdr. Rodney Hill talked with CBS 2’s Steven Graves Friday about officer morale and his outlook on the summer time season.

A neighborhood cleanup effort in Englewood on Friday started with a prayer. In the higher Englewood community – prayers to heal harm, but in addition foster hope.

“I had two officers shot, and both survived. They’re doing well,” Cmdr. Hill mentioned, “and that’s a blessing.”

At the cleanup effort, Cmdr. Hill took the mic at 69th and Sangamon streets. He talked publicly for the primary time close to the place his officer, Erik Moreno, was shot final Sunday.

“It was a struggle the last couple of weeks,” he mentioned.

Days earlier than that – somebody shot Englewood District Officer Fernanda Ballesteros at 61st and Paulina streets. She just lately bought launched from the hospital.

On Friday, fellow beat officers stood behind Cmdr. Hill. We requested about what number of are holding up.

“My officers – they’re holding on,” Hill mentioned. “They’re strong. They’re a resilient group of young officers.”

Meanwhile, Marcus Simpson – a local of the West Side’s Austin neighborhood – joined metropolis employees in cleansing the Englewood community Friday. He says the shootings that wounded officers despatched shockwaves by way of the entire metropolis.

“If we scare the police off, it’s going to be worse,” Simpson mentioned. “We don’t want the people who protect and serve us to be scared for their life.”

Deshaunna Pitts lives close to the place the gang met Friday.

“I feel like at a point, they could be our backbone, like, I feel like – Black people, we are so scared of a relationship with the police,” she mentioned. “Everyone coming together and pitching in and doing their part – I feel like it really will help.”

Cmdr. Hill added: “As a whole, I’m happy with the relationships that I have with my community partners. We’re working together.”

The key, Englewood leaders say, to lowering violence heading into summertime – a season some would possibly take a look at as grim.

“I don’t think it’s grim. I don’t,” Hill mentioned. “I think we have to remain optimistic about the possibilities of being better as a city and community.”

And the prayers for peace will proceed.

The occasion Friday was a part of an initiative known as “Operation Clean,” which matches to completely different neighborhoods each Friday. Chicago Police selected Englewood due to the current violence.

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