Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rogers Park Positive Loitering Has Gone Underground

The Positive Loitering group in Rogers Park has gone into seclusion. It recently switched from an open to a closed group on Facebook. Previously it was just an email tree dispersed to interested neighbors on the now defunct Everyblock.

John Warner the founder prefers to keep all information regarding his positive loitering group completely under wraps. This is in stark contrast to positive loitering in Uptown. The times and location are posted on Uptown Update.

It makes sense. Why tip off the bad guys as to when and where positive loitering will occur? Then they would just schedule their negative loitering for a different time.

Of course if the bad guys wanted the intel bad enough they would just create a fake Facebook account of a citizen that fit the profile and join.

A great cause to join to keep our community safe and interesting.

(Click to enlarge above photographs. The photo on the right was taken ten minutes after the one on the left)

What is visible to the average internet visitor can be seen by clicking the above link or by continuing to read.

Update 7/28/13 4pm - As Mr Versical mentioned RPPL remains underground. Mr Warner has made some public announcements on the LGBTQ forum which is open but the RPPL Facebook group is closed.

But the current title stays because it creates interest and discussion. Rogers Park and Uptown are different neighborhoods with similar problems but the neighbors are working to solve them using slightly different methods.

Vive le difference.

Rogers Park Positive Loitering
86 members
Closed GroupClosed Group
Rogers Park Positive Loitering Group

Mission Statement

The Rogers Park Positive Loitering Group (know as RPPL) is a volunteer association of residents who believe that our collective appearance as a group of non-confrontational "loiterers" will give a visible and powerful message that the community belongs to all of us. Part of our non-verbal message is that we are a diverse, organized, and alert body of neighbors who act as the eyes and ears for one another and for our police enforcement services.

How We Work

We meet at predetermined locations and times that are arranged on a monthly basis based on the needs of the community. We then walk through the neighborhood accompanied by a police escort. The date, time, and location of loitering events are shared with PL members beforehand and only among members of the group. In order to protect everyone's safety, the route is announced to members the night of the event.

PL events generally last from 2-3 hours and are canceled if fewer than five participants are able to attend, or in the event of inclement weather. Adults, children and pets are welcome.

All PL communication is conducted via email, posts on our Facebook page, and Nextdoor. Unauthorized users do not have access to that confidential information in order to protect us from gangs who might want to know our whereabouts in advance.

During a PL event, our police escorts are in contact with police headquarters in case unexpected street developments warrant early end to the walk or a change in route.

Loitering Safely

For our collective safety, a certain "street etiquette" is expected of all participants. Our events are polite, non-confrontational and non-violent. We neither engage with nor respond to hecklers or gang members, either verbally or non-verbally (this has rarely been a concern). Our conduct reflects the type of community we value as well as the professionalism of our police escorts. 

Our Impact

While it's impossible to measure the overall effect of PL, we have received continued support and encouragement from our local Police District ranging from the top of the command structure all the way down to the level of street patrol officers. Other neighborhoods with PL groups, such as Edgewater and Uptown, have experienced similar support.

We welcome you to our group and hope that you experience the rewards and satisfaction that the rest of us have. Let's go loiter positively!!!


John Versical said...

The Rogers Park Positive Loitering group has always been a closed group on Facebook. People are able to join but the group moderators (made up of several regularly PL-ers) must approve. There are occasional cases where a user may request to join that may be a blatantly fake account or spam, in which case a private message is usually sent to verify whether or not they are local to Rogers Park.

Also, we're not "underground". Due to the schedules of many of the core members of the RPPL group, and relative recent calm - it was decided that we'd take July off and resume PL events in August.

Thanks for posting. While there are no right or wrong ways to "positively" loiter and get the message out, our system of using a private mailing group and secure Facebook group have worked thus far to get the neighbors out and together. As the neighborhood evolves and needs arise, so will we!

Hope to see you and other neighbors out in the future.

Philip McGregor Rogers said...

Thanks for the info John!