Saturday, February 6, 2016 || By Nicholas Samuel || Updated: 4:35 PM
A Jan. 5th morning homicide involving a 40-year-old Broadview man is still under investigation by the Maywood Police Department.
Fredrick Blackwell was found at 10 AM with multiple gunshot wounds in an alley adjacent to a vacant lot in the 100 block of South 14th Avenue.
“There’s not a lot of evidence that suggests he was killed there in the lot or in Maywood,” said Chief Valdimir Talley in a recent interview. “We’re still looking for witnesses.”
The Maywood Police Department is also working to solve 11 murder cases from last year, according to Talley.
For 2016, Maywood has had two homicides so far, including the Jan. 5th homicide and another the following week.
On the morning of Jan. 12th, Maywood police discovered the body of Donnell Willis, 55 of Bellwood, with multiple gunshot wounds in a walkway adjacent to a building in the 1000 block of West Madison Street.
An individual was taken into custody, but has since been released, according to Lieutenant Dennis Diaz.
“The case was reviewed by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and is still under investigation by the Maywood Police Department,” Diaz said.
Maywood and surrounding communities are starting to see a rise in crime for criminals that don’t even reside within its borders, according to Diaz.
“Maywood is small, but gets a lot of big city crime,” Diaz said.
In an effort to target criminal trends and gang conflict in the Chicagoland area and nearby suburbs, Diaz formed a partnership with nearby suburban police departments, such as the Cicero Police Department, to create the West Suburban Gang Intelligence Group (W.I.G.) — an intelligence sharing and networking alliance.
“This is a way to share information with other towns and keep tabs on crime,” Diaz said. “If we aren’t connecting with other towns, we’re missing out on information that could possibly solve crimes in our town and vice-versa.”
The W.I.G. has had three meetings so far this year and had more than 150 officers from the Chicagoland area and surrounding suburbs attend the last meeting on Jan 28.
Besides gang and narcotics officers, the W.I.G. has also had patrol officers, probation officers, state attorneys and representatives from local, state and federal government in attendance at its meetings.
“Not to say they’re all involved, but they’re all in attendance. We’re keeping membership open to anybody,” Diaz said. “We have everyone at every level of law enforcement with different levels of expertise.”
Earlier this year, the MPD was tracking a man that was selling drugs in Maywood during the day and committing burglaries in Arlington Heights at night, according to Diaz.
“If we’re not communicating with other towns, it might look like a random crime spree,” Diaz said.
When gangs start to feel pressure from law enforcement, they bounce around from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, according to Cicero Police Commander Vincent Acevez.
“Their objective is to fly under our radar,” Acevez said.
Diaz said MPD doesn’t have the resources to track down criminals from other districts, and that the W.I.G. is a free way to share and receive valuable information to target the criminals.
“Criminals don’t have boundaries, so there’s no reason law enforcement should have them,” Diaz said.
The W.I.G. will aim to have quarterly meetings throughout the year, according to Diaz. The next meeting will be sometime in April.
Diaz plans to bring in different speakers at each meeting to talk about different topics such as social media, hidden compartments in vehicles, the heroin epidemic and more.
“This has received a lot of positive feedback from attendees and there’s definitely a need for it,” Diaz said. “We’re trying to shrink the territory for criminals.”
For more information on the W.I.G., contact Lieutenant Dennis Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org or Commander Vincent Acevez at email@example.com. VFP
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