A “safety patrol” group known as the Guardian Angels wants to change the moniker of the glamorous shopping district of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue from the “Magnificent Mile,” as it is commonly known around the world, to “Muggers’ Mile.”
The Alliance of the Guardian Angels is an organization whose volunteers, according to their website, aim to “safeguard streets, subways and other public areas. From dusk until dawn, without weapons… to ensure that citizens can enjoy their communities without fearing for their safety.”
On Tuesday, Miguel Fuentes told WLS AM’s John Kass and Lauren Cohn, “We want to rename it ‘Mugger’s Mile,’ because unfortunately, it has become a personal ATM for criminals.”
Fuentes issued the following tweet, recommending that people, “Put the cell phones away, put the map away,” and hide their cameras to be safer while out and about in the trendy and often flashy area.
For many, the Magnificent Mile is not usually associated with high crime, but the Guardian Angels’ new nickname for the luxurious strip might be dead on.
The Chicago Police Department’s Clearmap Crime Incidents website shows that within one half mile from the intersection of Chicago Ave. and Michigan Ave. there have been 97 reports of larceny/theft between July 4-July 17 alone.
In contrast, a one half mile radius from the intersection of Pulaski and Madison Ave. on Chicago’s west side, which is commonly thought of as a far more dangerous area by many, has seen only 18 reports of similar crimes over the same time period.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy have continued to tout “lower overall crime” for the city in 2013 versus 2012; however, a recent spike in the murder rate does not exactly match up with the rosy picture Emanuel and other city leaders have been painting.