Fulton Market developers, restaurant groups look to hire private 24 hour security


CHICAGO — A proposal to hire private security to patrol Fulton Market has been drawing fire Friday afternoon.

A new association of powerful developers and restaurant groups, backing a proposal to annually pay a $800,000 price tag, that reportedly calls for building owners merchants to foot the bill for private 24 hour security.

“Businesses are extremely upset that their property taxes have gone through the roof and now Walter Burnett, and other city officials now want them to pay more money for police security that they’ve already paid for,” Romanelli said.

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Roger Romanelli reached out publicly to City Hall to ask Mayor Brandon Johnson and 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett to stop the proposed Fulton Market private security plan.  

“Everybody in the neighborhood has got to pony up $1 million? Alderman Burnett? This makes no sense,” Romanelli said.

Romanelli, long time Executive Director of the Fulton Market Association, said smaller, family-owned restaurants are being forced out of Chicago.  

But backers of the security plan, in published reports, touting the benefits financial and otherwise of heightened security. The newly-formed Fulton Market Security Group proposing 24 hour private security patrols up to four patrol cars in the neighborhood.

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But, Fulton Market Association leaders said the city should instead tap into Tax Increment Financing funds or TIF funds for short, using this pool of taxpayer money to finance the purchase of security, surveillance cameras and more Chicago police patrols.  

“If you look at London, if you look at Vegas, Los Angeles, they are using technology with modern cameras to preamp criminals that will cost a fraction of what they’re talking about with private security,” Romanelli said.

WGN reached out to the mayor’s press office and Alderman Walter Burnett for comment Friday afternoon. They did not immediately respond. WGN also requested comment from the Fulton market district improvement Association.

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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