Police: Street performers must follow city rules
by Jacqueline Covey
First District officers fielded complaints regarding street performers and the use of city streets, along with questions about crimes within the beat, during a recent CAPS meeting at the 400 E. Randolph Street condominiums.
Though street performers are protected by licenses under city ordinance, there are rules to follow, such as no more than 15 “bucket beaters,” Officer Necole Bryson said. In one area there is a maximum decibel level allowed.
“But we all know that’s up for interpretation,” Bryson said. Her advice was to call the police.
“After a call, (officers) come in and check the licenses,” she said. “Oftentimes, when the police approach (street performers) leave.”
However, valid license holders may remain. If residents are bothered by the noise, including construction, leaf blowers and street performers, they can call the alderman’s office or 311.
The topic of drag races held on Lower Wacker Drive and other areas of the city was raised. Residents and a representative from Alderman Brendan Reilly’s office confirmed the racers are back. In addition to creating an unsafe driving environment, officers worry about drifting, alcohol consumption and parked vehicles blocking traffic. Bryson said police are working to catch drag racers before the gatherings occur, but to call 911 if there is a sighting of these activities.
The quarterly crime reports on beats 111, 112, 113 and 114 showed an influx of thefts in the area. Increases like these are normal during the holidays, Bryson said, because the day gets darker earlier. She said 40 additional officers have been deployed to the main shopping hubs. This group is assigned to what’s called “window detail” and walk the streets in uniform at the high-traffic hours for retail stores.