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.  

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