Kenwood Isles Area Association (KIAA) community members are working on crime-fighting strategies at Hidden Beach.
The beach on Cedar Lake near the intersection of Upton Avenue and 21st Street is a popular destination, but it’s also a target for vandalism and other crimes during the summer months. It’s riddled with buckthorn and meandering trails, making it difficult to effectively survey.
A gun was confiscated from the beach in early April. Since then, there have been several arrests there for illegal bonfires, alcohol and drug abuse, according to crime reports for the neighborhood.
Roy Williams and his wife, Kathy, also secretary and treasurer for KIAA, live two blocks away from the beach. Roy said they notice a heavy flow of traffic from the beach nightly, including passersby who deposit beer bottles on neighboring yards and whiz by, screeching their tires at late hours.
During a KIAA meeting on May 1, Board Chair Ron Lotz suggested the neighborhood group reinstate a previous task force to brainstorm solutions for deterring criminal activity on the beach. KIAA allocated $5,000 from NRP Phase I money to “buy back” police officer time around the beach.
Mounted police on horseback and motorcycle will also be patrolling the beach, on top of regular watch. Furthermore, residents are encouraged to call 9-1-1 whenever witnessing any suspicious activity.
In the past, Kenwood residents have also tried to band together in large groups for social events as another way to have more “eyes on the street” at the beach. Additionally, KIAA is asking for help from Restorative Justice Community Action (RJCA), an organization that cooperates with neighborhood groups to stop repeat offenders.