Dolton wants federal grant to hire more officers after 3 females shot dead in a month

Three recent victims of gun violence in Dolton include (left to right): Angelneka Smith, 31; Akeira Boston, 16; and Marshia Bowman, 40.

Three recent victims of gun violence in Dolton include (left to right): Angelneka Smith, 31; Akeira Boston, 16; and Marshia Bowman, 40. | Facebook/provided

The funds from the Department of Justice will allow the village to hire 15 more full-time officers.

After a string of fatal shootings involving women and a teen, the Village of Dolton says it’s requesting federal money to beef up its shrinking Police Department.

In the last month, the south suburb has seen three fatal shootings involving females — nearly half of Dolton’s eight homicides this year.

Dolton Mayor Riley Rogers addressed the recent violence in an emergency Aug. 27 village board meeting. Rogers blamed it on an “overflow” from Chicago and gang activity.

The victims:

Angelneka Smith, 31, shot last Sunday in a domestic-related shooting that began as an argument inside a private club;

Akeira Boston, 16, shot dead on Aug. 27 in a vehicle outside a convenience store. Authorities believe the shooter was targeting another man inside the vehicle; and

Marshia Bowman, 40, shot and killed Aug. 21 while driving her four kids near Sibley and Chicago roads, blocks from her home. Authorities said they believe the shooter may have been targeting a man in the vehicle ahead of her.

No arrests have been made in the Smith and Boston murders, Dolton Police Chief Ernest Mobley said Wednesday. One suspect was arrested Wednesday in Bowman’s slaying, about a week after an arrest warrant was issued for a suspect.

Mobley said Dolton’s police force has shrunk so much that he’s requested supplemental patrols by Illinois State Police and the Cook County sheriff’s office.

“We’ve a large number of officers who have retired and haven’t been replaced,” Rogers said in the meeting.

The department is regularly staffed by three patrol officers and a supervisor, Mobley said at the board meeting.

Fifteen officers have retired since 2016 and not been replaced, according to Mobley. Including injured officers on medical leave, the department is short-staffed by 19 officers, he said.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly said Tuesday that she talked with the mayor about staffing Dolton’s police force “to address this shocking spike in violence,” and connected him to the appropriate people to apply for federal money.

Rogers said during the Aug. 27 meeting he requested $2 million in federal grants from the Department of Justice to hire 15 more full-time officers. That’s in addition to the five positions Dolton is already trying to staff. The mayor did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment.

The federal money and new officers would let the department keep eight officers on duty at a time, Mobley said.

That type of staffing would have been helpful when Dolton police responded on Aug. 19 to a gun battle between an off-duty officer and robbery suspects at a car dealership, Mobley said. Scores of offices from neighboring departments were called in and helped locate one of the two suspects.

More women dying in gun violence

Dolton has been the recent focus of several fatal shootings involving women, but …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

      

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