Positive loitering event by Congress Pizza with police and residents


Commander Flores talks with community members

A positive loitering event occurred Friday night, June 29, at McLean and Campbell focused on the Congress Pizza (CP), 2033 N. Milwaukee Ave. Commander Linda Flores, 14th Police District; Liz Rios, Community Organizer in the 14th Police District; CAPS Beat 1431 facilitator, Vicky Schmidt; Rodolfo DeJesus from 1st Ward Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno's office; Sandy Johnson, CAPS Beat 1434 facilitator; other police officers and residents were all present.


Before event, with Congress Pizza in background, the commander talks with Rudy DeJesus, Vicky Schmidt (r) and other officers

With three shootings in four days in the last few weeks, at the backdoor of the pizza establishment, and the fact that they are not abiding by the terms of their agreements under Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) hearings under the Deleterious/Public Nuisance Impact Ordinance,  the police and residents determined that the loitering event was an important next step.

The original hearings for CP go back a few years. Under that agreement, they were to:

  • AlleyBehndCmdr

    The back of CP faces alley behind the commander

    End parking in alley by delivery drivers (drivers were supposed be in the parking lot).
  • Kept the rear door to alley closed
  • Keep employees from sitting outside of the kitchen door. (No crates were to be left there.)
  • Drug test employees/delivery drivers
  • Have carry-out orders taken out the restaurant's side door
  • Hire a security guard
  • Maintain a 911 call log
  • Attend CAPS and Alderman requested meetings

Joe Kopera and Linnea Blomgren were also among the community members

Whereas CP was working on many of these items, they never completed them, according to residents, and many feel that CP's current actions take the entire process of improvement back to square one.

Initial problems several years ago were exacerbated by gang members living on McLean. There were apparently some gang turf issues between those residents and others. Gang connections are being cited by some as the basis for come of the current behavior.

Residents are concerned for safety and the additional facts that an alley is being used as a parking lot and thruway. Cars park in the alley and on the sidewalk and, some say that it appears that there maybe drug activities going on. Add that to the list of non-compliance with the above items from previous hearings and the alderman's office, BACP, the police and residents have determined actions must be taken. Meetings with the owners are now being planned.

When the Commander went over to talk with Mr. Lombardo, who began the business decades ago, he indicated that his daughter-in-law was managing the business and that she would be in soon.



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