How Cicero’s increasing safety has attracted more businesses
Larry Dominick took office as Town President with the promise to improve the lives and well-being of Cicero residents, emphasizing programs for families, children, senior citizens and people with disabilities.
Since his election in 2005, President Dominick has fulfilled his pledge to substantially decrease gang violence and gang-related homicides, expand recreational opportunities for Cicero youth, increase employment opportunities within the community, strengthen the business community and improve the efficient delivery of Town services.
Introduction: Two decades ago, the Town of Cicero and its population of nearly 89,000 people, located in the west suburbs of Chicago, was tormented by street gangs and rising crime. The crisis was fueled by a lack of new jobs fueling poverty, disconnected youth recruited by the street gangs, and a lack of resources.
Today, under new leadership since 2005, the Town of Cicero is on a new path under the innovative leadership of Town President Larry Dominick.
Dominick’s vision has resulted in ground-up action and tangible results to improve the lives and well-being of Cicero residents, emphasizing programs for children, senior citizens and people with disabilities. President Dominick, with the support of the Town of Cicero Board of Trustees, is reversing the crime rate, expanding a new vibrant business environment and strengthening a healthy family and senior community base.
Since President Dominick’s election in 2005, Cicero has expanded recreational opportunities for Cicero youth, increased employment opportunities within the community, and improved the efficient delivery of essential Town services.
Cicero was named one of the Nation’s Top 20 Safest Cities by the National Realtors group, HouseHunt.com in 2011 and 2013. That safety record has continued through 2019.
President Dominick has achieved the goal of creating a safe environment for Cicero’s 108,000 to 120,000 residents, families and businesses is the result of a broad program that included expanding services and creating a public engagement program of festivals, activities and services. (This includes an additional 18,000 to 30,000 undocumented residents who are recognized as full Town of Cicero citizens).
Within two years of his election, Dominick constructed a new Town Hall complex which included a community center that serves as the hub for family, youth and senior activities. The center includes a gymnasium, class rooms, computer learning labs, meeting rooms and auditorium in which Town programs celebrating Cicero’s rich ethnic diversity are held.
Here is an overview of the many policies and changes implemented by Town President Larry Dominick to improve the life, safety and economy for every citizen:
Safety: Cicero was named one of the Nation’s Top 20 Safest Cities by the National Realtors group, HouseHunt.com in 2011 and 2013. That safety record has continued through 2018.
Crime is down significantly as Cicero Police make it more and more difficult for street gangs to operate in Cicero. Dominick has boosted safety by: doubling the size of the Gang Crimes Unit and hiring more uniformed police officers; creating the Parent Patrols that help protect students going to and from school; creating the SOS Task Force to provide rapid response to resident needs.
During the past year (2018), crime is down by as much as 91 percent. President Dominick believes that even one death is too many and he continues to strive to eliminate all street gang activity.
Increased Police & Fire: President Dominick has hired more police and firefighters to increase safety in the Town of Cicero. The Town has added more than 15 new police officers to the Police Department in the past 4 years, and hired a dozen firefighters strengthening our emergency response.
The Town has purchased special police vehicles to raise public awareness of police efforts, launched neighborhood roll calls and neighborhood protection networks in areas where crime or street gang activity and graffiti appears, and bolstered the Cicero Police units fighting street gangs.
New Businesses/Jobs: By improving safety in the Town, Dominick created a magnet for new business development, attracting dozens of new retail and industrial developments including attracting several major retailers. Among them are:
- Break Through Beverage (formerly Wirtz Beverage)
- Sonic Restaurant
- Fuller’s Car Wash
- Bimbo Bakery (formerly Clover Hill Bakery)
- New Providence Bank
- Hoots Restaurant
- CubeSmart Storage
- Bridgepoint Industrial Centers
Already in the community is a Sam’s Club, which is considered one of the busiest in the nationwide chain.
President Dominick has and continues to attract new industrial and commercial development to the Town, approving the construction of two industrial centers with Bridge Development Partners, one opened in 2017 featuring 323,000 square feet of industrial and commercial space, and a second that broke ground in October 2018 for a 675,000 industrial center. Both centers have created hundreds of temporary construction jobs and project an estimated 350 new permanent jobs.