The streets surrounding the 3500 block of West Belden Avenue in Chicago look safe enough. The Chicago Tribune says that they are located in a neighborhood where community policing meetings are attended by a mix of middle-age Hispanic mothers, young, single professionals and ambitious landlords involved in the surging housing market in Logan Square.
The Tribune says that in one nearby gray vinyl-sided garage last summer, the neighborhood became the deadliest police beat in the deadliest city in America. On July 30, four men from around the country entered the garage and transferred at least $97,000 in drug proceeds from one vehicle to another. One man emerged, leaving the bodies of the other three and a .45-caliber handgun on the floor. They were murdered in police patrol Beat 1413, a 28-block area in the Logan Square neighborhood that is home to 13,000 people.
Despite the large number of killings in Beat 1413 last year, police think the worst days are behind the neighborhood. Gentrification is pushing the gangs west. So far this year, there have been no murders or shootings in 1413. Police say the Logan Square area is getting less violent, but they acknowledge the gangs will not flee any time soon.