The Austin Chamber of Commerce’s 18th annual community Christmas tree lighting and parade will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2. The holiday parade will start at 5 p.m. at the corner of Madison Street and Laramie Avenue and end at the 15th Police District, 5701 W. Madison Ave., where the tree lighting will be held at 6 p.m.
Also Friday night, there will be a “Christmas around the world” event held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the 600 Block of Lorel Community Gardens. The event, which will include free refreshments, is sponsored by the 600 Block of Lorel Book Club and Austin Coming Together.
Last week’s meeting, held via Zoom was the second of two “community conversations” the Chicago Police Department is holding as it crafts a strategic plan for 2021. Each district is coming up with a plan as part of the consent decree the department signed in March 2019 with the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Chicago Police Department has expanded its narcotics arrest diversion program to the 15th District in Austin. It helps individuals apprehended for opioid-related offenses by allowing them to seek treatment when they’re arrested.
One of the experts featured in “FIRSTHAND: Gun Violence” is Jermaine Harris, a community policing sergeant in the Chicago Department’s 15th District, who talks about using social justice as a means of supporting the Austin community. The series launches Nov. 12 on WTTW.