Photo Credit: Courtesy of Concerned Citizens League (CCL) Shul Members
Concerned Citizens League (CCL) Shul Members in action.

Violent crime is on the rise in Chicago and one group of volunteers is out to help everyone feel safer. This past Sunday, Concerned Citizens League (CCL) Shul Members hosted an in-person and online streaming home defense and safety seminar for more than 100 people.

Since October 2, there have been at least five armed robberies and two shootings in Rogers Park, the heart of the Jewish Community in Chicago. Chicago Police Officers who were in attendance are recommending to not travel alone and to practice situational awareness.


As the pandemic persists and fear and separation widen, CCL Shul Members, a 501c3 nonprofit, is working to foster safety through community engagement. To push away the fear of the unknown and focus on ways to educate and protect, CCL Shul Members believe knowledge is power.

Concerned Citizens League (CCL) Shul Members in action. / Courtesy of Concerned Citizens League (CCL) Shul Members

The seminar, titled “Defending your Castle,” was led by Director of Shul Security Services Craig Lawrence CPP CAS, a security and counter-terrorism assessment veteran with more than 25 years of service. The conference discussed the five core elements of a home security strategy: deter, detect, deny, delay, and defend; with tips and tactics to support each element.

These include low-cost and realistic security equipment recommendations; up to date strategies for preventing and disrupting home invasions and robberies; and notes on integrating security cameras, panic buttons, and self-defense weapons into one’s home security plan.

Lawrence emphasized the necessity of making the risk for the criminal higher than the reward, saying: “Each layer of defense makes you a less attractive target. Those small steps can make a huge difference in keeping your home and family safe, and your peace of mind intact.”

The seminar, which was free to community members, is available as a digital recording. For more information about this and other CCL programs such as “Stop the Bleed”- how to tie a tourniquet to save a life – visit


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