Sunday, October 16, 2005

Confidence in the Department

There was some nice give and take between some anonymous posters in the "Your Opinion on ..." thread. The comments start around #21 (you'll have to count down to find it) but the entire dialogue is EXACTLY what we were hoping to provoke when we started this blog, so thanks for that. Some of the salient points about "confidence in the department":
  • There are recruits making it out of the academy who should never have passed. We think that's part of the city's (A) unwillingness to stand up to the inevitable lawsuits (B) surrender to political correctness at the expense of actual ability and (C) a willingness to accept unqualified personnel just to maintain the illusion of fielding a "full strength" force. Partly because of this, we are in a never ending and self sustaining morale tailspin.
  • Certain FTO's probably shouldn't be and some who should be FTO's, aren't (or won't) for whatever reasons. Combined with the complete unwillingness of the system at large to dismiss incompetent, unqualified and sometimes downright dangerous PPO's, is it any wonder that this important job is in disarray? The whole program could do with an overhaul, but how to effect change is the biggest question.
Perhaps it's time for the department to look outward, especially where the FTO program and promotional process are concerned. We seem to be stealing all sorts of crime fighting ideas from other police forces, but NOTHING that addresses the morale and confidence issues. The biggest morale killer (in our opinion) is the corrupt promotional process. Sooper-sekret study groups, 30% "merit," and family cronyism are killing the depatment. There is a lack of confidence in the organization as a whole and it can probably be traced to the promotion process, because it results in too many bosses completely incapable of making a decision. They're more worried about screwing up their shot at a unit or another promotion to actually do what they're supposed to do - LEAD.

49 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I posted this several threads down but I'll paste it here.

Bottom up confidence won't happen on this department because loyalty goes both ways. Rank will buy compliance, but respect is earned. P.O.'s must feel that their supervisors are behind them. Officers continue to work hard for a variety of reasons; personal pride, it's fun, a general fuck you to the city, etc. But there is no sense of a cohesive organization moving forward. You'd be hard pressed to find a unit where P.O.'s feel their bosses have their back. I think one of the biggest detriments has been 30% merit Sgt.'s and the way the program is handled. The general feeling is that the department is a political clout store. Being an exempt is political. It's always been that way and its off the radar for everyday cops. But when people see do-nothing peers getting made, it undermines overall authority and disenfranchises working cops. Times change and policing methods that were used in the past become unacceptable. People adjust to this over time. But the continuous force feeding of illegitimate and inept supervisors will never be accepted. In the military they say Sgt.'s are the backbone of your unit. That means first line supervisors have to be credible, knowledgeable leaders. It doesn't mean you have to like them, but you have to respect them. It would take a total overhaul of the political structure in city government to build bottom up confidence. The only boss on this job I have use the word morale is John Thomas and that's a sad statement.

10/16/2005 12:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BULL SHIT

10/16/2005 12:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:43......simply brilliant....what a great arguement........you must be a supervisor.........Hope I don't know you..........

10/16/2005 12:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's bullshit about it? 30% merit is good? Go back to chasing one baggers and beefing about all the pussies on the job.

10/16/2005 01:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Consider this, using sen., education and time in patrol and time in adverse units to promote, just like the military. - It will never happen because the bosses will not be able to promote their lackies. What a novel concept.

10/16/2005 05:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maurer was a struck. I am glad to him see gone.

10/16/2005 05:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

During the four decades that I have served Ive noticed that the Dept is not concerned with crime surpression so much as its public image and jobs for the well connected

Theyve always had "MERIT" promotions only in earlier days, it was called "CLOUT"

There are many reasons for this and all of them suck

I remember many years ago the Dept was offering remedial reading classes for its members

REMEDIAL FUCKING READING????? That means that some of us were able to get out of high school, pass the entrance test and get through the Academy and not know how to read???
I dont have first hand knowledge of this but word on the street is that that a very high ranking member [read stars on the collar}was an attendee in those classes.

Now we are carrying guns and stars [which give us power to take life and pursuit of happiness without due proceess] and we cant fucking read?

Forget about the normal day to day report writing and court testimony etc etc

And How pray tell were we able to get through High school and then pass the entrance exam and then the Academy reading at a 2nd grade level??

A female from my class was held from receiving her star with the rest of the class because she was failing academically.

She retired a Deputy Chief.

That was last time she was ever held back on the job.

I enjoyed my time on this job but fair is fair and right is right

John Q gets the type of Dept he deserves

10/16/2005 06:46:00 AM  
Anonymous NorthSide said...

I agree with the first poster. While I no longer have a dog in this fight aside from being a taxpayer, generations of deeply-entrenched CLOUT have a stranglehold on the morale of the this department. It's "da Chicago way".

It was only professional pride and the respect of my peers that sustained me during my career. Suffice to say, I always worked the street and made numerous felony arrests throughout the city.

With some notable exceptions, outstanding police work was accomplished DESPITE the "leadership" of a horde of sycophants, eunuchs, incompetents and even sadistic sociopaths.

Retirement is good.

May God help the young working officers who must endure these assholes. Obviously, Brennan, Shakman and Patrick Fitzgerald could be your salvation.

To assess true "merit", I look to the officers who have "paid their dues". What was his/her best year(s) for Part I FELONY arrests prior to working inside and/or shuffling paper in some clerical "leadership" position?

10/16/2005 07:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:07 said it best. The only thing I would add is that we should start with the Superintendent. Make it a professional postition with a professional filling it, a strong military type leader, somebody like Darryl Gates of L.A or a Barry Macffery from the Army, not some polictical slug like Cline, Hillard or any of the rest of them. That way they could make a decision that was best for the Department and not be subserviant to some Alderman.
Then we need to figure out a way to promote leaders, not people that know every General Order by memory but know how to motivate,lead,mentor and take care of their people. What that process should be, I'm not sure but I do know that scoring well on a written test does not make you a leader. My 2 cents worth.

Take Care

10/16/2005 07:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:39 here again. One more thing I forgot to add. You must have, say 5 years on a beat car before you can be promoted to Sgt. Not 5 years on the job, in the CAPS Office, the desk ,lockup or some cush job downtown, but 5 years on a BEAT CAR.

10/16/2005 08:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah right, 8:06. Maybe on paper, but not in real life. Where is that 5 years on the Beat car crap written?

10/16/2005 09:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 6:46, the recruit classes were not Co-ed until the late 70-'s how is it that a female was in your class and you've served the department for 4 decades, me thinks your full of shit.

10/16/2005 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:46

You are right on the money with the illiterate police. As a current supervisor who has worked in the detective division, I have seen some of the worst examples of writing. A few misspelled words isn't bad, but can we at least spell basic things correctly???? Lets make the reports look like someone with more than a third grade education wrote them. Further, dee's, dem's, doses, and ebonics have no place in a case report unless in a direct quote. I try to nicely tell these writers that a defense attorney will shred them in court over these things, but few seem to want to improve their skills. A well-written report can let the defense know that they may have a big problem fighting the case. If the defense sees a report rampant with spelling and grammatical errors, they are more apt to put you on the stand, thinking that the writer isn't very bright and they can impeach you. We need to project ourselves in a more positive light to the public and to the rest of the criminal justice system or people will continue to think of us as a bunch of dumb thugs who are the police because no other jobs would take us.

10/16/2005 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:04 - It's written.......nowhere. But it should be. We have too many people who come on the job, find a cush job somewhere after a year or two, take the test, do well because of natural ability or some "help" and end up getting promoted when they have no clue as to what being the Police means. Let them serve in the trenches for awhile before they get those stripes. If we had supervisors that came up the hard way, maybe we'd have better supervisors.

What CAPS office do you work in?

10/16/2005 11:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Detective Supervisor. I had a few moments to ponder your post. (which is a dangerous thing) Aren't district (immediate) supervisors charged with the task of reviewing a case report for accuracy, spelling and finding mistakes? Then giving their tacit approval of said report by signing and dating that report? Why not put some of the blame for this upon one of your own? I will submit to you that there are meatheads on the job who think Smith is spelled with 2 F's. Shame on the supervisor for approving a case report that looked like it was written by Ray Ray Longstreet. Look at your own every once in a while and you'll get a clue as to why our department is on the decline. Y'all stay safe. (couldn't resist)

10/16/2005 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

screw caps, its just a mayoral political organization.

10/16/2005 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but Peter Karl says CAPS is great

10/16/2005 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CAPS is Bull Shit... Its the way the Department steals Federal money to fund the TRU and SOS (both known as JAG OFFS) Units.

10/16/2005 12:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:17 is correct, again it falls back on the immediate supervisors. How can they correct reports if they dont know how to properly do one or understand what report to do for which incident. Also when they make sergeantsthey should them back to the academy to learn report writing and basic policeing instead of going to a Det. unit.

10/16/2005 01:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to 12:17
stop trying to act smart. If you were you would know signing a report is not "tacit approval" as you say...it IS approval!!!

next time RESIST

from: a supervisor

10/16/2005 01:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right, I'm not in the same mental league as the white shirts. Considering the word "tacit" is derived from the Latin word tacitus which means silent. So, wouldn't the literal meaning of "tacit approval" also apply to signing off on a report?
Last time I signed a report, I do not remember making any type of sound. As I say again, with hat in hand, forgive my mental capacity as I am only a poor little blue shirt.

10/16/2005 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would not be a "mental league" it would be an academic league. You and your Webster Dictionary are right. Tacit does come from the Latin word Tacitus which means "...that is passed over in silence, done without words, assumed, silent"
If I can put it to you this way maybe you can understand. Signing your reports is considered APPROVAL. Looking the other way when you blow off a job is TACIT APPROVAL. GET IT?

10/16/2005 02:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you two for proving once again that two police men would fight over the fact that the sky is blue! Unbelieveable.

10/16/2005 02:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blue color of the sky is due to Rayleigh scattering. As light moves through the atmosphere, most of the longer wavelengths pass straight through. Little of the red, orange and yellow light is affected by the air.

However, much of the shorter wavelength light is absorbed by the gas molecules. The absorbed blue light is then radiated in different directions. It gets scattered all around the sky. Whichever direction you look, some of this scattered blue light reaches you. Since you see the blue light from everywhere overhead, the sky looks blue.

Maybe P.O. Tacit Approval would like to correct me on this one too.

10/16/2005 02:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Legit question here. Just what can be done with a copper who cannot write a case report. Are the sgts. suppposed to proofread and rewrite all their reports? Is there some remedial training that an illiterate can be recommended into? If they can't spell, read and write, what do you do with them? Seriously?

10/16/2005 02:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is a media question if i ever heard one...get off out website Sneed

10/16/2005 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mean "our" lol

10/16/2005 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I as a supervisor were to kick back every report that I should, I can assure you that out of the hundreds of reports that my district generates everyday I would only approve maybe 5 or 6. So what I do instead is sign the vast majority and kick back the ones that are the most blatantly incorrect. Don't blame the supervisors because some of you can't write a coherent narrative, spell correctly, write legibly or even fill in the boxes correctly. If you wish to blame us, tell me where you work and I'll make sure that most of your time is spent re-doing the case reports that you fucked up in the first place. Then we come to the matter of Jonnie Blue Shirt doing an end around when he goes to his buddy in review who then forges a Sgts. name on a report that was kicked back. Remember, your name is on that report, not mine. If your willing to go to court with a report that you prepared that is written on the level of a 3rd grade student, then go for it. The defense attorney will love it when he gets you on the stand and makes you look like a chump because of the report. That YOU wrote. But when your sitting on that stand after he makes you like a fool, you can probably find comfort by telling yourself that your Sgt. approved your report, who by the way, will NOT be in court.
But perhaps your right, it is our fault. I'm glad you called that to my attention Officer. I think that from now on, when I get a report that is done incorrectly or not up to par, rather than kicking it back or reminding you how important well written reports can be, I'll just tear them up and let you deal with it.

10/16/2005 04:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sneed, randomly request some case reports and see for yourself how poorly written most of them are. It's sad really, but 10/16/2005 04:30:10 PM is right on the money here kids.

The department’s response will be to prepare a training video and pass out dictionaries to the rank and file; the academy won’t help.

Wait!!! The automated report system will solve all of these problems…not.

10/16/2005 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I served as an instructor at teh academy in the mid 80's, and went back in the 90's as a supervisor. The attrition/failure rate in our academy is lower than most beuty schools--yep, that's right gang! It's harder to flunk out of the academy than it is to flunk out of Beauty school. Most academies nationwide had attrition rates in the high 20% to low 30%; beauty schools in IL had about a 33% flunk out rate. We were only washing out about 2% to 4%. Why? Nobody wanted to deal with the litigation.

10/16/2005 07:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was so bad at one point. we had to point out to the commander of the training division and the Bureau deputy superintendent that we will be sued for negligent retention, or for separating an unfit. Either way, litigation was a sure thing. No one above the rank of LT had any stones.

10/16/2005 07:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard this from my sgt. about 13 yrs ago and he said "when I was down in assest forfieture the exempts would constantly complain about how great this job would be if not for the assholes". I asked him "who are they referring to as assholes?" and he said "you, the officers in the districts." This is the mind set were dealing with here. Personally I don't think this mentality has changed since then. What do you do when the policy makers on this job think of the coppers in the districts as assholes?

10/16/2005 09:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classic example of what's wrong with this job. The current CO of Equipment and supply is a Sgt. w/ 8-9 yrs on the job. When she was a recruit in 017 her FTO was going to fail her because although she was a nice person she had no business on this job. But the bosses stepped in and got her a new FTO and bingo she was passed. She made Sgt. and w/ in 9 mths was made CO of Equipment and Supply. I guess it pays to be the Secretary of Shom Rim.

10/16/2005 09:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better she's there than out on the street supervising. At least she can't get anybody hurt.

10/16/2005 09:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any truth to the rumor I heard today that the FBI removed promotion documents from the Ivory Tower last week?

10/16/2005 09:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 10/16/2005 12:17:36 PM,

The post before you said he was a supervisor who had been a detective. The obvious implication was that he was supervising P.O.'s. Maybe you should have taken a few more moments to ponder that post.

10/16/2005 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a CMO Detective, it is very hard and sad to try to read some of the reports that get a Sgt. approval. Most of the time we laugh our ass off at the Sgt. and the P.O., but we put our heads together to try to figure out what the hell the p.o. is trying to say.

10/16/2005 11:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

o.k., lets take firearms "training" as an example....as a recruit you are trained to pass the state course and there after you are to qual. on paper targets once a year till you either retire or are killed due to your lack of skill with one of the most serious tools of your trade. when the number of annual failures increases to an unaceptable level the solution too often is to increase the size of the target, reduce the target distance and increase the amount of time to complete fireing. i am pleasantly suprised that more of us are not casualties of this careless policy and wish to point out that the deaths ,injuries and lawsuits that do result rest squarely on the shoulders of those responsible for these policies !

10/17/2005 01:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All time favorite quotes from case reports on sexual assaults (Caps mine):

"Offender placed his penis in her VIRGINIA."

From a detective's "unfounded" supp:

"After fellatio, she became angry when her date ejaculated in a manner which she found to be DISTASTEFUL."

10/17/2005 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

read anything from 003 or 006. It is pure comedy.

10/17/2005 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember a boss(now deceased) that talked to us at the academy many years ago. He told us that some of our worst problems on this job would be "the other police". He did not get specific on which color shirt. Was he ever right, I have had blue shirts roll up on my jobs and create more harm than good, and yes, a few white shirts that show up at your 5F or 19P and turn it into a nightmare cluster-F#$%. You wonder why they start shit like this? Because they got "something to prove". No wonder coppers plan their retirement years in advance.

10/17/2005 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well you know the saying "everythang was fine till da PO-lice showed up"

10/17/2005 09:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Doose", "Dems", "Dees", and "Smiffs" are cultural things!

Back off!!

10/18/2005 03:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 7:20:48

People can sure because they cant spell??

10/18/2005 03:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 1:57:31

About firearm training:

Remember, the City only has to pay out $100k if you get waisted!

10/18/2005 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chicago once had one hell of a detective squad, and many considered the CPD crime lab one of the best. That is no longer the case. The D unit is full of pretenders with phone calls and the crime lab was given to the state. So, question, is there any unit, division, subsection, squad, detail, team, program...anything that is considered " the best". Something so good that other agencies want to steal our great idea? I say no, there is nothing here at CPD that anyone wants to emulate. This is sad. We are the second largest police force in the worlds greatest country, and we have nothing to offer. I know CPD has some great officers, few of whom are properly deployed, or listened to. The FTO program is one of the more glaring examples. We do hold some distinctions though, we are the oldest PD, the most obese, have the worst cars, poorest training, most corrupt promotion system, most inadequate service weapon options, etc etc

10/19/2005 03:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chicago had one hell of a department when the police defined themselves( and yes it was to the exclusion of some...too bad)...and now we have the mayor, city hall, aldermen,and the self appointed, self annointed,who define who we are and how we do our job....its true the public gets the police department that they deserve......you can call each other names and brag how your the fucking best and so and so aint shit...I think this is a knee jerk reaction to the inevitable washing away of what made us...effective.....

10/21/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bosses today are administrators, in other words "rising stars". The old bosses knew their jobs. Sure some were drunks, some slobs, some nasty and there were a few assholes too, but even with out their bullshit Roosevelt Univ., Lewis Univ. degrees etc. most still knew what to do and when to do it.
Today we have to clear it through polititians, Jesse Jackson, Meeks or some other worthless piece of SHIT. This department had gone to the dogs since the mid 80s with the likes of Rodriguez and others.
My time on this job is limited, but I can say I have served with some of the best during 5 decades.
Good luck to you young guys, bee safe both on the street and off. The way to do that is to learn the job and that won't be from a book. It will aben through doing the job.

10/22/2005 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger retiree said...

There are"NO BOSSES" on The chicago Police Dept. There haven't been a need for one in some time. what you have is a bunch of self serving
administratives,politically motivated/self-substaining
leeches......who's only desire is to awake each morning wearing a white shirt, standing before a full lenght mirror continuing reminding him/herself that they are the "BOSS" this is CHICAGO a City cultivated solely by political necessities and alliances. The Department has slowly but surely transformed from serving the public to maintaing some safe delightful images of non-litigating professionalism, which plays just great for the media types....."Look like the Police, Talk like the Police, Walk like the Police, but don't you dare be the POLICE" Its unfortunate that too many good men and women will spend a great deal of their time attempting to do their jobs, before they realize, this is all about IMAGE....no substance. Just make it look good!!!!

10/25/2005 03:53:00 PM  

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