Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Shootout on the West Side

Channel 2, Channel 5, Channel 7, Tribune coverage.

Evidently, OCD or an attached unit interrupted some gangbangers on the way to a hit. A gun battle ensued and two bad guys are dead along with a third wounded. Hopefully, he dies too. A cop was wounded in the hand and our wishes go out to him for a speedy recovery. We pray he doesn't lose too much meat or mobility in his hand and can be on the street again shortly.

Good job all around.

UPDATE (just prior to publication): Channel 7 is reporting that the officer lost his middle finger as a result of this shooting. No word on whether it was his gun hand or non gun hand, but again, our thoughts and prayers go out to him. We've known at least 3 nine-fingered coppers in our careers, so hopefully we won't be missing this officer from the streets for too long.

Stop Gloating Katey

God, the Blackhawks suck.

They've got 8 points out of a possible 22 in 11 games? And they can't even beat lowly Philadelphia? And if we aren't mistaken, they haven't scored in THREE STRAIGHT GAMES?

Mr. Wirtz? Please sell the team. Just be happy with your liquor distributorships and hotels and everything else you've been blessed with. But sell the team to someone willing to spend some money on talent so we long suffering fans can finally enjoy the game again. Thanks.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Problem #7 - Oldest to Youngest

Seventh in a series of writings about some problems we see facing the Department.

We got a letter from a supervisor who has written to us on occasion. He (or she) pointed out that in the past 10 years or so, we've gone from one of the oldest, most experienced Departments in the nation to one of the youngest. And it seems to be true - our seniority has never been higher. But what are the repercussions of such a radical change? The supervisor writes:
  • The "brain drain" as it's called in the private sector must be incredible! Do you think the fact that we lost, literally, tens upon tens of centuries worth of detective experience that our clearance rate is in the toilet?
  • How about the FTO Program? We have kids teaching kids and there are no old vets to teach the new guys and gals how to be the police, how not to step in shit, how not to get their pictures taken in front of crashed airplanes and send them all over the internet.
  • Tact and Gang teams being filled by reverse seniority? I heard it's happening in some places and other places aren't letting people leave because there aren't any volunteers to fill in. What happened to the "Ceriale rule" - no plain clothes under 3 years? God forbid someone else gets killed who didn't have the time.
His rant goes on for quite a while. But the better main points are listed. We've lost quite a few old timers and the experience that comes with being older. And it affects things. Lots of things. And not all of them for the better.

Voting on Judges

We know we aren't going to make an impact on any races that truly matter. We're a small time site with maybe 1,000 readers - 1,500 on a good day.

But 1,000 people voting on judicial retention could make a monumental difference.

We stated somewhere at the beginning of this blog that we had never ever voted for a Cook County judge. Never. We undervoted once as a favor to someone and felt so bad about it, we vowed never again. Whenever judges come up for retention, we vote "No" straight across the board. Most people skip the judicial races as it's tedious and no one knows who to vote for anyway.

So we're encouraging all of our readers to (first of all) vote. And second of all, vote "No" on every single judge up for retention - especially Colleen Sheehan who let the a couple of Police Battery offenders go for no apparent reason, other than the fact that they were politically connected law students related to a Minnesota States Attorney.

Again, it won't make a big difference, and the spots will have to be filled by appointment anyway, so it's possible the political powers will end up naming Sheehan to her old spot even if she loses the election. But it would be as amusing as hell to see the local pundits try to figure out why so many judges didn't get retained this year. And it isn't like you're wasting your vote - you're just messing with the system.

Tour de Force

Evidently, the week off worked to the Bears advantage. A thoroughly dominating performance and maybe a little statement that two weeks ago was a bit of a fluke?

400+ yards of offense, a 15 minute differential in possession time, 5 forced turnovers. A good job all around. These guys are playoff bound for sure and should even make a good showing if all the breaks go their way.

And the Blackhawks ... if the playoffs started tomorrow, the Blackhawks would miss the cut by about three teams. And that's with a mere 10 games played. These guys are just treading water.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Bears Tickets

Evidently, counterfeit tickets are popping up all over the place since the Bears are doing well. Channel 7 and the Sun Times have features on it.

In the meantime, we get to see whether or not a week off throws a wrench into the defensive rhythm that's been pulling this team along. As before, we aren't expecting much from the running game, and sooner or later, someone is going to be able to execute better than Arizona did two weeks ago and make the Bears pay dearly for it. A ground game would add so much to the playoff effort and make the entire season more exciting.

What if They Gave a Protest ...

... and nobody came?

Then someone just wasted a shitload of taxpayers money. From the Channel 7 website:
  • Hundreds of police officers showed up to keep the peace at what was supposed to be an anti-war rally Saturday afternoon. Police are now calling it a waste of resources after the protesters did not show.
  • It's a mix up that will cost tax payers tens of thousands of dollars. The anti-war demonstration at Washington Square was supposed to start at noon and the Chicago Police Department was ready. But the protesters were a no show, and police say it was a big waste of time and money.
Hope they can bill someone for this.

Spring Ahead - Fall Back

An extra hour of sleep for anyone lucky enough to be sleeping tonight.

An extra hour of work for anyone unlucky enough to be working tonight.

Reset those clocks.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Results Are Out

No, not the Sergeants test results - keep dreaming! We aren't expecting those for another 3 weeks.

No, we're talking about the results for Part 1 of the Lieutenants Exam. A couple of e-mails and comments tipped us off and we hopped over to SecondCitySarge to see if they were covering it. They weren't - yet. So we'll start - anyone Sergeant readers want to 'fess up to their results?

We heard there are some failure notices being sent out, which makes this an unusual test as every single test taker passed part one with flying colors. We also heard the results are out of 230 or 240 possible points. Rest assured, whoever scored at exactly the cutoff number will be promoted far sooner than anyone who wasn't a top 30 score.

This also means that there will probably be one more class of Lieutenants off the old list before the end of the year. Look for a merit letter shortly.

FTO Problems

Did everyone sign up for the FTO test?

Evidently not. We heard from various sources that the Department was hoping to get 200 FTO's to pass this upcoming test so they would have bodies available for training PPO's.

159 people signed up.

For a Department that has gone from the oldest in the nation to the youngest in a mere decade or so, the only way to train up the thousands of new cops is via the FTO program - and they can't staff the program. 159 people total. And there is no way they can pass all 159 of them. Or we should say, there is no way an honest test could pass all 159 of them. Who knows what the Department will do when pushed to the limit.

We addressed this problem a month ago as "Problem #2" facing the Department. Nice to see that we were 100% correct.

New Blog

We've inspired another one?

SecondCityDick.blogspot.com is up and running. All we need now is ...
  • SecondCityLieutenant.blogspot.com,
  • SecondCityCaptain.blogspot.com,
  • SecondCityDistrictCommander.blogspot.com,
  • SecondCityDeputyChief.blogspot.com,
  • SecondCityAssistantDeputySuperintendent.blogspot.com
  • SecondCityFirstDeputy.blogspot.com,
  • SecondCitySuperintendent.blogspot.com,
Any takers?

Whine Whine Whine

From Lefty (again). Big Surprise (not!)
  • Hey M! Where is the spin on remarks from that disgrace of a vice-president? Let's see....he'll say he was misquoted, no that's not it, he's on tape. Let's see....that's not what he meant, he was taken out of context. Yea that's it!! The lambs of Republicanism will swallow that one hook line and sinker.
We will open with a reply from Ace of Spades:
  • The media is of course all a-flutter and in full conniptions about this. I wish Cheney and Snow would stop being disingenuous and say, "Fuck yeah, I support the water-boarding of confirmed murderer and terrorist leader Khalid Sheik Mohammad. It saved lives. Any of you gutless pansies got a problem with that? How many lives would you trade, exactly, in exchange for Khalid Sheik Mohammad's personal comfort?"
Can you read that Lefty? Waterboarding works. It saved American lives by foiling more than one plot to kill people in this country. When are you softballs going to get it through your thick skulls - islamofascists don't differentiate between Republicans and Democrats, red states and blue. They want you and us dead Lefty. There is no understanding to be reached. There is nothing we can offer them other than complete and utter capitulation and surrender. And the first people they would round up and persecute? Teachers. Women. Gays. Jews. Artists. Musicians. In short, the entire spectrum of your run-of-the-mill liberals. Women in chadors and veils. Teachers executed en masse. Gays crushed under walls and stones piled on their chests. Artists blinded. Musicians with various amputations.

So hell yeah, we support waterboarding and sensory deprivation and radical temperature fluctuation and disorienting noise and anything else that saves American lives. And thank god we have a VP who can be politically incorrect at times and say we ought to do what needs to be done to protect and preserve this country and it's freedoms.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Another Scandal?

We said months ago while the SOS scandal was breaking, to batten down the hatches - it's going to be rough sailing ahead. As pointed out by numerous sharp eyed readers who saw the Sun Times article, something else is brewing:
  • In one intriguing wiretapped conversation, Doroniuk allegedly called five Chicago Police officers "stupid" for getting arrested after stealing $1 million from a suitcase with their fingerprints on it that they then left in their car. No such arrests have been made public. A police spokeswoman would only say "the investigation is ongoing."
We've heard from various sources that a few police officers are going to be caught up in this one, including a Sergeant and Lieutenant. We also heard, months ago, that the suitcase in question was located via an embedded tracking device in a vacant lot within a block or so of the Homan Square facility.

Of course, we could be confusing our scandals. There has been so much bullshit published in our comments sections about the assorted forms of malfeasance being perpetrated at various times all over the city. But this one seems a little too close to the descriptions of something going on over at the 2nd floor of Homan Square. We're afraid the weather is getting rougher and we haven't even reached the eye of this particular hurricane yet. Hang on.

Ryan Harris Revisited

A reader e-mailed us this link. We actually saw the original Reader article the other day. The Reader is a typical left leaning paper, but they do address a number of interesting points regarding the Ryan Harris investigation. A lot of it ties in with what we know about the case and what we've heard from a bunch of people who actually investigated the case.

Those boys were guilty. They were bicycle thieves who crushed that girl's skull with a brick. And the Department, the State and a whole load of politicians let them off the hook (paying them millions of dollars) while destroying the reputations of a number of decent hard working detectives. Durr was a scumbag piece of shit, but he didn't do what so many in the media and others would have you believe. Durr might have had a hand in the aftermath, but those boys gave him a victim by their actions.

Was it the best investigation in the world? No loose ends? No unanswered questions? Hell, no. But it was a heater case and the dicks did what they could and turned out a halfway decent product in the time they had. And then, they got screwed.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

There Go the Hawks

A 5-0 shellacking at the hands of the Vancouver Cannucks put the Blackhawks a game under .500, which unfortunately is probably where they are going to spend a lot of time this year.

What happened to years ago where the Blackhawks used to actually raise good defensemen in their minor league system? Yeah, we know they traded away a bunch for half talented offensive skaters, but they always had a few decent ones left around where the goalie wasn't facing some 40+ shots a game and smelling like burnt rubber every 12 minutes.

If we didn't hate lawyers so much, Bill Wirtz would be #1 in our hate parade. That man has ruined NHL Hockey in this town.

Sorry We're Late

Like we said, Blogger was down half the night. We couldn't even get on the website until around 11pm. We don't maintain the servers - Google does. So we're up at the whim of their service schedule.

What the hell is going on in 022? Coverage at Channel 2, Channel 5, Channel 7, Tribune and Sun Times. If even a tenth of what is published is true, these guys are toast. If convicted, they face 5 years in the Federal pen and fines of up to a quarter million dollars.

Little info for the slow learners out there:
  • If it isn't yours, don't take it - inventory it
  • Don't take stuff from one scene and put it at another
  • People offering you dope dealers' money are setting you up
  • And for god's sake, haven't you ever heard of roving wiretaps?
It sure is a good thing we have that college requirement now for the new guys and gals. God forbid we end up hiring stupid people for this job.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Blogger Down

Judging from the hit counter and our inability to log on for the better part of the evening, it seems Blogger was down for maintenance. It seems to be back up, though very slow.

Just thought we'd let everyone know why we haven't published any comments or things until late this evening. Especially in light of the recent stupidity down south.

In the meantime, treat this as an open post.

Another Goofy Rumor

Someone is saying in various comments sections that if you fall into this "20 CR/12 TRR" demographic, you won't be permitted a promotion.

We don't even have to consult with our lawyers to realize this would be a slamdunk case for the FOP to win in court. We don't recall this restriction being listed on the sheet we got for signing up for the last Sergeant's exam. For the City to even contemplate changing the rules after the fact, especially in this drastic a fashion, just cries out for a lawsuit.

But we can't sue until someone has been shafted by it.

It's the Economy Stupid

Dow closes at a record high again.

Jobless rate at the lowest it's been since before Clinton.

Interest rates still at historic lows and inflation is just about non existent.

Off Duty Cop Kills Dog - Owner to Sue

  • The owner of a dog that was shot and killed by an off-duty Chicago police officer is distraught Tuesday.
  • There's a candle burning in David Pino's dining room, a little memorial to his dog Capone, a 2-year-old boxer who was shot to death by an off-duty Chicago police officer last Friday.
  • Pino says he is going to get a lawyer.
Anyone know who he's going to sue? The cop? The City? We're betting on the Cty - deeper pockets. And Corp Counsel will settle, setting another bad precedent and costing taxpayers even more money in the long run just to rid themselves of a case that ought never be filed because this owner is completely in the wrong, regardless of how his dog got out.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Another Suburban Ambush?

Maywood copper killed while sitting in his squad car.

Channel 2, Channel 5, Channel 7, Tribune and Sun Times coverage.

Details are still sketchy. Did they ever find and charge the person who ambushed the Metra Officer?

Everyone be careful out there.

Slapping Lefty - Again

There are some sports we never tire of - hockey, golf, pointing out when "leftisthebest" has his head up his ass. Here we go again:
  • Yea, God forbid we'd want to clean up the environment, right M? The environment that has been polluted for decades by rich corporations that care less about the communities they harm. Why should we get a tax credit credit [sic] for doing the right thing? Typical Republican philosophy, you have to get something to do something. (Comment from leftisthebest 10/23/2006 07:24:40 AM)
Go read the first paragraph that we wrote lefty - we clearly state that recycling in and of itself is a good thing. But we already pay for garbage collection via something called property taxes. If we are doing the job of garbage men, shouldn't we get a tax credit? The mayor is attempting to have taxpayers do something that should be already paid for, but he doesn't want to raise taxes to pay for the extra effort. As to your woeful understanding of capitalism and economics, if you reward positive behavior via tax breaks or credits, you get more of it, i.e. a higher recycling rate. Everyone would win, but you don't seem to want that. Typical communist - "let's all be cold, miserable and poor together."

The second slap delivered to Lefty is far more deserved.
  • Looks like your wrong, M. Latest Newsweek poll says 55 Per cent of those who state they will vote say they'll vote Democratic. Face it, the GOP is going down, and fast. And after Governor Blowdry defeats his GOP opponent he'll be indicted and we'll have Pat Quinn for governor. Or maybe the Green Party candidate will win. Either way, the Grand Old Party shall lose. (Comment from leftisthebest 10/23/2006 02:10:05 AM)

Did you even bother to look at the polling data Lefty? We did. Here's a link to it.
  • Of those sampled, 282 identified themselves as Republicans, 349 as Democrats and 330 as Independents.
Are these hilarious numbers or what? They ask 67 more democrats and 48 more independents that Republicans and then pass the numbers off as a legitimate sampling of voters. Let's clue Lefty and his people in - if you oversample certain groups, you skew polls. And it's a sample of a mere 1,000 likely voters. 1,000. How many votes were cast in the last off-year election? Somewhere in the area of 40 million? 50 million? More?

We've made no recent predictions as to whether or not the Republicans will keep one or both houses. We posted our predictions back on 01 January which will most likely have significant errors. But at least we based our guesswork on facts and reality instead of what the Dems (and Lefty) pass off as reality.

Welcome to France-istan

Thank goodness the French are so very tolerant, unlike the United States. From Forbes Magazine (thanks to Captain's Quarters for the story):
  • On a routine call, three unwitting police officers fell into a trap. A car darted out to block their path, and dozens of hooded youths surged out of the darkness to attack them with stones, bats and tear gas before fleeing. One officer was hospitalized, and no arrests made.
  • National police reported 2,458 cases of violence against officers in the first six months of the year, on pace to top the 4,246 cases recorded for all of 2005 and the 3,842 in 2004. Firefighters and rescue workers have also been targeted - and some now receive police escorts in such areas.
Along with an average of 112 cars burned every night in the suburbs of France, it's looking more and more like Europe has sown the seeds of it's own destruction. Don't believe us? Look at this post from The Other Side of Kim:
  • Belgium introduced voting rights for non-Belgian residents in order to counter the "islamophobic" and Flemish secessionist Vlaams Belang (VB). As a result multitudes of Muslim candidates were elected in major cities in last Sunday's local elections. In Antwerp the immigrants are now demanding an alderman's post in the city government, which consists of the mayor and ten aldermen. In Brussels the Parti Socialiste (PS) is embarrassed at the election of Murat Denizli as a Socialist councilor. Denizli is a hardright Turkish extremist belonging to the Grey Wolves.

    Let's see if I got this right: the Belgies didn't want the eeeevil rightwing political parties to gain any power, so they opened up the voting to people who would oppose them - only to find out that the people thus elected are if anything far worse than the eeeevil rightwingers.

France. Belgium. The Netherlands. Spain. If you really wanted to tour Europe, you missed your chance about a decade ago.

Monday, October 23, 2006

20 CR's/12 TRR's a Reality

  • Stung by two major scandals since 2005, the Chicago Police Department is putting a spotlight on officers who have had 20 or more complaints filed against them in the last five years.
  • Officers are placed on the lists when they have more than 20 complaints registered against them with the Office of Professional Standards, whether or not those complaints have been sustained. Such complaints are called "CRs" in department lingo.
  • The lists also include officers who have filed 12 or more tactical response reports within a year. Officers are supposed to file the reports whenever they use force.
As was helpfully pointed out by a number of readers, we remember when the TRR was introduced, it was promised to be non-disciplinary in nature. Well, once again, it would seem the Department's definition of non-disciplinary is completely at odds with the rest of the universe. We mean, anything that is used to restrict or deny you an opportunity would seem to be adversarial in nature, hence disciplinary. We'll let the lawyers argue semantics. In the meantime, this sure walks, talks and sounds like a duck.

And just for shits and giggles, when you click on the Sun Times link, look what the article title is in the browser - "bad cops" - and people still insist there is no bias in the media. Ha!

Crime Down

But homicides are up. By one.

From the Channel 7 website:
  • Statistics released by the Chicago police department show that violent crime in the city is down this year in most categories.Overall, violent crime decreased three percent through the end of September. That includes an 8.4 percent reduction in criminal sexual assault and a 4.9 percent decline in aggravated battery.

    Only the murder rate is up slightly -- point-three percent -- compared to last year.

    Car theft was also up by 3.1 percent.

So give yourself a pat on the back people. No one else is about to.

Blue Bags Officially a Failure

  • If suburban-style, curbside recycling succeeds in a few select wards, then blue bins ultimately could replace blue bags across Chicago, Mayor Richard Daley's top aide for environmental issues said Saturday.
  • As city officials announced the pilot curbside recycling program in seven wards, they also revealed that they will give residents another alternative to using blue bags by setting up 15 recycling drop-off centers at parks and other city facilities this month.
Not only does the mayor want you to sort your garbage (not a bad idea in and of itself) but now they want you to carry it to one of the 15 recycling centers being set up across the city? So do we get paid for the aluminum and steel and cardboard we bring over? Do we get tax credits? A little something for the effort? Nothing?

How many more patronage jobs are being created with this monstrosity? How many garbage men are they going to cut? And who is making the profits off of this endeavor? Because the city doesn't do anything unless there's a buck to be made in the contracting aspect.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Department News

A couple of interesting bits of info:
  • A "School Overtime" initiative. Looks like the Department is hiring people back, off duty, on their days off, at time and a half, to help the young kiddies get out of the schools in one piece. A mere 5 years after disbanding the entire School Unit, it seems enough high schools are completely out of control at dismissal time that the school system that pisses away taxpayer dollars at a regular rate is now throwing money the Department's direction. Get it while it's hot people.
  • Anyone want 100 rounds of ammunition? New Department Order coming out Monday - if you want to go to the any Department Range to practice, you can show up on second or third watch and they'll give you 100 rounds to put through the gun - EVERY YEAR! Or at least until the Federal money runs out - because you know there's no way the mayor would approve anything that might make us better shots.
  • We're still shorthanded. Second City Sarge covers some of the old axes we ground up a while ago, but it's still a topic worth looking at as there has been no change in the situation. We're still short bodies, morale still blows, and the political establishment is slowly killing this job.

Dems Giving it Away?

We hate to go out on a limb and predict something so completely wrong that we lose credibility. But recent polling shifts and trends are showing decided movement to the right side of the political spectrum. Drudge is reporting that Barron's magazine is going out on a limb and predicting that Republicans will hold both Houses - with diminished majorities, but majorities none the less.

Voters are waking up to the fact that you can't win elections just by saying you aren't Bush supporters. You have to have plans, agendas, goals to accomplish. The Dems and the Left have none of these. Their lack of ideas and depth is providing an impetus for Republicans to hold their noses and vote in numbers that will keep the Right in charge. And if the Dems can't win, even when everything is stacked in their favor, what chance do they really have in another 2 years?

It Wasn't Bush After All!

We assume everyone is familiar with the various bat-shit insane crazy theories that take on a life of their own via the internet regarding 9/11 - Bush knew; Cheney knew; the Government allowed it to happen; the Jews had advance warning; controlled demolition of the Towers; missiles, not planes; etc., etc. All bullshit of course. All courtesy of an unhinged Left wing.

Now we finally have an alternate theory that seems plausible:
  • The strategy of 9/11 was conceived in part by a well-educated individual, a man from a family of privilege, wealth and influence, and whose father was a leading elected official for a number of years. Over time, this man has made his own connections throughout government, intelligence departments, and the military.
  • The descriptions of the motivations are correct, but George W Bush is not responsible for 9/11. There is another man who has everything to gain from higher oil prices, and a failing American economy. There is another man who has the power, influence, and connections to pull off 9/11, and who can benefit by the chaos and doubt of the American public. He is motivated not only by greed and a long-term plan to renew his power, but by revenge.
  • In certain political circles, Al Gore's hatred for both Bill and Hillary are well known, and he still harbors them as responsible for his Presidential loss in 2000. There is a long history of evidence of Gore's disappointment with Bill Clinton and his loose morals reguarding women, money, and corruption. It has been overheard in the 1996 reelection campaign that Gore threatened to expose Clinton, and "bring him down." Al Gore Jr. has no animosity towards Bush, nor does blame him for his defeat in 2000 - in fact, Gore has used Bush as a pawn to advance his own political, personal, financial and environmental ambitions.
The website - newtruth911.blogspot.com - is an obvious satirical riff on the insane left, but the entire theory, tying Gore into 9/11, the Clinton's, even China and higher oil prices, makes at least as much sense as anything coming out of the Democratic Underground and the Daily Kos. Go read it all. Very amusing.

Thanks to Ace of Spades for this one.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

TRU Shoots Suspect

An attempted disarming. Cops are ok.

This is Interesting

And you know there's meat to it because they published it in the Saturday paper. From the Sun Times:
  • African-American aldermen accused Police Supt. Phil Cline on Friday of masterminding a reorganization that "castrated" his black first deputy.

    Thirteen months ago, Cline redefined the role of First Deputy Supt. Dana Starks in a way that removed the No. 2 man from day-to-day control over the department.

    Starks was stripped of authority over both the 9,000-officer Patrol Division and the Special Operations Section, the elite unit where four officers stand accused of theft, home invasion and kidnapping of suspected drug dealers.

Wow. Are they trying to drive a wedge between Starks and Cline or what? And what's with the mention of the Special Operations scandal? They trying to keep this thing fresh?

Actually, from everything we've heard, the wedge between those two is pretty big already. They are on two different sides in the great political game. The way we heard it, Starks got hammered 13 months ago shortly after the aborted attempt to force 10 hour days in two southside districts and Cline got blindsided by the FOP's calls to find out what the hell was going on. Combined with a number of other incidents of the First being a little too proactive in his management style, he was cut out of the loop and Charlie Williams was designated the "team player." That hasn't stopped the First from placing a number of his Lieutenants in various Districts across Area 2 (allegedly in violation of a number of seniority clauses of existing contracts) and no end to Cline's headaches.

But this wasn't all:
  • South Side aldermen were furious about Cline's decision to transfer Calumet District Cmdr. John Matthews amid allegations that Matthews interfered with officers in the arrest of his son.

    "It doesn't pass the smell test," said Ald. Anthony Beale (9th).

    Troutman demanded to know "how many hidden Burges are out there"
Furious that their guy wasn't given preferential treatment when he "allegedly" acted like an asshole and tried to get officers to violate how many state statutes, municipal ordinances and Department policies to get his kid out of trouble? What the fuck? Isn't it enough that the 019th District didn't tow his damn car? Guess not.

And of course, the clown prince tops all:
  • And then, there was downtown Ald. Burton F. Natarus (42nd), who wants Cline to order police officers who walk around writing parking tickets to issue another ticket -- to dog owners who fail to pick up after their pets.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Results Are In!

No, not the Sergeant's results. Those aren't going to be anywhere near released until the class of 50 or 60 that is currently with the Detective Division is appointed to the Pre-Service Sergeant Training segment of the promotional process, possibly before the end of November.

No, we're talking about the Entrance Exam results from the test way back in January or February of this year. A couple of friends of ours (and more than a few relatives) finally got their results back earlier this week. Evidently, the city is now throwing all the qualified applicants into a pool with a "randomly" assigned number based on the position of the sun in the southern sky on the 5th Tuesday of the month, but only when Saturn is in the seventh house...

...or your Social Security number is close enough to one of the heavier members of the political infrastructure - whichever is more beneficial to the establishment. Just like what they are trying to do with the Fire Department.

The Most Dangerous Job

Lobster fisherman? Lumberjack? Chainsaw juggler? Nope.

A city worker with political clout.

Isn't this really like shooting fish in a barrel though? Didn't Skippy Jacobson come up with an annual series of city workers sleeping on the job? Or Pam Zekman's regular occurrences of people faking time cards, attendance sheets and the like?

Nothing was ever done about it, so voters long ago lost their sense of outrage. In fact, Chicagoans seem to take a perverse sense of pride in their corruption - or so the late Mike Royko use to opine on occasion. Years ago, the mayor's master stroke was making sure every ethnic group got their "fair share" of no work jobs and "no penalty punishment" should you or yours ever be caught misbehaving. And if the city keeps rewarding misbehavior, why does anyone think it would stop due to a series of newspaper articles?

One has to wonder where the line is to ever be drawn again since voters don't seem to care.

Animals Attack - Again

One would think that there is a concerted effort in the Animal Kingdom to bring humankind to it's knees - especially amongst the ocean dwellers. It seems there has been another stingray attack, this time in Florida:
  • An 81-year-old man was in critical condition Thursday after a stingray flopped onto his boat and stung him, leaving a foot-long barb in his chest similar to the accident that killed "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin
  • Doctors were able to remove the barb during surgeries Wednesday and Thursday by eventually pulling it through his heart and closing the wound, said Dr. Eugene Costantini at Broward General Medical Center.
The disturbing part of this story is (obviously) the global coordination of the various Stingray families, despite obvious differences in skin pigmentation, religious beliefs and mating rituals. On this level, they seem much more advanced than humans. Be careful out there on the open ocean.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Armed Security Guards

From an anonymous cop (we've summarized a few of his ramblings to get to the highlights):
  • I was discussing the "20 CR/12 TRR" rule that the department is thinking of instituting with a buddy of mine. The department has already been doing it's damnedest to make patrol an undesirable spot for working cops. Quotas, missions to solely generate BS arrest numbers, etc., is taking the actual policing out of police work
  • What this city wants is armed security guards, and if they could disarm us, they'd do that too. Proactive police work is doomed in this city. The city wants to beat the aggressive work ethic out of the department.
  • The road this department is traveling down due to political pressures is depressing. I used to think I'd do the job until they mandatoried me off. Now? I don't know if I'll stay past 25. The day of the 35 year lifer is dead and gone.
We've been reading the comments over the past few days with great interest. So has this guy and a number of others who have written to us lately. This attitude of the Department "dying" from within seems to be becoming more and more prevalent. We always heard the stories about the job becoming less "fun" with the passing of time, but nowadays it seems the fun is literally being sucked out of the job.

Can this tread be reversed? Can the Department be saved from itself? Should it be?

Post #1600

Yeah, we know the post counter reads a bit higher. That's because we have a number of posts "in the hopper" so to speak, awaiting more info or an opportune publishing moment. We also passed 600,000 visitors a few days ago and are well on our way to 2.5 million page views (probably before the end of the month). All in all, not a bad set of numbers. How about some quick hits while we celebrate?
  • Big raid in the Ickes Homes. Channel 2 and Channel 7 cover it. Eighteen arrests were made and nineteen other fugitives are being sought. Big operations like these seem to be the order of the past few years. If you can decapitate an entire operation in one fell swoop, the disruption factor seems to take it's toll. But has there been a noticable uptick in drug related homicides as the new kids sort out the now vacant corners? We're just wondering.
  • A post election tax hike in Chicago? Say it isn't so! And all because the city doesn't know how to give a fair test - in this case, the 1995 firefighters test.
  • Does anyone have any news about the FOP Meeting this past Tuesday? We couldn't make it and we were hoping someone had news.

A Voice from the Past

  • Veteran CBS News correspondent Christopher Glenn, who retired earlier this year, has died, CBS News reports. He was 68.

    Glenn, who suffered from liver cancer, died suddenly in a hospital in Norwalk, Conn.

    After a 35 years as an integral part of CBS News, Glenn shut off his microphone in February.
We remember growing up, watching cartoons on Saturday mornings, and learning a bit of what was going on in the world with Mr. Glenn's "In the News" segments between shows. We also happened to be driving to work one day this past February and hearing what ended up being Mr. Glenn's last radio broadcast. It was kind of a sad event, as any memory from your past reminds you of how old you are getting. And now, we feel that much older.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Bad Idea

  • City Hall is gearing up for a pilot program that would allow motorists with three or more unpaid tickets whose vehicles are disabled by the dreaded boot to remove the wheel-locking device themselves, instead of waiting for a city crew.
  • Expected to debut during the second quarter of next year, the plan would allow motorists to phone in their credit card numbers to pay up. They would then get a code that releases the boot when punched into a keypad on the device.
  • The motorist would be responsible for returning the boot or face fines.
We'd love to see this one implemented. Unfortunately, one aldercreature seems determined to ruin the fun:
  • Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th), whose ward had 788 boots applied through Aug. 31, said she's all for "anything that gets the boot off faster." But, the boot return program sounds ill-conceived.

    "If you boot my car, I'm already mad. When you take it off, I'm still mad because I've had to pay you. Then, you want me to deliver something back to you? It'll be in the street," Lyle said.

Real world wisdom from an elected official.

The Mayor in Athens

This couldn't be done with a few well placed phone calls? We're sure that the mayor has a few buddies in Greektown who'd have been more than willing to call their second cousins over in Athens to conduct a quick Q & A session with the local politicians to get this information:
  • Mayor Daley is compiling a list of lessons learned during his week-long trip to Europe. The mayor spent his second full day in Athens touring the Olympic Stadium, athlete housing and cultural attractions.
  • Athens' Olympic Stadium is a monument to civic pride and urban engineering. It's also one of many reasons the 20004 Athens Olympic Games went $10 billion over budget. [did everyone get that? $10 BILLION dollars over budget - we are so doomed - SCC]
  • They saw apartment buildings that were home to 22,000 athletes. They have now been converted to subsidized housing for 10,000. But one-third of the apartments are empty.
Again, a simple phone call could have covered most of this. Maybe even a detailed reading of a Farmer's Almanac combined with a few pencil pushers poring over budget reports. We're just wondering what new and amazing laws the mayor is going to push for in Springfield to pay for this monstrosity. Hopefully though, we should have enough warning (and seniority) before 2016 to know exactly where to bid our furloughs to either be (A) out of town for the whole thing or (B) in a position to clean up on security side jobs.

Welcome to Chicago

You knucklehead. How did you think this city worked? From the Sun Times:
  • Wal-Mart's tentative plan to build five new South Side supercenters is "almost like a payoff" to aldermen who opposed the big-box minimum wage ordinance, Chicago's most powerful labor leader said Monday.
  • "Does the world think that Wal-Mart pulled these five wards out of a hat? The aldermen getting these supercenters were the most vocal in the debate against paying people a living wage," Gannon said.
No, the world doesn't think that at all. The world happens to know exactly how Chicago works. And if you want to keep involved in local political issues Mr. Gannon, you ought to learn a bit about it also. Each aldercreature is given almost complete control over what goes on in their fief. Zoning, the ever popular re-zoning, building permits, etc., all run through the aldercreature's office. And unless you play ball with them, you aren't getting anything done at all.

So it isn't "almost like a payoff." It's EXACTLY like a payoff. And you don't seem to be the one providing jobs and money to the aldercreatures. Or maybe you weren't aware of the various unions' historical roles in building the Machine? Or how various unions provide children of the well connected with high paying jobs? Or unions providing "unpaid volunteers" and "staff" for election polling places and precinct captains? Need we go on?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Alleged Downtown Meeting

From one of the comments sections, a reader tells us of a meeting downtown on 16 October. The meat of the comment is as follows:
  • We just got word from our commander that THIS MORNING, 16 October 2006, a meeting was held down at headquarters. This is what was covered;
  • 12 or more TRRs in a year's time AND/OR 20 or more CR numbers (unfounded, not sustained and YES even EXONERATED) will be grounds to put an officer in a personal concerns like program
  • ALSO...it will be grounds for that officer to be dumped out of whatever unit they are in or from the tact team.
  • The reason? Purely money. The city is tired of paying out millions in settlements.
From there, the comment heads downhill - we won't even say on where it ends up. But if true, this is a major policy change that is going to have an impact on operations citywide. We've recently received a couple of e-mails, opinion pieces if you will, that cover exactly this topic. We will be culling some of the better ideas (so as not to identify an anonymous source) and have a post up later this week.

Blackberries For Everyone!

  • BlackBerries, which have become as popular and addicting as cell phones in the business world, may someday be in the hands of all 13,500 Chicago Police officers.
OK, we can see the point of having them for Bike guys and Segway drivers and even foot guys. But everyone? C'mon now. We can't even get PDT's that work every day, cars that aren't in the shop every few thousand miles, and radios that don't crap out after 6 hours. And that's just the basics.

Did Anyone Not See This Coming?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
  • Chicago officials acknowledged publicly Friday for the first time that the expansion of O'Hare International Airport is over budget and running well behind schedule, blaming the setbacks largely on opponents of the project.
  • The initial phase to expand the airport is about $400 million over budget, O'Hare officials told bond rating agencies last week. Delays, they said, have pushed back the original 2013 completion date.
  • The officials attributed the overruns in the massive project to receiving federal approval of the airport expansion 14 months later than the city expected, costly litigation with O'Hare opponents that is stalling runway work and higher than expected land-acquisition costs. Those costs, originally projected at $800 million, have grown to $1.2 billion, officials said.
No wonder Daley is selling everything he can put a "for sale" sign on.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Holy Shit


UPDATE: Team of Destiny? Or just horseshoes up their asses? This would rival the McMahon led comeback against the Vikings during the 1985 run for the title, except that this time, it's the defense leading the charge.

UPDATE: Don't surrender yards now - geez!

UPDATE: HA! In the face of a total offensive meltdown, the defense has stepped up and dragged the Bears to victory. Kicking and screaming, but victory. Holy Shit.

UPDATE: Some goof on ESPN said it best - the Bears had no business winning this game. But sometimes, the breaks just go your way.

Problem #6 - Supervisors vs Bosses

When we came on the job so many years ago, the vast number of people wearing white shirts were Bosses. For the benefit of those civilians and non Chicago Police reading the board, we will explain part of what we mean by Supervisor vs Boss.
  • A Supervisor is a person wearing a white shirt who plays by the rules. All the time. There is no gray area, only black and white. The Department is the be all, end all and knows all. Rules are rules and if you break them, you are going to get disciplined for it. A Supervisor holds themselves aloof from the mundane business of police work for the most part. They'll show up after the fact, ask nonsensical questions and bark out a lot of orders.
  • A Boss sees areas of gray. His first concern is for his officers. The Department Rules are guidelines more than unbreakable Commandments. Certain transgressions can be overlooked IF the officer learns from the screw up. A Boss lets his officers handle situations and provides guidance. Bosses volunteer to answer radio calls, some chase bad guys and a few catch them - but they never take Box #1 on the arrest report.
A Boss can be a Supervisor, but it almost never works the other way. We can't think of a single instance at the moment - maybe a few of our readers can?

We've worked for a number of the finest Bosses ever to wear the uniform. But nowadays, they are a rare breed, especially at and above the rank of Lieutenant. Too many white shirts are more worried about NOT attracting attention to themselves lest they jinx an upcoming promotion or they get blamed for some situation that occurs, even if they had no hand in it. Too many Supervisors are "Managers" today rather than Bosses and it shows in so many ways. The only way to reverse this trend will be a massive upheaval in the political landscape. Until then, the day of the Boss is in steep decline, and with it, the morale of the Department.

Da Bears - Monday Night

We shall be enjoying the game tonight. Probably not much in the way of updates until after the game concludes. This is the Bears first Monday Night game in 3 years and should prove to be a ratings bonanza (Channel 2 coverage here). The national hype could get much larger if the Bears defense makes hash of Arizona's porous offensive line and low rushing numbers.

UPDATE: Look like Arizona has done it's homework. The Bears are getting their asses handed to them

UPDATE: Holy shit. See top post.

Hey Mayor! Where you Headed?

  • As part of the bid to host the Olympic games in 2016, Mayor Richard M. Daley was preparing to head to Athens, Greece.
  • "We're looking at, you know, their construction, how they did it, some of the problems they confronted earlier," Daley said. "What Athens really did, and the country of Greece did it, they wanted to rebuild Athens, the city -- transportation, housing, a lot of issues there."
Connected construction companies must be drooling all over themselves in anticipation of "rebuilding" Chicago. Of course, unmentioned in all of this pre-Olympic hype is the fact that Olympics lose money - LOTS of money. The only Olympics to turn a profit in the modern age was LA in 1984 - and there is no way in hell Daley would put up with a Peter Ueberroth running things. Montreal was still paying of the 1976 games up until last year. And in Lefty's various European socialist paradises, the accountants totaling up economic loses are the only ones making a profit - think BILLIONS of dollars lost in recent years.

But now we know something of where the millions and billions the mayor is making by selling City assets is headed - and it isn't to our underfunded pensions.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Why Isn't Pat Quinn Running for Gov?

Anyone read today's Sun Times? Get a load of what Quinn is doing:
  • ComEd says it could go bankrupt if it isn't allowed to hike electric bills next year. But Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, who is outing the salaries of ComEd's top executives, isn't so sure. The soaring rates that could sock homeowners and businesses alike on Jan. 1 have got nothing on the upper-echelon salaries of ComEd and its parent company, Exelon, says Quinn.

    The maverick politician today plans to release records he obtained showing ComEd and Exelon's top five executives rake in almost $50 million in salaries, stock options and perks each year.

  • The utility, which hasn't increased electric rates in nine years, has maintained it could lose $1.4 billion if Illinois doesn't lift the electric rate freeze next year.

  • But since 1997, Quinn says, the company has seen a 320 percent increase in its profits.

This should be an entertaining week once all of Quinn's information becomes public. The way ComEd and Exelon run things is an anathema to the free market system. Real competition in Illinois would see a rate drop of significant percentages.

Quid Pro Quo - Chicago Style

  • After opening their first store in Chicago last month, there are new details on Wal-Mart's plans to build five more stores in Chicago. Crain's Chicago Business is reporting that the retail giant wants to build at several sites on the South Side.
  • There are five potential sites for a new store, 47th and State, 63rd and Halsted, 63rd and State, 83rd and Stewart, and 111th and the Bishop Ford.
Of course, all of these sites are located in Wards run by aldercreatures who supported or switched support to the mayor's recent veto of the "living wage" ordinance. Even if Wal-Mart only builds at two or three of these sites, the resulting high paying construction jobs created will number in the hundreds and in turn, the ripple effect will create even more jobs.

And Lefty? Spare us the tired argument that these are minimum wage jobs. Retail has ALWAYS been an entry level low paying job. Go take a couple of Economics classes (as the mayor and aldercreatures obviously did over the past few months) before you attempt to apply your socialist vision of Utopia to us.

Shouldn't He Be Playing for Chicago?

  • Magglio Ordonez walked slowly out of the batter's box to watch the ball's flight Saturday night, and then he raised his right fist to confirm his redemption.

    After watching his former White Sox teammates win the World Series one year after he left, Ordonez will make the same trip after launching a dramatic three-run home run - his second homer of the game - with two out in the ninth inning that vaulted the Detroit Tigers to a 6-3 comeback win and completed a four-game sweep of Oakland in the American League Championship Series.
Unfortunately, we are cursed with the uncommon disease of liking hockey. Uncommon in that maybe 10,000 people in this town even follow the game anymore (Blackhawks lost tonight 4-3 to hated St. Louis). We are aware of enough baseball history in this town to wonder if this wasn't one of the more boneheaded moves by the Sox. Anyone care to enlighten us?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Deer Out of Hand - Still

If we aren't mistaken, deer season is right around the corner, and according to this report in the Tribune, these four footed terrorists are sending more and more "suicide" missions our way and are increasingly likely to kill their targets:
  • The number of people killed in vehicle accidents involving deer on Illinois highways hit a high last year, even as the number of accidents declined, state transportation officials said Thursday.
  • Eight of the 11 fatalities in 2005, up from 6 the year before, were either drivers or passengers on motorcycles, according to new Illinois Department of Transportation statistics.
  • Cook County led the state with 995 deer versus vehicle accidents last year, resulting in 61 injuries. Lake, Will, Kane and McHenry Counties ranked 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th, respectively, with 516, 509, 501 and 447 accidents resulting in 24, 26, 15, and 14 injuries. DuPage County was far down the list with 231 accidents, nine of which resulted in injuries.
Evidently, deer have decided to target motorcyclists as "soft targets." And it's not really a big surprise that in the area where gun laws are the most restrictive (Cook County), deer "attacks" are the most brazen. We desperately need a deer culling in Cook County - just the other day, we had to resort to launching golf balls at 20 or more deer blocking our path to the 3rd green at a nearby golf course. This is becoming intolerable.

Another Half a Billion

Nothing like making this announcement right before the weekend and burying it somewhere in the back of Saturday's business sections:
  • Buoyed by the $1.83 billion pot of gold generated by the Chicago Skyway lease, Mayor Daley today sold off another major city asset for $563 million: four parking garages beneath Grant and Millennium parks billed as the nation's "largest underground parking system."

    The 99-year lease with Morgan Stanley Investment Management paves the way for $122 million in capital improvements for neighborhood parks across Chicago.

    After retiring $278 million in outstanding debt tied to the Millennium Park, Grant Park North and South and Monroe Street garages, the city will also place $120 million into a reserve fund for the Park District. That's designed to replace the $5 million in annual parking revenues generated by the garages.

    Another $35 million will be used to rebuild Daley Bicentennial Park after the Monroe Street garage is re-built by private investors.

OK, let's see -
  • $563 million for 4 parking garages
  • minus 278 million in retired debt
  • minus 120 million for a "reserve fund"
  • minus 122 million for future capital improvements
  • minus 35 million for rebuilding another park
That still leaves $8 million unaccounted for. And it doesn't do anything to alleviate deferred City obligations to numerous pension plans. And seeing as how everything the City touches turns to 50% increases in costs, the City still needs $61 million just to break even.

We're just saying ...

Friday, October 13, 2006

FOP Blasts OPS Selection Panel

  • The Fraternal Order of Police is accusing Mayor Daley of appointing two people "who have shown nothing but disrespect" for police officers to the committee that will choose the director of the Police Department's Office of Professional Standards.
  • "You've got the one gentleman [Grant] who's made a living off of suing the Police Department. And the other individual [Pfleger] who has shown nothing but disregard and disrespect toward our profession."
It's about time that this completely incompetent selection board was brought to light by someone other than this humble website and our readers. We're surprised the Sun Times even published it at all, being in the mayor's pocket and carrying water for him all these years. Not that it's going to have any effect on anything of course:
  • Mayoral press secretary Jacquelyn Heard said City Hall "anticipated" the FOP's criticism and Daley has every intention of expanding the selection committee.
Covering all the bases, that mayor of ours.

Off Duty Cops in Bad Accident

WGN is reporting two off duty PO's in an accident out near Iowa. One dead, one critical. We've seen their names mentioned in the previous comments section and WGN released both names, so we assume next of kin and relatives have been notified.

This thread will be open for prayers, condolences and wishes for recovery only. All others will be deleted.

UPDATE: Coverage at Channel 2, Channel 5 and Sun Times.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Problem #5 - Institutional Inflexibility

Fifth in a series of writings about some problems we see facing the Department.

Cops hate change.

A truer phrase has never been spoken. This Department has resisted just about every change, every technological advance, every single thing that might make the job easier with the attitude of "that's not the way we used to do it." If the mayor's cousins could figure out how to make transporting hay and oats into a profitable venture, we don't doubt that we'd go back to horse drawn carriages and carts in place of squadrols and automobiles.

Of course, part of this resistance to change is the City's tendency to always go with the low bid contractor on things, which always means some politically connected family gets a piece of the pie, usually based on inside information. Then the contractor ends up supplying substandard equipment that never had a chance in hell of meeting the specs of the job, meaning that the contract has to be re-bid or the bottom line has to be adjusted so the connected person gets more money. Legit contractors go out of business constantly because the city doesn't pay the bills on time. It's a corrupt process and does nothing for the copper on the streets who has to try to utilize the equipment that doesn't work to meet some bizarre expectation of making the job simpler.

And don't even get started on the people who think the height requirements ought to be reinstated, women shouldn't be on the job, minorities ought to be banned, if you don't carry a revolver you're a punk and lord knows how many other changes that have actually benefited the Department as a whole.

Old attitudes die hard - some harder than others.

Command Changes

From the comments section - retyped here for your reading pleasure:
  • M. Shields from A/2 Deputy Chief to a Field Group
  • T. Skahill escapes the dead end job at CAPS and takes Shield's spot
  • S. Day shunted to the dead end CAPS spot from ADS
  • E. Brown to ADS
  • F. Radke to ADS though this is probably a paper move so Radke can train Caluris up on his job. We'll bet Radke never sees a street day as he's due to be mandatoried off shortly
  • S. Caluris to Radke's spot as Deputy Chief of Special Functions
  • T. Williams (who was supposed to get a unit spot months ago, but opened his mouth to tell everyone he had gotten it) has finally learned to keep his mouth shut until it's on paper gets 005
  • We're confused on the last one - did 003 get a new boss or is someone confusing Epplen's lateral move as a promotion? Or was Epplen moved at all? Someone will correct us we're sure.
Anyway, no really big stunners there.

Judy's Happy Dance? Maybe Not

Channel 2, Channel 7 and the Sun Times cover it here.
  • Wielding their clout like a club, Antoin Rezko, a top adviser and fund-raiser for Gov. Blagojevich, and GOP insider Stuart Levine were partners in crime as they arranged to shake down nearly $5 million in kickbacks from six investment firms looking for business with the state, a federal indictment alleged today.
The Barr-Topinka people ought to be a little careful making hay out of this one. As you can see in the first line, a GOP insider is also named as a co-conspirator. This just proves John Kass's longtime allegations that there is no two party system in Illinois - just a political combine that works together to enrich certain companies that in turn contribute money to both parties just to keep money flowing. The ultimate loser? Taxpayers.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

No Indication of Terrorism?

If this isn't the most stupid statement to come out of the FBI in recent memory, we don't know what is. When a plane crashes into a building nowadays, you don't go around denying it had anything to do with terrorism, even if the weather reports might indicate a light haze over New York City. Because god forbid one or two of the people on board have muslim surnames or were recent converts to islam or any other of a dozen possible scenarios.

How about you conduct an investigation before you run to the press?

Coverage at Breitbart. com and Drudge.

UPDATE: Information is coming out about the plane being owned by a New York Yankee pitcher who may have been at the controls. As to Lefty's assertion that we are jumping to conclusions, we are the ones urging the Feebs and National Security agencies NOT to be so quick to discount any and all possibilities. After all, we have the feds to thank for these statements of recent history:
  • "There's no reason to believe this was terrorism" - LAX shooting
  • "There's no reason to believe this was terrorism" - Seattle shooting
  • "There's no reason to believe this was terrorism" - SF car rampage
Each and every one of which proved to be completely wrong.

Heroes Honored

The Lambert Tree and Carter Harrison Awards for heroism were handed out Tuesday. The winners:
  • Last year, Sergeant Richard Plotke assisted two Morton Grove officers serve a warrant on West Summerdale. They were greeted with two offenders and gunfire. Sergeant Plotke shot both offenders. All the officers survived the ordeal.
  • In January, off-duty firefighter Joe Kish rushed into a house fire on South Princeton. He rescued a man then went back into the smoke to make sure no one else was inside. The rescued man survived.
Left unsaid in the Channel 7 report is that Sergeant Plotke didn't just shoot both offenders - he killed them. We don't care what anyone says, but killing two armed offenders who had just attempted to murder police officers is heroism of the highest order and more than deserving of the Lambert Tree Award. Congratulations Sarge.

Get the Protest Signs Ready!

Once again, a completely unjustified shooting of a poor defenseless animal:
  • A Calumet District police officer shot and killed a pit bull attacking a woman on the far South Side Monday evening. The woman, 49, of the 100 block of East 118th Place, was walking down the 11800 block of South Michigan Avenue around 6 p.m. when she passed a man and his pit bull, according to Calumet District Lt. Tim Bickham.
  • The owner was unable to control the dog and officers already in the area tried to force to the dog to release the woman's arm, Bickham said. The dog did not release the arm so an officer discharged one shot, killing the dog on the scene, Bickham said. The pit bull was not on a leash, said Bickham, who added the officer may have saved the woman's life.
We've heard a certain reassigned District sergeant is readying protest signs for use by interested reverends and activists. Because everyone knows the dog didn't really mean to tear that woman's arm off. He was just a misunderstood victim of society.

Tragedy Averted

  • Charges were pending early Tuesday after a man disarmed a Chicago Police sergeant and held the gun to his abdomen on the Southeast Side.

    The incident happened around 11:30 p.m. Monday at 8132 S. Colfax Ave. Police News Affairs Deputy Director Pat Camden said. The two officers and the sergeant, all in uniform, were in an unmarked police car when they saw the man driving a Toyota Corolla that had been reported stolen, with license plates from the state of Washington, Camden said.

    The officers approached the man and began handcuffing him when he began resisting, Camden said. The sergeant attempted to assist the officers when the suspect grabbed his service gun, according to Camden.
Why this ass is still alive and not dirt napping is beyond our comprehension, but we're still glad no cops got hurt in what could have been a very bad situation.

UPDATE: We didn't second guess anyone. Jeez. Someone in the comments section said it best - they don't give medals for coming back with unexpended rounds. We just stated our opinion (as we have in dozens of other threads) that anyone who shoots at the police or points a gun at the police or generally puts the police in mortal danger ought to be killed as a matter of course. We're sorry everyone here doesn't agree with us - but we know quite a few who do, especially old time coppers and bosses we respect. Back in the day, CPD were trained to advance after firing and empty their gun into the head of the offender. Cover and movement are a recent introduction - and a good one as it saves the lives of officers. But talk to an old retired cop one day and see how much things have changed.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bad News, Worse News, Worst News

  • The director of the Chicago police department's Office of Professional Standards is stepping down...
Say what you will about OPS, but the way they ran investigations ... well, let's just say they couldn't find their ass with flashlights and five hands. Many has been the times that we were thankful (yes, thankful) OPS was running certain investigations. Because we were sure to get off.

The worse news:
  • They aren't disbanding OPS.
Damn it. Sometimes the only thing better than an OPS investigation was no investigation at all. But only sometimes.

The worst news:
  • The city will hire a national firm to conduct a search for a new OPS director, Daley said, and those candidates will be reviewed by a panel.

    The panel will be headed by former Police Supt. Terry Hillard. It also includes the Rev. Michael Pfleger, attorney Andre Grant - both of whom criticized OPS practices after being appointed to the panel - former public defender Rita Fry and Juan Rangel, head of the United Neighborhood Association.

Oh boy. If we could find a panel of the least qualified people to actually do a job search for an investigatory body that tries its hardest to screw with police officers, we'd pick these 5 people. Every single damn one of them isn't even close to remotely qualified to pass judgment on the job a police officer does day in and day out - and we include the former Superintendent in that statement.

You think OPS was a minor annoyance before? We'll be begging for the old days when this panel gets done doing it's damage. More coverage at Channel 2 and Channel 7.

Stroger in Trouble, Rod Looking Grim

According to recent polls, Tony Peraica is leading Todd Stroger 48% to 40%.

Stroger also clocks in with a 50% negative perception, an unusually high number that usually spells trouble for lackluster campaigns. While Peraica might not be everyone's first choice for Cook County Board President, we are of the opinion that any change is good change, especially at the county level.

And following the bad publicity Blago has been getting following internal strife with the State FOP (covered over at ISPeeved), AFSCME has voted not to endorse the sitting governor. AFSCME denying him support will cost him money and unpaid volunteer staff come Election Day. And while Judy is far from an ideal candidate, any change is good change, even at the State level.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Big Brother is Here

How about this one?
  • All vehicles that are under Special Operations command are geeting GPS...wah wah wah waaaaah! Oh yeah by the way, NO MORE hoodies or knit caps for the ELITE guys ans gals....thanks for futhering the demise of morale SOS. [sic]
First of all, if you think GPS is destroying morale, you're dreaming. We'd be more worried about what half a dozen convictions would do to morale, but that's neither here nor there. SOS is about to become the "grand experiment" for Big Brother watching the police.

We've been reporting for months that GPS is coming. It's in the Fire Department, it's in Streets and San, it's in the Park District vehicles, it's in the Hired Trucks. We're surprised it's taken this long to install it in what is one of the last city jobs where you aren't told what to do 100% of the time. Think about it. You can't just take a fire truck or ambulance out for a ride - CFD wants to know where the equipment is all the times. Same thing with garbage trucks and heavy equipment for Streets and San. If they have a job (road work, sewer work, garbage pick up, snow removal) the guy in charge has to be able to know where his people are, even if they're sleeping in the truck. Same thing with the Park Security people - you can't have a supervisor following every single truck, so they're tracked via GPS to make sure they're covering their assigned routes.

Now think of the Police Department. In the District, they give you a car and a well defined area you're supposed to patrol in. If you're on a Tact team, you have a bit more freedom to roam the District on missions and eat lunch nearby. If you're Area wide or City wide, you get a HUGE area to play in - tens of square miles in some cases. Who's watching you? No one for the most part. You answer calls in your assigned area. You might have to help cover someone else's area if you're short staffed or down cars. Tact barely comes up unless they're chasing someone and Citywide doesn't even answer the radio. You are allowed quite a bit of freedom to work on problems, ticket law breakers, just ride around looking for trouble, or park somewhere and avoid looking for trouble.

And now they introduce GPS - and a whole shitload of questions are going to get asked. Why were you off your beat? Out of your sector? Parked in "the hole" for 45 minutes BEFORE you came up for lunch when OEC tried to give you that tender age missing? Where was everyone congregating right before that triple shooting went down? Why were those three Tact cars out of the District at a restaurant instead of working that dope spot under the camera that came up at the last Beat Meeting the commander was at? Why were those cars from that elite unit 10 miles away from their DOC assignments during the football game? What car is at the scene of half a dozen active CR investigations involving missing dope, guns or money?

In Field of Dreams, it was said "we just don't recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they're happening." Guess what? We recognize this one. Police work is about to change in Chicago. Big Time. Bigger than when we got cars and portable radios. Bigger than PDT's. Bigger than the Outfit moving into the background. This is huge people and we're living history as we speak. All you young guys and gals are about to have your first "Remember when...?" story.

Homicides Up?

It's too bad we had to institute fully moderated comments a few months ago - it really did detract from the endless and instant give and take. We're still getting the comments from the assholes who drove us to be pulling our hair out, but thankfully, you the readers are spared their insanity. But it does make us wonder that two or three months of them not even beginning to see their stupidity published that they still insist on trying anyway.

Anyway, from the comments sections recently, a recent one you may have missed:
  • Per I-CLEAR stats...
    As of 05 Oct: Homicide number for the year to date is 339.
    Same period last year was 338.
    2006 has now taken the lead.
Is this true? We aren't going to be at work for a few days so we really can't check it. But if we're surpassing last year, we'd better be expecting some "new and improved" initiatives to be thrown everybody's direction. The last thing the mayor wants (especially in an election year) is something that even LOOKS like a rise in crime. Could we have finally reached a staffing level at which the lack of officers on the street directly translates into a rise in homicide numbers? We'll see.

Want to Feel Small?

How about this?It's a picture of Earth taken from Uranus.

Sorry, we just couldn't resist. Actually, it is a picture of earth taken by Voyager I as it was about to leave the solar system - 4 BILLION miles away - in 1991. Earth is just about a single pixel in an otherwise crappy early generation digital photograph. Frankly, we're surprised that anything built by the US Government has actually been running for about 30 years without an upgrade or maintenance.

Anyway, go check out some of the other Top Ten photographs taken of outer space over the past decades. Our inner science geek runs amok.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bears Let One Slip Away

Not the game of course, but the shut out. What a way to lose the goose egg on one of the most dominating performances of the year so far. If this Benson kid learns the ropes quick enough, this is going to be a helluva year.

Ah, This is More Like It

Blackhawks are truly in midseason form. A 5-4 loss to Columbus. We don't know what it is about Columbus, but they have had Chicago's number since they came into the league. Will someone please turn this team over to the younger Wirtz boys who might have a few ideas about opening up the wallets and even if they don't bring a winning tradition back to the West Side, they at least bring back a couple of consecutive playoff appearances? Please?

An Idle Threat

If we don't let Com-Ed charge wildly inflated rates for power, they're going to go bankrupt. Channel 2 and Channel 7 coverage.

What is implied is that they're going to pack up their power plants, shut off everyone's electricity and go home to play with their neutrons, electrons, carbon rods, coal filters and whatever else it takes to generate power in Illinois.

Typical scare tactic. Typical BS. While rates freezes are probably one of the worst moves government can try to impose on what should be a free economy, we still remember that Com Ed certainly isn't losing money by any stretch of the imagination. It is an impossibility to generate power and lose money - at least if you're doing it honestly - this is Illinois after all.

Happy Anniversary!

Belated well wishes to a blogging compatriot of ours. While we cannot claim him as inspiration for starting our own blog, we do count him among the sites we visit on a daily basis. It is always a good read and often has helped clarify and refine many opinions that we hold to be standards of "right" thinking. It is amazing that we've "met" as many coppers as we have who blog and write about many of the same issues we do. And not just locally either.

So many happy returns Rue. Keep up the good work.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Useless Details

We hit a nerve with one of the last posts, questioning why an entire team of officers from the 005th District are detailed to traffic control at a certain church instead of our fighting crime. We've gotten a few e-mails and more than a few comments (some of which can't be published). Some bring up legitimate criticisms, like this one:
  • Anonymous said...

    so what the prob! the cardinal gets his own personal detail

    10/07/2006 12:03:21 AM

That's right. And the Cardinal has, what? One guy? Two? He doesn't have an entire 018 District Tactical Team and the team isn't out there directing traffic at Holy Name, is it? Personally, we'd like to see them cancel this detail, among others. The Cardinal can certainly afford his own private security people and it'd be a great side job (maybe we could get paid in Purgatory credits?)

The trouble is that there are too many spots like this squirreled away, hidden in the shadows, that the phrase "manpower numbers" has become completely meaningless. No one knows how many people are hidden, detailed, missing in action. We heard the Department is cracking down on Leaves of Absence - if you are currently LOA, you will be/have been receiving a letter in the mail telling you that at the end of your year, you will not be granted any extensions. Of course, there are ALWAYS exceptions to the right people, haha. But the number of letters that were sent out is rumored to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 500.

500 people. On Leave of Absence. That's like what - 5% of our manpower? 5% in a good year? No wonder no one can get time due, furlough extensions, SIF or move around on the bids. How the heck are they running this Department?

Homework assignment - let's see what kind of list can be generated of useless type details that do nothing for our already obvious manpower shortages. Spots like the Cardinal's detail, the Meeks traffic control aides, the Chairman of the Finance Committee's full bodyguard detail. You know the drill.

Clarification: By no means are we contesting military leaves of absence. If your unit was activated OR if you volunteered for active duty, you have our repsect and admiration and our support should you or your family need anything. However, we have been to FOP meetings where they list the numbers of personnel serving in the military and as far as we remember, it has never been more than 50 people at any given time.
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