Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

More cartoons here - some quite frightening.


Riot Survival for Dummies

We're going to make this an open post for tips and tricks to survive a celebration event like a Bulls riot or a massive public upheaval event like a Bulls riot. Just in case there might be anything on the horizon coming up next week:
  • Rule #1 - Never ever leave your partner(s). If you're all going to go home safe, you're all staying together. No heroes.
  • Rule #1A - Never ever leave the guy with the radio. For Bulls nights, we were running one radio per four cops. If you're lucky enough to have two radios on post, keep one off to conserve battery power and turn it on if the shit gets rolling.
Those are the important rules. Everyone else can chime in by the comment button. Remember, essentials for ten or more hours on post. Things like water, snacks, bullets, gas masks, helmets, batons, are givens. We're going to say 50% or more of this Department hasn't been through a Bulls riot. What little things do people forget? Things like picking up or breaking all glass bottles around your post can deprive miscreants of weapons. Garbage cans can provide handy cover in emergencies. What else?


ILEAS Meeting

A "total disaster" according to one source. They could actually smell the fear in the room. Here's the plan though:
  • Folliard (retired CPD) from Hazel Crest working out of Area 5
  • Kushner (retired CPD) from Berwyn working out of Area 4
  • DeLopez (retired CPD) from Winnetka working out of Area 3
Each will have a mobile force, each will be assigned a liaison due to incompatibility issues with radios.

And speaking of radios, the entire CPD inventory of ILEAS radios? Under 100 total radios, all in a storage closet, all with no one trained to operate them. And even if they managed to get a group of people trained up and deployed, no one has any idea where the battery chargers are for these radios and the batteries (multiple years old with no replacement or maintenance) aren't compatible with the CPD 6-hour-specials we all walk around with now.

Where does it all end?


Gunshot Detectors

We saw at least one, maybe two stories on the news Thursday night. Seems the City was installing Gunshot Detectors to the existing POD cameras down in Englewood in response to the Hudson shootings. We won't even go into the glitches and flaws this entire system is riddled with (and believe us, we know the problems), the fact is the system doesn't work as designed. Cameras point the wrong way over and over and over again. And 75% of the time, no one is watching them because they're understaffed and information overloaded.

But we suppose having a camera that calls the police is better than the current system - where two people are killed prior to 0800 hours and no one calls the police until nearly 1500. We hate to keep bringing up Kitty Genovese but it's apt. At least we aren't getting the reports like we did a few months back where 5 people were killed and first call to police was made by a neighbor who noticed a bunch of assholes looting the house of TVs and furniture. She peeked in a back door and noticed the "entrepreneurs" were stepping over a dead woman before calling 9-1-1.


Cracks in the Facade?

This is big news coming from a CBS outlet:
  • Without question, the Barack Obama infomercial served as a very slick and powerful recitation of the biggest promises he's made as a presidential candidate. But the very bigness of his ideas is the problem: he seems blind to the concept his numbers don't add up.

    Obama has already proposed a new stimulus package of $188 billion over two years. His tax cuts will cost $85 billion a year. His "army of new teachers": $18 billion; Renewable energy: $15 billion. CBS News and various independent experts estimate Obama's total first year spending could exceed $280 billion.

    [...] The fact is the savings Obama has identified do not cover his spending. According to a CBS News estimate, he's around $90 billion short. The Obama campaign disputes this, saying everything including the stimulus is paid for over 10 years. But other analysts say - even presuming Obama saves money in Iraq and chops the federal budget as promised - he falls short.
Snake oil salesman. He promised several months ago anyone making under $250,000 will not see taxes rise. Last month, he says the number is now $200,000. Last week, Biden says $150,000. Then there's the cold hard fact that 40% of the American electorate doesn't even pay taxes, yet they're in line for a tax "break" - how do you get a break from zero?

But is it too late for the message to get out there?

UPDATE: We'll continue to delete screeds that don't contribute to the debate. If you can't make sense without resorting to personal attacks on us, the blog, our readers, and a woman who's only "crime" is being Republican, continue to expect to see none of your comments see the light of day. If we want this to be an echo chamber of right-wing thought, it will be so.

UPDATE: Post figure corrected.


Midweek Violence Upswing

Once again, the warm weather and Area 1 make a great combination:
  • Two men and a teenager were wounded in separate shootings in a nine-hour stretch beginning Wednesday afternoon in the South Side’s Hamilton Park neighborhood.

    An 18-year-old man standing in the street was shot multiple times on the 6400 block of South Parnell Avenue about 3:05 p.m. Wednesday, police said. The man told police he did not know who shot him.

    [...] Somebody in a passing brown van shot a 19-year-old man on the 500 block of West Marquette Road about 9:55 p.m. The man suffered a gunshot wound to his right foot and was taken to St. Bernard Hospital in good condition, police said.

    A 16-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to the arm on the 300 block of West 74th Street about 12:30 a.m. Thursday. The boy was taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition, police said.

And that's just one neighborhood. There seem to be a whole bunch of conflicts simmering lately. Will it boil over starting Halloween?


Thursday, October 30, 2008

This is NOT Good

Breaking news from people in the know:
  • The Chicago Police Department has approached ILEAS Region 4 for manpower and cars to augment neighborhood police coverage the night of November 4th. All the suburban bigwigs are meeting tomorrow morning at OEMC to hash out details, including more than a few retired CPD exempts.
They must be worried events will outstrip realities on the ground. And the preliminary reports of no portable waste facilities at an event predicted to reach levels matching or exceeding 3rd of July Fireworks in an area one quarter the size utilized for the biggest crowd of the year?

Get a load of this from Channel 7:
  • "There will be a lot of people who want to come down and celebrate, and we hope it's a million or more," Daley said.

    If what the mayor hopes for actually happens, Obama's election night speech will attract many more people than the 70,000 city officials say can fit into the southernmost part of Grant Park known as Hutchinson Field. Stages, camera platforms and tents are being set up there inside a fence surrounding what by election night, will be one of the most secured outdoor areas in the United States.

    The mayor said he expects that more than ten times as many people will gather elsewhere downtown and along the lakefront for what Daley called "a festival."

    "It's going to be called a celebration. People coming down want to celebrate, and that's what the feeling I have for this huge event is going to take place next Tuesday," Daley said.

    Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis, whose currently undermanned department would have to control crowds inside as well as outside the perimeter, appeared surprised at the mayor's prediction of one million.

    "I was at meetings all day yesterday concerning that, and I didn't think anyone would have an exact number," Weis said.

J-Fed appeared surprised? For the sake of all our brothers and sisters in blue, we hope that look of surprise is the only one that comes up in the days leading to 04 November.

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Remember the Following

  • All approved overtime in excess of the hours required of an officer by reason of the officer’s regular duty, whether of an emergency nature or of a non-emergency nature, shall be compensated for at the rate of time-and-one-half. Such time shall be computed on the basis of completed fifteen (15)-minute segments. (Section 20.2)
  • An officer who is in pay status for six (6) or seven (7) consecutive days within the pay period Sunday through Saturday will be compensated at the rate of time-and-one- half for work performed on the sixth (6th) day and seventh (7th) day. An officer who performs work on a regular day off which has been canceled, will receive a minimum of eight (8) hours compensation or compensation at the rate of time-and-one-half times the actual hours worked, whichever is greater. (section 20.3)
  • Changing your start time by more than 2 hours entitles you to additional overtime compensation according to FOP Contract Section 20.7. We believe you fill out two slips - one for the OT and one for the Change of Start Time with a notation of "FOP 20.7" in the narrative, but we might be mistaken.
Of course, Tact, Gang, Mounted, 001/018 Foot Routes and an entire laundry list of other Units specifically exempted from compensation can be located at the contract link above, due to their being "volunteers" for their assignments. Sorry about that.


Fundraiser Venue Change

  • Due to unforseen circumstances out of our control, the Windy City Veterans Annual Fundraiser had it's venue changed at the last minute. This fundraiser is extremely important because it benefits the Illinois Veterans Home in Manteno. These veterans sacrificed when called to do so and now we ALL need to show our support for these brave men and women. We are a community based veterans group made up of veterans both peacetime and war.

    The cost of admission is $25.00 which covers the cost of food, beverages, music and entertainment.

    Our fundraiser is no longer at TR's Pub. We are now having the fundraiser at BEVERLY WOODS located at 11532 S. Western Ave. The time will still be 6:30-11:30pm on NOVEMBER 7th 2008.
    Many of our members are CPD officers and veterans. We are always helping other causes...especially military and police related.
    Thank you for assisting us in getting the word out in such a short length of time.

    Respectfully Yours,

    Martin Tully
    President of the Windy City Veterans Association
Click up top on the website for a full rundown.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Days Off Canceled - 12 Hour Shifts

Word coming out that days off are canceled for Election Day, maybe the day after depending on events on the ground; 12 hour shifts in the offing; Detectives in uniform along with Tact and Gangs. Even the old Gas Teams are being reassembled at Strike Force.

We're sure details will be fleshed out in the coming days. Start times, assembly points, uniforms, equipment, etc.

Remember - the whole world will be watching. Safety first.

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Brain Drain Bites Department

So now we're hiring back people who had the knowledge to make things run semi-smoothly before, but weren't good enough to keep around when all the changes were happening. Oh, and he's not coming cheaply:
  • The Chicago Police Department's retired resident expert on security planning has been hired back -- this time on contract -- to quarterback Election Night planning that will culminate in Barack Obama's $2 million-plus extravaganza in Grant Park.

    Three years ago, Mayor Daley asked Neil Sullivan to overhaul the city's disaster and evacuation plans.

    Now, Sullivan is back as a consultant at a rate of $100-an-hour with a $60,000 cap.

So is this an admission that moving, demoting or forcing out certain persons was a shortsighted dumbass move by the mayor and his appointees? Or a direct poke at a certain CCG person who had been running the big events prior to this?

How soon until they hire back a few more of the old crew? For $100 an hour? It's almost like there isn't a budget crisis at all.


Dahl Takes on J-Fed

Just after 0500 this morning, Steve Dahl of JackFM covered the Hudson murders along with his sidekick, newsman and Bluesman Buzz Killman. After watching some video footage of the Department's press conference, Dahl described J-Fed as "ugly, beady-eyed and strange looking."

Wow, that's harsh.

Dahl also helped spread the moniker of "Mope-rah" far and wide months ago. And he dislikes Mancow. Maybe we ought to team up.


Not Quite Layoffs

Seems the notices picked up were just letting the AFSCME employees knowing about their being "laid off" for the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. And the crafty part of it all?
  • By laying off the day after a holiday, that would deny them holiday pay per the AFSCME contract. This will amount to a 6 day layoff. Daley is a clever man. Hide the truth.
Always the puppet master.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rumor Central - Layoffs

Someone mentioning a AdminFax coming out about all Units sending a car down to HQ to pick up packets of layoff notices for civilians. Civilians to be notified tomorrow of impending termination of their spots.

Usually, by Union Rules, the City is required to notify the person to be laid off about a month or two in advance. This could be a last minute pressure tactic similar to what Huberman used at the CTA when he was extorting money from Springfield by making sure the wheels were in motion so the unions would (A) call Springfield to support said extortion and (B) collapse to the City's demands for concessions.

Otherwise, the pieces are in place and the Department will be pulling officers off the street to cover civilians spots, including Timekeepers and Detention Aides. We're about to get even shorter staffed.


Police Shoot, Kill Armed Offender

  • Police fatally shot a man late Monday in a Humboldt Park alley on the West Side.

    Officers from the Gang Unit became involved in a foot chase with an armed person in the 800 block of North Homan Avenue about 10:30 p.m., according to police News Affairs.

    When police attempted to arrest the person, a struggle ensued and an officer shot his gun at the offender, striking and killing him, News Affairs said.

The deceased was from Bellwood, so maybe he was unaware of Chicago's restrictions on dope buying and pointing weapons at police. In any case, good job by all involved.

Tribune also covers.


Lies, Lies and Lies

It's amazing. A lawyer can just throw together a lawsuit, ignore facts at hand, and make up any old story to generate headlines, and the City will roll over and payout! It's like a slot machine and lawyers never lose:
  • The family of a man fatally shot by Chicago Police last month on the West Side is suing the city for inadequately training its officers and using excessive force.

    Sylvia Davis, on behalf of Tyrone Dandridge, is suing the city of Chicago after Dandridge was shot inside his brother's residence at 145 N. Bell Ave. on Sept. 19. The officer who fired the shot was not named as a defendant.
Gee, why would that be do you suppose?
  • Following the shooting, Independent Police Review Authority spokesman Mark Payne said when officers arrived they saw the man who was shot by an officer stabbing somebody. The officers ordered the attacker to stop and one of the officers shot him when he refused.

    The suit did not make any mention of the stabbing.
Of course not. Why mention the stabbing when that would be tantamount to admitting the officer acted within Use of Force guidelines, Chicago Police Department policy, State Law and pretty much any justifiable Deadly Force application.

How about the head of the Department get out in front of the cameras and use a little of that razzle-dazzle he learned over at FBI school and maybe back us up in public? You know, like he promised to do if we we're "100% in the right"?


Sometimes a Cigar... just a cigar? We don't think so:
  • A 26-year-old man was held without bail today after he was accused of killing a man he suspected of taking his cigar.

    Larry Austin appeared in Cook County Violence Court charged with the murder of Ranus Hall, 35, on Saturday.

    Prosecutors alleged Austin dropped his cigar outside a social club on the West Side, and he asked who took it. Austin is alleged to have shot Hall as he walked away.

But as Mancow says, it's all the fault of the police, and not the complete disregard certain persons have for human life. Over a fucking cigar.

Is that a step up or down from the turkey leg?

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K9 Test Results

Did they ever turn up? According to reports, they were posted for a mere two hours or so before being removed and sent off into the Great Void where all test scores go for "norming."


OEMC Overtime

  • A ten-hour-a-day "power shift" has cut out-of-control overtime at Chicago's 911 emergency center by 20 percent, even though 131 vacancies remain, aldermen were told Monday.

    [...] On Monday, aldermen were told that the costly overtime problem was being resolved by having some employees work the 10-hour-a-day, four-day-a-week “power shift,” which overlaps with the standard eight-hour shift worked by others.

The "power watch" has been around for years over at 911 and so has working days off to make up for shortages (something CPD might take a cue from). But then we see this a bit further down in the article:
  • Testifying at City Council budget hearings, Ray Orozco, executive director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, also revealed that his department is taking a major hit.

    Twenty-three employees are being laid off and 74 of the 131 vacant jobs are being permanently eliminated. The 311 center is losing 19 employees.

    “Those vacancies aren’t on the operations floor that takes phone calls or dispatches,” Orozco said.

But no word if people are going to be pulled from the Operations Floor to cover these spots, kind of like the Department will be pulling officers off the streets to work formerly Detention Aide spots should those layoffs become reality.

Is someone somewhere going to reevaluate call taking some day? All of these calls that never ought to be taken, never ought to be dispatched, and never ought to be responded to because they aren't police matters?


Monday, October 27, 2008

Anti-Violence Rally Surprise

  • POLICE ARE PROBING the murder of a 16-year-old boy found shot to death at a residence in the Kelvyn Park neighborhood Saturday afternoon.

    About 3:15 p.m., police responded to a home in the 2100 block of North Kildare Avenue and found Danny Lima, dead at the scene, police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli said.

    Lima, of West Huron St., was shot in the chest at 2120 N. Kildare Ave., the Cook County Medical Examiner said. Police have no further information on the murder or why the teen was at the residence.
This is one of at least five homicides this past weekend. What makes this one ironic?
  • According to letters from 025, while the body was cooling in the backyard, Mayor Daley was holding an "anti-violence" rally in the 2100 block of North Kildare.
No media coverage on that though.


(M)SF Theme Song

Now with video!

We always knew CPD stole every decent idea NYPD ever implemented. The legions of clout hacks promoted off New York ideas are legend. But we never suspected they were stealing from the left coast dream factories of Hollywood as well.


The Road to 500

At least five dead this weekend. And more than a few vehicular hit-and-runs that may or may not be counted in the totals.

So we're in the area of 450 or so now? With under 70 days to go until the end of the year and a cold snap coming, will the weather be a factor in the final count?


NOT Daylight Savings

It used to be "fall back" yesterday. It isn't anymore.

But it's a built in excuse to show up an hour early for work today.

Think of all the parking tickets you could write with Missy.

Open post in the meantime.

UPDATE: What a fantastic I.T. section we have! Large numbers of computers must have missed the technology upgrades and think the clocks changed. So according to certain printed reports, you may have arrested a suspect before the crime took place.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

More Paperwork

Something about this strikes us as slightly off. We just aren't sure what:
  • Chicago cops for the first time will have to photograph homes they search, in an effort to protect officers from false complaints, police said Friday.

    The new order will require officers to make a log of what they find during a search and give a copy of the log to the person living there.

    The order also will change how searches are supervised.

    Last year, after officers in the Special Operations Section were arrested for allegedly stealing from citizens during searches, lieutenants were required to be present.

    But that requirement is being scrapped to free up lieutenants for other duties. The department executes about 2,400 search warrants a year.

Are these going to be "before and after" pictures? We assume the pictures are to be taken as soon as the premises are secured, but now we're going to have an affiant, entry team, security team, search officer, inventory officer, and a paparazzi officer? Who's supplying these cameras? Film and film processing costs? Digital? Storage and software for chain of evidence issues? And what's to stop Joe Public from taking his own shots after CPD leaves and passing them off as the aftermath of a particularly "vigorous" search? These are questions it'd be nice to have answers to from someone in authority rather than the sketchy details provided by the Sun Times (and thanks again for keeping us informed via Department channels rather than through the media J-Fed)

And are they going to get D-2 for doing an Evidence Tech's job?

UPDATE: Post corrected for pay scale



What does the Fire Department know that we haven't heard yet?
  • Off-duty Chicago firefighters and paramedics have been ordered to take all of their gear home with them to speed deployment in the event of an emergency at Barack Obama's giant election night rally in Grant Park.

    The order begins next Wednesday and continues until Nov. 6 -- two days after the election.

    Firefighters have been ordered to take home gear that includes protective clothing known as bunker gear, gloves, face mask, helmet, boots and breathing apparatus tank.

"Speed deployment"? Does that mean they're taking fire trucks and ambulances home, too? Because last time we checked, firefighters had these big buildings scattered across the city where they could store all their equipment and trucks and ambulances. And as most firefighters live way south or way north, taking their equipment from the place it does the most good and then expecting them to rally at north or south side firehouses means we're going to have what? Ten and twelve man ambulance rigs and truck companies?

Someone please explain the purpose of this directive?


A Fool for a Client

  • "I think you are making a horrible, horrible mistake that could end up costing you your life," Cook County Circuit Judge Thomas Gainer Jr. said, his eyes locked on Potts. "Do you understand that?"

    "Yes, I do," said Potts, who was seeking permission today to represent himself in his trial on charges he kidnapped and killed ex-girlfriend Nailah Franklin in September 2007.

  • Potts has no legal experience but told the judge he has access to the Cook County Jail's law library one hour a week and has been studying up for his case. Gainer compared Potts' plan to defend himself to reading "Chess for Dummies" a couple of times before playing Garry Kasparov.
We think Potts is ready for the big show. And we only hope that he inspires future legions of idiots to undertake their own defenses, thereby rendering tens of thousands of criminal defense lawyers obsolete, unemployed and forced to find gainful employment as ditch diggers and prostitutes.


Daley to Spank Streets & San

  • Mayor Daley, already facing a tough budget that had him considering cuts in the Streets and Sanitation department, now vows to fire the slackers and loafers exposed in a report this week by city Inspector General David Hoffman.

    "No one should be sleeping, loafing, drinking, quitting early or anything else," Daley said in response to the report. "When they identify these individuals, we're going to discipline and fire them."
The same IG Hoffman that Aldrecreature Stone has threatened to destroy. Should be a very interesting build up to the winter months.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Beat Realignment - Here?

  • For 20 years, police superintendents have been promising to re-draw the boundaries of Chicago's 281 police beats to accommodate shifting crime patterns and population changes.

    It never happened.

    Instead of touching off a political war between black and Hispanic aldermen who believe their high-crime wards have been shortchanged and white aldermen who won’t tolerate a reduction in police services, Mayor Daley chose the path of least resistance. He formed a Targeted Response Unit that temporarily redeployed officers to crime “hot spots.”

According to Weis though, that political war is going to erupt, soon, and it won't be pretty.
  • With police hiring slowing to a crawl and Chicago homicides outpacing New York and Los Angeles, Police Supt. Jody Weis vowed Friday to deliver on a promise made and broken by at least four of his predecessors: beat realignment.

    “They haven’t been moved around since 1978. That’s three decades of people making empty promises. Nothing against my predecessors, but at some time, you’ve got to look at a problem and say, ‘I know I can’t make every one of the 50 aldermen happy, but we have to make sure we have the right resources in the right locations,’ ” Weis said.

But as has been seen for a few years now, moving cops around does nothing to address underlying issues, it merely drives the violence away from a particular spot for a set period of time. Gangbangers are mobile. If they know cops are at point A, then they'll go over to point B to take a few potshots at rivals. When the cops get redeployed to point B, the gangs go to point C, point D or double back to point A.

And the Districts which had to supply bodies to cover point A in the first place, are now covering the same amount of space with even less bodies than before. If we had 13,000 blue shirts, this wouldn't be an issue, and it actually wasn't an issue a decade ago when we had 12,000+ blues. We aren't anywhere near that now and haven't been for years.

The Tribune also covers this.


Blame Goes Around

So, taking a closer look at the Sun Times article linked in the "We're #1" posting, we find a whole bunch of excuse making:
  • Weis, a career FBI agent, took office this year with a mandate to clean up the department in the wake of several scandals. But murders have risen, and arrests have fallen, on his watch.
As we stated before, we're of the opinion that Weis was hired to reign in a Department "out-of-control" when all evidence showed nothing of the sort. A few bad apples took down hundreds of honest hard working officers, a few bad drunks smeared thousands of others, a few bad judgment calls exacerbated the situation. All in all? Less than one-half of one percent of the total manpower accounted for all the scandal and could have been alleviated by better hiring practices, closer supervision and an end to clout-related disciplinary discrepancies.
  • Under tough questioning at a Council hearing in July, Weis suggested there was a "degree of timidness" among officers afraid of having lawsuits and citizen complaints filed against them.
"timidness"? Way to inspire the troops to run out and do "aggressive" police work. Combine that with the Cozzi debacle and no one is "timid," they're intelligently interpreting which way the political winds are blowing. Bringing in a fed, ignorant of police traditions, duties and realities who blunders about federally indicting settled state cases? This was a completely foreseeable outcome.
  • At today's hearing, Weis may highlight what police view as a different problem: Officers have spent nearly 5,000 hours filling out inventory forms in the first nine months of 2008. "We'd rather they be on the street," said Beatrice Cuello, deputy superintendent of patrol.
5,000 hours? We'd bet that was on the low side...or it would have been if arrests were anywhere near last year's totals. Aside from inventorying contraband, we now inventory prisoner's property, prisoner's money and prisoner's jewelry separately - three additional inventories for no discernible purpose. AIRA (Automated Case Reporting) is a glitch-ridden nightmare, but then so was CHRIS when it first started. Now it's a paragon of efficiency. Right? Right?!?

On the other hand, 5,000 hours is a mere two-plus man-years. That isn't that big a deal in a bloated bureaucracy. It's almost warp-speed around these parts. There sure is a lot of ass covering going on though.

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Aldercreature Stone Flips Out

  • Nine months after an inspector general's probe led to the indictment of his ward's Streets and Sanitation superintendent, Ald. Bernie Stone (50th) vowed to "destroy" the agency at a Friday budget hearing.

    "It is my intent, Mr. Inspector General, to wipe your entire office out of the budget," Stone told Inspector General David Hoffman. "It is my intent to submit a budget amendment which will destroy your department."

    Hoffman's office started to investigate 50th Ward vote fraud after getting tips following Stone's narrow 2007 runoff re-election over challenger Naisy Dolar.

Ol' Bernie is pissed that Hoffman found a loophole in the Inspector General ordinance that forbids (yes, forbids) the IG from actually investigating the second most corrupt arm of city government. Hoffman investigated voter fraud carried out by Stone's people, not by Stone himself, thereby circumventing the aldercreature restriction, and thereby bringing down the wrath of Stone.

So the City Council refuses to investigate itself, passes ordinances to forbid investigation of itself, isn't investigated by Executive Branch, isn't beholden to the Courts, and has gerrymandered itself into sham elections for decades. And people wonder why we despair.


Change to the Requirements?

Can anyone verify this?
  • Not even forty officers initially applied for the Strike Force, so the 35th street brain trust lowered the years of service requirement from five to three years.
We also heard that the requirement for supervisors applying was dropped from three years in grade to one year.

So is this a case of unseasoned officers being led by untested supervisors? Or more sour grapes from someone with an axe to grind?


Friday, October 24, 2008

We're #1

  • As police Supt. Jody Weis returns to the hot seat during a City Council budget hearing today, Chicago is outpacing New York and Los Angeles in 2008 murders.

    Chicago, whose population is dwarfed by those cities, posted 426 killings through Tuesday, compared with 417 in New York and 302 in L.A.

J-Fed has only been here for ten months, yet his uncanny ability to make exactly the wrong move at precisely the right time to demoralize an already undermanned and overburdened police department is a source of constant wonder to us all.

And a special note - if you read the linked article, if you read any of the media links in the right-hand column, the single thing missing from each and every report? Any mention of Shortshanks, the guy in charge of everything. And anyone who says Daley doesn't direct hiring, firing, the Police Board, IPRA, command appointments, etc, is smoking crack.

Hey media? How's that taste in your mouth this morning?

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Boneheaded Move

  • Mayor Daley on Thursday issued a sarcastic blanket apology for the alleged torture of suspects by former Chicago Police Lt. Jon Burge.

    “The best way is to say, ‘Okay. I apologize to everybody [for] whatever happened to anybody in the city of Chicago.’… So, I apologize to everybody. Whatever happened to them in the city of Chicago in the past, I apologize. I didn't do it, but somebody else did it. Your editorial was bad. I apologize. Your article about the mayor, I apologize. I need an apology from you because you wrote a bad editorial,” Daley said, laughing.

    “You do that and everybody feels good. Fine. But I was not the mayor. I was not the police chief. I did not promote him. You know that. But you've never written that and you’re afraid to. I understand.”

First up, Burge has only been charged and the case looks weaker than Daley's chin.

Second, does the mayor really want to issue such a half-assed statement like this? Does he really want people to start connecting him to scandals that have and are occurring while he is the mayor? Involving people he has promoted? That Teflon coat he wears like a shield has to be wearing thin in spots. The Sun Times and Tribune have been poking a bit harder that usual over interconnected scandals and who knows how many of the 1,000 layoffs are going to have axes to grind that might have actual information for intrepid reporters or Federal prosecutors?

We certainly hope someone shoves this "apology" right up the mayor's ass.


Off Duty Officer Hurt

  • An off-duty police officer was stabbed Thursday night after an argument with an armed offender in the River North neighborhood.

    About 8 p.m., the officer became involved in a dispute with an armed person near LaSalle Drive and Ontario Street, police News Affairs Officer John Henry said.

    The person then stabbed the officer, Henry said.

Offender in custody.

Well wishes only here.


Pension Board Results

The only change? The Patrolman's rep:
  • Patrolman Member 3641 total votes
    Michael Shields* 1631---44.80%
    (i) Steve Robbins 1138---31.26%
    John Capparelli 405---11.12%
    Mike Tannehill 205----5.63%
    Wayne Harej 142----3.90%
    Sandy Nash 120----3.30%

    Sergeant Member 631 total votes
    (i) Michael Lazarro* 360 votes---57.05%
    William Voight 271 votes---42.95%

    Lieutenant Member 256 total votes
    (i) James P Maloney* 165 votes---64.45%
    Bruce D. Lipman 91 votes---35.55%
Retiree representative Kenny Hauser ran unopposed.


Call Mayor - Protest Police Hiring

  • We are asking you to contact the Mayor’s press office at 312-744-3334 and ask him to hire more police officers.

    Your message should be:

    You want the streets of Chicago made safer.
    You want more Police Officers hired.
    You want them patrolling in two-man cars.

    Please Keep the same message. Be polite and patient with the people who answer your call. Thank you for your help.
Expect to be blown off by the Mayor's people though. This from the comments:
  • called and they wanted to know what group I was with and referred me to the caps office. They must have received a lot of calls.
The CAPS Office? Since when does the CAPS Office have anything to do with hiring or car assignments?


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blogger Problems - FIXED?

Around 7:08 PM today, Blogger took a dump and now no one can get to the Comment Sections. We're hoping this gets fixed shortly.

In the meantime, open post...oh wait, no comments. This sucks.

UPDATE: Problem Fixed? We're working on things and Blogger is aware. Keep trying to post up.

UPDATE: Appears we're back at full service. Thanks for your patience.


Blago Craters

  • In the lowest ratings ever recorded for an elected politician in nearly three decades of Tribune polls, a new survey found few approving of the job Blagojevich is doing as governor and even fewer who want him re-elected.

    The results show the state's first Democratic governor in a quarter-century has lost the confidence of voters in his own party. Moreover, the backing of one of his strongest voting blocs—African-Americans—appears to be falling away.

    Overall, the survey of 500 registered likely voters conducted at the end of last week showed a mere 10 percent said they wanted Blagojevich re-elected in 2010, while three-fourths said they didn't want him back for a third term.
The Lisa Madigan governorship looms ever closer. Not even the threat of a Paul Vallas return can stop the Madigan juggernaut from steam rolling all opposition.

Now how about a survey on the Toddler? He and Blago have to be swimming in the same sewer of popularity about now.


Didn't We Cover This?

  • The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama sought to allay concerns from Chicago taxpayers and city officials today with promises it would foot the bill for an expansive outdoor rally at the southern end of Grant Park on election night.
  • "They have assured us that they're willing to pay," said Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications spokeswoman Jennifer Martinez, adding that the city had yet to hit the total button. "We're still outlining what some of these things will entail."
We certainly hope that in these tight budgetary times and in the midst of a thousand or more layoffs, that every penny was pinched to spare taxpayers any uncomfortable burdens.



Word trickling in that Mike Mette is at the Academy in the latest retread class. He isn't wasting any time apparently.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Off Duty Robbery Foiled

  • An off-duty Chicago police detective shot and killed a convicted felon who police say tried to rob him this morning in the Englewood neighborhood.

    The shooting happened around 11:15 a.m. in the 6200 block of South Honore Street as the detective was doing work on a home he owned on the block. The man approached the officer, pointed a gun at the detective and demanded money, according to police.

    Sherrod Griffin, 44, of the 6100 block of South Whipple Street, was shot once in the abdomen and prounced dead at the Stein Institute, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

And for the most part, the comments over at are running very much in support of the cop.

If Daley was serious about reducing crime, it is a well documented fact that crime drops when Concealed Carry laws are put into effect. And the chances of running across a repeat offender drop precipitously once they've been shot a few times and achieve room temperature.


Burge Fallout

Coverage all over the place:
This seems like a pretty weak case:
  • A special prosecutors' report paid for by Cook County and released in 2006 concluded that dozens of suspects had been tortured by Chicago police but that no one could be prosecuted because the statute of limitations had run out.

    Today's indictment gets around that legal problem by charging Burge with perjury, not with any instances of actual torture.

Perjury? Wow. This seems like a bad attempt at an end-around the law.

We hate to rain on the parade of "victims" and the legions of haters convicting Burge before even one iota of evidence is presented but consider the following:
  • There never was a "black box" located. The allegations about an electrical device appeared years after the fact when the People's Law Office manufactured the box and brought to court in an attempt to sway a hearing. "This is what it might have looked like" was the argument at the time. "...if it existed" should have been included in that phrase.
We aren't going to defend Burge - we don't know enough about the case. But we aren't going to go along blindly and say that manufactured evidence by the PLO ought to be the basis for a conviction. Three of the four offenders have returned to a life of crime and mayhem even after being given a clean slate by the crookedest governor in Illinois history (and he's only the crookedest because of his convictions. Blago could well surpass Ryan in the near future.)

It detracts from any semblance of credibility when your best witnesses cannot provide physical evidence of alleged torture, maintained their silence during court proceedings about alleged torture, and spent years behind bars without mentioning word one about alleged torture.


New CAPS Lieutenants

Shorting the watches once again:
  • Area 1 Lt Harmon 007;
    Area 2 Lt. Erroll Davis 004;
    Area 3 Lt. Donald Holmen 024;
    Area 4 Lt. Frances Camacho 010;
    Area 5 Lt. Steve Masters 025;
    CCG Lt. Kevin Hannigan 018
Future Command Staff? Wait and see

UPDATE: Someone pointed out this may be a paper shuffle for a net gain. Most of the CAPS Lieutenants were already wearing two hats (CAPS and Field). By moving six to the Areas, potentially nineteen other CAPS Lieutenants are returned to field duties.

Now can someone address the movement toward a day AND night CAPS Sergeant? That would short us twenty-five Sergeants so what's the point?


Not Registering Fallout

Serious question for the masses.
  • If you don't register previously registered weapons in an effort to avoid the $60 fee, what penalties can be assessed?
We've heard that a municipal violation cannot be the basis for a search warrant. But keeping a weapon on business premises can subject you to license checks and if an unregistered weapon is located at that time, the City can pull your permits, licenses and whatnot.

Someone in Legal know the rules?

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Freedom of the Press Isn't Free

  • The best-funded political campaign in American history says news organizations will have to pay — in some cases almost $2,000 each — if they want to cover Barack Obama’s election-night celebration in Chicago.

    A memo sent to news organizations on Tuesday by the Obama campaign says credentials will cost $715 to $1,815, depending on whether electrical and phone lines are needed and whether an indoor or outdoor seat is requested for the event, which is expected to be held outside the evening of Nov. 4 in Grant Park.

    The only free admissions are for a “general media” area. But, the memo says, “Please note that the general media area is outdoors, unassigned and may have obstructed views . . . standing room only.”

No word if any of this collected money will go to pay for police hirebacks, overtiume or park damage. Or a tiny contribution to the Olympic dream.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Burge Arrested in Florida

Breaking news here.

Updates to follow.


Budget Director Lies

  • Hiring 200 officers all year "will not be sufficient. It's not an average time," she said, noting that homicides and other violent crime are continuing to rise.

    Police Committee Chairman Isaac Carothers (29th) said the decision to slow police hiring -- after Daley reneged on last year's promise to add 75 officers -- would have a "devastating impact on public safety."

    Budget Director Bennett Johnson argued that the Police Department started the year with a record-low, 11 vacancies and is only now returning to, what he called a "more normal level."

Eleven vacancies? Bwahahaha. WBBM 780 has the audio of an aldercreature questioning whether the Department even hired the number of officers that were in the previous budget. Bennett Johnson hems and haws and then admits that the City didn't even reach last year target. And it isn't going to get any better next year.

But you can bet we'll hit the projected number of retirements, thereby increasing the shortage everyone knows is there but no one admits.


Airlines to Short City Budget

We'd need the specifics from someone with an accounting degree, but this is a bad development for Daley and his budget hole:
  • Airlines will offer almost 3,000 fewer domestic flights a day during the Thanksgiving season, promising fewer choices, fuller planes and higher fares for millions of Americans.
  • Compared with last Thanksgiving season, there will be 11 percent fewer flights, 2.6 million fewer seats, on nonstop domestic routes from November 20, the Thursday before Thanksgiving, through November 30, the Sunday afterward.
The Chicago drop in flights is scheduled to be on the order of 13.3% of that 3,000 - almost 400 flights. We don't know what the City garners from airlines, but we seem to recall there are charges for landing fees, gate usage, fuel surcharges, not to mention sales taxes on tickets, food and beverages in and out of the terminals. Hell, there might even be entertainment taxes on in-flight movies.

But we do know that many municipal budgets are based on "revenue projections." The City doesn't have a running balance for the most part and must generate revenue on a continuous basis to maintain payroll, services, and pay expenses. Something like cutting a few hundred flights is going to leave a largish hole in a budget already looking like Swiss cheese. Some other low lights:
  • Install red-light cameras at 50 more intersections - we'd love to see what the installation costs are on these cameras (concrete pylons, street wiring, hardware, etc) and then compare the money generated over a years time on a graph. We can testify that we've altered our driving habits and try to leave ten minutes early just so we aren't tempted to rush a yellow light and enrich the mayor by $100. Anyone want to bet tens of thousands of citizens are doing the same thing?
  • Increase gun registration fee from $20 to $60 per firearm - more unregistered firearms? Bet on it.
  • Raise residential permit parking guest passes from $10 to $20 for a book of 30 - we predict a lot more erasing and fraud to avoid buying guest passes.
That last one is part of a much larger problem. We've heard rumors that parking enforcement is down tens of percentages. Those fines are already listed as projected revenue. So what happens when the police aren't writing as many tickets? Well, first up, we've seen Streets and San supervisors writing tickets. Now we're seeing ticket cams mounted on street sweepers and CTA buses. The mayor has even hired meter maids in the face of a hiring freeze and these people have quotas that must be adhered to so their revenue generation outpaces their salaries paid.

But it's a well known phenomenon that the more you tax or impose fees on something, the less is collected and compliance goes down. Look at the City bottled water tax or the discrepancy in dog licensing fees for neutered versus non. People will do whatever it takes to avoid paying the extra money.


Guess What Won't Happen?

Buried among the articles and budget legalese is this tiny gem spotted by a reader:
  • Increase gun registration fee from $20 to $60 per firearm
Guess what isn't going to get registered anymore? If you guessed "guns," give yourself a pat on the back. We address some of the impact in the article right above this one.


Say it Isn't So

  • MILWAUKEE - MillerCoors LLC says goodbye to Zima.

    The joint venture between SABMiller's U.S. unit and Molson Coors Brewing Co. told distributors in a letter Monday that production of the malt liquor beverage was discontinued as of Oct. 10.

    Chief Marketing Officer Andy England says the decision was due to weakness in the "malternative" segment and declining consumer interest.
Actually, we thought they stopped brewing this stuff years ago. Who knew?


Monday, October 20, 2008

The Silent Changes

Seems someone (the Commander) got dumped out of Special Functions Group on Friday and became an Inspector rather than return to his career service rank of Lieutenant. And that might not be the only one.

Nice to see that the administration still lacks the wherewithal to admit it made an actual mistake promoting someone beyond their means and still provide them a gold star opportunity. So much for J-Fed actually being in control of anything - seems the rank and file have a better feel for the pulse of anything this Department does than the press, mayor or brass.


Play Ball or Else

  • Mayor Daley on Saturday defended his call for a partial shutdown of city services after three upcoming holidays and warned city unions to take part or face more layoffs.

    "If they don't participate, there will be layoffs,'' Daley said in response to questions at a news conference about a testy meeting between union and city officials Friday. "Otherwise you cannot afford what you need in government.''

    Chicago Federation of Labor President Dennis Gannon said the meeting to finalize a list of 929 city workers to be laid off was a "very tense exchange -- just ugly.''

No word about cutting over burdened social spending that benefits illegals and other non productive members of society. And certainly no refusal on the parts of aldercreatures to turn down their 6% pay hikes, $100,000 part time jobs and $1 million "discretionary" accounts that are simply semi-legalized bribes for connected players and relatives. And lord knows we can't discontinue crooked contracting or fifty different spokespeople for canned press releases or former (never were) officers attempting to steal from an already underfunded pension fund.

Or paying certain people for half the work they were hired to do.


Judicial Voting

This is important:
  • Dear Everyone,

    I have been waiting for this day for 4 years. My name is Melissa Keefe. As most of you know, my husband Kevin was shot 8 1/2 years ago while on duty for the Chicago Police Department. The man who shot him was subsequently freed by Judge Evelyn Clay. We spent about three years watching Judge Clay in her courtroom. After watching her over such a long period of time, I am begging you to vote "NO" this November when you see her name on the ballot. She is not well-versed on the law, and often has to be corrected by other people in her courtroom. She is also very lax. Defendants with multiple convictions walk away from her courtroom with probation every day. It was truly horrific to watch her undermine the very laws that she has sworn to uphold. In addition, she let the man who shot Kevin go free.

    I realize that the ballots list so many judges, that it is hard to figure out who is who. I am just asking that you just remember one name, Evelyn Clay, and vote "NO".

    I am not trying to be dramatic, but our safety is in jeopardy. We can make a difference!

    Thank you for reading this. Please pass it on to everyone you know who can vote.

    Melissa Keefe
The only reason the officer kept his arm is the rifle round shattered on the chain link fence surrounding the breezeway. We never knew the shooter got off.

We have a fun tradition when voting for judges in Cook County. We run down the list of judges and vote "no" for each and every one of them. We made one exception years ago and undervoted on purpose as we were unable to bring ourselves to actually vote "yes." Afterwards, we lost so much sleep over it, we vowed never again. Every "no" vote means the judge has to garner something along the lines of 3 additional "yes" votes, so if every SCC reader voted "no," we might be able to effect some tiny change by throwing sand in the gears of the Machine.

A man far wiser than we are once said that there is not one single judge in Cook County that isn't bought, crooked, beholden or incompetent. We were never quite that jaded, but we get closer each year.

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Nicely done:

Shaved has details. Portions of the sales go to the Hundred Club of Cook County.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bears Open Thread

Chicago, Green Bay and Minnesota all tied at 3 wins - 3 loses.

Somewhere Pete Rozelle is laughing.

As a side note, the Blackhawks lost in another shootout after giving up the tying goal with 11 seconds left, thereby ruining the coaching debut of Quenneville. So it's three more games before they have to fire him and look for another coach. God help us if it's Pulford again.


Stupidity Revisited

This is a revelation to no one who pays attention:
  • To slow down the ever-increasing number of armed robberies in Oak Park this year, police are hoping falling temperatures will help chill the crime wave.

    There has been a more than 130 percent increase in armed robberies in 2008 compared with the same period last year, officials said, and although crime usually drops once school begins, there has been no respite this time, said Police Chief Rick Tanksley.
And the source of the increase?
  • Police cite the country's economic situation and believe many of the offenders are Chicago residents crossing over the Austin Boulevard border looking for easy targets.

    "Some predators may see Oak Park as the promised land," Tanksley said.
Oak Park is an overly liberal suburb of Chicago. We've spoken to people who relate police stories difficult to believe. Stories about being ordered not to patrol alleys, not to perform traffic stops on roving gangs of Chicago licensed vehicles, told every crime is to be a detective follow-up, and no proactive policing whatsoever.

The entire story stirred a memory of two years ago, a reporter from the "Chicago Parent" magazine who related a story about picking up three young hitchhiking rapscallions from Austin wandering the leafy streets of Oak Park with some tale of woe, who almost ended up killing the reporter. As you might expect, she felt bad about defending herself and maybe injuring someone who would have killed her over an automobile without a seconds hesitation.

Seems things haven't changed in Oak Park much - willfully blind victims offering themselves up to the lawless element of society. And then wondering why they get assaulted, battered, robbed and even killed.


Blago Dilemma

  • A Chicago developer and donor to Gov. Blagojevich steered more than $100,000 in commissions to first lady Patti Blagojevich's real estate firm before a business owned by the developer's parents saw dramatic increases in state payments.

    Virgil Tiran's real estate ties to the governor's wife are coming to light as federal investigators scrutinize her relationships with real estate clients, including recently convicted former gubernatorial fund-raiser Tony Rezko.

So here's Blago's choices as we see them:
  • Let Patti take the hit - she's a big girl;
  • Take the hit for Patti - claim to have used her real estate firm as a front;
  • Convince Patti to turn on dear old Dad - Dick Mell might flip on bigger fish;
  • Start making babysitting arrangements for the kids - Mom and Dad are both going to jail.
Rezko must be singing an opera.

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  • A man who allegedly threatened police with a sharp-edged object is dead after being Tasered by officers Saturday afternoon on the West Side.

    The incident happened about 2 p.m. in the 5000 block of West Washington Boulevard as police officers on bike patrol viewed an erratic person drinking from an open bottle, according to police News Affairs.

    As officers approached the person, he became combative with what appeared to be a sharp-edged object and threatened officers with it, police said. He then fled and a foot chase ensued. The person resisted arrest and was subdued with a Taser discharge, police said.

    Police said the person appeared to have ingested an unknown amount of narcotics and was pronounced dead at the scene.

So, is this another instance of the dead guy choking to death on a package of narcotics? Or another case of "excited delirium" killing a dope addict? The headline only points to a taser though. And the article comments, too.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Idiots Rally

  • Young people opposed to arming Chicago police officers with military assault rifles rallied at Chicago Police headquarters.

    Police Supt. Jody Weis revealed a plan recently to equip the department's more than 13,000 officers with semi automatic M4s.

    A group called the 'Live in Peace Campaign' says they delivered to Weis 5,000 signatures opposing the idea.

    Chicago's Mayor Daley supports the plan to give police more powerful weapons. He says the guns used by criminals are getting bigger, and police have to keep up.

But not a peep about gangsters running around shooting up neighborhoods, gunning down their fellow students at a rate unseen in history. Welcome to the new reality - inmates running (or about to run) the asylum.


J-Fed's Ride Wrecked?

A bunch of reports coming in about a drunk running into the Superintendent's ride. No word on whether it was parked, in motion, occupied or whatnot. Hopefully, no one was injured.


Huberman Pension Grab Dead?

  • The Fraternal Order of Police is trying to block CTA President Ron Huberman from hanging on to his police pension, which Huberman claims he's entitled to because part of his $198,000-a-year mass transit job revolves around security.

    In an Oct. 7 letter to the Policemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago, FOP President Mark Donahue declared his board's "complete opposition" to Huberman's controversial request.

As noted here and elsewhere, the Patrolman Representative Steve Robbins was the only one of eight board members to vote against tabling Huberman's claim, which might set the stage for a future vote when the Board meets and the mayor's people are in a majority. It is also arguable that none of this would have come to light without the YouTube video and press coverage generated by candidate Mike Shields (not the Deputy Superintendent).

Now comes word via various comments that Huberman is removing his motion from consideration for the time being. This doesn't preclude his reapplying at a later date, so evidently, constant vigilance is the watchword of the day, the month and the upcoming years. Hopefully, the newly elected or retained representatives continue to keep everyone apprised of the business of the board.


Clown Sightings

  • These were the latest in a rash of incidents involving a man wearing clown makeup and a wig approaching children in various parts of the city. In the incidents, the clown is carrying balloons and attempting to lure the children into his car.

    There have been two incidents on the city's South Side, in the 8300 block of South Mackinaw Avenue and the 10000 block of South Normal Avenue, police said. In both incidents, on Oct. 7 and Oct. 10, the children ran and called 911, police said.

    Last week Harrison Area detectives issued an alert for a man matching a similar description.
It seems that this might be part of a growing urban legend though:
  • A police source said at this point, the latest reports are being investigated accordingly and cannot be dismissed. But another source close to the investigation said the two reports from the city's West Side are now believed to be bogus.

    Investigators recall similar reports just before Halloween in 1991. There was an avalanche of reports of someone looking like popular TV character "Homey D. Clown," a Damon Wayans character from the early 1990s comedy show "In Living Color," approaching kids across the city. No such perpetrator was ever found.
Never trust a clown. They're always the bad guys in horror movies for a reason.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Take CAPS Off Life Support

  • Mayor Daley is gutting Chicago's community policing budget and reducing staff 25 percent -- a cost-cutting move that, critics contend, would leave the 15-year-old crime-fighting program "almost dead."

    "Overtime has been taken off the table. Beat officers don't have to show up. Now, a third of the staff is gone. That is effectively the end of community policing in Chicago at the worst possible time," said the Rev. Marshall Hatch, chairman of the Leaders Network. Hatch noted that homicides and other violent crime are rising and the trend is almost certain to continue amid "desperation" tied to the economic downturn.

How much money did "reverend" Hatch's church, and other "churches" for that matter, receive from the CAPS program? It was never anything more than semi-legal bribery of printing contracts, bus trips and financial mismanagement. Busing seniors to movies? Gambling boats? Please, we need those officer on the street, not day-tripping.


Addition By Subtraction?

What the...?!!!
  • In the Police Department, the elimination of detention aides may mean increased officer time in the district lockup facilities. But with the addition of 21 new sergeants, deployment on the streets should be improved. There will be civilian layoffs relating to data entry but those efforts will be supplemented with an existing city contract, so there will be no impact on public safety.
That's from the City's own press release. Let's just dissect that paragraph a little bit:
  • elimination of detention aides - that means upwards of 50 or more police officers off the streets on all three watches. Officer safety necessitates a minimum staffing of District lockups. Some Districts run with one PO and two DAs, others one PO and one DA. Area lockups have male and female DAs. Central Detention is a whole other combination of POs and DAs;
  • increased officer time in the district lockup facilities - no shit. And that means less officer time on the streets, where they really ought to be;
  • the addition of 21 new sergeants, deployment on the streets should be improved - that's at least 21 less officers on the street;
  • civilian layoffs relating to data entry - is this the contact card debacle? Because we're getting all sorts of stories about entire Tactical teams being held down to enter their contact cards already and two extra officers being added to the desk crews who's sole purpose is to enter contact cards that are months old...the contact cards that are supposed to be purged after 90 days or so.
And then the "promise" of 200 hires next year:
  • Of the 1,346 vacant jobs that Daley plans to eliminate, none are sworn police officers. But Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue called that a “shell game.”

    That’s because Daley is counting on saving $10 million by slowing police hiring to a crawl — with only 200 officers hired during all of 2009.

    With 450 sworn vacancies by Dec. 31, and an annual attrition rate of 600, Chicago could be “down 850 police officers by the end of 2009,” Donahue said.

And that's not even counting the possibility of a Detective promotion class or something larger than 21 Sergeants that will short every arm of the Department another few bodies. Even Ike Carothers sees a problem:
  • “There’s going to be less police on the street. No doubt about it….Crime is going up every day. It’ll have an impact. No doubt about it,” Carothers said.
It certainly will.


Very Nice Gesture

  • When a Stone Park police officer was killed in a motorcycle accident, friends and fellow officers decided to hold a car raffle to help raise money for his family.

    A Chicago policeman won the car, but he didn't keep it.

    It's the [story] of a community pitching in to help the family of a fallen police officer, also a police officer doing what he could to try to help that family as well.

    Mike Scali, a police officer in Chicago's 18th district, won a brand new Ford Focus in a raffle. Rather than driving it home, he decided to turn it over to Anna, whose husband was killed in March in a motorcycle crash. He'd been an officer for seven years. The raffle raised $16,000, all of which went to the family.

Nice job Officer.


J-Fed's Endorsement

Up is Down. Black is White. Political endorsements in uniform are now evidently proper:
If you watch the video closely, you can actually see Daley's fingers moving his mouth. Seriously!



Well, they wanted to start fast. One win, two loses and a shootout loss wasn't fast enough evidently. It is a business after all. We just hope Rocky knows what he's doing.
  • The Chicago Blackhawks fired head coach Denis Savard just four games into the season on Thursday, replacing him with NHL coaching veteran Joel Quenneville.

    The team canceled its Thursday practice and scheduled an afternoon news conference for 5:30 p.m. ET.

    "I'm disappointed but I guess it's the nature of the business," Savard said from his Chicago home Thursday.

    "I know I was doing a good job, I'm dedicated to my work. Obviously they felt they had to make a change, so what can you do."
Thanks for the memories Denis. You were always a class act.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Reorganization (and Morale)

A lot of rumors popping up in yesterday's post. Here's what the papers are saying:
  • [Tribune] The administration wants to eliminate the position of First Deputy and consolidate all department units under two Assistant Superintendents, one for administration and one for operations, according to the budget released today.
  • [Sun Times] The current first deputy superintendent — who has traditionally run the department from day to day — would become the assistant superintendent of operations.

    In another major change, the department would eliminate the Bureau of Strategic Deployment, which oversees the Targeted Response Unit, public transportation, the airports, the marine unit and the new Mobile Strike Force.

What needs to be revealed is how many gold star spots is this going to eliminate. And how much of their staff is going to be put back in the Districts. Certain bosses have entire contingents of people who have done nothing but follow them around their entire careers. Dollies, drivers and assorted hangers-on of all ranks. If there are spots being eliminated, we have cars that need filling in Patrol.

BONUS! Somehow, the mayor reorganized morale at the same time:
  • Daley also addressed a growing sentiment among the rank-and-file that morale is at a low point.

    "No," the mayor said. "The morale is good."

So we'll have no more talk on the blog about how morale sucks and other such nonsense. Shortshanks says that morale is not an issue, so be quiet about it.

UPDATE: Interestingly, one of our readers posted this three days ago in the comment section of "Rumors Rumors Everywhere"
  • Bureaus:
    Patrol Division
    Investigation Division
    Administration Division

    10/13/2008 07:33:00 PM

Not far off the mark. So whoever posted this, your steaming pile of crow is waiting for you. Bring a fork:
  • Supt. Jody Weis isn't going anywhere. All rumors. And the shit about going to two bureaus, bullshit too. Your wasting ink SCC.

    10/14/2008 02:07:00 PM

Anyone feel like betting against of a few of the other speculations in the "Rumor Gaining Traction" post?


Daley Reveals Budget

  • Acknowledging that nuts-and-bolts city services would suffer, Mayor Daley today proposed laying off 929 city employees, eliminating 1,346 vacancies and raising fees, parking and amusement taxes to solve Chicago’s worst budget crisis in a generation.

  • Of the 1,346 vacant jobs that Daley plans to eliminate, none are sworn police officers. But Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue called that a “shell game.”

    That’s because Daley is counting on saving $10 million by slowing police hiring to a crawl — with only 200 officers hired during all of 2009.

    With 450 sworn vacancies by Dec. 31, and an annual attrition rate of 600, Chicago could be “down 850 police officers by the end of 2009,” Donahue said.

Which civilians posts are they talking about eliminating? Timekeepers? Detention Aides? How many of these will be covered by sworn officers?


CeaseFire Indictments

Was it the commander of 014 who wanted these goofs to address roll calls? And who knows what deals "Senora Sherlock" made with these scumbags when she was in charge over there:
  • Juan Johnson claimed to be a reformed gang member who, on behalf of the group CeaseFire, was widely quoted in the media and won awards for his work as a violence interrupter.

    But Johnson, also known as “Big Juan,” wasn’t so reformed after all, according to federal charges that identify him as a crack-selling gang leader.

    Johnson, 38, of the 3500 block of West Medill, was among 31 people charged in a massive sweep of the Spanish Cobras street gang Wednesday.

"Violence interrupter." He was part of the gang causing the violence in the first place, fighting over dope territory. And the democrats in Springfield were bribing them not to retaliate via giving CeaseFire $6 million dollars. And CeaseFire says violence will be on the upswing if they don't get their funding, which they'd have a direct hand in since they're getting public funding.

Ain't Chicago politics grand?

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Nanny Cam in 015?

This one would be hilarious if true:
  • any word on the source of the nannycam found in the wc office in 015?
Perhaps the Commander could answer that one. If true of course.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Massive Realignment

Massive realignment coming.

Updates to follow.


Off Duty Cop Killed

  • An off-duty Chicago police officer was killed Tuesday in a motorcycle crash in south suburban Matteson.

    "It appears she lost control of the bike and hit a street sign," Matteson Police Deputy Chief George Pfotenhauer said this morning.

    The victim, identified as 40-year-old Andria Randolph, was taken to St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields, where she was pronounced dead, Pfotenhauer said.



City Service Cuts

  • Mayor Richard Daley said Tuesday he will shut down city services except for police and fire for three days during holiday weeks as he tries to cut spending.

    City offices will be shuttered as employees take unpaid days off the day after Thanksgiving, on Christmas Eve and on New Year's Eve this year and next year for a total of six days.

  • Dennis Gannon, head of the Chicago Federation of Labor, said it is not clear what the unions can do to avert the city's shutdown.

    "At the end of the day, I don't believe there is much we can do about it," Gannon said.
And this will only save about $20 million (the budget "hole" is now at $469 million).

No word on when aldercreatures will be giving up their discretionary funds, their $110,000 "part-time" salaries, their D-3 bodyguard details, and anything else that isn't balanced on the backs of city workers rather than the over bloated bureaucracy and top heavy management.

We can hardly wait for the actual budget to be released.


Fat Guy Executed

We think we covered this as a "ridiculous item" sometime in the last year or so:
  • An Ohio death row inmate was executed Tuesday after the Supreme Court rejected his last-minute plea that he was too overweight to be put to death.

    Richard Cooey was pronounced dead at 10:28 a.m. ET, said Andrea Carson, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Corrections. The execution went as scheduled, she said, with "no problems whatsoever."

    Cooey had exhausted his legal appeals and Gov. Ted Strickland earlier denied the 41-year-old prisoner's clemency petition. Cooey murdered two college students in 1986.

  • Cooey and a then-17-year-old accomplice were convicted of the brutal murders of Wendy Offredo and Dawn McCreery, students at the University of Akron. The men had been tossing concrete slabs onto Interstate 77, and one of them struck Offredo's car.

    Pretending to "rescue" the women, Cooey and Clinton Dickens took the victims to a remote field, according to prosecutors. There the students were subjected to a three-and-a-half-hour period of rape, torture, stabbings and fatal bludgeonings. Cooey carved an "X" into the stomachs of both women, prosecutors said.

Lethal injection was way too easy a way to go for this piece of excrement. We'd hope someone replaced the last of the execution chemicals with something like battery acid instead of potassium chloride. Rot in Hell.


Nebraska's Bright Idea

Actually, much of Nebraska views this as a flaw, but we're not so sure:
  • A Michigan mother drove roughly 12 hours to Omaha, so she could abandon her 13-year-old son at a hospital under the state's unique safe-haven law, Nebraska officials said Monday.

    The boy from the Detroit area is the second teenager from outside Nebraska and 18th child overall abandoned in the state since the law took effect in July.

  • Nebraska's safe-haven law is unlike similar laws in that it allows anyone, not just a parent, to drop off a child, of any age, at any state-licensed hospital without fear of prosecution for abandonment. The law doesn't absolve anyone of other charges like abuse or neglect.
Any age? Any concerned person and it doesn't have to be a parent? J-Fed is someone's child, right? And Bea? And most of the brass? And a few thousand citizens? Does anyone think they could find their way back from Nebraska?

We know a guy with a truck.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rumor Gaining Traction

Daley pulls the strings. Everyone else just dances for the man:
  • Dear SCC,
    I am hearing rumblings from the 5th floor that our Mayor is looking into replacing Sup. Weiss with either Little Tommy Byrne or James Maurer. Weiss would slide over to Homeland Security Director for the Olympic 2016 dream. The new Superintendent position would be considered at first an interim position (as to not embarrass the mayor) and then be phased into full time. Both Byrne and Maurer are top candidates for 2 reasons. One, they are the mayors guys and two as a morale booster to the Department which the mayor has identified as "severely problematic". The strategy "spinning the story to the public to believe that Weiss would be great in this new position and that his(the Mayor) choice Weiss did a great job at restructuring the Police Department with firings and dumps which will begin next Thursday according to a 5th floor insider". This also will coincide with balancing the budget and merging Units within the department and balance the drastic shortage of manpower by closing Districts and rezoning beats.
This ties together a bunch of stuff that's been appearing on and off in the comments for about 5 weeks now, numerous rumors coming out of Administrative units and a few e-mails we've been getting from downtown. So either someone has been putting together a fantastic story and leaking it in pieces from twenty or thirty different sources or changes are afoot and a lot of people are starting to put the pieces together.

Even D-Day wasn't a complete secret from anyone who paid attention.

UPDATE: We think the Tommy Byrne referenced is the one who isn't retired.

UPDATE: Ok, we have no clue which Tommy Byrne is referenced. Some claim one, some the other and both have their supporters and detractors. Just like Maurer does. Just like any choice would.


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