Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Gunplay

That time of year again.

Drunken revelry, shots fired, foot chases and general all around craziness.

Please be careful out there. There are going to be plenty of goofs out there running around with pistols. In fact, if anyone sees this guy running around with a gun, feel free to arrest him and charge him appropriately:

He is known to be in the company of a gang of ne'er-do-wells pretending as police officers. He is attached by electronic umbilical cord to assorted posers, brain-dead political hacks, policy wonks and media morons. He has also been rumored to smell exactly like the leather seat upholstery that surrounds a certain chair on the fifth floor of City Hall.

Masters Masters Masters


Gee Whiz Governor...

  • She lost 20 teeth. She suffered a brain injury and seizures. And she struggled to pay her medical bills because she didn't have insurance.

    Jen Hall was the victim of a brutal, disfiguring beating outside a Jewel store in the South Loop in August 2008.

    Her attacker, Derrick King, was later sentenced to three years in prison for the crime. King, 48, went into state Department of Corrections custody in early October, but he was paroled only two weeks later under a policy change by Gov. Quinn's administration.

    On Wednesday, Quinn announced he would reverse that policy, which allowed 1,781 inmates to leave prison early between Sept. 16 and Dec. 14 -- when the governor suspended the program.

So let's get this straight - there are potentially 1,780 other psychopaths on the loose in a mere three months of this program?

Does anyone else think that maybe, just maybe, there are another few dozen, possibly a hundred other stories of these early releases going bad? Anyone have the list of inmates released or is this going to be one of those FOIA requests that the media is going to have to pull to get things rolling?


Bad Idea

Knowing the Russian penchant for being a bit off target:
  • Russia's space agency chief said Wednesday a spacecraft may be dispatched to knock a large asteroid off course and reduce the chances of earth impact, even though U.S. scientists say such a scenario is unlikely.

    Anatoly Perminov told Golos Rossii radio the space agency would hold a meeting soon to assess a mission to Apophis. He said his agency might eventually invite NASA, the European Space Agency, the Chinese space agency and others to join the project.

    When the 270-meter (885-foot) asteroid was first discovered in 2004, astronomers estimated its chances of smashing into Earth in its first flyby, in 2029, at 1-in-37.

    Further studies have ruled out the possibility of an impact in 2029, when the asteroid is expected to come no closer than 18,300 miles (29,450 kilometers) from Earth's surface, but they indicated a small possibility of a hit on subsequent encounters.
While it could be good practice should the need to intercept an asteroid in the future, we aren't sure the Russians are the ones to be leading the charge. We aren't sure NASA is up to it either, but if NASA subcontracts it out to the Japanese, everything should be fine.


A Touch of Flu

Posting a bit light tonight...and a bit off schedule.

We'll get through this together though.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another One? WTF?

And once again, the police go home OK, so nothing else really matters:
  • Chicago police shot and critically wounded a man tonight near 54th Street and Indiana Avenue in the city's Washington Park neighborhood, authorities said.

    The shooting occurred at about 7:40 p.m., authorities said. The wounded man was found several blocks away and transported to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, a spokesman said. The wounded man was described as being 31 years old.

    [...] Tonight's shooting marks the fifth Chicago police-involved shooting since Christmas Eve.
Five police shootings in four days. You know what that means...

Citizens are out of control, running around, slinging dope, pointing guns and knives at the police. It's about time the Feds, the National Guard, the "reverends," Obama and all the other politicians step up and demand that people start obeying the law, listening to police and minding what mama says so they stop getting shot. You know the police was just about to turn this town around when these no-good citizens started acting the foo'.


BOHICA Street Parkers

We sense another drop in Shortshanks' bottom-of-the-barrel ratings just around the corner:
  • Here's the breakdown of what to expect:The loop area, bound by Lake Michigan to the East, Wacker Drive to the North and West, and Congress Parkway to the South, will see the highest parking rates, at $4.25 per hour.

    It'll cost $2.50 per hour to park in the Central Business District outside the Loop, an area bounded by Lake Michigan to the East, North Avenue to the North, Halsted to the West, and Roosevelt Road to the South rates.

    In all other areas of the city, rates will be $1.25 per hour.
Anyone else noticing a distinct and noticeable drop off in people parking at meters or blocks with pay boxes? We'll just note that we've been having no problem parking the squad car at lunch locations for the entire autumn and winter so far. No more grabbing the crosswalk, hydrant or bus stop for a quick bite. Makes us wonder.

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone in the comments who got the sarcasm and silliness part of the above paragraph. Geez, with Revenue ticketing marked cars, unmarked cars and anything with an FOP medallion on it, you think we'd seriously park a car anywhere near a hydrant, crosswalk or bus stop?

Lighten up people - it's a freaking blog.



  • Like many other big illegal parties in Chicago, the one in Lawndale Sunday had liquor flowing and DJs spinning in a former industrial building.

    But this one also had what police called "an elaborate, club-style entry to the building," with four industrial spotlights lighting up a sign and stanchions and velvet ropes marking the entrance.

    The party was busted when a neighbor who heard the blaring music coming from the 4400 block of West Fifth Avenue called authorities to complain, police said.

  • Police found the two doormen, [...] were carrying guns, and on searching the building, found a woman with a gun, [...] as well as five other handguns in other parts of the building. The three were charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon and other gun-related crimes, and are being held in lieu of bail at the Cook County Jail.
Nine guns total? Sure seems like "security" may have been missing the point of going through party-goers. Of course, having an illegal party with 300 or 400 of your closest friends while advertising your presence with rolling spotlights, stanchions and velvet ropes at the entrance doesn't make us think it was a bunch of brain surgeons running this thing either.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Police Shootings NW & W Side (UPDATES)

  • Chicago police shot a suspect Monday night in the Cragin neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

    The suspect's condition was not known, but no officers were hurt in the shooting.

    The shooting happened shortly before 11 p.m. in the 5500 block of West Henderson Street.

Officers unhurt, details sketchy.

UPDATE: Suspect in the 016 shooting has expired.

UPDATE: 011 shooting overnight also - Hamlin and Chicago. Officers all ok at this time.


Wrong House

  • A Wauconda shooting and alleged home invasion over the weekend appears to be the result of a mistaken address, police said Monday.

    Two Wauconda residents, a 15-year-old boy and a 49-year-old man, were shot by the owner of a house on the 300 block of Indian Ridge Trail in the far north suburb just before 6 p.m., police said, after the two refused to leave the residence.

    Wauconda police Cmdr. John Thibault said the two thought they were picking up a family member. When told by the residents that their family member was not present, the visitors did not believe them, he said.

    The two forced their way in and allegedly assaulted the two people inside, causing minor injuries, according to police.
They had the wrong house and got shot for their trouble. What's not to love about this story?


Well, That Figures

We don't mention anything about the Bears on Monday Night Football because (A) they suck, (B) they've been eliminated from the post season, and (C) the best they can do is play spoiler for everyone else.

And then they win.

Lovie and company ought to be fired for not being able to get this sort of performance out of the team all year long.


The Funniest Clip Ever?

Is this or is this not local media guy Mark Suppelsa?

Just about the funniest live set up of the media we've ever seen. You just know the cops were waiting for a news camera to show up. Someone alert Shaved.


Monday, December 28, 2009

And Another Shooting

  • A man was shot by police Sunday morning after allegedly pointing his weapon at officers in the South Side Chatham neighborhood.

    About 1:45 a.m., Gresham District police officers initiated a traffic stop in the 500 block of East 79th Street after a license plate check revealed the vehicle was stolen, police said.

    After ordering the man to exit the vehicle and attempting to place him into custody, officers discovered a weapon and a struggled ensued, police said.

    The 38-year-old man then fled on foot and the officers gave chase. At this time, the he allegedly pointed his gun in the direction of officers, and the officers fired, striking the him, police said.

Officers fine, weapon recovered. But as stated in the post opening, how many this year? It feels like way too many.


Jesse Jackass

  • The Rev. Jesse Jackson is urging Rockford residents to push for a federal investigation into the police shooting of an unarmed man inside a church-run day care.

    At a news conference at the day care center, Jackson criticized a grand jury for ruling last week that the shooting was justified.

    He urged residents to push for an outcome that's "just and fair."
Rockford officials were the ones calling for an outside investigation, knowing what this would turn into. Now the empaneled grand jury came back with a result Jesse doesn't like and he wants the citizens to agitate for a verdict that may enable him to score more face time and maybe some $$$. And the two witnesses who claim the offender "surrendered?" Refused to appear before the grand jury, so what does that imply?

The dead offender, who had a rap sheet that ran into double digits, ran from the scene of an armed robbery, hid in a building full of children, then attempted to disarm a police officer. We wonder what Jesse would be saying if this criminal was successful in his attempt and managed to wound or kill the pursuing officers and maybe a few dozen kids. Hasn't this stroke reached the point of complete and total irrelevance yet?


One Again, Gun Stops a Crime

  • Two suspects in a home invasion were hospitalized after they were shot by one of the homeowners.

    They broke into a home in north suburban Wauconda.

    Authorities say two masked men pushed their way into a house near Old Country Way and Indian Ridge Terrace.

    Two people inside the house told them to leave, but they refused.

    After a fight, one of the homeowners shot the intruders.

Why the homeowners even bothered telling the invaders to leave is a cause for concern, but the rest of the incident seemed to go smoothly up until the point where the criminals are still breathing.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

No Bail for Mope

  • Cration is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Ralph Elliott, 79, who had stopped to pick up chicken for a family holiday party.

    "The witnesses said (Cration) told them he shot the old man," Lattanzio told Cook County Judge Israel Desierto during a bond hearing.

    Desierto ordered Cration, who also faces an attempted armed robbery charge, held without bail. Lattanzio argued that the suspect's 1985 murder conviction and the charge of murder during an armed robbery makes Cration eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

Death penalty? IDOC couldn't even stop him from getting "good behavior" credits even though he attacked guards on multiple occasions. He still made it out of prison 4 years early. And the crime was even more heartless that originally reported:
  • Elliott, of the 1400 block of East 55th Street, already had put the chicken in his car when the gunman approached and shot him repeatedly, Lattanzio said.

    Witnesses said the shooter then held Elliot upright while rifling through his pockets before letting him crumple to the ground, the prosecutor said.

No warning, no attempt to demand money, he just walked right up to the victim, shot him multiple times and looted the dying body.

And he's already gaming the system - again (from the comment section):
  • Before he was even charged he said he was dizzy and has high blood pressure. Right over to mercy hosp where he was admitted so he could have his Christmas Dinner of roast turkey with all the trimmings, while in a nice cozzy bed. God strike me down if I am lying. He also complained to the nurse because he does not drink coffee and he wanted juice... What a joke our society has become. we are soft. he should have been sent over a bologna sandwich from the lock-up.
Sad day.


Moron Reporter

A follow up on the "Whoa Dude...Slow Down" posting:
  • The attempted robbery went horribly wrong -- so wrong that the target of the crime ended up shooting and killing one of the alleged robbers after getting hold of a gun that had been used to force him into a car, sources said.

    Now, a 16-year-old boy is charged with murder and armed robbery in connection with the Tuesday night incident in the Garfield Boulevard neighborhood on the South Side, Chicago Police said Friday.

  • At some point, some members of the group, including the teen, went to a restaurant and left another alleged accomplice, Barbara McComb, 21, of the 4200 block of South Calumet, guarding the man with a gun, sources said.

    A struggled ensued, and the target says he seized the gun and shot and killed McComb. A Thursday autopsy determined McComb died of several gunshot wounds. The death was ruled a homicide, authorities said.

Horribly wrong? How so? Why should a robbery ever go "horribly right?" This was so very close to being the best possible outcome in our humble opinions. Too bad the victim didn't shoot more of them.

This reporter is an idiot. And yes, we noticed her name - don't go for the cheap laugh.

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Nice Story

We don't see these stories very often, probably because most cops don't want the publicity. But we've seen it hundreds of times and that's no exaggeration:
  • Tondonlia Brown and her two young children escaped a Christmas morning fire, only to return to their South Side apartment and find burglars had stolen their gifts and many of their possessions.

    Just as the holiday was looking grim, Chicago Police Officer Michael Lawrence stepped in with toys and a gift card. He had responded to the burglary call, and after talking to Brown and the children, he couldn't get their plight off his mind.

We're sure we'll get the same comments that are appearing in the article about "how did the papers find out about this?" Who cares?


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Someone Explain This

Downstate State's Attorneys? The Department of Corrections? The governor maybe?
  • Authorities have charged a Joliet man on parole for murder with the slaying of a 79-year-old Hyde Park resident who Thursday afternoon had just left a fast-food restaurant where he picked up chicken for a Christmas Eve party.

    Police say Lee Cration, 48, waited for Ralph Elliott to leave a a Popeye's restaurant, then came up to him as he tried to get in his car. Cration allegedly struggled with Elliott, then shot him in the face and back. He rummaged through Elliott's pockets before fleeing, police said.

Seventy-nine years old, married to the same woman for 54 years, childless but very involved in his extended family with a nephew who is CPD, and he gets killed by some piece of shit who probably shouldn't have even been on the street. Read this:
  • Records show he was paroled in November 2008 from prison, where he had been held since 1985 for a murder a year before. He also was convicted in 2001 and 2005 of aggravated battery of a peace officer. In the earlier incident, he assaulted at least two prison guards at Pinckneyville Correctional Center who tried to get him to remove personal property from his cell. Officials at the time said Cration had "an extensive history of violence, including ten staff assaults and one inmate assault along with five 'dangerous disturbances,' " according to an Associated Press story.
Sentenced to 28 years for homicide with multiple behavior problems in prison? Including attacks on guards? And he still earned time off for "good behavior?" He should have been caged until 2013 on the murder charge and the Aggravated Battery charges should have run consecutively, not concurrently. What penalty is there in having a concurrent sentence? None that we can see.

Which all means Mr. Elliot could have had another 4 years of a life well lived at the minimum. Or at least stood a better chance of dying at home in his own bed with his wife of 58 years at his side instead of on the tarmac of a Popeye's restaurant in the cold and wet of a Chicago Christmas.

What a fucking shame.


Christmas Shooting

As we stated the night before Christmas, updates today would be few and far between. Sorry this one is so late, but the officers are unhurt and the bad guy is dead:
  • Deering District police officers responded about 8:40 p.m. to a domestic disturbance in the 2000 block of West 51st Street and found a man holding a knife to his throat inside the home, according to a police statement.

    [...] Officers ordered the male to drop the knife, and a Taser was deployed when he did not comply. The male was not affected by the Taser and held the knife against the neck of a woman in the residence, according to the statement. Sources said the woman was his wife.

    Officers again ordered him to drop the knife. When he failed to comply again an officer discharged a Taser for a second time. Again, the Taser did not affect the suspect, the statement said.

    According to sources, when officers tased the man the first time, he pulled the wires out. When officers tased him for the second time, he again pulled the wires out with his hands.

    The man then lunged at officers with the knife, prompting an officer to fire his weapon, fatally wounding him, police said.

Taser failure twice? Was the device malfunctioning, were the probes too close for effective contact or did this guy just not feel it? In any event, they didn't deploy the Taser without having someone standing by with a gun ready. Excellent tactics and no police hurt.


Class Acts

Here are some guys who get it:
  • There were a couple of class acts out on Christmas Eve. Rabbi Wolf and Father Nangle visited some Districts, at least on the north side, on the 3rd and first watches. May God Bless both of them for their commitment to the "real police".
We got scolded in some of the comments yesterday for sowing discord during the holiday.

The holiday handshaking was always a precursor to going home early at HQ. Why it's a matter for publicity now is beyond our comprehension. Frank Main got tipped off by someone about this - part of J-Fed's image rehabilitation? - but it must have been a damn slow news day.

And as HQ was pretty much devoid of civilians (Christmas Eve service cut day) and HQ would be 99.9% empty on Christmas Day, this was pretty much nothing but a photo op of some sort. How about something for the guys and gals who WEREN'T going to be at home enjoying presents, dinner and time with their families? We guess someone was afraid that the great unwashed masses wouldn't have stood still for this crap. Fortunately, Father Nangle and Rabbi Wolf don't have that problem.


Still a Threat

  • A Nigerian man who said he was an agent for al-Qaida tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane Friday as it was preparing to land in Detroit, but travelers who smelled smoke and heard what sounded like firecrackers rushed to subdue him, the passengers and federal officials said.

    Flight 253 with 278 passengers and 11 crew members aboard was about 20 minutes from the airport when passengers heard popping noises, witnesses said. At least one person climbed over others and jumped on the man. Shortly afterward, the suspect was taken to the front of the plane with his pants cut off and his legs burned, a passenger said.

    One U.S. intelligence official said the explosive device was a mix of powder and liquid. It failed when the passenger tried to detonate it.
Sadly, this is what air travel has come to. You never know who, what or when these assholes are going to use or come up with. We have to trust in their incompetence in making homemade explosives to remain safe when flying.

Here's some really bad timing though:
  • Tuesday, December 22, 2009 11:19 PM EST

    JOHNSTOWN — U.S. Rep. John Murtha told reporters Tuesday that he isn't convinced al-Qaida is still a threat to national security.
Ouch, bad timing there John.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Once again, Merry Christmas to you and yours from all of us here.

If you're working today, be careful and be sure to get home in one piece. If you're off, enjoy the day and remember the times you used to be away from everything that's truly important.

Minimal posting today.



  • As police Supt. Jody Weis went from floor to floor of police headquarters today dressed in his red holiday sweater, he not only wished his troops Merry Christmas.

    He also thanked them for a job well done — given the 12 percent drop in total crime in Chicago this year, compared to 2008.

And what exactly did anyone downtown have to do with this? Analyzing data?

How about making an appearance at each of the Districts around the clock and thanking the people on the ground level? The ones with the "reverends" second guessing their every move? The guys and gals serving in squad cars with 100,000 and three years of accumulated gunk coating the interiors? The ones actually doing, you know, police work?

Frank Main manages to get in a little Christmas jab in the midst of all this "good news"
  • But his holiday spirits were tempered by a bit of bad news: the murder clearance rate has dipped about 4 percentage points this year to 54 percent. That includes killings committed in 2009, as well as older ones.

    The dip in the clearance rate is being attributed in part to a failure of citizens to tip the police off to criminals in their midst.

And maybe the fact that they haven't promoted anyone to Detective in two years plus now may have something to do with it? The Detective shortage might be another angle to look at Frank - Shortshanks doesn't want crime solved anymore, he wants it minimally documented and then shifted to the insurance companies for adjusting.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Whoa Dude...Slow Down

This story is just too good (we are going to quote it at length):
  • The victim said he was ordered into the front seat of the car with the driver while the others sat in the back.

    "So we're circling the block. They're talking about going back to my house, getting my flat screen. . .I'm thinking this must be a dream, nothing like this has ever happened to me. I work a 9-to-5 job at an insurance company. I just want to come home and live my life," he said.

    He said the robbers drove him to Maggie's Gyros at 349 E. 47th Street, where two of them went in with his wallet, ATM card and PIN. "I had to give them my PIN number because the driver told me if I was lying, they'd shoot me. And I believed them," he said.

    "We drove around the block, and then a third guy wants to know if I have a checking account or a savings account. So after I tell him, he gets out at the restaurant. So it's me, the person in the back, and the driver who has a .38 pointed at me the whole time, even while he's driving," the victim said.

    The car pulled into an alley near 47th and King. Halfway down, a woman in the back seat told the driver to toss her the gun because she didn't want police to see it, he said.

    "All of a sudden, by the grace of God, between these two fools, I hear boom, and then I hear her hollering and screaming, 'I shot my finger off, I shot it off.' The driver starts panicking and he goes right into a Dumpster," the victim continued.

    "That's when I knew it was my moment. But me and the driver are strapped in tight by these automatic seatbelts, and that makes it harder."

    "My adrenaline was pumping. I reach over the seat and go to get the gun. I got the driver kicking at me, and I'm fighting for the gun with the woman. One arm is fending off his kicks, the other is trying to get this gun. I finally get it and point it at the driver, about six inches away from his abdomen. I pulled the trigger and nothing happened.

    "So I'm thinking, oh man, I have to get out of here."

    He said he rolled out of the car and started running down the alley. The woman got out and chased him.

    "I don't know if she's gonna kill me or not, so I fire a warning shot," the man said. "Unfortunately it hit her. I never fired a gun in my life."

    The man, still holding the gun, said he then ran toward the gyros shop and started yelling that he needed a policeman.

    "I'm waving this gun around because I talk with my hands," he explained. "Well, all these people in the restaurant think I'm the bad guy and start ducking under their tables and screaming. So I gotta run out of there."

    He spotted a CTA truck on the street and "pleaded with the workers inside to call police."

    "They believed me. But they said, 'You better get the hell out of here. You're saying one thing, but your gun is saying another,'" he said.

    The man said he ran down the street to the store where he had been headed to buy some snacks, but it was closed. At that moment, he saw a patrol car and waved it down.

    "I put my hands on the hood, told them I had a gun in my pocket, and that (some) men tried to rob me. So they came out, cuffed me, took me back to the station so I could tell my story."

    The man said he feels badly the woman died, saying he only meant to warn her. "But my blood was pumping so fast and my adrenaline. . ."

This story has EVERYTHING! Drama, tension, humor, etc. The one idiot robber blows off her finger with a gun she's holding the victim hostage with, loses the gun during the struggle, and finally gets blasted with her own gun? Then the would-be-victim ends up running around, waving the gun, trying to find help. We couldn't wait to see what happened next. Literally!

The author is listed as Pat Curry at and this is as fine a piece of writing as any we've read lately. It perfectly captures what many coppers ride up on with the chaos and the wild story and the panic. And the laughter once the story comes out about how an armed robber came to an untimely end.

There is no way in hell the Closing Supp is going to live up to this article.


State's Attorney's Did What Now?

  • Eight months before Jimmie Smith raped a young woman, her two sisters and their teenage friend in a harrowing 36-hour ordeal last May, he sexually assaulted one of the victims but was never charged, Cook County prosecutors said today.

    This afternoon, prosecutors announced Smith, 34, has been charged with the sexual assault and criminal sexual assault related to the Sept. 1, 2008 attack.

    When Judge Peggy Chiampas asked why charges were never filed in the alleged rape of the then 20-year-old woman, Assistant State’s Attorney Mariano Reyna said he did not know. Reyna instead detailed how Smith raped the woman and the three others months later.

ASA Reyna didn't know why Smith wasn't charged? Or he wouldn't say? Because we're pretty sure we know why he wasn't initially charged for 15 months. So does every cop reading who has ever dealt with Felony Review. Flurries of phone calls, whispered conversations in hallways, trying the case with the victim as the offending party. And the end result? Four additional rapes. Haven't we been bombarding society in general and daughters specifically that "no means no" and "date rape is still rape"? We were unaware that there was an asterisk after these statements that means "...except in Cook County."

The "reverends" should be outraged that four women from their community were victimized by the system, but they won't be because it's black-on-black crime and there's no angle to play. Women Groups should be up in arms that a domestic rape wasn't prosecuted because of political considerations, but they won't be because it's a female State's Attorney. Chicagoans should be getting the tar, feathers and pitchforks ready because effective prosecution of criminals has taken a backseat to "conviction rates" and political BS, but they won't because they've been conditioned by the media to reflexively blame the police who are handcuffed by the very system that's supposed to protect them.

Anyone want to take a guess at how many additional batteries, murders, rapes, and assorted other acts have been abetted by inaction on the part of Anita Alvarez and her crew of incompetent political hack lawyers?

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Cook County Hiring?

  • With unemployment hovering just under the 11 percent mark in Cook County alone and local government tightening its belt, Sheriff Tom Dart is offering some light on the horizon: a veritable hiring bonanza.

    Today Dart’s office announced that as many 500 correctional officers will be hired in the new year. And the pay is decent: roughly $45,000 a year, including health, dental and vision insurance — not to mention a county pension.

  • The jobs, approved by Cook County Commissioners as part of the county’s overall $3 billion budget for 2010, are part of a federal mandate to add correctional officer posts at the Cook County Jail.
We thought County was at its lowest population in years? Wasn't Dart thanking the FOP for its "efforts" in not filling the jail to overflowing? They should get plenty of applicants in any event - 11% unemployment in the county and even higher in the city.


Be Aware

Letters, we get letters:
  • It appears inspectors are beefing up their presence at all the courts. A desk sgt. has been assigned to vehicle impound court. Today at 26th/cal an inspector was going to the rooms and checking to make sure the officers were there. Just want to get the word out.
While Inspectors wandering the halls of 26th Street isn't unusual, the budget showed them increasing the size of the Inspection Division by over 50%. We hadn't heard of court sergeants being assigned to 400 W. Superior before. Attend court as scheduled to avoid any unpleasantness.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Life for Aldermanic Petition?

One of the things that was lacking last time was a big media push. Yes, there was other stuff, like an organization that could go door-to-door, volunteers to go to store and mall locations to collect signatures, multiple collection points, etc. But to really get people interested, the media is probably going to have to be on board. Here's one media outlet that might be interested:
  • Too often, discussions of Chicago's budget deficit focus on selling civic assets: With the Skyway and parking meters leased, perhaps the water system is next.

    This is precisely backward. We have finite infrastructure, so instead of leasing its assets for generations to come, Chicago should cut its liabilities and unload its excess. What does the city have way more of than it needs?

    Aldermen. And alderwomen.

    Half of the City Council should be eliminated.

    Not literally, of course. But if Chicago wants to save tens of millions of dollars a year, one strategy is dead obvious: Go from 50 wards to 25.

Bill Savage gives a pretty decent overview of how cutting the number of aldercreatures makes tremendous business sense eliminating redundant middle management, consolidates ward operations, and even reduces the FBI corruption task forces by reducing targets. And evidently, he reads the blog:
  • This idea is not solely mine: A local blog, Second City Cop, rallied its readers to petition for a non-binding referendum on this topic in the 2010 primary, and its volunteers got more than 11,000 signatures — in about three weeks. And there is a Facebook page dedicated to "Reduce Chicago Alderman," and they don't mean a healthy diet and regular exercise.

    Such a change would require the state Legislature to amend Section 21-26 of the Revised Cities and Villages Act of 1941, which set our current number of wards, but it could be done.

If you want to read the whole article, the link is here:
You may need a user name and password to get in. Here's one from a nifty little site called ""
  • User Name:
  • Password: makefree4
We may need to restart the petition drive if we can find enough backing to truly publicize the effort and get some power behind it.


Say What Now?

  • State Rep. Monique Davis owes the Chicago Board of Education close to $500,000 in rent, back taxes and fines for a South Side building she has been using rent-free as a legislative office for 7 years, according to a report from the school system's inspector general.

    The school district has taken legal action against the long-time Chicago legislator, suing her for $83,737.35, according to court documents filed in November. The district is not seeking compensation for property taxes and associated fees.
And why aren't they seeking the rest of the money? We highly doubt that we'd be permitted to walk away from a bill totaling half-a-million. In fact, we know we wouldn't seeing as how the Department sends out those blue notices every so often for wage garnishment if you have even a single outstanding parking ticket.

Shouldn't there be an Ethics "investigation" or something by her peers in Springfield? Oh wait...Illinois. We forgot.


Shutdown #3

The last of three "non essential" government shutdowns is this Thursday:
  • The City of Chicago will be shutting down early for the Christmas holiday, as part of Mayor Daley's plan to save the cash-strapped city money.

    City Hall, public libraries, health clinics and most other city offices will be closed on Christmas Eve as those city workers are being forced to take the day off without pay.

    Police and Fire Department operations are not affected and will remain fully staffed. Any other worker needed to provide for the public's safety will also be on the job.

    As part of the 2009 budget, three reduced-service days were planned for 2009: Aug. 17, the Friday after Thanksgiving; and Christmas Eve.

    The city expects to save $8.3 million.
So don't expect most of the fueling locations to be open, Animal Control may take forever to respond to calls, Area Garages will probably be closed, and if it snows, lord only knows if the plows will be out.


More Vaccine Recalls?

Just fill the bottles with sugar water it would all be the same:
  • Drugmaker MedImmune is recalling nearly 5 million doses of swine flu vaccine because the nasal spray appears to lose strength over time, federal health officials announced Tuesday.

    The vaccine recall is the second this month caused by declining potency and comes as public health officials urge millions of Americans to get vaccinated against swine flu.

So we have British and French owned companies supplying vaccines that necessitate massive recalls partway into flu season? Should this be some sort of national security issue? We're just curious.


Yet Another "Missing" Found

  • An Oak Brook college student who disappeared after she left a River North bar early Sunday has been found safe.

  • O’Connell became tired at the bar and left her friends, according to a flier. She told them she was taking a cab back to Oak Brook, where she lives. She was last seen outside the bar at 3 a.m. Sunday.
At a bar? But she's only 20? And how many resources were re-directed for this event? How about a re-evaluation of how these cases are reported, processed and handled?


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another Washington State Shooting

  • Two Pierce County sheriff's deputies were seriously wounded late Monday after they were "ambushed" while responding to a domestic-violence call, according to the Sheriff's Department.

    The shooting suspect, identified as 35-year-old David E. Crable, was shot and killed in the Monday night shootout near Eatonville, sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said.

    A deputy, shot multiple times, was in critical condition early Tuesday morning after being flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He was undergoing surgery, Troyer said.

Another domestic call. Another ambush. And again, in Pierce county.

Prayers only.

UPDATE: Both are alive at this point, though one has undergone extensive surgery. Suspect is dead.


Six Shot In Englewood

  • Six people leaving an Englewood nightclub were wounded during a Sunday night gang-related shooting on the South Side.

    Police said a group of adults leaving a nightclub were traveling in a van in the 6500 block of South Damen Avenue when another vehicle approached and somebody inside opened fire, striking six adults in the van.
The Sun Times article has maybe six comments total.

Now how about this one?
  • An off-duty Lockport police officer was charged tonight with reckless homicide and drunk-driving charges in connection with a three-car crash that killed an immigrant from Vietnam who was driving home on the Stevenson Expressway from his second job.
The BreakingNews article has almost 60 comments and the Sun Times version has six pages of comments. Guess which direction they are all headed? Even we had to delete half-a-dozen comments that attempted to blame the Chicago Police Department for this latest DUI incident.

We have no use for anyone who drinks, drives and kills. Long time readers are aware of articles we've written berating those who make bad decisions. But we believe everyone is entitled to due process, even the police.


You Think We Forgot?

Of course not:
  • "If I...saw that I was the cause of (poor) morale in this department, no one would have to ask me to leave. I would leave on my own." - Jody P. Weis, April 3, 2009.
Anyone seen that "morale" survey lying around? The one that was completed all the way back around September? Yeah, that one.

They stuck it where?


Well, that's between him and Masters, right?


Suburban Police Shootings

  • A 22-year-old Riverdale man was shot and killed by police in the south suburb as they were responding to a call of someone with an assault weapon, officials said. [...]

    Police said that about 1:30 p.m., police were called to the area near 141st and School Street for a report of a man with an assault weapon. The man was one of three people in the area, according to police.

    When police showed up they saw the three men on the 14100 block of School Street. When police exited their vehicle they pursued the men on foot.

    Collins, who allegedly had a weapon, refused to drop it after police ordered him to do so, police said. The officer fired his gun, fatally hitting Collins. Police did not say if Collins was pointing the gun at the officer.
Once again, the media gets it wrong - it doesn't matter whether or not he was pointing his gun at the officer. The media really ought to read up on Illinois law.

If this second one happened in Chicago, we're sure the headline would have read, "CPD Kills Christmas Tree Harvester:"
  • Police fatally shot an ax-wielding man early Monday in northwest suburban Des Plaines, police said.

    Krzysztos A. Kaczor, 24, of the 400 block of East Washington Street in Des Plaines, was shot by police in the 200 block of Oxford Road and was pronounced dead at 2:14 a.m. Monday at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

    About 1:15 a.m., Des Plaines police responded to a report of shots fired in the 400 block of Washington Avenue and found Kaczor running through the neighborhood with an ax, according to a Des Plaines police release.
Great jobs by our suburban brethren.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

One Down?

A candidate for Cook County Board President in trouble for buying signatures?

Or misappropriating funds to pay for collecting signatures?

The mysterious hand of Shortshanks at work? Or "Big Hog Balls" Beavers?

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Ed, What Have You Done? (UPDATED)


    Anonymous said...
    BC's husband EOD in a little hot water? Video footage going around with EOD talking crazy

    12/15/2009 10:35:00 PM

  • Ed O was caught MF'ing J Weisel and how he has torn the department to shreds. He just spoke the truth. No rampage just truth. The guy is a hero in my eyes. Somebody with balls in exempt rank. The first time I've seen a Christmas miracle. You go boss, I'd follow you to the gates of hell. He's a boss that's loyal to his troops. He's one of the few exempt cops left. If not the last.

    12/17/2009 05:33:00 PM

  • Well ladies and gentlemen, the story has grown legs!

    Apparently, it was true your "hero" EOD was caught badmouthing (in front of numerous witnesses at the Christmas Party and allegedly now on youtube) the very person (JFED) who is responsible for not only promoting him and his wife and enlarging their undeserving overinflated pensions.

    Rumor is the EOD is done before end of the year. He will be given a choice to retire (which he has the years and age) or force to be demoted. So you might just get your chance to follow him you little redhead.

    The moral of the story is "don't bite the hand that feeds you" (at least not publicly at a Christmas Party).
Honest to pete, the writers for "All My Children" couldn't come up with stuff like this. And these softballs are in charge of a major metropolitan police department.

UPDATE: To the mentally deficient and reading challenged short bus riders visiting:
  • These are comments that have been appearing here for six days now. Six Days. We've ignored it and let it ride for a while. But if truthfully stated opinions start to be rumored to be affecting Department operations, we'd be remiss if we didn't address it, even if it's only a means to kill the rumor. We think more bosses ought to be able to tell J-Fed exactly how he's destroying the Department and not have to fear for their spots,. But since they got there by selling their souls, walking over the backs of more deserving, stabbing others in the back or riding on the coattails of actual police officers doing good work, well, let's just say our sympathies are limited.

    Ed plays his games while Bea plays hers. We weren't ever going to be part of that circle and we'll never be a boss, so we don't really care. Political spots are political spots and let's not pretend anyone is going to be moved without the approval of Shortshanks or his people.

    So spare us your "SCC you suck," "SCC, you're wrong," or "SCC you claim there's a video..." We don't and didn't claim a thing. We addressed a six day old rumor that may or may not affect a political appointment. Nothing more, nothing less. Prove it or debunk it - we don't have a dog in this fight.


Memorial Fund Operation Santa

  • During tough economic times, gifts under the Christmas tree are no longer taken for granted. But imagine what it's like for child who has lost a parent.

    Over the weekend, one group tried to make the holidays a little easier for them.

    The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation was remembering the families of officers who were killed or injured while on duty with "Operation Santa."

    Children from 18 families were included this year.

A very nice job remembering the families officers left behind.

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Bears Post Mortem

Can't they just forfeit the last two games and refund everyone's money?
  • The Baltimore Ravens are starting to look more like a playoff team, although it was difficult to judge for certain Sunday given the woeful performance of the Chicago Bears.

    Joe Flacco threw a career-high four touchdown passes, and the Ravens capitalized on six Chicago turnovers in a 31-7 rout.
Fire everyone and start the rebuilding year now. We can't remember a worse Bears performance in years.


Toddler Burning Bridges

  • Cook County Board President Todd Stroger was sending a message to House Speaker Michael Madigan when he recently fired two of Madigan's top political operatives from their high-paying county jobs, county sources said.

    Madigan, like Mayor Daley, has not made an endorsement in the County Board president race and isn't expected to do so, Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said.

    But some of Madigan's Southwest Side foot soldiers have circulated nominating petitions and are actively backing Stroger's chief rivals: Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District boss Terrence O'Brien, county insiders say.

    Stroger isn't pleased that Madigan has withheld his backing, county insiders say. He took political revenge first by firing longtime Madigan loyalist Richard Bono, a $99,187 county Forest Preserve District maintenance superintendent who also collects a $30,353 city pension.
How many other "double dippers" is Todd going to fire? We only hope he does as much damage to his rivals as possible before he loses his seat.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bears in Baltimore

  • Getting off the bus running isn't the only issue the Bears have. Getting off the plane, period, proved to be an adventure this weekend.

    The team left O'Hare International on a United Airlines charter flight Saturday night, nearly 24 hours after it attempted to depart for Baltimore, a trip hampered by mechanical issues and a potentially record-breaking storm here that continued late into the evening and was expected to dump more than 20 inches of snow.

    The Bears took off shortly after 8 p.m. and were scheduled to arrive at a closed Baltimore/Washington airport at 10 p.m. Their game Sunday with the Ravens has been moved to 3:15 p.m.
ESPN has the Ravens by a TD-plus. Of course, the Ravens are still in the playoff hunt.

And the real action is the Blackhawks vs Detroit later.


No More Residency

In Philadelphia that is:
  • An arbitration panel has awarded Philadelphia Police a new five year contract that would begin to lift residency requirements of officers in the force.

    As neither police nor firefighters can strike under state law, a three member panel made up of one appointed by the union, one appointed by the city and an agreed upon third-party, decided the details of the contract.

    The panel did not give officers a raise in the first year, but offers police will offer three percent raises in years two and three. Wage increases in the fourth and fifth years will be determined in a reopening of the process.

    Under the new residency guidelines, by 2012 officers with five years of experience will be permitted to move out of the city.
This was an arbitration panel. Under Illinois law, cities with a population of over one-million don't have to make residency an issue of collective bargaining. As written, the law only applies to Chicago. But as we've heard, everywhere the local FOP has sued over residency, they've won it. It's a slam dunk case. Listen to their mayor:
  • "And so I'm not pleased about this change, but frankly in only two of the 20 largest cities across the country, Chicago and Milwaukee, are police officers required to live in the cities they patrol," said Mayor Nutter.
There it is.


Anita? Wake Up!

The State's Attorney's office seems to be in a bit of disarray:
  • After he was arrested last weekend, a man suspected in a crime spree in which two women were killed told police he would have killed many more people if he had not been caught, a police source said Friday.

    Even then, the Cook County state's attorney's office waited more than a day to charge him because authorities had not been able to interview him -- leading police to use a rarely used code allowing them to file charges on their own.

Finally, the tendency for the ASA's to try every case over the phone or in the Detective Areas is coming home to bite them in the ass. A double murderer was technically "free to leave" when the State insisted on interviewing him.

He's in a coma in the hospital under the influence of who knows what painkillers after being shot. And even if he wasn't, any defense attorney representing this piece of garbage isn't going to allow him to be interviewed under any circumstances.

So why the delay in charging? Politics. Pure and simple. And the citizens suffer.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Again, Lies and Wasted Money

The bigger the lie, the more people might actually believe it:
  • Ninety cameras will be installed outside Fenger and 39 other Chicago Public high schools to stop what Mayor Daley called the ugly “epidemic of children killing children,” thanks to a $2.25 million gift from the banking giant that employs the mayor’s brother.

    Last year, a bloody weekend for CPS students prompted Daley to link 4,844 cameras inside schools and 1,437 exterior school cameras to police districts, squad cars and the 911 center. Until that time, real-time video from school cameras was accessible only to school security.

    Thanks to J.P. Morgan Chase, where William Daley serves as Midwest chairman, 40 more high schools will get exterior cameras. They include Fenger, where 16-year-old Derrion Albert was beaten to death in September during a brawl captured on videotape and played around the world.

Available in squad cars? Really? We'd love to see that. Actually, we wouldn't, because that would mean more police tied-up to a bullshit system that hasn't done one single thing to stop a beating, a shooting or a killing.

The only proven strategy that prevents crime time and time again is eyes on the street and boots on the ground. Look at those camera totals - 4,844 inside cameras and 1,437 outside cameras. 6,281 cameras.

Over SIXTY-TWO HUNDRED cameras just on high schools. And how many people hired to watch them? We're going to take a wild guess here and say under 20. A dozen or twenty coppers taken off the streets, maybe a few clout-heavy retirees hired to watch some screens, but in reality no one is watching these things. They can't. The cost of hiring enough eyeballs would deplete the entire Department budget in a year.

Think of the floor space needed for something like this. Think of the computers and video monitors. Think of the electronic storage you have to have on hand for an operation of this size - we're not talking megabytes or gigabytes - but multiple terabytes of information just for storage purposes.

And get this...
  • Schools CEO Ron Huberman stressed that some of the new cameras would be “outside the immediate envelope” of the school because that’s where the violence takes place.

    Daley stressed that none of the new cameras would have blue strobe lights that carry the stigma of a high-crime area.

    “You won’t even see this unless you’re looking for it,” he said.

"The Hube" states the obvious - most of this doesn't happen on school grounds. Even the Fenger incident took place blocks away and wouldn't have been prevented even if a hundred cameras were around. And no "blue light" strobes? The deterrent value of these cameras is nil. The only purpose they serve is to record a crime as it happens - and that's a longshot seeing as how the cameras are always pointed the wrong way or non-functional half the time.

How about we hire a shitload of cops and re-start the School Unit?


Jury Failure

  • Today, the same Cook County jury that found the Chicago man guilty of raping and killing 11 women on the South Side in the 1990s decided to spare his life.

    Rather than recommend the death penalty, jurors decided Crawford should remain in prison for the rest of his life.

Dead bang on 11 murders and he'll get to live out his days on our dime. Maybe it's time to look at professional juries and super-majority rules (10-2, 11-1) for Death Penalty applications instead of unanimous findings because one or two bleeding heart liberal types can muck up what should be an easy decision to put down mad dog killers.


We're #45!

Out of 51 - we've never understood why they include the District of Columbia in these surveys:
  • Unhappy?

    You're not alone. A new happiness survey ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia -- and Illinois comes in at a miserable 45th.

    People in sunny, outdoorsy states -- Louisiana, Hawaii, Florida -- say they're the happiest, and researchers think they know why.

  • Economists Andrew J. Oswald and Stephen Wu compared the happiness ranking with studies that rated states on criteria including availability of public land, commuting time, taxes, climate, crime rates, air quality and schools.
Let's, commute, taxes, crime and schools. Yup, that'd do it. If they included political overlords, we'd have beat out New York for the bottom ranking.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Make Them Squirm

  • How was your office's holiday party? Didn't have one? Neither did many others, as cost-conscious top brass tighten the purse strings.

    But there was one party Thursday – paid with your tax dollars.

    CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.

    Political producer Ed Marshall was not exactly welcomed with open arms by the Cook County agency that is supposed to be training workers and finding jobs for them.
They ought to do more of this, even though it's all part of the Shortshanks agenda to dethrone the Toddler and Beavers.


Who's Bankrolling This?

  • Unrolling a 10-foot-long petition with more than 1,300 signatures, parents Wednesday demanded that a neighborhood high school be placed inside half-empty Carver Military Academy.

    Activists from the Altgeld Gardens public-housing development went to the Chicago School Board's monthly meeting with a name for the proposed school -- the Hazel Johnson School for Environmental Justice -- and a flashy 38-page color brochure outlining its goals.

A 38-page color brochure? Hmmm:
  • Activists demanded the board hold an "emergency meeting" so the proposed school could open before the start of the second semester.

    "Will you schedule an emergency meeting in Altgeld, or do you want the blood of another child on your hands?" asked University of Illinois at Chicago Professor Rico Gutstein.

Aha, it suddenly becomes a bit clearer.

Here's a hint - maybe it isn't the schools, the police and the teachers that are the sticky wicket here. Maybe it's what is being sent to the schools that is the problem? And those who exploit the situation for their own ends.


Budget Woes Solved!

  • An elephant never forgets. Apparently, neither does an alderman.

    Emboldened by a new complaint filed against Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, Ald. Mary Ann Smith (48th) has re-introduced her elephant cruelty ordinance for the third time since the 2005 death of three elephants at Lincoln Park Zoo.

    Last year, an admittedly “heartbroken” Smith accepted a watered-down substitute for her proposal only to have it derailed by aldermen scared off by the ridicule that followed Chicago’s now-repealed ban on foie gras.

Let the ridicule begin again:
  • The new version, introduced at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, is virtually identical to the bill derailed last year. It makes it unlawful “to use on an elephant any device or instrument with the intent to cause pain and injury, except as necessary to administer legitimate medical treatment to the elephant.” Chains and “similar restraining” devices are also prohibited, except for use for medical purposes.

    Violators would face daily fines as high as $5,000 and up to six months in prison.

Evidently, Smith's plan is to fine Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus the full $5,000 approximately 100,000 times to close Daley's half-a-billion dollar deficit. It's brilliant! It's the type of thinking we've come to expect from the $100,000- year-part-timers sitting on the City Council.

Not only are city politicians incapable of saving convention business at McCormick Place and unable to get their heads out of their asses concerning "big box" stores, they seem determined to drive the circus into making a permanent home in Rosemont.


Surprise!!! (NOT!)

  • Chicago city workers are less likely to report job-related misconduct than their counterparts elsewhere, largely because they don’t believe the problem will be fixed and they fear retaliation from bosses, a new survey by Mayor Richard Daley's hiring compliance office reveals.
The last hundred years or so have only reinforced this lesson. It's almost part of Chicagoans genetic makeup at this point:
  • The survey also found that a paltry 17 percent of Chicago’s workers believed they will be rewarded for following compliance and ethical standards.
We're surprised it's that high. And the topper?
  • Boswell ordered the survey, which cost approximately $40,000. The survey took the pulse of more than 1,800 workers and was conducted in August and September by the Ethics Resource Center, a private, nonprofit organization. The survey's error margin is 2.2 percentage points.
$40,000 for a survey. While the mayor is crying broke. So that breaks down to $750 for postage, probably under 1,000 responses to achieve a 2.2% error margin, find some hungry grad students to compile the data for beer money and White Castles, we assume Boswell walked away with at least $30,000 for four months work. Who is he connected to?

He could have cleared almost the entire $40,000 by going on and buying "Boss" by Mike Royko for a buck.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Missing Priorities

  • In the wake of a tragic case involving a missing girl, two Chicago alderman are proposing that police notify the news media every time a missing-persons report is filed involving anyone under the age of 18.

    Ald. Edward Burke (14th) and Sandi Jackson (7th) offered a proposal today to require the Chicago Police Department to post a photo and a description of every youth within three hours of their being reported missing.

That's going to require a major outlay of cash Ed. We thought the city was broke? And even Spielman and Main point out a tiny little flaw:
  • Still, police sources said they fear the ordinance might have an unintended and opposite result — that it might overwhelm the department and prompt the media to ignore alerts about missing children because there would be so many of them.

Did you know that the FOP holds press conferences? Almost monthly. Guess how many we've ever seen on TV? Two.

You can't force the media to cover things. They ignore Daley and the 50 thieves so often that they've helped create an entirely apathetic voter base that can't even be motivated to send 40% of registered voters to the polls every election cycle. Daley loves the media for this. It guarantees him power and the Illinois Combine power.

Here's a bright idea Ed. How about we notify the media every time a single dollar of our tax money goes missing? Every crooked deal, every bent contract, every unnecessary expense, mark-up, and squandered penny. The only question is do we start with the current school scandal of unreported expense reimbursements or at the other end where Robert Cooley left off in his book about you and the missus?


Shortage About to Get Acute

FOP says they've passed the magic number of 130 officers putting in retirement papers for the "55 and out" package:
  • Phase 2 of the premium free healthcare benefit at retirement required that at least 130 members apply for retirement in order for any member to enjoy this benefit upon retirement between April 1 and December 31, 2010.

    Today, the Lodge was notified that the 130 application threshold had been surpassed. Any member who submits a retirement PAR by December 31, 2009, with a retirement date of April 1 through December 31, 2010, will now be able to take advantage of this benefit. The member must have reached his 55th birthday by the requested date of retirement.
Since the first 130 have taken the first step, we expect a sizable number of the other 1,000 members eligible for retirement to take the plunge now. We could see one of the larger retirement years in recent memory in 2010.

We might also see one of the lowest hiring years ever. Whether this puts a strain on the pension or manpower shall be answered in short order.


Um, What Now?

  • Chicago School Board members will decide Wednesday whether to dump their $24,000-a-year receipt-free expense accounts -- tabs once likened to "slush funds" -- in favor of submitting receipts for all work-related expenses.

  • The new expense account policy is a dramatic shift from the one board members approved in March, shortly after Scott returned to the board as president. At that time, despite a record deficit, board members agreed to double their expense accounts, to $2,000 a month, and to hike Scott's monthly tab from $1,600 to $3,000.

    At the time, Civic Federation President Laurence Msall said the expense accounts amounted to "slush funds'' because board members got set amounts monthly, whether they submitted expenses or not. He called the accounts "outrageous'' and inconsistent with school board practices elsewhere.

$2,000 a month? Regardless if they turned in receipts? Excuse our language, but what the fuck? How many millions has this cost taxpayers over the years? They don't even justify the expenditures and get paid anyway?

Someone better contact the School Board President and have him justify this horseshit. Oh wait....



  • Chicago police said an officer accidentally shot himself in the leg tonight inside a West Side police station.

    The officer was holstering his weapon inside the Harrison District station, 3151 W. Harrison St., when it discharged, striking him in the right leg, a police spokesman said.

We suppose the ball busting will come later.


Contract? What Contract?

Who says J-Fed has to follow a contract? Contracts are for sissies:
  • The Superintendent issued AMFN 095065 which states that: Members assigned to Police Headquarters who have approved Personal Days submitted prior to 09 Dec 2009 will be allowed to use this time.

    Section 11.3 of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement states that: Officers shall not be required to work on a personal day provided that written notice of the personal day is given to the appropriate supervisor no later than ten (10) days prior to the personal day .... Any dispute within a unit as to the selection of a personal day shall be resolved by seniority.....
Just because the contract expired 2.5 years ago doesn't mean the protections aren't in full effect. FOP points this out in the Current Updates section. Can someone get this guy a clue?


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


A bunch of tension between the CPD and and Cook County State's Attorneys Office. From the comments, someone who seems to have either an inside track or first-hand knowledge:
  • I heard there is going to be a very high level meeting between the CCSAO and CPD later in the week to make nice nice. I guess there are some very hurt feelings on both sides. Expect even more problems with felony review after this. This could get ugly after when this is over.
  • The shit storm continues. Very high level arguments about who is the blame, how the paper should be written and whose head will roll. Seems like Debbie Kirby might have a problem. She did take the side of the CCSAO over the CPD. Right now a lot of bosses are fingers pointing at each other hoping to have a chair when the music stops.
Something to do with the Steger/Chicago spree killer.


Thomson Prison

Job #1?

Dig a moat. Or a combination tank trap/mine field. That's a lot of flat land between the road and perimeter fences.

We're just saying...


Another Missing Returns Home

More evidence that the 95% clearance rate would probably stay around 95%:
  • A 56-year-old Bridgeport man who had been last seen over the weekend eventually returned home and is back with his family, police said today.
Can we devote police resources to the rising shooting trends and garage burglary patterns now?


H1N1 Duds

  • Health officials are recalling hundreds of thousands of doses of H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine after tests indicated they may not be potent enough to protect against the virus.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified doctors about the recall Tuesday. The recall involves about 800,000 doses made by Sanofi Pasteur. The doses are pre-filled syringes intended for young children, ages 6 months to almost three years.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Can We Move On Yet?

Hopefully, we've all seen the last of the Abbate video. We mean, the media has only been playing it for two years straight whenever they had an opportunity:
  • Police don't have a contract - and by the way, here's a drunk idiot trying to beat a bartender;
  • Police rescue family from a fire - and in case you forgot, here's an asshole climbing behind a bar and trying to serve himself;
  • Police haters and aldercreatures with a political ax to grind want everyone's name dragged through the mud - and here's another glimpse of a video of a single drunk moron who never should have been hired in the first place;
  • It's time for a Charlie Brown Christmas - and if the guy in this video had appeared at the Christmas Pageant, he would have ripped down the tree and rat-tailed Linus with his own blanket before throwing Lucy over Schroeder's piano.
But even though it has been overplayed a bit, we never had heard of these two heinous allegations:
  • The scenes caught on the recording alternate from a typical gathering at a local tavern with men calling out for the next round as the Empire Today commercial airs in the background and Abbate sings "Desperado" to the jukebox. An agitated Abbate punches one friend and tosses another to the ground in apparent anger over a remark made about his dog.

    Later that evening, he attacked Obrycka, who tried to thwart Abbate from coming behind the bar. Earlier in the recording, Abbate sang "Sweet Caroline" to Obrycka and the two appear to have civil exchanges,
If anyone ever came up with video of us singing "Desperado" and "Sweet Caroline," we'd have resigned and left town a long time ago.


Exempt Relief Fund

There have been a few of these floating around various stations:

Got to love the police sense of humor.


KC Dashcam Shooting

A grand jury cleared the Kansas City PD officers a few days ago and released the in-car videos. We got a bunch of these in the mail. Here's the raw video:

Here are a few media links:
A "routine" traffic accident turns into a gun battle. An excellent job by the officers.


Local Boy Makes News

Killed in prison after taking a 62-year-old worker hostage:
  • Illinois prison officials say an inmate who took an employee hostage at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center in southern Illinois has been shot and killed.

    According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, the 37-year-old inmate was pronounced dead at the scene about 5 p.m. today, nearly seven hours after the incident began. His name hasn't been released.

  • Corrections officials say the offender was serving a sentence for aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping. The crimes took place in Cook County.
Don't fuck around in Pinckneyville.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Check Our Numbers

Is there an accountant in the house? Has anyone reading ever done a budget? Neither have we, but it is proving interesting. We've had a few e-mails about it and someone may have stumbled upon a way to determine a true reading of the manpower shortage.

When you fill out a budget, you have to account for every position, even if that position isn't filled. Going through the budget, you see all the different pay grades represented. There's three, four or more lines of various lieutenants, sergeants, detectives, patrol officers, civilians etc. That's because there are different people at different Salary Steps. The way you account for an unfilled position is by putting a number in at the lowest end of the Salary Step Schedule. Here's an example:
  • page 174 - Line Item #3009 - CAPS Project Office:
  • 1 PO @ $80,736
  • 4 PO @ $78,006
  • 4 PO @ $75816
  • 14 PO @ $73,116
  • 13 PO @ $70,656
  • 3 PO @ $43,104
The key is the last line:
  • 3 PO @ $43,104
$43,104 is the lowest paid police officer position. It's what a PPO earns in the Academy.

It's also an impossibility because we have ZERO PPO's at the moment. The last class that went through the Academy has already passed their Step 2 raise (12 months) and may be in Step 3 already (18 months).

And if you go to page 99 of the FOP Contract, there is the Salary Step Schedule posted there. It has a listing for D-2 and D-2A positions at the Step 1 level ($55,728 and $57,642)., but you can't have a Step 1 or Step 2 Detective, Mounted Officer, Canine, Marine, ET or any other position because of the "Time in Grade" restrictions on even taking those exams!

So to determine the shortage of police, all you have to do is go through the budget and locate all of the spots that are listed as having a salary of $43,104, $55,728 or $57,642, because those are phantom spots that aren't being filled at all. Guess who did that for you?

We've had our crack staff working on this for a few days now and we've come up with some interesting numbers. Based purely on our count, and it might be off just a little bit, we've located 675 spots, give or take a few, that are listed as $43,104. That's 675 officer spots that are not filled in the 2010 budget. A bit higher than the City's contention of 591 vacancies. We've also found a shortage of 254 D-2 and D2A spots in the 2010 budget - again, give or take a few.

That's 929 short without even going into the white shirts, but those numbers look to be around 100 sergeants and 40 lieutenants. Captains are rumored to be short 10 citywide. The budget is a bit better at concealing the D-3 and above spots since you have people working out-of-grade as C.O.s instead of gold stars in some spots.

We've seen the comments citing 9,200 uniform checks cut, the FOP letter saying 591 vacant spots, and the Sun Times article that includes light duty and medical roll personnel for a total of almost 2,000 short.

Our number here is based on the actual 2010 Budget and it's around 1,100. We're betting it's pretty close to that. Someone with way more time on their hands than us would have to find the budgets for the past decade or so and figure out if City Hall has cut actual budgeted strength to what it is today.


Felony Review Oops?

Interesting comment in the "Spree Killer?" posting yesterday:
  • Wait'll the entire scoop comes out about how CCSAO "nolle prossed" the Chicago case when it was sent to Branch 66. ASA/FRU, effin' useless, they are.

    You heard me right. Nolle'd the spree killer's case. Thank God Will County, IL. was able to pick up the pieces.
Well thank goodness we have a Felony Review Unit. You want to know why Cook County courts are the laughing stock of the nation? It's not just the crooked judges. It's the politically connected incompetent lawyers, who at some point hope to become crooked judges. No offense to the crusaders who work tirelessly for legitimate crime victims, but you know you're few and far between, as are legitimate victims in Cook County.

By the way, the media is finally making the connections in the Saturday crime spree that left at least two dead and another in critical condition (Sun Times; BreakingNews). Let's see if they can track down who dropped the ball.

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Quinn Suspends Secret Program

As soon as daylight appears, Governor Cockroach scurries for cover. AP breaks the story (via the Sun Times):
  • Repeat drunk drivers, drug users and even people convicted of battery and weapons violations are serving less than three weeks' total time behind bars under a secret change in policy by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's prison system, The Associated Press has learned.

    Records obtained and analyzed by the AP show that since September more than 850 inmates have been released weeks earlier than they ordinarily would be. The Corrections Department is saving money by abandoning a policy that requires inmates to serve at least 61 days and awarding them discretionary good-conduct credit immediately upon entering prison.
Battery offenders? Weapons violators? Why even have prisons at all governor? Quinn suspended the program as soon as it came to light:
  • Quinn said today that his office will review the Illinois Department of Corrections' "meritorious good time" release program, which came under fire after an analysis showed some inmates with past convictions for drunken driving, battery and weapons violations spent mere weeks behind bars before release.

    Under the program, corrections chief Michael P. Randle may grant any inmate 90 days' worth of credit based on their behavior while behind bars.

    The report by the Associated Press found hundreds of inmates were given the good-conduct credit immediately on entering prison, and more than 850 inmates have been released under the program since September.

Of course, since this was a budgetary move, don't count on Parole Agents being sent out to collect these mistakes any time soon.

A definitely don't count on a list of names so we can see what sort of mayhem Quinn and Randle have unleashed on the community. Just like Quinn won't release the names of the 1,000 he still plans on releasing so we can track that plague, too.


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