Tuesday, March 31, 2009

J-Fed Does Right

We've been getting a bunch of crap in the comment sections lately as we attempt to keep the March at the top of everyone's "to-do" list. Mainly, it's City trolls attempting to spread disinformation about whether or not you're allowed to bring guns (you are), whether you should show up in uniform (you shouldn't - if you're coming from court, cover up), and whether of not the Department will be interfering with our First Amendment Rights as they have in the past.

The following was posted in our comment sections three days ago. We wondered if it was real or not. A little detective work revealed it to be genuine and posted in a number of stations and units and CO Books:
  • ----- Original Message -----
    From: Weis, Jody P.
    To: [removed]
    Sent: Fri Mar 27 19:15:49 2009


    Earlier today, I was copied on a letter sent from FOP President Mark Donahue to the City’s Corporation Counsel alleging that the Department was planning an improper first amendment investigation into those individuals who choose to participate in an FOP-organized picket on 02 April.

    This allegation is false and not substantiated by any information that is available within the Department. I am deeply concerned that such an allegation would be raised against members of the Department without proof.

    I would ask that you inform the members of your command that the Department is committed to upholding the constitution, and that we will support the first amendment rights of the men and women of the Department, regardless of the first amendment activity they choose to participate in. The Department will support their rights; it is vital that we stress this point to the membership.

    Every day, numerous first amendment activities are ongoing throughout the City with the full support and protection of legal first amendment activity by the members of the Department; the event on 02 April will enjoy the same support and protections by the Department provided to any other activity.

    Thank you for your leadership in this issue.

    Jody Weis
    Chicago Police Department
The fact that J-Fed felt it necessary to address this issue tells anyone familiar with the political structure exactly what we need to know. So as we give J-Fed piles of grief when he deserves it, we'll give him his props when he earns them, too. One instance of doing the right thing isn't going to change our minds, but it is the right thing and needs to be pointed out.

The PBPA - Lieutenants and Captains Association posted a message of support Monday and a press release was issued. Thanks to Lieutenant Weisskopf, Captain Drozd and their memberships.

SecondCitySarge has declared their intent to join the Informational Picket, but no word from the official Sergeants Union site.

We still haven't seen a SecondCityExempts blog up and running, and we don't really expect one soon. In any event, Thursday is the day. Let's see if some of the supervisors expressing support come out and show some support, too. The more the merrier.

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Bad Search...SIX TIMES?

We usually try to limit our "fair use" of media material to three paragraphs and then direct the readers to the actual website to complete their reading so as not to deprive the originators of visiting eyeballs. We took a bit more of this article to drive home a point. It regards the gun found in the Cook County Jail laundry room earlier this month:
  • A 39-year-old man is accused of trying to bring a gun into Cook County Jail complex after he was arrested and taken there for a bond hearing, officials said. Bennie Ellison, 39, was charged today with possession of contraband in a penal institution stemming from an incident earlier this month in which a gun was found at the jail.

    Ellison was arrested on March 18 on a possession charge, said Cook County Sheriff spokesman Steve Patterson.

    Ellison tied a small 38-caliber handgun to the strings of his shorts, Patterson said.

    The suspect was searched by Chicago police officers on the scene and taken to a district station, according to the spokesman.

    Ellison was searched a second time and then taken to central booking where he was patted down a third time, Patterson said.

    On March 19, Ellison was searched a fourth time by a court deputy before he appeared in Central Bond Court, Patterson said.

    After his bond was set, Ellison was transferred to intake were he was supposed to pass through a pair of metal detectors. But he avoided doing so by slipping into a line of men who had already gone through the detectors, Patterson said.

    At that point, Ellison tossed the gun into a laundry pile in a loading area outside Division 5 at the jail.
That's THREE Chicago Police searches, ONE County search AND he avoided TWO County metal detectors.

WHAT THE FUCK?!? How many cops did he come in contact with? How many sheriffs? This guy could have executed any number of law enforcement officers over the course of two days. If you aren't going to do the searches to keep yourself safe, do it for the poor bastard who has to handle your prisoner after processing or transporting who might have someone who misses them at home.

And yes, we've seen the comments popping up about the gun making it into the 011th District lock up. At least their lock up found the damn thing after just a single miss by the 012th District officers. This one was about SIX misses by two different commands (district, central detention) and two different departments and had to rely on the honesty of a Cook County inmate working the laundry room to find the pistol.


Free Idea for Daley

Vancouver is having nothing but problems in the run-up to the Winter Games in 2010 due to a huge gang war:
  • Even as Vancouver prepares to host the 2010 Winter Games, its crime rate is going up. Since January alone, there have been 45 shootings in the region, 17 of them fatal. There were 58 murders last year in this region of 2.7 million people, up from 41 the year before, according to the regional Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.
While the flare up in "gun free" Canada is not related to the Olympics, it doesn't bode well for tourists coming in for the Games. So to combat some of the more notorious drive-by violence, Vancouver authorities have been reduced to this:
  • Vancouver police are deterring drive-by shootings by setting up cement barricades outside of gangsters' homes.

    The temporary cement blocks sit in front of two houses in southeast Vancouver in the 1200-block of East 63rd Avenue and the 900-block of East 54th Avenue.

    Const. Jana McGuinness confirmed the barricades are to prevent drive-by shootings.

    [...] The barricades are meant to slow down people driving by the homes, deterring them from firing shots and speeding off.

    City engineer Murray Whiteman, who is responsible for street operations, said the barriers are a cost-effective way to curb gunplay.

Cost effective? That sounds like a dinner bell ringing to old "Blue Light Camera" Shortshanks! And they're oh so very attractive - almost as attractive as his center median planters!

No charge for the idea Richie.

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This Sounds So Familiar

It really does:

On a completely unrelated topic, be sure you get those self submitted "merit" packages in soon. The deadline is fast approaching.


Contract Violation Jackpot

  • In 2006 the Dept opened the Juvenile Intervention and Support Center and opened it up for bid to Detectives. No one bid and the Department filled it "at the Department's discretion". These officers soon bid out of the JISC and the Dept then involuntarily detailed a different group of officers to the JISC. After their details ended they were then involuntarily assigned to the JISC based upon the "valuable experience" they had obtained during their involuntarily detail.

    The Lodge went to arbitration and the arbitrator found the original transfers were OK because no one had bid, however the subsequent Detail and reassignment violated the contract. He awarded the officers time and one half for each day they were improperly detailed

    The City took the rare move to file in court and ask a judge to set aside the arbitrator's award. Our attorneys fought the City on this. On today's date Judge Peter Flynn rejected the City's arguments and confirmed the Arbitrator's award of time and one half to these officers.
That's time-and-one-half for the entire terms of the details, which in some cases ended up being quite lengthy. And for days they worked holidays and OT? Ouch. Nice job.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

OEMC Radio System Failure?

Trying to find truth in a rumor coming through in comments that there was a complete OEMC radio system failure last night. We're hearing that OEMC finally got Citywide up and running, but that for several hours last night there was no police or fire radio up at all.


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Picketing Reminders

If you've read the FOP flyer, signs will be provided. We'll leave the phrases and wording to the boys at the Hall. We know they'll want to get out a serious message, so play by their rules. We can't see them objecting to a few "cute" signs carried by family members who show up. Something like "My Daddy needs a Contract" will almost guarantee your kid face time on TV and will bring home the point that we've been trying to raise families in this city for the past two years while the aldercreatures and their staffs got large raises and the other unions got better than average offers in return for ten years of labor peace.

A question:
  • We heard families and other supporters are welcome. Are they responsible for their own transportation? If they are, bring quarters or parking cash. Don't give the TMA's an excuse to ticket and tow your family sedan.
And a bit of advice:
  • Have a few video cameras around. The City will be filming and the last time we rallied, a number of people were more than a little casual about violating the First Amendment at the behest of the Administration.
  • The on-duty guy is always right, administratively speaking. He might be 100% wrong in terms of First Amendment Rights, but don't doubt for a second that J-Fed and his underlings will throw the off-duty under the bus.
  • Rules and Regulations will conflict with First Amendment Rights on occasion and until someone takes a test case all the way to the US Supreme Court, the Rules and Regulations will take precedence.
Rely on the FOP guys there to make statements, defuse volatile situations and sort out conflicts that might arise. We need a decent showing. And we need those who show to be decent.

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Kass Contest

If one of our readers doesn't win this thing, or at least place three entries in the top ten, we'll be disappointed:
  • A delegation from the International Olympic Committee arrives here this week, ready to be romanced by Mayor Richard Daley, who is in desperate lust to host the 2016 Olympic Games in Chicago.

    And we need to help him.

  • Let's give the IOC some suggestions for real, Chicago-style Olympic sporting events, so that the 2016 Olympics will have an authentic Chicago flavor.
Kass provides a hint of what he is looking for:
  • I'm talking Chicago-style events like the Bag-Man Relay Races, or the Bag-O-Quarters Clean-and-Jerk Parking Meter competition; and the 100-Meter Dash to Affirmative Action Contracts Won by White Guys.

    Or, perhaps one of you might suggest that the IOC adopt the most important event of the 2016 Chicago Olympics:

    Hide the Subcontractor.

    Another exciting Chicago Olympic event might be the 400-Meter Real Estate Pairs Run.
Click the link at the top for the article. Entries can be mailed to jskass@tribune.com.


Bob Verdi Digs at Daley

Even the sportswriters are having fun with this:
  • Is it time to forget fretting about the Chicago Olympics? Normally, I don't forget the Olympics unless they're on TV, and I don't fret about them unless I actually have to go.

    But inasmuch as this city is a final four contender for the 2016 Summer Games, civic duty compels us to support the effort with everything we've got, which isn't much after Cook County taxes.

  • On Thursday, International Olympic Committee officials, fondly known as the Dukes of Dandruff, will visit here. But just when you thought they might be impressed by the former Sears Tower renamed for Peter Tom Willis, word comes that Chicago police threaten to picket City Hall.

  • [...] A less invasive measure to cut costs would be to eliminate the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Sequins are expensive. Pay Chicago cops what they deserve and let them have a parade instead.
We'll take the support where we can get it.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another Reason to Picket

  • Fact: Alderman Beale wants to stop our Uniform Allowance and Duty Availability pay
Aldercreature Beale had no problem accepting a 6% pay raise for his part-time job and no problem with voting his staff a 5% raise. He also was among the 50 jackasses who saw nothing wrong with taking an increase in the aldercreature's discretionary fund (last reported to be in the neighborhood of $1.33 million to spend on whatever they want) as the economy was tanking.

And on the subject of the planned march, does anyone know if the Sergeants, Lieutenants and Captains have been approached or invited? The PBPA usually relies on the FOP to do the majority of the negotiating so it might be a good thing to have them along.

How about the retirees? The retirees come together and vote in a large block come election time. How many might have a few spare hours to come downtown and march with us? This has a lot of potential.

Oh, and Daley says we're being "unfair"
  • It is "unfair" for police to try to link their pay dispute to Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympics, Mayor Richard Daley said Saturday.

    Police union members unhappy with contract negotiations say they will picket City Hall on Thursday--the same day the International Olympic Committee's evaluation team arrives in Chicago.

    "If everybody has a complaint about something else, it has nothing to do with 2016," the mayor said. "It's really unfair because the Olympics is bigger than Mayor Daley. It's bigger than the police or fire union, all these unions. It's bigger than them.

No word on how unfair it is the City hasn't kept up with pension obligations as per State law.

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Time Due Ruling

  • Chicago Police officers denied their requests to take compensatory time off could be in line for damages at a time when the city is strapped for cash, thanks to a federal appeals court ruling this week.

    Denying the city's appeal, the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the Police Department can no longer cite manpower shortages to indefinitely deny requests from rank-and-file officers to use comp time awarded in lieu of overtime pay.

    The Fair Labor Standards Act requires the city to grant comp time requests made with sufficient notice, even if it means calling other officers in on their days off to fill the void. The act applies to time earned above and beyond 11 overtime hours in a four-week period.

What price do you put on missing family birthdays, reunions, baseball games, etc. Mastercard calls them "priceless" and we tend to agree.

But what seems to be missing from this entire article is why would the Department feel the need to deny officers time off that they earned unless the Districts and Watches are so undermanned that they can't put up the cars and officers they need to maintain operations?

The facade continues to crumble, and the media continues to ignore the increasingly obvious fact that we are shorthanded, dangerously shorthanded, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.


Time for Hauser to Go?

Hop over to the Pension Board minutes and page through. Lots of interesting info. Especially in February 2009:
  • It was moved by Trustee Shields, seconded by Trustee Lazzaro that the Board remove law school tuition from the Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund’s continuing education program based on availability of funds and job relatedness.
    For: Shields, Lazzaro, Neely, 3.
    Against: Lux, Hauser, Reusche, 3.
    Absent: Maloney, Volpe, 2.
We're pretty sure this is the incident regarding the Secretary's law school tuition being paid for with our pension money. As of yet, no one has explained what we get for paying this tuition. Are we paying for A's and B's? D's? Are we getting a free lawyer for two or three years to work on our pension bills and legislation? Are we paying for one single connected individual or are there a bunch of people getting their law degrees to help out? Are we getting ripped off?

Based on the above vote, this was a completely winnable motion as one of the City appointees was absent and those elected to represent our interests had a leg up. Any retirees want to let us know why Hauser voted the way he did? You guys are drawing a pension already.


Pension Fund Abuse?

We missed this at the very bottom of Friday's article on Shortshanks' son and nephew hiring criminal defense attorneys:
  • Vanecko and Davis are guaranteed $3 million in fees for managing the pension fund investments under a deal that runs through Dec. 31, 2014. Among the real estate deals in which they have invested so far, they have bought an apartment building at 1212 S. Michigan and loaned $1 million to help restaurateur Matthew O'Malley redevelop the former Chicago Defender building.
If we recall correctly, the Defender building was the subject of a couple of newspaper articles because of a most unusual occurrence:
  • Jeffrey Duerwachter made $413,000 in one day last year by buying and selling the Chicago Defender building.

    But he did even better investing, making a $413,000 profit by buying and immediately reselling a historic South Loop building that once housed the Chicago Defender, the city's biggest African-American newspaper. And he did it all in one day -- June 8. First, Duerwachter paid $3.72 million for the building and a nearby vacant lot Then, Duerwachter resold the building and lot for $4.1 million to a company owned by Matthew A. O'Malley, a politically connected Chicago restaurant owner who had been negotiating to buy the property from Stratievsky.

    O'Malley bought the property with three loans -- including $1 million in city pension funds managed by DV Urban Realty Partners, a company co-owned by Mayor Daley's nephew, Robert Vanecko, and one of Daley's key African-American allies, Allison S. Davis. This was one of the investments Davis and Vanecko made after their newly created company was hired to manage $68 million for five pension funds for city workers, police officers, Chicago teachers and CTA workers.
If we recall, the Pension Fund has agreed to let DV Urban Realty Partners run a $15 million portion of the fund. They have drawn on $5 million of that amount and have lost $1.5 million in shaky investments. But Duerwachter made $413,000 flipping the Defender Building in one day, a connected restaurant owner is making who knows how much and the DV people got their management fees.

Anyone know how the Pension Fund made out in the deal? And can anyone connect the dots here? Mr. Fitzgerald?


Chalkie Companion Shirt

The creator is looking for comments on his design:

We like it. It might be a good one for the next election cycle seeing as how a recall might be a bit of a stretch. Readers?


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Put Up or Shut Up

Quite possibly the most important event that will happen in many of our careers:
  • The Lodge has been backed into a corner and will participate in informational picketing on Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 11:00 am.

    The First Amendment to the United States Constitution assures all citizens the free exercise of the freedom of speech, assembly, and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Persons on the public way have a right to express their views and beliefs orally or through the use of signs. These protections apply to our members exercise of their First Amendment Rights as long as they act in a law abiding manner.

While we aren't completely happy with the timing and the admission by the FOP President that the Olympic Committee won't be around to observe and enjoy the festivities, it's what we have at the moment and the moment must be seized.

Go to the link. Print out the attached flyer. If you're off, show up. If you're out of court, swing by, especially anyone with a 9am call at Traffic Court - you're already downtown. If you can get time, burn the day.

Anything less than full buses will rightly be seen as a failure.

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Quick Hits (Lengthy)

Too many stories to cover at one time. That means another Quick Hits to get the word out:
  • A Midlothian teen accused of punching two Chicago cops during the South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade says "don't blame me" for killing the parade.

    Speaking Thursday - as the commander in charge of policing 310,000 revelers at the parade detailed a nightmarishly "rough day" for his officers - 17-year-old Gonzalo Vasquez said he plans to attend whatever celebration South Side organizers have next year.

    "I was wasted," Vasquez said outside his home in the 14800 block of Lawndale Avenue on Thursday afternoon.

Our old friend Kim Janssen covers the parade spectacle in the South Town Star. A drunk 17-year-old from out of town attacking not one, but two officers. Vasquez...that's Irish, right? Every day, it sure seems it was the correct decision to end the parade.
OEMC problems getting worse:
  • Stacked-up calls to Chicago's 911 emergency center are "disappearing completely" from computer screens because of glitches in a $6 million upgrade to the dispatch system, call takers complained Thursday.

    Just last month, Mayor Daley showcased the upgrade, which lets call takers and dispatchers see real-time video from surveillance cameras within 150 feet of any 911 call.

    But then problems started cropping up, apparently tied to the servers installed three weeks ago as part of the upgrade. Calls that are "stacked" because police officers are responding to higher-priority calls have been "disappearing completely" from computer screens, sources said.

We aren't going to complain too much about stacked dope jobs disappearing, but knowing the City's propensity for truth telling (i.e. none whatsoever), we're more worried about actual legit calls getting lost in cyberspace. Add this to the ongoing under staffing prevalent at OEMC and the taxpayers are going to get stuck with another multimillion dollar preventable lawsuit.
Another CPS casualty - one year later:
  • A 15-year-old boy died Thursday after being shot last May on Chicago's South Side, officials said today.

    Rakeem Robinson was shot May 30 in the 5200 block of South Calumet Avenue, said Monique Bond, a Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman. Robinson, of the 5700 block of South Indiana Avenue, was pronounced dead at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

    At the time of the shooting, Robinson was 14 and a student at Dunbar Vocational Career Academy High School on the South Side, Bond said.

If counted properly, that will push the CPS stats somewhere over thirty for the school year. A new record maybe?
A nonsense threat from the Feds:
  • Newsradio 780 has learned the federal government is threatening to take action against the University of Chicago Medical Center now that investigators have found deficiencies in the emergency room.

    This follows the death of an elderly man in the emergency room waiting room last month.

    What the federal government is threatening to do is take away the University of Chicago Medical Center's Medicare certification.

Ok, let's just review some of Illinois pay-to-play history:
  • An individual we'll call "Michelle O" is hired by the U of C hospitals for a job so important, that when she leaves it, it sits vacant for a year and is cut from the budget in 2009. For this job, she gets over $100,000 to figure out how to increase minority outreach;
  • An individual we'll call "Barack O" is elected to the US Senate and gets a committee assignment that will allow him to direct a number of earmarks totaling over $1 million to the U of C hospitals for all sorts of stuff.
  • The U of C, in a completely voluntary sort of way, gives "Michelle O" a raise that triples her salary in a job that is so important, they eliminate it a year later.
  • "Barack O" moves on to a better job in charge of all sorts of cool stuff, including the people threatening to take away the U of C Medicare Certification.
We'll lay even money on a bunch of apologies, maybe a letter of reprimand and a bunch of promises to never let anything like what just happened to happen ever again - and by the way, it wasn't our fault. Anyone want to bet against us?



If true, a new low:
  • Jody took his ball and went home today... He was absent at the monthly "superintendents award ceremony". Just a week or so after he was given a no confidence vote, Jody Weis was "too busy" to spend an hour of his day honoring and presenting awards to the officers that, according to first deputy superintendent James Jackson, "went above and beyond the call of duty and exemplify why I am proud to call myself a Chicago Policeman". What a shame. This act of defiance by the superintendent clearly has drawn a line in the sand. It is them against me.
We recall a couple of instances of the Awards Ceremony being canceled or delayed because the Superintendent couldn't be there. But just not showing up? Even in a fit of pique?

Certainly seems like he's "got your back," doesn't it?


What Could They Be Hiding II

  • Mayor Daley's son and nephew have hired a criminal defense attorney to represent them in the ongoing investigation of their investment in a sewer-cleaning company that won millions of dollars in no-bid contract extensions from City Hall.

    Charles Sklarsky, a former federal prosecutor now with the law firm of Jenner & Block, confirmed Thursday he is representing Patrick Daley and his cousin Robert Vanecko.

David Hoffman, the Inspector General, is also a former Fed. Perhaps this is all part of Daley's master plan? Former Fed-on-Former Fed battle? Can it be a fight to the death? We could sell tickets and use it to fund the pension Daley and his relatives have managed to loot for the past decade plus.

And who has copies of the Pension Board minutes where the retiree representative voted with the City representatives to deny disability payments to a number of coppers? We need the full story. Perhaps the Patrolman's Representative needs to start a blog to update everyone on this stuff?


CPD in Oakland

The trip took almost two days and crossing the Continental Divide meant a bunch of snow in Wyoming. But the Chicago Police Department had a showing in Oakland to honor the four fallen Officers that was appreciated by California Law Enforcement to no end:

If any other pics of the trip are available, we'll see if we can get them up on this site and a few of our fellow blogger sites.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Eyewitness Testimony Destroyed

  • The testimony of a key witness against a police officer charged with punching a man in the face inside a West Loop bar was undercut today when security video showed the officer outside the bar when the man was struck.
  • But Fahey then played footage from a second camera monitoring the exterior of the building that showed Barnes on the sidewalk outside at the moment when Vanderford said she saw him throw the punch. Fahey asked if she was still certain she saw Barnes strike Gilfand.

    Vanderford hesitated before answering.

    "Since no one can be in two places at one time ... I would say it's possible that I'm mistaken," she said.

Mistaken? Lady, you ought to be charged with perjury. And the ASA's prosecuting this disaster of a case ought to be fired by Anita Alvarez for missing this glaringly obvious hole in their case. This is looking more and more like a political persecution and a wholesale overreaction to a simple battery case between two groups at a bar.

No comment from Leo.


Why the Parade was Canceled

We have been forwarded an e-mail from a few different people. The e-mail seems to be from a the Chair of the Southside Irish Parade Committee and was sent out to members prior to the press release of Wednesday. Here's the primary reason the parade was canceled:
  • Many will say this was a long time coming. The behavior of those who come to this neighborhood on parade day just to get drunk and cause trouble has gotten worse and worse over the past decade, and it's finally become too much for the neighborhood to endure. The tipping point, in case your curious, was the fact that 11 police officers were assaulted during the 2009 parade. This total disregard for law enforcement crossed a new line, and we were afraid the next step would be someone getting seriously injured or even killed. So given that mindset, we obviously could not go forward.

    Not sure how you all feel about the parade at this point - I'm sure some of you will be glad to see it go while others will be disappointed. Though I did not hesitate to vote with those committee members who wanted to end it, I think it is an incredible shame. This was an event which helped defined the community in which I've chosen to live. It was a tradition that spanned my entire life and one I'd hoped to share with my daughter. And because of irresponsible people, most of whom don't even live in this community, it has been destroyed.
So for this reason, we salute the chair and the committee for recognizing that this event had ceased to be about Irish heritage and family and culture. Here letter concludes with the following:
  • The committee will work hard to make sure that the end of the parade does not mean the end of Irish celebrations in Beverly. We plan to continue with the annual Mass and hopefully create a new tradition - some kind of cultural event, perhaps at the Beverly Art Center, involving Irish music, dance, food, etc. All of that is of course very vague right now, but I hope you all will choose to support it.
We here at SCC wish them a brilliant beginning to a new tradition. Thanks for looking out for the Chicago Police Department and acknowledging what so many other parade organizations aren't willing or mature enough to accept.


Way to Go J-Fed

This is about as bad as Phil hugging Meeks:
  • Supt. Jody Weis elevated three Hispanic members of the department Thursday, including promoting a Latino officer to head Internal Affairs, the office that investigates misconduct of police.
That's how Channel 2 opens their coverage.

We give a rat's ass about the racial makeup of the upper echelon, but that's the first thing Daley's media lap dogs report. Not that J-Fed promoted the most qualified individuals to the posts. Not that J-Fed conducted a thorough and exhaustive search that resulted in these three persons being moved to where they could provide the Department and City of Chicago their expertise in advancing the cause of policing in the new century. Reading the full article and you find out exactly what occurred:
  • "We're very excited,'' said the Rev. Wilfredo De Jesus, pastor of New Life Covenant Church. "At least they are willing to hear and meet with us, and now we are seeing some changes. It's well overdue. We hope there's more [in] the future.''

    Sources said Weis had recognized the need to diversify the upper ranks of the department even before meeting with the clergy. He committed himself to work on it at the meeting, one source said.
Ah, yes. The churches calling the tune. Or at least the churches that have members that Daley needs votes from to hang on to his office on the fifth floor of City Hall.

So Daley tells J-Fed, "Jump" and J-Fed says "How high Mr. Daley?" and Daley says, "Dat's a good boy there Jody" and everyone moves the names around on the doors and desks. If there was any doubt (and there shouldn't have been) that J-Fed is nothing but a tool for Shortshanks, this ought to wash away any remaining questions.


What Could They Be Hiding?

  • Trustees for at least two city pension funds are considering stonewalling Chicago's inspector general over a subpoena for records involving their investments with a company co-owned by one of Mayor Daley's nephews.

    The funds invested millions of dollars in DV Urban Realty Partners, founded by Daley nephew Robert Vanecko and Allison Davis, a mayoral supporter whose law firm once employed Barack Obama.

    At their last meeting, trustees for the police fund voiced opposition to the subpoena. They're meeting again today. An attorney for another city pension fund has contacted Inspector General David Hoffman's office to say its trustees also plan to refuse his subpoena, according to sources who would not identify that fund.

Oh, wait. Nothing to see here. Move along people.


Recent Olympic Upheaval

  • When Chicago 2016 Olympics boosters make a critical sales pitch Thursday, they will have to work hard to be heard over a freshly erupting international financial dispute that could hurt their campaign.

    International Olympic Committee officials this week cranked up the heat on their longstanding crusade to reduce the share of Olympic television and sponsorship money that funnels to the United States Olympic Committee, Chicago's bid partner.

    The rhetoric has been searing: "It's unfair, scandalously unfair, that the government of the richest country in the world doesn't pay a dime to [Olympic] sport and we have to subsidize American athletes," Hein Verbruggen, an honorary IOC member and one of the most vocal Olympic leaders on the issue, told the Tribune on Wednesday.
Well, actually, that's what the Games are supposed to be about - amateur athletics. Government sponsorship leads to abuses like the East German steroid factories, the Red Army hockey teams, or any of a dozen other scandals. That isn't to say that America hasn't had it's share of doping and cheating and such. But at least the US had amateurs beating what were essentially paid athletes from other countries at times.

Anyway, slightly amusing that at a time when Richie is crying poor and pinching every penny in an attempt to get the Games, the IOC is attempting to steal as much American TV money and sponsorship dollars to pad their own accounts.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Exempt and Captain Movement?

Post 'em if you got 'em.

Even the Streets Hate Daley

  • It's stranger than fiction! Sneed hears Mayor Daley's car hit a huge pothole Tuesday, which flattened two of his tires!

    • • The kicker: The pothole incident occurred shortly after hizzoner apologized to the Chicago public for the behavior of convicted Streets and Sans czar Al Sanchez, who was in charge of plugging the city's potholes!

    • • Upshot: It was a Pulaski Avenue pothole, which ruptured the tires while Daley was being driven back to City Hall in his Lincoln Town Car.

Does anyone know if Shortshanks hopped out, stripped to his shirtsleeves and helped the Detail change the tires? Does anyone think that Daley actually knows how to change a tire? Or fill a tire for that matter? Yeah, right.


Protest March Coming

Yes, we got the text messages. Yes, we got the e-mails. The rumor mill is shuddering under the winds of the latest and even the Tribune is picking up on it:
  • Leaders of Chicago's police union are considering taking the growing acrimony over contract negotiations public at a most inopportune time for Mayor Daley -- picketing on the day International Olympic Committee evaluators arrive next week to see the city.

    Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue acknowledged that a picket line of cops while Olympic officials are in town April 2-7 is "being discussed," but he said nothing has been decided by the union and declined to comment further.

    But multiple police sources familiar with union activities said that an "informational picket" is being planned for next Thursday, the day the IOC's 16-member evaluating commission is scheduled to arrive in Chicago. The sources expected the picketing to take place at City Hall, but the location is among issues still being discussed.
Why one day of pickets? Why not a few days worth? Why not a bus on standby for the "grand tour" and drive ahead of the IOC entourage to conduct "informational pickets" at each and every whistle-stop the convoy makes?

One day of picketing is a mosquito bite to Shortshanks. One week of being alongside his Olympic dream is a festering boil on Daley's ass.

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019 Insanity

This is a joke, right?
  • O.T. but what's with 019 grading the P.O.'s? Not sure if it's just on the 2nd watch but I've heard that the 2nd watch Watch Commander recently handed out letter grades to the P.O.'s on the watch. You got graded on your activity (or lack thereof). Not sure what affect it would have on the P.O.

    Is this the new evaluation system that the department has been promising to roll out?
Save the paper boys and girls. Save every scrap you can put your hands on and document who was in the room when the W/C handed it out.

Especially save it if the W/C is attempting to deny you Special Employment or Time Due based on your letter grade.


Re-Opening an Investigation

We've all heard that the "numbers game" is real, is bullshit, is reality, is fantasy. We certainly hope that it's BS. But way too much of this Department is numbers driven and not really "results oriented." Our 40% and dropping clearance rate is proof of that.

The Fox News piece only lends credence to the conspiracy side of the argument, especially when Fox has an Exempt Supervisor admitting the base has been reopened.


No More Parade

  • Let this release serve as notice that the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is not planning to stage a parade in its present form in March of 2010.

    This decision was not arrived at lightly. For 31 years, this parade was a staple of the Beverly/Morgan Park and Mt. Greenwood communities – a celebration of faith, family and heritage that was cherished by thousands. Founded in 1979 by the Hendry and Coakley families, it was intended to instill in this community an appreciation for the Irish heritage that so many of its residents share.

Unfortunately, the parade sort of contributed to a fulfillment of a number of Irish stereotypes, too, and that as much as anything resulted in its demise. Too big, too sloppy, too ridiculous. No telling how much pressure City Hall put on the organizers, but we imagine it was considerable.

Now, will that pressure be brought to bear on another set of "organizers" that drain police resources at the other end of the parade calendar? Because we are rapidly approaching the point where we will not be able to cover the manpower needs for a large scale event like that anymore.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Information Being Suppressed?

Someone mentioned this in a comment section:
  • Is it just us or do the reports of shootings seem down?
We did an unscientific survey of a few of the media outlets listed on the right side and aside from the railroad copper killing the armed assailant (good job by the way), there weren't many shootings reported over the past few days. Not even in the "metro briefing" blurbs that take a paragraph or so.

It's doubly unusual because we've been on the scenes of at least two shootings in the past few days and heard of another seven that didn't make the news, including a triple wounding.

What reason could there be for keeping a lid on violent crime numbers? Is there some big even planned for the first week of April that would necessitate keeping hidden actual instances of Chicagoans trying to off each other?

And the media dances while Richie calls the tunes.

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Common Sense Rejected

  • Mayor Daley is seething over a West Side legislator’s suggestion that children be educated about gun safety and gun use.

    State Rep. Annazette Collins (D-Chicago) said she believes that education is the key to gun safety, and said a hands-on approach is the key to taking away the mystery and allure of guns.

    “Downstate they teach you that guns are meant for hunting, for protection,” she said. “Here in the urban cities, all they see are guns on TV and they gun down people.”

    Opponents filled a town hall meeting Monday night in Garfield Park, and Mayor Daley is adding his voice to the outrage.

    “It’s the silliest position I’ve ever heard taken,” Daley said.
No, the silliest position is Illinois and Wisconsin being the last of the 50 states to legalize some form of concealed carry that has been proven time and time again to reduce violent crime.

But actually educating people, young people, as to basic safety principles regarding something that, despite all Shortshank's attempts to ban it, still manages to pop up with astonishing frequency. Notice how Daley twists the issue to his own anti-gun views:
  • Daley said putting guns in the hands of more children is the last thing the city of Chicago needs.

    [...] Daley said there is already too much gun violence on Chicago’s West Side, and said he believed Collins’ proposal would only fuel it.

    “If (she thinks) more guns on the West Side is going to help those people, she is greatly mistaken,” Daley said.
Collins, of course, didn't say she wanted to put guns in anyone's hands or even more guns in a City that already bans them. She isn't advocating teaching these kids marksmanship, arming them, and sending them out to kill. But being aware of when a gun is loaded (always), what it's capable of (holes in paper, walls, people), and what they should do when they see one (tell the police) isn't a bad idea.


Post Number 5,000

Damn. Not too shabby.

Almost 5.5 million visits and well over 12 million page views. We won't even try to count the comments.

And we'd like to thank each and every one of you if we could.

Open post in the meantime.

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All is Forgiven We Guess

  • Mayor Daley apologized today for the rampant hiring fraud that culminated in the conviction of his former Streets and Sanitation commissioner, but refused to answer questions about politically damaging trial testimony.
  • Twelve times reporters fired specific questions at the mayor. Only once did Daley answer directly — to deny a federal monitor’s claim that hiring abuses continue, including some at Streets and San, and that City Hall continues to thwart her efforts to clean up the mess.
So a so-called "public servant" doesn't have to explain himself to the voters? The people who pay his salary? Evidently, we aren't the only ones unimpressed:
  • Attorney Michael Shakman filed the landmark lawsuit that was supposed to ban political hiring.

    On Tuesday, Shakman was unimpressed by the mayor’s apology. He was more concerned about the city’s tepid response to the specific allegations — about personnel problems uncorrected and violators who remain unpunished — in the monitor’s latest report.

    “The most valuable thing the mayor could do would be to direct his considerable influence and prestige toward dealing with those problems. Until he does, we’re gonna have a continued culture of reluctant foot-dragging instead of real reform,” Shakman said.

How about the most valuable thing Daley could do is resign? We can always dream.


Cancel Tribune Subscriptions

Remember when the Trib used to advocate Midwestern Republican values? Now they publish crap like this:
  • As he walked out of prison a free man earlier this month, Jessie Rankins barely greeted his wife, exchanging only a few words without kissing or hugging her. He hadn't seen her in 2 1/2 years. It was their fourth wedding anniversary.

    "I'll feel better when I see my dog," he said a short time later.

    Rankins isn't a household name, but his crime was among the most notorious murders in Chicago history.

    Just a scrawny boy in 1994, he and a friend abducted 5-year-old Eric Morse, dangled the screaming boy out a 14th-floor window at a public housing high-rise and dropped him to his death. Eric had refused to steal candy for them, prosecutors said.
The entire article is some bullshit about this piece of garbage and his partner who dropped a child about 140 feet to his death. Think about that. One hundred forty feet straight down into solid earth. That's about 3 seconds of free fall reaching a speed somewhere near 40 meters a second at impact. What wasn't splintered in Eric Morse was pulverized. Some of us here worked in a bunch of those buildings and their twins before they tore them all down. Talk about godforsaken shit holes.

And the story seems to be that we should feel sorry for these two assholes because they were "raised" in prison, can't read, can't hold jobs, and have been in and out of prison in the intervening twenty years due to their choices.


It would have been a fucking mercy if these two were drowned at birth. And it'd be another fucking blessing if they were both crushed to death by steamrollers.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Patrol Numbers

Are you feeling lonely? Have you noticed you seem to have a better choice of seats at Roll Call? Does your back up seem miles away?

You aren't imagining it.

Word has come in from some of our suburban contacts that J-Fed addressed the West Suburban Chiefs of Police meeting this past January. During his speech, he related to the assembled that Chicago had 7,700 officers currently in the Patrol Division.


Divided by 25 Districts, that's 308 per. Over 3 Watches. Now factor in the Furloughs, RDO's, IOD's, inside staff, detailed out, etc. You begin to see the problem? Look at your watch sheets. We see three to four cars down every night and those are primary beat cars. Backup is non existent and it's amazing more people haven't been hurt.


Ethics Rules? Not for the Mayor

Seems once again, rules are for you little people, not your benevolent rulers:
  • It's impossible to say how much the freebies are worth. On the yearly "statements of financial interest" Daley files with the Chicago Board of Ethics, he only has to check off that they're worth at least a total of more than $500. That figure triggers another requirement: Daley is supposed to disclose every gift he gets from anyone other than his wife and family.

    Instead of providing the Board of Ethics with a list of gifts, though, Daley tells the board a "mayoral gift log is maintained in the mayor's office and is available for public inspection.''

  • But those logs are far from complete, a Chicago Sun-Times review has found, failing to disclose all of the gifts Daley gets.

    They don't, for instance, include any of the trips Daley has gotten from various organizations. Or any of the free meals he has eaten. Nor do the gift logs even list the birthday and Christmas presents he has gotten from his staff since 2005.

    "The staff? We almost view that as a family gift to him," Daley press secretary Jacquelyn Heard said.

Yeah, because family members are required to pony up a certain percentage of their salaries as a group gift, or tribute, to "He Who Controls the Jobs." What other kind of "Outfit" requires this sort of payment? Wait a minute....family, tribute, outfit...hmmmm.

Jacquelyn Heard, former member of the press and "unnamed City Hall source" in hundreds of Sun Times articles, puts a couple of nice statements out there:
  • "He has to record everything that's considered a gift," Heard said. "What you consider a gift and what we consider a gift are two different things."

    And Daley doesn't consider free trips to be gifts, according to Heard.

    "When the mayor is traveling abroad promoting the city, we don't consider that a gift because he is working as mayor and chief promoter of the city of Chicago," she said. "He's not going there for fun in the sun."

Which is why his wife accompanies him on most of these trips.
  • Chicago's ethics ordinance prohibits the mayor and other city officials and their immediate family members from taking any gift worth more than $50 from anyone doing business with City Hall.

    "A lot of these gifts are inconsequential," Heard said. "Whether they're on or off [the list], what difference does it make? I don't think there's a lot of gifts left off the list. There's no concerted effort. There's not a 'don't-log' list."

The difference is that the mayor is breaking his own Ethics Rules. The rules we're required to take a test for annually. The rules that have how many hundreds of employees filling out enough paperwork to kill a rain forest. We can't imagine that the mayor would have someone else take a test for him. Can you?


Cart Before the Horse

  • Chicago’s Olympic bid committee and South Side community groups hope to wrap up an agreement by the end of the week that spells out City Hall guarantees on contracting and affordable housing, sources close to the negotiations said.

    The two sides are hammering out details such as the percentage of Olympic-related contracts that will go to minority- and women-owned businesses and what amount of the Olympic Village will be reserved as affordable housing after the games wrap up, assuming Chicago is chosen to host the 2016 Summer Games.

Some people are putting an awful lot of assumptions on the table 7 months early.


Last Place?

  • Hopes and preparations for the 2016 Olympics have been dominating public discourse and city planning for more than two years, but now, the latest ranking of the four finalist cities for the games shows Chicago has now slipped into last place.

    [...] the city's Olympic Committee has its work cut out for it over the next two weeks, as it tries to put minds at ease about the viability of the Chicago's bid.

    The Web site GamesBids.com released a mathematical model called Bid Index for the four finalist cities for the 2016 Games. The analysis has Tokyo leading the pack with a ranking of 61.41, followed by Rio de Janeiro with 59.95, Madrid with 58.73, and Chicago in last place with 58.37.
The main reason for the drop is the lack of 100% guaranteed government financing for the Games. Shortshanks is relying on corporate donations of the sort that have helped bail out Millennium Park and "the Bean." In light of the global economy tanking and corporations reducing their outlay for naming rights, sponsorships and other similar spending, the Chicago proposal is indeed on shaky ground.

NoGamesChicago even has a website and are planning a rally in the Federal Plaza. They claim that 2,000 people are slated to show. It's enough to send the mayor into another tantrum.


That Sanchez - He Dirty

  • Former city Streets and Sanitation boss Al Sanchez has called himself an “operational guy” who makes “lemonade out of lemons,” but a federal jury handed him a bagful of lemons today, finding the longtime former city official guilty of four of seven counts of corruption.

    “Today is not a fair day,” Sanchez told reporters.

No word on all those folks who weren't hired on whether they thought it had been a "fair" year or two.

Sanchez's family isn't happy:
  • But Sanchez's family said he was a scapegoat for higher-ranking players. Asked who Sanchez was taking the fall for, his mother, Mary Sanchez, replied, "The main guy is up there, at City Hall."

    "The fat cat," said sister Cynthia Ramirez, adding that her brother "was used."
Well Cynthia, you've got a couple of weeks, maybe a month or two, to convince your brother to tell the truth about who did the hiring, who was referred to him, who pulled the strings. We're sure plenty of Federal people would be more than eager to listen. Otherwise, your brother will just be another in a long line of patsies who lie down in front of a bus driven by Daley. And we have no sympathy for someone who won't help themselves.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Shooting and Grenade Incidents

  • A Marquette Park man has been charged with two counts of attempted murder for allegedly firing shots at police during a pursuit early Sunday on the Southwest Side.

    [...] Gonzalez allegedly fled on food [sic]. Officers pursued and ordered Gonzalez to halt and drop his weapon. Gonzalez allegedly responded by turning and firing four shots at the pursuing officers, who returned fire, police said.
  • Police arrested a man who tossed a fake grenade during a foot chase Sunday morning in the Far South Side’s Roseland community.

    Police responded to a call of a person with a gun near East 107th Street and South Wentworth Avenue about 10:40 a.m. Responding officers located the suspect, who attempted to flee on foot, police said.

    During the chase, the suspect tossed what appeared to be a grenade. Officers notified the Chicago Fire Department and the police Bomb & Arson Section and captured the suspect, police said. No gun was ever found on the man.

Unfortunately, one of these days, it might not be an inert device. Be careful.


Daley Tantrum

In light of the mayor's actions in derailing the negotiations, it becomes easier and easier to believe stories like this:
  • Embarrassment is what gets under the Mayor's skin. I am unaware if this is out but the day of no confidence was taken very serious, so serious that he was throwing stuff around and yelling like a 2 year old.
This isn't the first time we've heard of the mayor acting like a petulant child when he doesn't get his way. The stories of his tantrums and hissy-fits pop up with astonishing regularity for someone who's supposed to be running a world class city with dreams of hosting an Olympics. But as Shortshanks has never held a job that actually involved earning money by the sweat of labor, we can see where his spoiled rotten attitude would shine through under the mildest of pressures.

So how do we increase the pressure?

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New Illinois State Police Director

  • The newly appointed director for the Illinois State Police is a 29-year-old decorated military veteran from St. Charles.

    Jonathon E. Monken, a Bronze Star recipient and former U.S Army Captain, has served in both Kosovo and Iraq, Gov. Quinn said at a news conference today.

Our blogging brothers over at ISPeeved have some a post or two up and the comment sections are alive with humor, despair and sarcasm to rival anything we see here daily.

We'll just say that a 29-year-old wunderkind with zero police experience running a major police department? Thank goodness this could never happen in Chicago.


No More Armed Pilots

  • After the September 11 attacks, commercial airline pilots were allowed to carry guns if they completed a federal-safety program. No longer would unarmed pilots be defenseless as remorseless hijackers seized control of aircraft and rammed them into buildings.

    Now President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology.

    The Obama administration this past week diverted some $2 million from the pilot training program to hire more supervisory staff, who will engage in field inspections of pilots.

The easiest way to kill programs is to cut or divert funding which is exactly what seems to be happening here. Now let's combine this with recent Department of Defense memo that requires the military to destroy all it's brass rather than sell it to ammo companies for re-manufacturing AND a number of bills based on this oppressive legislation working it's way through various state legislatures and the national scene.

This Administration is actively working behind the scenes to make everyone less safe - not only in the air but in your homes as well.


Sanchez Verdict Today?

Will Al beat the case?

Who knows? But hopefully, he continues to make Shortshanks nervous. Someone somewhere has to stop taking the fall for the mayor.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Arbitration Opportunity

There have been a number of comments, probably by Daley drones, taunting our readers about the arbitration process ending without retro checks and zero percent raises for the next contract.

Arbitration is not without risks. But it's also a chance at something better than what was being offered. And the Arbitrator who ends up being chosen is bound by certain rules and precedents. The offer of 16.1% for 5 years was, in our opinion, horseshit. If the 50 aldercreatures who allegedly have their fingers on the financial pulse of the city felt comfortable in accepting a 6% raise for their part-time jobs, and had no qualms about giving their staffers a 5% raise, and had no trouble accepting an increase in their $1 million in "ward allowances," then we have to accept that the City IS NOT in dire financial straits.

And if the mayor is comfortable in allowing the Superintendent to keep his $310,000 after eliminating half of his duties, then we'll have to accept that the mayor is getting the most bang for his buck.

If Government collects more money than it spends, it is obligated to either (A) spend it or (B) rebate it to the tax payers. There isn't supposed to be a "rainy day fund" or some "Olympic fund" or anything like that. Contract obligations take precedence over these "funds" and must be met. So all of the City books have to be opened. Daley has sold the meters, the parking garages, the Skyway for billions and has TIF money stashed away in all sorts of accounts. That all has to be brought out into the open and it will reveal that the city is far from broke. To that end, we urge the following:
  • File for arbitration first thing Monday morning. It's obvious the City has been bargaining in bad faith. Make them open the books and justify every nickel. If the teachers can get 4.5% with a 50% dropout rate and a climbing illiteracy rate, anything less for cops is ridiculous.
  • File a lawsuit in Federal Court demanding the City use this stash of unaccounted money and sale of assets to fully fund the pension in accordance with State Law. Make some waves. Call Shortshanks' bluff. Make him even more miserable by pointing out his constant hypocrisy.
This is a half-assed move by a man feeling pressure. Something is crumbling in his house of cards and a few good kicks will either uncover something or collapse part of it. We are uniting in rage against a common enemy. Keep it together.


Four Cops Dead In Oakland

  • Law enforcement sources said that four officers are dead, along with a suspect after a traffic stop led to a massive manhunt in the streets of East Oakland.

    It all began with the the fatal shooting of two officers during a traffic stop near 73rd and Hillside Streets, around 1 p.m. Saturday. The gunman fled and police closed off the surrounding streets to traffic while dozens of Oakland police, California Highway Patrol officers and Alameda County sheriff deputies conducted an intense search for the suspect.

    At about 3:10 p.m., a SWAT team confronted the suspect barricaded inside an apartment building close to location of the first shooting. Gunfire was exchanged between the two parties, fatally wounding two more officers, and killing the suspect.
No word on what precipitated this event, but an almost unheard of death toll on Oakland PD tonight. Keep them in your prayers.

UPDATE: Initial reports had all four killed, but updates have three dead, one in critical to grave condition.

UPDATE: The fourth officer died of his wounds. We were hoping we wouldn't have to switch the headline back to the original "Four," but it wasn't to be.


J-Fed to Remove Bodyguards

Since J-Fed has once again demonstrated his vast grasp of provincial law enforcement duties, we're looking forward to some changes:
  • Weis said he doesn't know how the armed guards are trained, since they are hired by a private firm. He also said many officers don't like issuing citations and might welcome a move that could free them of those duties.

    "It's in the concept phase, we have to have a lot of discussions," Weis said. "Anything we can do in today's times that would put more officers on the street to address crimes of violence, is worth looking at."

This is in regard to the aldercratures attempting to farm out police duties. Police duties that are the subject of a labor agreement and are therefore subject to negotiation and arbitration, but hey, what's the value of a contract anymore since democrats just seem to want to void out agreements when they don't get the desired results? That's a discussion for another day.

But building on J-Fed's comment that "Anything we can do in today's times that would put more officers on the street to address crimes of violence, is worth looking at" we ask the following:
  • If private security guards are good enough for the citizens of the 9th and 10th wards in order to free up more officers for street crimes, wouldn't it make sense to reduce the mayoral bodyguard of twenty-one bodies (at sergeants pay) and the two-man cars assigned 24/7 at the mayor's house and replace them with security guards paid for from the campaign funds of the mayor?
  • And how about Ed Burke's six man detail for an imaginary threat from how many years ago? Shouldn't his campaign funds of how many millions be utilized to pay for his own security rather than a highly trained officer who could be out chasing guns, gangs and drugs?
Eliminating those two details would almost staff an entire watch in most districts. And paying them D-1 instead of D-3 would save what Shortshanks pays J-Fed for a year.

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Parking Meter Problems

  • Chicago's abrupt transfer of parking meters to a private company has drivers and business owners angry about erroneous overcharges and confusing enforcement rules.

    The problems come on top of a fourfold increase in rates at meters this year that has sent motorists searching for quarters in seat cushions and merchants complaining that the new on-street parking regulations have hurt their business.
Gee. Business revenue down. That means less tax revenue. That means bigger holes in the City budget. Brilliant fucking thinking at work here. And the problems?
  • Outdated fee and violation-enforcement information still posted on many meters since the city switched from six parking zones to three.
  • Meters that, regardless of what the stickers indicate, charge the wrong hourly rates for the zone in which they are located, increasing the chance of vehicles being ticketed. For example, in the 1800 block of North Clybourn Avenue, an area where 25 cents is supposed to buy 15 minutes of parking time, meter No. 279089 provides only seven minutes for a quarter. A black marker was used to cover up the "15" on the meter's rate sticker with "7."
  • A surge in broken meters, many overstuffed with coins.
  • Stepped-up writing of tickets for parking-meter violations.
And does anyone actually carry around this much change?
  • The increase in parking-meter rates this year means that it takes eight quarters to park for two hours in city neighborhoods, 28 quarters to park for two hours in the Loop and 16 quarters in the central business district.
We see a lot less traveling to our favorite restaurants, watering holes and other locations around the city. Hello suburbs with free parking!


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fuck You Police!

WBBM Newsradio is reporting Daley has pulled all offers of raises from the table regarding the Police Contract. More to follow as it becomes available.

Sun Times article here.


Motorcycle Crash

Off Duty Officer killed:
  • Off Topic: The 23rd District Tact Unit regrets to announce that PO Cameron KARSHNA was killed 20 Mar 09 in a fatal traffic crash. Cameron served in the unit over 4 years. He was presently IOD from injuries sustained from fighting with a prisoner in the tact office and was returning home from rehab when the tragedy occurred. The Tact Unit would like to express sincere thanks to the 16th District, the CFD, the Niles PD & FD and the staff of Lutheran General Hosp. who showed such great care and compassion in handling this incident. God Bless you all.
    Robert H. Stasch
    Tactical Lieutenant
    23rd District


Nice Pinch

Of course, this never would happen if the ACLU successfully eliminates "consent searches" as they are trying to do in the article listed right below this one:
  • A traffic stop by Chicago police overnight led to two arrests and the confiscation of 11 weapons, ammunition and hand grenades, authorities said this evening.

    Officers assigned to a Surgical Strike Team mission Thursday night pulled over a car containing two men after witnessing the driver make an illegal turn at 63rd Street and Western Avenue, according to police News Affairs.

    Police saw a weapon in the car and arrested the two men. After getting permission to search the men's homes, police seized a total of 11 guns -- a shotgun, three rifles and seven handguns -- along with two hand grenades and multiple boxes of ammunition.

Grenades appearing more and more lately, but we don't hear Shortshanks calling for a ban on them for some reason. Maybe Daley thinks the gang bangers are using them to practice for the shot-put or something.


More TSSS Results

  • Police forces throughout Illinois much more often search, with permission, vehicles driven by African Americans and Hispanics than by whites, even though they more often find contraband -- such as drugs and guns -- in the cars driven by whites.

    It is difficult to interpret those facts any way other than to conclude that the police, on the whole statewide, discriminate against black and Hispanic drivers.

So since more minorities consent to searches, police discriminate? What the hell is up with this reasoning? And since the largest number of drugs and guns are found in white people's cars, police would be better off stopping them?

Here's a clue for the ignoramuses running the Sun Times - the average driver cannot travel one-eighth of a mile without committing a traffic violation and that's being generous. Should an officers somewhere in this state feel the need to stop a car for any reason, they'll find it. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it. Same goes for your rights.

We didn't spend our high school and college years smoking dope, drinking stolen beer and killing brain cells, therefore we have a better than rudimentary understanding of our rights. But rather than address that, the Sun Times advocates further restrictions on what is a pretty basic police tool. But then, this entire study was put forward by people who want to (A) create an entire division of government full of patronage hack jobs and (B) to reduce effective policing in Illinois.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Investigating the Pension

  • City Hall's inspector general has begun investigating how at least three city pension funds came to make investments with a firm co-owned by a nephew of Mayor Richard Daley, the Tribune has learned.

    The office of Inspector General David Hoffman has subpoenaed records from the pension funds dealing with their investments of tens of millions of dollars in DV Urban Realty Partners, a real estate investment firm formed by a top Daley ally, Allison Davis, and Daley nephew Robert Vanecko.

    The inspector general requested records on those investments from the funds for municipal employees, police and laborers, according to a source. The pension funds have paid the investment group hundreds of thousands of dollars in management or consulting fees.

And frightening:
  • Police pension fund executive director John Gallagher said that DV Urban Realty so far had drawn $5 million on the fund's original $15 million commitment; as of the end of last year, that $5 million investment was valued at $3.5 million. He declined further comment.
So the investment has already tanked 30%. Good job Gallagher. Was that your secretary who's tuition we were paying? What else are you spending money on? Because it certainly isn't professional investment managers.


"Merit" Letter Out

And they're looking for sergeants.

Still no word on the Lieutenant's list. They've had that letter since September of last year.

And now rumors are beginning of no detectives? What the hell?

UPDATE: " " added to reflect the actuality of "meri-clout-orious"


What Hath Ron Wrought?

First, he saddles the Department with a completely unworkable computer system that took nearly a decade to iron out all the problems with.

Then he manages to run OEMC into the ground. They're still recovering over there.

Now the CTA has blown an application deadline for some $153 million in Federal aid and increased "slow zones" once again:
  • CTA trains are again operating at lower speeds over more track because of an increase in potentially unsafe conditions, a discouraging about-face for a transit agency that has worked hard for more than a year redirecting limited funds to reduce slow zones.
With the reverse-Midas effect, everything Huberman touches turns to crap. And since Chicago Public Schools are already "slow zones," we imagine that they'll be going backwards very shortly.


Dumb Illinois Criminals

  • Two men who robbed a south side jewelry store Wednesday morning didn't get far after swiping money and jewelry from the business, Milwaukee police said.

    As they left the store in the 1100 block of W. Historic Mitchell St. about 10:50 a.m., the two robbers - at least one of whom had a handgun - were met by a group of at least four men who robbed them, Lt. Thomas Welch said.

    A fight broke out on the street before both groups got into their vehicles, sparking a chase, Welch said.

    Milwaukee police officers pulled over both vehicles, arresting four people - the two original robbers, ages 31 and 40, and two men from the second group, ages 22 and 27, Welch said. All four of the arrested men were from Illinois, he said.

And now the Wisconsin taxpayers get to foot the bill for the next 5 to 12.


Meeks, Shut Up

  • Sen. James Meeks, the South Side minister who has been the state's most outspoken advocate of an income tax increase for the past seven years.

    Meeks supports raising the income tax so that the state will adequately fund education. In particular, he wants to end the over-reliance on property taxes for school funding that shortchanges students in poorer communities such as some of those he represents in the south suburbs.

    In the process, Meeks had also hoped to use a big chunk of the money from an income tax increase to provide direct property tax relief.

This from a so-called "man of god" who threatened to run for governor for months unless Blago coughed up $4 BILLION for schools that have already had billion thrown at them and have continued to fail to educate children. We'd call that political extortion.

And we also can't wait to see how many companies begin to move their corporate headquarters out of Illinois. This is going to go down just like Daley's Bottled Water Tax. Everyone started shopping for water out in the suburbs as soon as that little item passed and it's collecting hundreds of thousand less than projected, leading to more shortfalls. Quinn's budget claims the corporate tax increases will generate an additional $350 million of so... until those corporations start relocating to Indiana and Wisconsin to avoid the tax hikes.

And they're going to take jobs with them.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Poll Results

Is this a little better sampling than the FOP vote that "only" had 160 participants?

  • Do You, a Reader of the Second City Cop blog, have any confidence in the leadership of Jody Weis?

    No 91% 2323 Votes
    Yes 9% 224 Votes

Let's see...
  • about 16 times the FOP meeting totals;
  • 18% of the purported 13,500 - but 25% of the more realistic 10,000;
  • not quite unanimous, but definitely a landslide;
And we had a couple lines of code embedded in the poll that was supposed to limit voting to one per IP address so that it wouldn't get overwhelmed by repeaters, so it's reasonably reflective the readership.

UPDATE: The graphic is a mess. We're trying to fix it. You can still vote down a few posts or just CLICK HERE.


To the Principal's Office - Again

What with the sudden coverage by all the major news stations and papers of the No Confidence vote, one has to wonder what strings Shortshanks is pulling to get this sort of response. Now the City Council is calling J-Fed in for another whuppin'
  • Fresh from a union vote of no-confidence in him, embattled Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis will make his third trip to the City Council hot seat — this time to explain police deployment.

    At Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Police Committee Chairman Isaac Carothers (29th) and Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) introduced a resolution demanding Council hearings on “the most effective use of police resources in higher crime areas.”

    With police hiring slowing to a crawl in Mayor Daley’s 2009 budget, Weis promised last fall to realign Chicago’s 281 police beats.

Ah yes. Realignment. Another promise unfulfilled. The hottest of hot potatoes. We still suspect that Shortshanks is going to use J-Fed as the sacrificial lamb to force through a wholesale redistricting and realignment that hasn't been done since the days of Summerdale. With lackluster hiring (200 bodies this year in the face of 800 retirements) and no test announced, closing a few Districts and disbanding a few units is going to be one way (maybe the only way) to maintain any sort of street presence in strength pretty soon.

Interesting times.


Things That Make You Go "Hmmm"

  • Let the privatization of the CPD begin:

    Commander Ball 005 addressed roll calls yesterday about a handful of P.O.'s who haven't been cooperating with the new private security company patrolling Michigan Ave from 103rd -115th. Commander wanted us all to know how politically connected this security firm is, how right now as we speak they are in the process of getting city council permission to issue parkers and movers. That's right, per a commander of police a security outfit may be conducting traffic stops and writing movers.

    Commander made a big deal about how successful a Canadian security program like this was effective. I'm not sure if Canada has the same problems as Roseland but I do know that one of these elite new security guards locked a trespasser on the sidewalk! Also found two rocks on the guy. Great work except for the obvious civil rights violations. Since they don't have the power to arrest (yet), CPD has to lock them up. Any wonder why some officers aren't cooperating?

    My questions: what training do these morons get? Who is bankrolling them? Who is liable when the lawsuits come?

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, theyre not here to take jobs from the police. Thats what the commander said. But what are they doing? Riding on domestics and other jobs they have no business riding on. Who indemnifies them? Seems to me like Mayor Midget and his crooked alderthief Beals found out a way to save the taxpayers some money. And yes, it is apparently Beals who has been complaining that the police won't cooperate with "his" security force.
We know there's that other private firm that patrols on the south side that's bankrolled by the neighborhood and businesses. We can't remember where exactly, but quasi-police forces being given police powers to patrol city streets and neighborhoods? Sounds like a large number of laws, ordinances and contracts being violated. Readers?


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