Friday, July 31, 2009

Speaking of Changes

We saw the same e-mail thousands of others did. Commander applications are available and due 07 August. We also found out that based on our PC number, we can't access the actual application packet (great job there Personnel Division - keep on shining!)

So how come J-Fed can demote a commander and replace him instantly without going through the Commander applications that haven't been submitted and processed yet?

Sounds like the entire process has been exposed as bullshit. Again. Way to build up that "trust" factor there J-Fed.


First Arbitration, Second...

...announce that not only have you driven the Chicago economy into the ditch, it looks like next year, its rolled over and burst into flames:
  • Even after the city exhausts a $320 million rainy day fund created by leasing the city’s parking meters, it still must find $520 million in costs savings or new revenue to get through next year, officials said today.

    Although new taxes are “a last resort, . . . nothing is ruled out at this point,” Chief Financial Officer Gene Saffold said during a City Hall briefing this afternoon that Mayor Richard Daley did not attend.

    “The mayor has instructed us not to look at property taxes as we move forward in 2010,” Saffold added. “We’re looking for innovative solutions which will help us address this issue.”

    The city plans to use $269 million of the rainy day fund to cover an anticipated 2009 budget deficit. The deficit already was reduced by $59 million, in part through layoffs, employee furloughs and union concessions that affect city services.

    That would leave $51 million in the rainy day fund that will be used to reduce the anticipated 2010 shortfall, which is expected to be worse than the current year. As an example, Saffold said, labor costs are expected to increase $117 million.

It looks like it's time for desperate measures.

How about cutting 30 aldercreatures? That would be a savings of $3.6 million in salaries, $39.9 million in "discretionary fund" spending, and probably another $150 million or more in staff cuts, office rentals, supplying those offices and the attached graft that goes with it. We conservatively estimate that cutting those 30 thieves and their hangers-on would save in the neighborhood of $200 million the first year alone - nearly 40% of Shortshanks' estimated budget shortfall.

They can cover the other $320 million by revamping city purchasing procedures. Problem solved. You can thank our readers for the suggestion.


Thursday, July 30, 2009


A couple of moves are being reported in the comment sections:
  • Commander of 018 elevated to Chief of Special Functions Group
  • Commander of 011 demoted to Lieutenant, Narcotics
More to change before sundown? All moves appear to be effective close of business Friday.

UPDATE: Captain from 007 named 011 District Commander


Anatomy of a Public Castration

This was a hilarious bit of theater that took place all day Wednesday.

Scene I, Act I: Sneed's column:
  • Sneed hears Police Supt. Jody Weis has issued a new deadly force police policy, which is scheduled to go into effect this weekend.

    • • To wit: Chicago cops will now be permitted to shoot at drivers or passengers in cases of felons fleeing in motor vehicles. (Weis' policy advisers recommended the change.)

    • • The upshot: Proponents claim it helps protect cops.

    • • The buckshot: Critics claim the new policy is "ridiculous" and the liability to the City of Chicago could be astronomical.

    • • Translation: "Officers were allowed to use deadly force to prevent death or great bodily harm to themselves or another person, but it didn't allow them to use force to apprehend a fleeing forcible felon," said a police source. "If confronted by an oncoming vehicle, officers were simply told to get out of the way, unless they were put in great danger," added the police source.

Note the key words designed to generate outrage among the populace - "permitted to shoot at drivers or passengers in cases of felons fleeing in motor vehicles." Wow. Just wow. Shooting passengers? We don't know who fed Sneed this bit of crap or on who's orders, but well done! She ran with it and the entire day's events were completely predictable from that point forward. Sneed gives some play to the "policy advisers" who feed her the info and we're assuming this is the "policy group" made up of clout babies with a grand total of eight years experience.

Act 2, Scene 3: Around noon, Shortshanks had a starring role:
  • The mayor said the Chicago Police Department is working to improve its existing policies, but has not officially changed anything.

    Mayor Richard M. Daley said reports that the CPD had changed its police policy on deadly force in incidents involving felony cases where suspects fled the scenes in vehicles were incorrect.

    Earlier Wednesday, a CPD spokesman told ABC7 the policy was going into effect this coming weekend. However, Daley said that's not the case.

Why do we have a sneaking suspicion that the CPD spokesman who gave that interview might be headed back to a district in short order? Last time we checked, it was the Superintendent's signature that appeared on the bottom of most General Orders, Special Orders, Department Notices, or whatever. The Superintendent was the Administrator and set policy direction within the bounds of existing local and state laws. Daley pretty much removed that power by stepping in as boldly and publicly as he did. In essence, he grabbed J-Fed by the balls and gave him a bit of a shake.

And finally, the public castration of the Superintendent (Act 3, Scene 2):
  • Chicago aldermen -- not Police Supt. Jody Weis -- would decide whether police officers can fire their weapons at felony suspects fleeing in motor vehicles, under an ordinance introduced Wednesday amid conflicting statements about an impending policy change.

    Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed reported the new deadly force policy scheduled to take effect Aug. 3. It was confirmed to her by Police Department spokesman Roderick Drew, who did a subsequent radio interview discussing the new policy.

    But, the change was apparently not cleared with the powers that be at City Hall, a no-no for any Chicago police superintendent.

And guess who introduced the ordinance that removed the Superintendent from being the figurehead power dictating policy? Recently indicted aldercreature Ike Carothers!


Ike who was giving J-Fed all sorts of flak during public hearings. Ike who was ignored by J-Fed, either because J-Fed knew of the coming indictment or because J-Fed figured Ike was just another blowhard to be ignored. Ike, even though he's under federal indictment and wore a wire for a year, gets to make the proposal that shows everyone exactly who runs the show here in Chicago and presents the mayor with J-Fed's testicles in a jar. What a show.

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It's Official - Arbitration

  • The City of Chicago has initiated arbitration proceedings with police officers over the stalled contract negotiations, according to the Fraternal Order of Police, the union representing the officers.

    FOP president Mark Donahue said the union was notified late Wednesday afternoon. A spokeswoman for Mayor Daley did not immediately return phone calls.

    The city's officers have been working two years without a contract. Wages are the chief divisive issue between the city and union, according to a statement posted on the union website.

Arbitrators are usually bound by precedent and comparable contracts. Precedent has dictated an average of 3.5% a year during the past two contracts. Precedent has also dictated retro is awarded. The last three or four contracts have always been of a four-year duration. We would urge the FOP to cite the NYPD contract as a comparable contract - 4% a year for 4 years and settled on time.

We're probably another 9 to 12 months from a contract, and if it's a four-year deal, it'll be three-years gone by the time it takes effect. Since the City fails over and over again to negotiate in good faith, maybe we can file for arbitration on Day One next time.


Crooked = Good

  • Mayor Richard M. Daley executed his tried-and-true media strategy again on Tuesday by actually playing off a budding scandal as a good thing and uttering the infamous words of apologists everywhere: Everybody does it.

    This time it's allegations that kids were clouted into the city's top schools.

    "Thank God people want to get their kids into school," Daley said. "Usually, they’re fleeing to the suburbs . . .This is unbelievable."

    In one sense, Daley is right: Chicago schools have sucked for so long that it's actually a sign of progress that some residents are willing to cheat to get their kids into the better ones.

    But it's also wholly inappropriate -- and maddening to those whose kids lost out -- for the mayor to once again basically condone clout as a way of life.
Welcome to the "meri-clout-orious" world that is Daley-land. Even the school children are pawns to be used and moved on political whims. Who knows what shady deals and contracts had to be cut and covered to gain admission into magnet schools? We'll bet there are some doozies there.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fifty New Cops!

  • Twenty-one Illinois law enforcement agencies, including Chicago and numerous suburban departments, will receive nearly $26 million in federal stimulus money to hire or rehire 106 police officers.

    The money is part of $1 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds that will help pay the salaries and benefits of 4,699 police officers nationwide. Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the money would be distributed among 1,046 agencies throughout the country.

    The city of Chicago is slated to receive more than $13 million for 50 entry-level police officers. Calumet City will get more than $1 million for five officers.

That will cover the retirements from March of two years ago! We can't wait to meet these new highly trained officers in another year or so. By which point we should be another thousand or so officers short.

Color us underwhelmed.


Seven in One Blow

Crime is down, but shootings are up. And nights like this ruin the curve:
  • A total of seven people were shot and wounded near the intersection of Walnut Street and Homan Avenue late Tuesday, fire department spokesman Larry Langford said.

    Six of the victims were taken to area hospitals in critical condition, while the seventh was in serious condition with a graze wound, Langford said. All of the victims were males, ranging from teens to young adults.

    Authorities responded to a report of someone shot in the area of Homan and Walnut just before 10:45 p.m.,[...]

    Some of the shooting victims fled the scene after being wounded, one being found in an area convenience store, Langford said.

    An Emergency Medical Services Plan 1 was called, and then additional ambulances were sent for, bring a total of seven ambulances to the scene.

On the Watch Commander Shooting Report, we're going to guess that this one will be listed as "Retaliation? Likely."


Those Pesky Contracts

Don't mean a thing to a mayor desperate to cover up years of financial mismanagement:
  • Mayor Daley says the City’s sister agencies are joining in the shared sacrifice designed to reduce budget shortfalls this year.

    [...] that means more furlough days and budget cuts.

    The Daley Administration is already demanding unpaid days off and spending cuts from all departments here at City Hall.

    Now Mayor Daley says similar moves are being made at the Chicago Transit Authority, the Public Schools, the Park District and other agencies to the tune of nearly $19 million in additional savings.
So all of these agencies that settled their contracts when times were good? Shortshanks wants you to forget all those promises, forget those agreements, forget everything that occurred before and give him bushels full of money.

If their leaders have half a brain, they tell Daley to jump in the lake - they have signed contracts in hand. These are the organizations that have the City over a barrel.


What Global Warming?

  • Have you left your air conditioner in the closet this summer, and worn long pants more often than shorts? If so, you may not be surprised to find out that Chicago is seeing its coldest July in more than 65 years.

    The National Weather Service says 2009 has seen the coldest July since the official recording station was moved away from the lakefront in 1942. The average temperature this month in Chicago has been a mere 68.9 degrees.

    Even in the years before 1942, when the National Weather Service recorded temperatures at the cooler lakefront, there are only three years that had colder Julys through the 26th.
Mother Nature wants it cooler, probably so the Blackhawks can win a Stanley Cup.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What a Deal!

  • Under pressure from the City Council’s most powerful alderman, an Ohio contractor has agreed to slash by 25 percent the price it charges Chicago to transport dead bodies.

    Outgoing Chief Procurement Officer Montel Gayles announced the price cut — from $915-a-body to $690 — at a Finance Committee meeting today during which Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) demanded to know why Chicago was paying more for the grisly service than any other government agency in the nation.

    Dallas pays $94-a-body. San Antonio pays $125-per-cadaver. The Cook County Sheriff’s Police pays $250-per-body.

So we're still paying almost three times as much as Cook County, over four times as much than San Antonio and nearly seven times as much as Dallas to remove the dead.

What makes dead Chicagoans worth so much more?
  • The stretchers GSSP use don't look any more comfortable than a standard ambulance stretcher (not that the deceased would notice).
  • The vans used for transport seem to be a standard mini-van without spinners, rims or top-of-the-line sound systems (again, not that the stiff would be grooving to the oldies).
  • Not to insult the guys hauling the dead, but they don't seem to be Ivy League graduates who might be able to demand a higher salary based on their credentials.
All we can figure is that once again, taxpayers are getting screwed, even when they're dead. And the City Council has the nerve to call this "savings" since they reduced the previous 335% increase by a whopping 25%.

Note to media - find the Daley connection. There's got to be at least one.


Daley Kills Two Birds

  • Thirty-two times in the last 20 years, Mayor Daley has appointed aldermen to fill City Council vacancies.

    Unless the outgoing alderman was convicted and headed off to prison, the mayor followed the departing alderman’s recommendation on a successor.

    Today, Daley broke the mold — by appointing 57-year-old Cook County Commissioner Roberto Maldonado to replace Billy Ocasio as 26th Ward alderman.

And who is Roberto Maldonado? Clean and pure as the driven snow?
  • In 2005, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Maldonado’s top aides maintained a secret “clout list” with the names of 100 people in line for government jobs and promotions as payback for political work they had done.

    Maldonado admitted he knew many of the people on the list and that some had been heavily involved in his 26th Ward Regular Democratic Organization. But, he insisted that he never saw the list until the Sun-Times showed it to him.

    At around that same time, Maldonado’s records were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury probing medical supply giant Siemens. The company was subsequently accused of lying to the FBI and a federal judge to cover up a scheme in which Siemens paid a minority business to be its phony partner on a $49 million Cook County contract.

    Siemens and Faustech gave Maldonado $3,000 in campaign contributions before the bids were submitted. Maldonado also received thousands in contributions from convicted businessman Tony Rezko, a former fund-raiser and chief adviser to indicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

And he apparently was the 14th vote that would have overridden Stroger's veto of the tax hike roll back - meaning that Daley, in effect, bolstered Stroger's position in keeping the Cook County sales tax as the highest in the nation.

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Good News Again

  • Police nabbed three robbery suspects Monday morning following a police chase that ended with the thieves’ vehicle crashing on the Kennedy Expressway, police said.

    Just after 11 a.m., police responded to a reported robbery in the 3400 block of West Foster Avenue, according to police News Affairs Officer Michael Fitzpatrick.

    Witnesses told police that three offenders stopped a currency exchange employee as he opened the currency exchange for business Monday morning, Fitzpatrick said.
All three were apprehended and the proceeds recovered. Good job people.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Great Job by Officer, Sheriff

  • A 25-year-old man has been charged with murder after being captured by an off-duty Chicago Police officer and an off-duty Cook County Sheriff’s officer just moments after apparently fatally shooting a man Saturday afternoon in the South Side Pilsen neighborhood.

    Marcelino Sauseda, of the 900 block of West 35th Street, is charged with first-degree murder, according to a Chicago Police Dept. release.

    Sauseda was taken into custody after an off-duty Chicago Police officer apparently saw him fire a handgun several times at a van traveling east on 18th and Loomis streets about 4 p.m. Saturday, the release said. Several bullets pierced the driver’s side door, with one striking a passenger.
A credit to the Department.


Weekend Headlines

Changes This Week?

Now that they've released the Commander "application" packet, does that mean there won't be any district level movement?

Rumors have been swirling for two weeks now that 01 August is the date for a whole bunch of changes.

Is this going to be another "reorganization" of Bureau movement or a wholesale reshuffling of gold stars?

The trouble is the incompetent just get moved around and there's never any actual accountability.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

CraigsList Set Up

It seems the would-be-robbers posted an ad on the computer bulletin board to lure victims, only they got the wrong victim this time:
  • Markham police Deputy Chief Tony DuBois said an off-duty male and female officer went examine a car they saw on when they were attacked.

    “They were looking to buy a used car,” DuBois said. “They made a phone call to a guy and he said, ‘Come out and take a look, call me when you get to the address.’”

    When the officers arrived, one of the men allegedly led them though a gangway to the back yard -- where the car was allegedly parked, DuBois said.
The offenders took the female hostage and hit the male in the chest with the bat before being shot by the off-duty. Good thing he was armed or this might have ended up along the lines of "Off Duty Officers Found Dead."

But the truly amazing reporting was done by WBBM Saturday (no link available). The anchor or news reader or whatever they call themselves now said something along the lines of, "The three men approached [the officer] not knowing he was armed."

Thanks for proving the necessity of Concealed Carry for all non-criminal citizens. The bad guys don't know who's packing and who isn't. Therefore, they stop doing bad things in the fear that they just might get ventilated. The refusal to be an easy victim should be ingrained in every citizen. And the fear of an armed populace should be front and center in every criminal's tiny cranium.

Every single state that has adopted a Concealed Carry law has experienced a significant, measurable reduction in street crime. That's a fact. Daley can't deny it. The Brady people can't deny it. Obama can deny it if he likes, but he'll eat his words. Again.


Punitive Again?

Someone to verify please?
  • Hey SCC I wanted to comment on a situation that arose out of Area 5. I want to make it aware to all of our Detectives and P.O.'s that a lawsuit was filed regarding an arrest in 2003. The arrest was the result of an offender attempting to shoot at Police Officers on the 5300 block of Congress. Well the short story is that the witnesses in this incident filed the lawsuit and alleged that they were held for 7 hours against their will.

    The end result of this suit is that 2 retired Detectives were drug through the trial and found guilty (civil) and were ordered to pay several of these alleged victims a total of $132,000. This total is PUNITIVE and has to be paid by them not the City. Now we all know that this didn't happen but this is Cook Co. and Federal juries hate us so this is the outcome.

    So I feel it is important that all of us know when a witness wants to leave, let them leave. None of these dogs are worth a single dime of your money. Interview them on scene and cut them loose.

    The bottom line is the clearance rate just went in the toilet.

    This should be a wake up call to everybody that thinks this Dept. has your back, well then I ask you to call Dugan and ask if he is going to pay the punitive damages. I mean hey he he said he has your back, lets see what he really means.

    Throw out the anchor boys and girls the seas are going to get rougher.

    SCC please post this so this does not happen to anybody else.
We also received word that J-Fed has requested that Corp Counsel begin pushing more cases to trial. The reason? Winning trials will improve morale. Unfortunately, Corp Counsel's track record is none too impressive in the actual practice of law (see above) and winning is as foreign to them as World Series titles are to the northside.

In any case, this would seem another death knell. These guys were hanging on to witnesses for pete's sake. The witnesses didn't even miss a meal. The clearance rate should crater over this judgment alone.


Much Ado About Nothing

  • The latest state traffic study on who gets pulled over by police shows once again that minorities are more likely to be the subject of so-called consent searches although police are more likely to find contraband in the vehicles of white drivers.

    The results of the annual state study were not a surprise to civil rights activists who are opposed to the searches, which are done with the consent of the driver.

    According to the 2008 study, released earlier this month, when a vehicle of a white driver was "consent-searched," officers statewide found contraband 24.7 percent of the time. When a vehicle driven by a minority was searched, officers found contraband 15.4 percent of the time.

    "The fact is every single year we see these same numbers," said Ed Yohnka, spokesman for the ACLU of Illinois. "There is just a predisposition to believe minorities have contraband.
Look at the prison population Ed. It's not a belief - it's reality. And that "every single year" data? That's called a trend. Trends tend to bear out over time. Kind of like "averages."

And since when does it fall upon the police to educate the populace? Isn't that the job of schools, families and the citizens themselves? That must be part of the ACLU scam - people are too stupid to educate themselves or learn about their rights and duties, so attack the cops for knowing their jobs. An ignorant populace is more likely to vote for democrats anyway.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Suburban Cop Shoots Three

Oops (on the part of the bad guys that is):
  • At least three people were shot on the South Side late Friday during a robbery attempt on a man believed to be an off-duty Markham police officer.

    Several people approached the man a little before 10:20 p.m. in the 7800 block of South Yates Boulevard and attacked him with a baseball bat while trying to rob him, and he responded by shooting three people, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer JoAnn Taylor.

    Taylor said she believed the man was an off-duty Markham police officer, but as of about 11:15 p.m. was trying to get confirmation from Chicago officers who responded to the scene.

Evidently, the three offenders were attempting to graduate from Stick-Up College. This was the final exam. They failed.

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Tact Teams Moved Again

Once again, if you pay high taxes, maybe you should get a refund so you can buy a gun. Maybe two guns. You are literally on your own.

Tact Teams from 016, 017, 019 and 020 have been shipped out of their assigned districts and sent to the west side.

Nice to see the aldercreatures going along with the smoke and mirror campaign. Next step is to have you bring your own garbage to the Ward Yard so they can lay off some more laborers and drivers.


Right Across the Street

  • A quick-thinking clerk at a Loop Office Depot used her store microphone to alert customers and fellow workers that she was being robbed, and the robber ran out the door empty-handed today, police said.

    The robber then ducked into a subway station and minutes later entered a Fannie May Candies shop across from City Hall, where he displayed a gun wrapped in a newspaper and made off with $350.

    The man escaped in a cab and was still at large this afternoon. No one was hurt in either hold-up.

Broad daylight. Where was the mayor's body guard detail this time? C'mon guys. You're falling down on the job.

The Sun Times calls it a "Loop candy store," completely ignoring the fact that it's across from the seat of city government. Can't have the Olympic committee thinking it isn't safe.

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It's a Start

  • Nineteen suspects were arrested in a two-day federal sting targeting illegal aliens with ties to violent street gangs in Chicago and the suburbs, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Friday.

    ICE agents teamed with local law enforcement officers to make 19 arrests and file detainers against six jail inmates, according to an ICE release.

    The operation, which ended July 20, targeted foreign-born gang members and associates in Chicago, Bensenville, Carpentersville, Hanover Park, Blue Island and Addison, according to the release.

Once again, they are illegal. They don't belong here. And they are bring violence and death to law abiding immigrant communities. These sweeps should be weekly.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Danger Will Robinson! DANGER!!!

  • In a case some argue could throw open the long-standing secrecy behind police internal investigations, the 4th District Court of Appeals in Springfield has ruled internal affairs files are a public record regardless of the outcome of the probe.

    Attorneys specializing in Illinois public records law said Thursday it is the first such ruling of its kind in the state and therefore binding on trial courts statewide. It could also have repercussions for long-running complaints about Chicago police brutality.

Great. Compelled testimony rears its ugly head again. Remember, you have less rights in an administrative investigation than a criminal one. You are ordered to answer questions. You are ordered to testify give information against your own self interests. You are assumed to be in possession of facts and recollections of incidents merely by your presence on a scene.

And if a single error or omission can be attributed to anything you put on paper, you will be fired.

Not only that, the bottom-feeders are going to use this civilly to ruin cops across the board. Anything you own, anything you've worked for, anything you've accomplished by dint of hard work serving and protecting is going to have to be sold, pawned or given away to defend yourself in a Crook County courtroom with a juries who already give felons millions.
  • The Sangamon County Sheriff and the State Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor—who argued the case—have 35 days to decide whether to appeal the ruling to the Illinois Supreme Court
The Local and State FOP better get on the ball here. The National Lodge might not be a bad idea either.

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Manpower Shortage More Evident

Someday, someone will connect the dots and say our readers were right all along:
  • South Chicago residents descended on a City Council committee today to complain about a slow police response to gun violence that has made them prisoners in their own homes.

    The Police Committee took no action on the proposal by Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) that would have mandated the temporary re-deployment of officers to her far South Side ward and other high-crime areas.

  • Chief of Patrol Eugene Williams responded to the barrage of complaints with the same claim Deputy Police Supt. Dan Dugan made to aldermen last spring: No police cars are available to respond when South Chicago residents call 911, in part, because they call for too many non-emergencies.

    “We have to stop dispatching so many calls to police officers on the street. We are one of the few — probably the only major city — that responds 60-plus percent of the time when someone picks up the phone and says, ‘I want the police,’” Williams said.

How many openings have there been in 003 for the past three months? Thirty-plus? How many are they going to post next Thursday? There aren't enough police in the Patrol Division to cover the shortages already. It isn't going to get any better anytime soon. And citizens are noticing.


Olympic Fix is In?

They're already beginning contract work on demolishing Michael Reese hospital:
  • The Mayor Daley-chaired Public Building Commission today took a giant step toward building the $1.1 billion Olympic Village on the Michael Reese Hospital site--alternately viewed as the riskiest element of Chicago's bid and its most significant legacy.

    The PBC awarded $11 million worth of contracts to a pair of companies responsible for building abatement and demolition.

    Brandenburg Industrial Service Co. ($7.98 million) and Heneghan Wrecking Co. ($3.19 million) will get control of the 37-acre hospital campus on Friday and begin the painstaking survey work. The companies must file a detailed work plan by July 30.

So what if the Olympics end up in Rio?


The Police Report

From Cambridge:

Gates Police Report

This sheds light on quite a bit of the Sergeant's side of the story. And the report lists witnesses by name. It certainly shoots down the argument that anyone was profiled seeing as the police were responding to a radio call.

And to top it off, the Sergeant is actually a police academy expert on racial profiling and instructor of the same. The more info that comes out, the more it looks like someone was looking for some sort of incident, payout or both.


Bad Numbers

  • The unemployment rate in the Chicago metropolitan area continued to surge in June, reaching 11.3 percent, up from 6.9 percent a year earlier and the highest level since July of 1983, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday.

    The rate is up from 10.7 percent in May and from 9.9 percent in April. It exceeds the state’s 10.3 percent rate and the nation’s 9.5 percent rate.

And not a small portion of it is directly attributable to Quinn's proposed tax hikes, Stroger's tax hikes and Daley's tax hikes, head taxes, and assorted fees and licensing that kills the entrepreneurial spirit.


So This is Perfection

  • CHICAGO -- How does he do it?

    That's the company line, the inside joke, the way we deal with a normal dude like Mark Buehrle doing abnormal things like throwing a perfect game, winning a World Series, and marrying the pretty girl he proposed to in a deer stand.

    How does Mark Buehrle do it?

    Look at him. He's a monster-truck-driving, deer-hunting, self-proclaimed country boy who strains to hit 90 on the radar gun and was picked in the 38th round of the 1998 amateur baseball draft.

Sounds like a fun guy. Congrats.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Out at 55 a Reality

  • The city of Chicago and the Fraternal Order of Police have agreed on a change that will allow officers to retire five years earlier with full medical benefits--providing millions of dollars in savings to the city during the current budget crisis, officials said.

    Beginning in November, officers can retire at age 55, compared to the current 60, and still get premium-free health care benefits until they qualify for Medicare. Families are also included.The change is expected to result in a several hundred officers leaving over the next couple of years, in addition to those already planning to retire. It also comes at a time when hiring has slowed during the city's general budget woes.

    The department is also expecting federal grant money to allow for hiring in the coming months.
That last line intrigues us. There are something like 46 recruits in the Academy. There were supposed to be 200 this year. Even if the federal money appeared out of thin air tomorrow with no strings attached, there's no one in the pipeline. The last entrance test was given 3 years ago. We haven't even heard of a test being planned. The last POWER test was given over 6 months ago, so the results probably aren't any good any more.

Now with "55 for coverage" being a reality, we can realistically expect 250 to 300 additional retirements around the end of the year. A bunch of the old timers are going to bid their furloughs and leave. A good win for the FOP, but if you think we were shorthanded already, buckle in for 2010. That's not being pessimistic - that's dealing with the reality of the hiring process. We are actually hoping for this to be the trigger for re-districting

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Obama Hates on the Police

He really really dislikes the police - but we knew that from his time here in Illinois:
  • President Barack Obama said Wednesday that police acted "stupidly" in the arrest of prominent black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. and that despite racial progress blacks and Hispanics are still singled out unfairly for arrest.

    "This still haunts us," Obama said.

    Obama called Gates a friend, and said he doesn't know all the facts of the case. Nonetheless, Obama said, anyone would have been angry if treated the way Gates claims police in Cambridge, Mass., treated him. Gates, a Harvard University professor, claims he was arrested in his home after showing ID to police who responded to a report of a possible burglary.
So Obama admits he doesn't know the facts of the case, yet still calls the police stupid. Police were responding to a call of a break in. Gates forgot his keys, so he jimmied his own door. Police responded and according the story, verified that Gates was in fact the homeowner.

Then it gets into "he said, he said."
  • The police sergeant accused of racism after he arrested Gates insisted Wednesday that he won't apologize.

    Police say Gates at first refused to display ID and then accused the officer of racism.

    Sgt. James Crowley said he followed proper procedures in arresting Gates.
Frankly, knowing what we know about professors, we believe the Sergeant.

Knowing what we know about Harvard University professors, we believe the Sergeant should be considered for promotion to Lieutenant.

Finally, knowing what we know about the propensity for overly liberal gasbags who "work" as Harvard University professors to scream "racism!" whenever someone says, "Please pass the bottle of White-out," we think the Sergeant should be a candidate for Chief.

We'll just note that the Obama-sponsored Traffic Stop Statistical Study (TSSS) here in Illinois that was supposed to prove institutional racism on the part of police departments across the state, proved only that police officers stopped lawbreakers regardless of race and that not a single instance of racial profiling was ever noted in the study. So Obama's entire experience of police work was a preconceived notion that was roundly disproved at the cost of millions of dollars. And he thinks he can comment on an arrest in Cambridge he admits knowing nothing about?

We guess he may have just lost the law enforcement vote. Aside from him blowing off the Police Memorial for a sports team that is.


Academy Break-In?

Remember the minor outcry here after it was discovered that the Academy would be hosting a number of younger lawbreakers during off hours? We're looking for confirmation on this one:
  • Next week the hood rats will be at the Academy to "register" for their classes. There will be a "Security company" contracted by the city to provide one on one guidance to the little darlings. The company is called:

    Funny that a private company, that gets government funding, uses public buildings for its offices. Wonder what the rent is? Wonder who is connected to this company? Wonder who the "security guards" will be?

    You can be sure of one thing, they won't be off duty police officers or anyone of such high caliber.

  • On a second note: The Academy Range had an attempted break in over the weekend! Someone tried to pry open the lock. That's okay folks, not to worry folks, we'll just bring in some fake security officers along with 50 youth felons for some bs training because the little prick mayor wants it.
What could possibly happen?


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Name the Details

Since we're wasting valuable Department resources on a church, a church that has advocated non cooperation with the police and championed those who back a "no snitching" policy, we figured it was time to bring a couple more misuses of Department assets to the fore. Time will tell if they are actually getting four separate POD cameras in the next few days as is rumored.

Everyone knows about the Meeks church detail using tact teams for traffic control around his monster church. The C.R.O.E. detail is another. Sabina's is only the latest in a continuing series of wasteful spending. Any more obvious wastes of taxpayer money in these trying times?

Remember, since we have to police smarter, we better spend money smarter, too.

UPDATE: Add the political details, too. Burke and his detail for imaginary threats from 20 years ago for starters.


Quick Hits

Bringing back an old favorite:
  • Suzanne Marlatt's enthusiasm for her new scooter screeched to a halt when she parked at one of the city's privately run pay spaces.

    After processing her money, the kiosk ejected a receipt with no adhesive. As she looked at the flimsy piece of paper, she thought: I have no way to attach this to my scooter.

    [...] Her frustration is shared by scooter riders and bikers across the city, who are blasting Chicago Parking Meters LLC, the private company that took over paid street parking in the city, for its decision last month to eliminate adhesive receipts.
The parking meter scandal - the gift that keeps on giving. Nothing like day after day after day of bad publicity. But don't worry, Avis Lavelle says the company is retrofitting the kiosks with little bins on the side to hold tape. Problem solved!

Next up, Mope-rah's favorite suburb:
  • A 17-year-old from Maywood has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at Maywood police officers Sunday afternoon.

    [..] He was charged with three counts of first-degree attempted murder of a police officer, three counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm and one charge of aggravated use of a weapon, according to police.

    [...] Police responded, and Thompson allegedly shot at several officers. A foot chase then ensued with Thompson fleeing to the 200 block of North 3rd Avenue. Thompson then put the gun to his head and asked to speak to his family, police said.

    Police and family members convinced Thompson to put down the gun, ending the standoff without further incident.

Too bad the story didn't have a happy ending. We're sure Mope-rah will want to address the conditions in Maywood that make it so dangerous for police to actually patrol the streets without being shot at. Right?

And Daley continues to lose his marbles:
  • Mayor Daley today accused unidentified media naysayers of trying to sandbag Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid by reporting testimony from people at neighborhood hearings who don’t want the Olympics.

    “You’re against it. You were against Millennium Park. You were against 911. You were against Soldiers Field. You were against Meigs Field. What else were you against? You’re against a lot. But, that’s freedom of speech,” Daley said.

    “Some people don’t want this. … That’s part of American democracy. They can stand up and say anything they want. … But, in the next five years, six years, tell me one [other] thing that can bring jobs and economic opportunities and, besides that, guarantee an investment by the federal government [of] billions of dollars in infrastructure. If you have something better, I’d love to see it.”

As we recall it, the media was against a park and assorted attached parking structures that ran over double the budgeted amount. Same thing with the 911 center - double or triple initial estimates and all the systems contained within aren't compatible with one another. Soldier Field is an eyesore now and shouldn't have involved the amount of taxpayer money it did. Meigs Field was a nighttime end-around FAA regulations that cost taxpayers a few hundred thousand bucks.

And that expected "federal government" money for improvements? This is from the same people who have stiffed the city for how much in related security costs? They aren't the ones signing away Chicago's future.


More Car Whining

The bile continues to pour in from 35th Street and the number of IP addresses from Homan Square is staggering! Someone must have taken the filters off for the day so everyone with a take home car could come here and attack us.

Unfortunately, we don't publish ad hominem attacks on ourselves and the Department at large. You want to justify a take home car, fine, justify it. But don't call everyone else a "bitch" or a "whiner" or attack us. These are tough times - the mayor said so - we happen to agree. Therefore, we should join in the belt tightening and cut out the nonsense spending. Didn't the Department just lay off a boatload of civilians? Take home cars for non-first-responding personnel should be cut number one.

And we've seen the comments saying the BMW over at Asset Forfeiture was a seizure and didn't cost taxpayers a dime. We beg to differ:
  • Who's filling the car with gas? Taxpayers;
  • Who's insuring the car? Taxpayers;
  • When it gets a flat or needs maintenance, does Fleet have BMW parts, tires and qualified BMW mechanics? Guess we have to farm that one out at (you guessed it) taxpayer expense;
  • Asset Forfeiture didn't seize any beaters? A few nice fuel efficient Toyotas or Hondas? Sure they did. But that isn't good enough for the mucky-mucks over at there. They have to drive a Beemer because... because... because why exactly? To show off? To be arrogant? Because they can?
If it's an asset, sell it at auction and fund Department programs instead of filling it with taxpayer funded gas and driving value off the Blue Book price. Someone said "The seized auto has to be used in narcotics for a year before it can be sold. So much for the expensive MB. Many of high line cars sit in the garage for a year until they can be sold. State requirements." Then garage it in one of Vanecko's warehouses. Or use it for buy/busts if the payoff is greater than the resale value of the car. What value is gained by stroking egos? That goes for the expensive SUV's and other luxury sedans seized.

And to the person multiple posting from the same IP address about how this is a Daley plot to divide and conquer the Department to the detriment of the contract, it isn't the use of take-home cars that's dividing the Department - it's the fact that Daley is going to fuck each and every one of us by pleading "poor" in the media while tacitly allowing millions of dollars, maybe tens of millions, to be pissed away giving two hundred or more unnecessary take home cars to people who have no discernible use for them.


Exercise in Futility

This popped up in the comments:
  • To the caller who asked Andy Shaw of the Better Government Association to define what "merit", is in relation to promotions on the Chicago Police & Fire Departments.

    Andy Shaw was the guest host on WLS 890AM this morning, filling in for Don & Roma. This caller called in at 8:15AM and asked very poignant and focused questions. Andy Shaw attempted to initially weasel out of it, stating,"that merit is the law".

    The caller asked, "why there is no definitive definition of "merit"?

    Andy Shaw asked for an email detailing the problem with merit on the CPD and CFD.

    Everyone, please take a minute and drop a brief and courteous email to the Better Government Association, c/o Andy Shaw.


    Better Government Association
    11 East Adams Street, Suite 608
    Chicago, IL 60603
    Phone: (312) 427-8330
    Fax: (312) 386-9203
Good questions. And all covered here in great detail over the years. But Shaw is a former media type. And media types by-and-large are owned by Daley Inc. And call us cynical, but Shortshanks has tentacles everywhere, so a media-type who used to crave access to the administration for scoops and tidbits from Jackie Heard isn't going to inspire us with the greatest of confidences even if he's at the BGA. Especially as he tried to "weasel out" of answering the questions as posed and then pushed it off to, "Send me an e-mail and I'll look into it." Sure he will.

But anything is worth a try at this point. Prove us wrong Andy Shaw. We're typing our e-mail as we speak. Let's see how many you actually answer. Or investigate.


Sneed Bristles

  • A memo to all cops who got their shorts in a bunch when Sneed stated Police Supt. Jody Weis was voluntarily taking 24 days of unpaid furlough. Contrary to our item, it was not due to a newly negotiated police contract. (That sticky wicket is still being negotiated.) It's because Weis was being a good guy and showing solidarity with the members of his non-union top brass and civilian staff (about 200), who were forced by the city to take furlough days along with every other city employee -- except cops and firefighters.

    Weis didn't have to do it -- he's non-union and has a contract.

    • • Translation: So Sneed mended her hem, so you adjust your shorts.

Gee Sneed, we point out that your entire column was based on a non-existent premise and express amazement at the vast layers of fact checking that must go into your writing prior to publication and our shorts are in a bunch? The lady doth protest too much. It's awfully nice you put your correction in the Tuesday edition where maybe 30% fewer people will see it and go on believing the police are greedy bastards with a contract already.

For the record, we highly doubt that J-Fed is "being a good guy and showing solidarity with the members of his non-union top brass and civilian staff." How would it have looked if everyone in the city supervisory ranks took time off, including the mayor, and J-Fed didn't? It would embarrass the mayor and no one puts Baby in the corner embarrasses Shortshanks. It just isn't done. So "didn't have to" is subject to interpretation.

Anyway, Sneed evidently has a source in J-Fed's office now, probably the policy group people, who are feeding her info about J-Fed being a great guy and taking unpaid time off from his $330,000 job so he only makes $300,000 this year. We only wish we could suffer with a mere $300,000 this year. Hell, we'd settle for a mere $300,000 for two years.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Whining About Cars

Gee, we struck a nerve with the take home car post. Seems a whole bunch of 35th Street types blitzed the comment sections telling us all how we should quit bitching about take home cars, that anyone who was offered a car would take it, that we shouldn't be complaining about this when the city is trying to take away Uniform and Duty Availability pay.


It's because of all this extraneous waste and ego inflating crap that the city is crying "poor" and attempting to take away what we've won over the years. We still haven't seen anyone justify 25 take home cars for Tactical Lieutenants. Or MLAS. Or Finance Division. Or any of another 50 or 60 more cars that haven't had emergency call outs in years, if ever.

Did you know that Asset Forfeiture has a take home Beemer? How much are taxpayers (which we are) paying for that crap? They couldn't get an Escort or a Honda? Un-freaking-believable.

The CTA cut 68 cars and expects to save hundreds of thousands. CPD could cut 200 take home cars tomorrow and save a few million. There's most if not all of our Duty Availability or Uniform Allowances in one lump sum.

So to all you 35th Street types claiming this is "dirty laundry" or a "non-issue," guess again. This directly affects every one of us, and not just because it's funny as hell seeing the exempts and their staff come out in full force to attempt to defend the indefensible.

The mayor says the city is broke and we all better get in the boat to experience the pain together. Hop aboard "boss."

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Olympic Backlash Begins (or Continues)

The "Town Hall" type meetings? Not going well for Shortshanks:
  • Chicago 2016 leaders gave their regular presentation Monday, telling a community forum in the city's Lakeview neighborhood that the Olympics would be a privately funded spectacle that would raise the city's profile globally.

    But unlike a string of recent meetings, after the bid team put its best foot forward, it was immediately hit with counter-presentations from critics who fear that the Summer Games could gravely damage the city.

    While bid officials hoped to allay fears particular to Lakeview residents, such as the impact of venue construction to a lakefront bird sanctuary and further congestion to a crowded neighborhood, they had to defend the bid from attacks on multiple fronts.
As more and more info becomes available, people are realizing that in the midst of an economic downturn, spending $4 billion that the city doesn't have, especially in light of Chicago's nasty habit of 100% or more in cost overruns, isn't really a good idea.

And it's looking like it's going to cost aldercreatures votes.


Two cars; 24/7 Detail?

At St. Sabina? Is this true?

We have a one-time incident with shooter in custody and as far as is known, no overt threats of retaliation directed at the church or it's parishioners. And this warrants a full 24/7 detail why?

Oh yeah, he sits with Daley at Sox games. Sorry. We pforgot.

Must be nice to be obnoxious enough to warrant downing a sizable percentage of the available manpower of the district.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

No Take Home Cars?

  • Looking to cut costs at a time the mass-transit agency is strapped for cash, CTA President Richard Rodriguez says he'll take away employees' free take-home cars.

    The agency has been providing 68 employees with "company cars" that they can take home, at no cost to them.

    Those who have been getting the perk include 38 upper-level managers who make more than $100,000 a year.

Only 38 cars? Our Patrol Division probably has twice that. Let's run down a few:
  • 25 District Commanders in case of emergency situations
  • 25 District Tactical Lieutenants in case of an emergency Search Warrant or an emergency Overtime slip has to be signed
  • 5 Deputy Chiefs at the Areas
  • Patrol Group A and B Chiefs
  • Deputy Superintendent
  • and the attached units, like TRU, MSF and others.
And don't even get started on the other bureaus.

Oh the hell with it, let's name some of the other units
  • CAPS Directors, Chiefs and others? CAPS is dead - didn't they get the memo?
  • Management and Labor Affairs Section? What they hell would they need a car for? In case an emergency contract comes up? We haven't had a contract in two years...big emergency that is.
  • Finance Division? Hahahaha
  • Special Events? You're killing us here - aren't special events planned months, even years in advance?
  • IAD Sergeants? Sorry, but there isn't an emergency big enough to waste take home cars on these positions. Same thing for any CO who might have a car - airports, mounted, marine, etc.
Can someone explain why 75 Patrol Division Captains don't have cars and 25 Tact lieutenants do?

No one working at 35th Street should have a take home car unless they're wearing 3 stars or better. Everyone else should have access to a pool of vehicles if they need to conduct official business. Claim mileage and buy gas like the rest of us during these "tough times." Maybe the media could follow a few exempts around and see what "official business" is actually being conducted with these vehicles?

The head of the CTA got front page treatment for cutting 68 cars. We'll bet J-Fed would love to get some big headlines for eliminating 200 take home cars.


Sunday Bloody Sunday

  • Seven people, including a 9-year-old girl, were shot within an hour-long span tonight in the South Austin neighborhood on Chicago's West Side.

    The first shooting, which happened about 7:45 p.m. near West Monroe Street and South Lotus Avenue, left five males, ranging from 17 to 23, wounded. One of the victims was taken in serious-to-critical condition to Mt. Sinai Hospital, and another was taken to Loretto Hospital in good condition, said Fire Department spokesman Quention Curtis.

    The other three were taken in fair-to-serious or good condition to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, Curtis said.

The totals for the day? How many shot on what turned out to be a very pleasant July day? Pleasant if you weren't getting stitched back together at one of our fine Trauma Centers that is.



Channel 5 catches up with what we pointed out yesterday (that Sneed is all wet on this story) and ties it into a general lack of empathy toward J-Fed:
  • Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis is again catching flack from officers, this time from a cop blogger after Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed went with a story about Weis accepting a month of unpaid furlough time in solidarity with his officers.

    As SecondCityCop points out, most Chicago officers are not taking unpaid furlough days, and if they had to, there’d likely be a small coup d’état in their union. And Weis, the highest paid city official, is not required to take the days because he’s under contract.

    Weis and the cops he oversees have had a friendly, combative relationship since he took over -- without the friendly part -- as evidenced by the union’s stinging vote of no confidence in Weis earlier this year. Many officers see the former FBI special agent, dubbed "J-Fed" by SecondCityCop, as an outsider who doesn’t understand the complexities of policing Chicago’s streets. SecondCityCop thinks he’s worried about his political skin and not looking out for the rank-and-file, whose numbers are dwindling due to cuts in police hiring.
Again, we didn't give Weis his nickname - an anonymous reader did. We simply popularized it. But the author of the article (Zach Christman) does point out a truism that our readers have been pointing out for a year-and-a-half now and really ought to be explored more closely by the media:
  • J-Fed is an outsider to the nth degree who understands nothing about street level policing.
He is exactly the wrong person at the wrong time. What the Department needed, and still needs, is a cop in charge. For far too long, we've had politicians in charge. And unfortunately, it has led to the biggest leadership vacuum we've seen or heard about in decades. Daley has created an entire generation of "meri-clout-orious" who cannot, will not and are incapable of leading.

In another time, maybe in another universe, J-Fed might have been necessary. Today, he is merely the culmination of decades of gross mismanagement.


The Plagiarist

For over four years now, this blog has run a picture of a business card we used as a promotional tool when we first started. Along with the blog name and tag line (sarcasm and silliness), we utilized the phrase "THE SOURCE for Chicago Police info" as a stab at bravado, not realizing that in four years, we'd be averaging over 10,000 hits a day and moderating 2,000 comments a week.

Now we see that the "Blog 501" is attempting to co-opt the term "THE SOURCE" right on the front page.

We're not sure how a "blog" that has 12 posts in three weeks, 150 comments and 17,000 total visits can claim to be anything close to "THE SOURCE" for anything regarding timely information. And again, since J-Fed has entire divisions of armed secretaries at his beck and call, should he really be wasting precious Department resources and valuable manpower that ought to be manning beat cars on a website?

It just seems silly, silly, silly we tell you. That's silly.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

What the Hell is This Crap?

Sneed is drinking the bong water again. We barely know where to begin destroying this crappy article:
  • Follow the leader? The Chicago Police Department's rank-and-file have been waiting to see if the city's $310,000-a-year top cop, Jody Weis, follows them in taking unpaid furlough days.

Um, what unpaid furlough days for the rank-and-file? The only people taking unpaid furlough days are the Exempt members. And the only reason they are taking unpaid days is because Daley threatened them with losing their gold stars, gold braid pensions, free company cars and other perks if they didn't go along with his program of pleading poorhouse before the Olympics.
  • Sneed has the answer.

Sneed has shit - read on:
  • Yep. Weis intends to take a pay cut for all 12 furlough days this year and . . . 24 in total, per the newly negotiated police contract.
Again, what contract Sneed? We have no contract. Your own paper reported that Daley is going to force the arbitration issue just three days ago. Are you blind?
  • • • Quoth Weis: "I believe in leading from the front. I would never ask those that I serve to do more than me."

Leading from the front until he sees the opportunity to stab you in the back. And we do more than J-Fed every freaking day. We've spent years doing more than you ever did - except for the backstabbing part - remember Agent Robert Wright?
  • • • Background: Weis, who's seen as an outsider because of his FBI background, has been unpopular with the rank and file. He suffered a symbolic blow in March when the Fraternal Order of Police issued a "no confidence" vote against him -- citing everything from low manpower and vehicle shortages to low morale. Nearly 200 officers in the 11,000-plus union voted.

And once again, Sneed neglects to mention that those 200 officers were Unit Representatives that represented about 5,000 to 6,500 actual officers. Our own poll in March had over 3,000 votes, running 2,900 against J-Fed. It wasn't a "symbolic" blow - it was a devastating body shot.
  • • • Backshot: Weis, who has a contract, is not a union member -- and could have fought the furlough cut. But he chose not to. Bravo.

    There ya go.

There ya go? J-Fed probably got a bunch of static and was told by the mayor he better be on-board with the "furlough" plan if he even wants to have a sniff at the "Head of Olympic Security" gig should the Games land here. And here's a news flash for Sneed - J-Fed, at $330,000 per year, can easily afford to take 12 unpaid days off, even 24 days off. Most of us can't.

We have a hard time deciding if Sneed is being played by Jackie Heard to manipulate public opinion further against the police or if she's just that damn stupid.

We also know that should the FOP even try to come to the membership with an "unpaid" furlough day proposal, the membership would (rightfully) dissolve the FOP by the close of business that day.

UPDATE: We suffered a publishing error here that wiped out 39 comments. We are going to attempt to re-create the comments from some files we recovered, but if you posted between 7 AM and just before 2 PM, we apologize and ask for your patience.


Phleger to Pfight Crime?

  • The pastor of St. Sabina parish today said the shooter of two teens outside a church building is "not going to hide in our community."
Phleger must have gotten clearance from his gang banging handlers to beat the drum against "gun violence" and the rival faction that lit up the churchyard.
  • On Saturday, about 120 parishioners attended a prayer vigil at the church prior to the 5 p.m. mass, Pfleger said. He said a "tremendous amount" of people have phoned in leads on the shooting, which the church is turning over to police.
And not a word that this is what the parishioners should have been doing anyway, that citizens should participate in the community and "no snitching" habits should be universally condemned. And of course, not a mention that certain "outraged" reverends have been encouraging this sort of behavior for years by painting the police as the enemy.
  • "You're not going to shoot in this community -- we're coming for you," Pfleger said, address whoever did the shooting during a phone interview. "We've put bounties on your head. You violated our space. ... you're not going to hide in our community."
We'll believe it when we see it. Phleger is an opportunist of the worst kind and deserves nothing but contempt for his behavior over the past years. His selective memory, deliberate ignorance and divisive oratory have sown the seeds of what is being reaped daily in Area Two.

UPDATE: post corrected - we've been sleepy lately

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Training Shortfall?

  • Heavy smoke poured from the subway tunnels near Clark and Division when a rubbish fire broke out around noon Saturday. At least five ambulances were sent to the scene as a precaution, but no injuries have been reported.
We seem to recall some training involving the subways and elevated CTA tracks and some other training that involved a Metra yard, but we don't recall it being offered to street officers any time recently.

Anyone with a basic understanding of chimneys or the physics of fire know that tunnels and tubes such as the CTA is constructed of can be deathtraps in an instant, and not because of flames. It was fortunate this rubbish fire occurred on a weekend morning rather than a rush hour evening. If the Olympics end up here and as long as Chicago remains a possible target of terror, Officers and their CFD counterparts need more than a passing familiarity with mass transit in and around the city. We don't know what the CFD training is like, but the CPD seems behind the curve.



  • Chicagoans can now enjoy a new boat launch on the Chicago River, and it is named after the late mayor Richard J. Daley.

    His son, the city's current mayor, was on hand for Saturday's dedication at 31st Street and South Western Avenue. He says his father loved to fish, and the new site helps fulfill a dream of his to see people fishing in the Chicago River.

  • “They’re not in the boat. We’re in the boat. ... They have to come back to the boat. ... We’re asking them to get back in the boat. Talk to your taxpayers. Talk to your neighbor. They have to be part of the solution and not part of the problem,” he said.
And Donahue's retort:
  • “It sounds to me like the mayor hit his head on the boat when he was getting in. We’re still in negotiations with the city. We negotiate in good faith. It’s up to the city to show us that as well,” he said.
Screw this place - we're going fishing.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

3 to 4 Shootings a Week

And yes, the numbers are higher this year compared to last - significantly higher:
  • 91 through 15 June in 2009 compared to "only" 73 last year over the same time period.
The Red Eye has a map charting the locations of shootings that includes shots fired by the police, regardless of hits or misses.

There's definitely a pattern to it all.


Sherlock J-Fed

  • Two veteran police officers were in "good spirits" and expected to fully recover after both were shot in the legs Thursday afternoon while attempting to serve a narcotics-related warrant on Chicago's Far Southeast Side.

    It's the fifth police-involved shooting in the last week, and Police Supt. Jody Weis said it's evidence of a larger pattern of violence targeting police that grows more dangerous every month.

    "The level of violence being shown to police officers is extraordinarily disturbing," Weis said. "People are trying to murder police officers left and right, and if you think about it, if they'll do that to a uniformed officer, what will they do to civilians and innocent people on the street?"

Well gee J-Fed, thanks for noticing that street level policing isn't like working in a Federal office. It's dirty, it's dangerous and it's damn thankless 95% of the time. How many shootings did the FBI get into last week? How many feebs got attacked responding to domestics, disturbances and dope calls?

Thank goodness you're here to save the citizens from the police.


Another Inherited Spot

  • Former Ald. Billy Ocasio said today he wants his wife to succeed him as 26th Ward alderman, and he has withdrawn his recommendation of a controversial minister as his replacement.

    Ocasio told the Tribune today that Mayor Richard Daley has interviewed his wife, Veronica Ocasio, for the opening created when he quit the City Council recently to become an aide to Gov. Patrick Quinn.

    Veronica Ocasio is an aide to U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). When Gutierrez was elected to Congress in 1993, Daley appointed Ocasio to fill the vacancy on the council.

    "Veronica is a very accomplished individual," Billy Ocasio said. "She has worked with every community organization and every Latino elected official."

Amazing. And what would the Federal Hiring Monitor have to say about this? She just released another report pointing out how family ties still seem to be awfully prevalent in city hiring:
  • Mayor Richard Daley’s administration has made progress in cleaning up its scandal-plagued hiring system, but obstacles remain and significant abuses still occur, a court-appointed monitor said Thursday.

    The report by Noelle Brennan, who has monitored city hiring since August 2005, cited several areas of particular concern that need to be immediately investigated and fixed.

    Brennan said 290 city contractors were hired on as city employees in violation of federal court rules and that the City Clerk’s office this year hired nine “connected” summer interns who were relatives of city workers—including relatives of three clerk’s employees.

Seems the only qualification for aldercreature is blood or marriage. Professional leeches. The Founding Fathers would be appalled.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Shots Phired!

  • Two people were wounded during an apparent drive-by shooting this evening near St. Sabina Church in the South Side's Auburn Gresham community, authorities said.

    The shooting happened near West 78th Street and South Racine Avenue, outside the church's elementary school gym. The church's address is 1210 W. 78th Pl., with a school and other facilities in the immediate area.

    Two boys, one 17 and another about 16, were taken in serious condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, but were expected to survive, officials said.

Brace for more anti-gun speeches, because a speech is way better than actually pushing for personal responsibility, and blaming an inanimate object for the depredations of an entire swath of society's failures is easier than looking in a mirror.


Police Fail to Stop Shooting

Just waiting for a letter from the brass blaming us for not impounding bicycles now:
  • An alleged gang-member was shot and killed Wednesday night in the Northwest Side’s Logan Square neighborhood.

    Miguel Loreto, 17, of the 5900 block of South Kolin Avenue, was shot in the head on the 2900 block of West Palmer Street and was pronounced dead at 10:27 p.m. at Norwegian-American Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

    At 10:08 p.m., Loreto was standing outside with a 17-year-old male companion when the shooter armed with a handgun approached on a bicycle and said, “What’s up bitch?” then opened fire and shot one of the teens in the forehead, according to police. The shooting occurred across the street from a church in an area known as Palmer Square.

If these jagoffs want to kill each other, they are going to find any way to do it. There is nothing we can do to stop it. The victim's home address is 5900 South Kolin and he gets wasted in Palmer Square? At least nobody innocent caught a bullet.



  • A 15-year-old boy who earlier this year fooled Chicago police officers into believing he was one of their own will spend three years on probation after pleading guilty to impersonating a cop and later stealing a car he persuaded a dealer to let him test drive.

    Juvenile Court Judge Andrew Berman warned the boy he would have to comply with the terms of his probation, including participating in a mentoring program, serving 30 days home confinement, spending much of his time at a monitoring center and taking part in in-home therapy.

    "One of the things that you have done, and have been very candid about, is you like to manipulate other people and situations," Berman told the boy. "That's going to stop right now. You are not going to manipulate me. If you mess up with this probation ... to say nothing of if you get arrested, that's it. Next stop is the Department of Corrections."

Yeah, right. This kid did numerous impersonations, got caught once, and is working on an increasingly destructive rap sheet. We give him six months before he gets caught violating probation.

All he learned here was how to game the system.


Street Sign Dedication

From the recollections of retired Sgt. John Northen:
  • As I reflect on my career as a proud member of "Chicago's Finest", I realize that I will be forever haunted by the painful memories of two dates: the nights of July 17, 1970 and May 13, 1990.
    On both nights, my hands became wet with the blood of two slain uniformed police officers--four damn good men with whom I had often laughed over a few cold beers.

    Tomorrow night marks the 39th anniversary of the sniper murders of Jim Severin and Tony Rizzato.

  • Family survivors and police will gather at 10 AM Saturday morning at 018 for the dedication of two memorial street signs on the southwest corner of Larrabee and Division Sts.
His entire story of that night can be read in the comment section of the Officers Shot post at 5:59 PM. It's a moving account of a very bad incident and seems timely in light of Thursday's multiple shootings in Chicago and New Jersey.

If you can make the dedication Saturday morning, it would be appreciated.


Chicago Violence on DRUDGE

For the second time in a month, The Drudge Report is pointing out Chicago violence:
  • Three men were fatally shot. One man was fatally stabbed. Police shot one man and at least seven other people were wounded by gunfire -- including an 8-year-old boy sitting in his bedroom -- during an especially violent six hours late Wednesday and early Thursday mainly on the South and West Sides.
These strings of shootings and killings seem to come in waves, but once again, the weather is conspiring to keep a lid on violence. Low to middle 70's this weekend and we might catch a break, which is a good thing as the Districts are running out of crime scene tape...again.


Bad Day in Jersey

  • A pair of Jersey City cops were fighting for their lives Thursday night after being blasted by a Bonnie and Clyde team that was then killed in a bloody gunfight.

    Decorated Officer Mark DiNardo was shot twice in the face after a simple stakeout escalated into a savage shootout.

    His colleague, Michael Camacho, was nearly killed by a blast to the neck.

    Both were in medically induced comas and breathing with the help of ventilators after the predawn carnage. Doctors said it was a miracle they survived.

A very bad day. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Prayers only in this thread.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Officers Shot

Two officers shot in 005. Lower extremity wounds.

Updates as we are able.

UPDATE: Both officers released from the hospital and doing OK.


Arbitration Arrives

At least according to Shortshanks, who once again, throws the negotiations out there in the media in violation of the "gentleman's agreement" not to do so:
  • Mayor Daley said Wednesday he’ll roll the dice and ask an independent arbitrator to dictate new contracts with police officers and firefighters who must do their part to help solve the city’s financial crisis.

    During his annual State of the City address, Daley noted that public safety employees who account for 70 percent of city spending were excused from a cost-cutting plan that required other city unions to choose between layoffs and furlough days and other givebacks.

    “They’re not in the boat. We’re in the boat. ... They have to come back to the boat. ... We’re asking them to get back in the boat. Talk to your taxpayers. Talk to your neighbor. They have to be part of the solution and not part of the problem,” he said.

The FOP is unhappy:
  • Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue reacted angrily to Daley’s decision to pull the trigger on arbitration, a potentially risky move for both sides.

    “It sounds to me like the mayor hit his head on the boat when he was getting in. We’re still in negotiations with the city. We negotiate in good faith. It’s up to the city to show us that as well,” he said.

So far, the FOP is one of only three or four unions refusing to even consider givebacks to the city and they've actually played their hand decently. Other union leaders in the midst of selling out their members, are attempting to portray the Police and Fire Departments as greedy and out of touch and the media gives them play. The FOP really ought to slap back hard at Daley - his chronic mismanagement, his lies, his fake numbers, his two-faced negotiating in the media via intermediaries, his use of Chuck Goudie and other compliant media types to paint concessions we've made over the years in terms of allowances instead of raises to help hold the line on taxes and fees.

Daley is in a bad spot and arbitration is a risky move for all parties. The issues that are the subjects of "letters of agreement" could be in jeopardy and who knows if any of these will stand without a vote from the members?


And ANOTHER Police Shooting

  • An armed robbery suspect was shot in the chest by Chicago Police after intentionally striking an officer with a car Wednesday evening on the West Side. One other officer was also injured in the incident, police said.

    The shooting happened about 5:30 p.m. near Congress Parkway and Damen Avenue, according to police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.

    Officers spotted a vehicle wanted in a 5 p.m. downtown jewelry store robbery at 440 S. Damen Ave. and were able to curb the car, according to a Chicago Police Dept. release. As two officers exited their squad car, the suspect accelerated his car and drove towards an officer, striking him, the release said.

We hate to use words like "open season," but it's getting increasingly dangerous out there. USA Today had an article a few day ago showing Line of Duty deaths are up 20% over last year. We'd be amazed if Assaults weren't up by even more. Someone have the stats?


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