Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Schedule DOA?

The phones are buzzing, the e-mail flying and the comment section is starting to heat up.

At the very least, it's on life support.
  • The finger pointing has started and no one wants to look like the bad guy, but it looks like it's coming from city hall. City hall decided to take a look at it a little closer and found out that we like it so now they are having second thoughts. If it does get the ax the word is the pilot programs that are going on now will continue.
Shortshanks strikes again.

Don't forget to circulate those petitions.

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How Are They Contributing?

Fox32 had news on our pension last night.

Somehow it seems that J-Fed and his cronies (Brust, Klimas, Masters and Daly) are all paying into the pension and will be collecting from the pension upon their departure?

Aren't there "vesting" requirements? A certain number of years? We know it isn't 3 years, which is probably what most of them are going to end up serving. Shouldn't everyone be up in arms about this stunt seeing as how poorly funded the pension actually is (under 48% at last count) and they're going to be drawing gold braid pensions?

Who authorized this? What the heck are the pension reps doing, aside from Shields?

Fox32 doesn't have the link up yet, so we'll update the post when we get it.

UPDATE: Title updated - they aren't "vested" at this point. They are merely "contributing," most likely with an eye toward buying credits to steal unearned money from the fund. Like Huberman is trying to do.

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Questions Questions

Why isn't the media asking these questions? After all, everyone is supposed to sacrifice, right? How about sacrificing some of the over-abundance of clout heavy paychecks rather than shorting the citizens of actual police protection?
  • Why is Keating over the Central Control Group consisting of the 001 and 018 District? He is a service rank of Sgt. and gets Deputy pay because he use to work on Mayor's Detail.

    We have Lt. and Captains that could replace him at lower salary.

    Why do the two PATROLMEN Commanders of the mayors detail get commanders pay?

    We have Sergeants, Lt.s and Captains that are trained supervisors and not political hacks like Roti from Bridgeport and Carlow who's mother or Aunt was a secretary to the Mayor!

    Why does the Mayor's butler aka administrative assistant civilian get a car and a driver to cart his butt to workout, pick up his son (outside the city) and pack the mayors clothes? And why doesn't he work 8 hours a day?

    Why does each of the mayor's children have a car with a driver to drive them to work or shopping, or out on the town?

    Why does the mayor take members of his detail up to Michigan in city vehicles, paid time and 1/2 to go grocery shopping for the mayor's wife, pick up take out and transport his children back and forth to the city?

    Why does the mayor and his family treat his detail with disrespect? He is an elected official and not a King and she is definitely not the Queen although they act like it.

    Why does an employee of Special Events out of the Mayor's office get a take home car? Will there be a call out for their expertise?

    Why do we have to call the Alderman's office to have City Services implemented near our homes? Each of those City Service ie. Streets and San, Park District, parking enforcement, clerks office....have supervisors and could assign those services without clout Alderman.

    Why does Alderjerk Cardenas issue City Stickers to his staff with residential parking identification surrounding his/ their office as opposed to where they live?

    Why do Alderjerks have any input as to what laws should be enforced in their respective Wards. Everyday is a surprise as to what we are allowed to enforce...we have supervisors and don't need additional drain on police and fire resources for friends parking, residential parking...

    Why does the Park District allow one of their parking lots be used by citizens/residents overnight and anyone else using a Park District lot have to now pay the meter box?

    And I am sure you guys can come up with other examples...
We're sure our readers could come up with dozens more.

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IPRA Fishing Expedition

We wrote about the Election Night CR Number a few days ago:
  • The media refused to cover most of the mayhem that night, concentrating on the celebrations in Grant Park while ignoring the assaults, batteries and mini-riots exploding all over the south and west sides.
We didn't realize how determined IPRA was to find someone to scapegoat.

We received an e-mail outlining how IPRA demanded information from numerous suburban departments (uniforms configuration, location assignments, vehicles numbers, etc). The departments rightly refused until IPRA agreed to narrow down the requested information to specific times, locations and allegations. From this, they were able to deduce IPRA was fishing for any witnesses who might be able to pin "impropriety" on CPD Officers.

If you're one of the many unfortunates answering this CR number, be careful. They are out hammer someone.

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We're Aldercreatures, Damnit!

  • Chicago aldermen with their noses out of joint today demanded to know why they are searched along with the masses at the city’s central headquarters for administrative hearings.

  • Budget Committee Chair Carrie Austin (34th) was so “offended,” she warned Bruner what might happen if he fails to “take another look at your policy.”

    “It’s not a matter of giving anybody any preference. But us that are aldermen—we are the ones who set your budget. If we’re the ones setting your budget maybe we’ll take an adjustment” downward, if the policy is not rescinded, Austin warned.

    Bruner initially defended the policy, telling aldermen, “It’s not my intention to offend anyone. It’s only our intention to make sure that people coming through are searched…We’re trying to treat everyone equally. We’re not trying to give anyone any particular favors.”

    But by the time the hearing ended, he had clearly gotten the message.

Another profile in courage there. Expect a bunch of changes at the Administrative Hearing Offices. Aldercreatures are our betters and they expect to be treated as such.

The humorous part of all this is that a couple people are posting links to the Petition Drive posting and encouraging citizens to print out more and circulate them around. Perhaps we can get a bunch of citizens on board?

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Mail the Petitions

Sgt. John Northen (ret) has stepped up to the plate once again. He has generously agreed to be the point man for the Referendum and collect whatever sheets we send his way. He has a few stipulations and we have agreed to post them so everyone is on the same page:
  • All Petitions must be notarized by the person collecting the signatures. For those of you unfamiliar with the notarization process, you must sign the Petitions in the presence of a Notary who will then stamp the Petition. This is a legal process and must be followed. BY LAW, Sgt. Northen cannot have the Petitions notarized on his own unless he collected the signatures. Most lawyers, some banks and even the Credit Union have Notaries on staff who will Notarize for a small fee or no fee for members/clients.
  • Petitions will all be 8.5 by 11 inch paper. We had it set up to print that way on the website. Please do not deviate from this size. Proper postage must be on all the envelopes, and a return address is requested. Sgt. Northen will not and should not be responsible for postage due, registered mail or certified mail. First Class mail is fine, but if hand delivery is necessary for large numbers of Petitions, arrangements can be made via e-mail with Sgt. Northen for a meeting within the boundaries of the 018th Police District during hours chosen by Sgt. Northen.
  • To verify receipt of the Petition delivery, it is requested that you include a self-addressed stamped envelope or postcard so Sgt. Northen can mail back a receipt. We can't require you to do this, but in the event of a challenge (and there will be challenges), it is preferable to show the Petitions were mailed legitimately.
  • DO NOT number the Petitions. Once they are bound, Sgt. Northen will number the pages.
And the information for delivery:
  • JOHN NORTHEN
    1960 LINCOLN PARK WEST
    CHICAGO, IL 60614
EXACTLY as posted above. E-mail contact is below:
  • CPDFOP7@yahoo.com
Anyone wishing to assist Sgt. Northen with anything he might need is welcome to contact him. Let's see what we can do.

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Police Board Cases

The release of this report sure is a curious bit of timing:
  • About a third of Chicago police officers brought up for termination in the last 10 years have actually been fired, according to a report by a watchdog group.

    The civilian Chicago police board responsible for disciplining officers has backed the police superintendent's recommendations for terminating officers only 37 percent of the time, though the city's top cop has recommended firings in 97 percent of the cases, according to the report by the Chicago Justice Project, which advocates public access to justice-related information.

    Rulings made by the nine-member police board are generally binding unless either the superintendent or the officer challenges it in court, the report states.

    The report -- which analyzed more than 300 cases against sworn officers and civilian workers between 1999 and 2008 -- recommends that the board release a report explaining their rulings when they go against the superintendent's recommendations.
So just over one-third of the time, a recommendation of firing is upheld by the Police Board. This is news why? What is it compared to? Does anyone have the conviction rates for Anita Alvarez's office? Because 100% of the time that they go to trial, they think they have enough evidence to convict. That's why there's a trial. It gets all the facts out in the open and a jury (or judge) decides whether or not a conviction is warranted. Leaving out plea agreements, does anyone think the number approaches 50%? We don't.

The Superintendent probably believes with all his...we want to say "heart" here but we're pretty sure he doesn't have one...so whatever stands in for his heart, 97% of the cops in these cases deserve firing. But they still have a right to appeal to the Board. And if the Board decides that 63% of the cases brought before it are worthy of a lesser penalty, then that will be the finding. After all, the entire Board was appointed by Shortshanks, and Shortshanks would never compromise the integrity of the Police Board with political hacks. Would he?

But it says "Police Board" on the door, so anything coming out of there must be the fault of the police somehow is how we read it. More spin from the spin master.

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Daley's Propaganda War

Anyone notice the sudden upsurge in anti-police stories or articles slighting the police in the media? Here's a few just from Thursday:
  • Over the last year, misconduct complaints against Chicago police officers have increased by nearly 19 percent, according to the city agency that investigates allegations from citizens.

    Much of the 18.6 percent increase in complaints received by the Independent Police Review Authority has been driven by a steep rise since March of this year, IPRA Chief Administrator Ilana Rosenzweig said.

    For most of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, the authority was receiving about 2,300 new complaints against police every three months. But in the second and third quarters of this year the numbers jumped to 2,600 and then 2,800.

    The increase has forced the authority to deploy more investigators to fielding new cases, causing a slowdown in the rate at which investigations are completed, Rosenzweig said.

Complaints are up? That must mean the police are out of control. Again. It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that once again, IPRA will take any complaint, no matter how outrageous, and when the complaint is found to be so outrageous as to be unbelievable, there isn't any penalty to those making the false allegation.

Well, wait a second. What about this?
  • The city plans to prosecute citizens suspected of lying about police misconduct, authorities said Thursday.

    In 2004, the city started requiring citizens to sign an affidavit before they could file a complaint against an officer.

    But the city did not go after people who lied in their affidavits, fearing that would scare off legitimate complaints.

Well, that's just the police picking on those audacious enough to actually stand up to "the man" you know?

Here's a clue - if you reward bad behavior...
  • lying without consequences,
  • slaps on the wrist for battery, assault, UUW,
  • increased payouts for BS lawsuits,
  • five generations of welfare
...you're going to get more of it. Lots more. The increase of complaints is directly attributable to the lack of enforcement since 2004 . No motivation to tell the truth and no penalty for lying? Damn right you're going to get more complaints with no basis in reality.

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Where's the FOP Response?

Nice response by the CFD Union:
  • Press Release:

    Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 response to call for unpaid time off for Chicago Firefighters/Paramedics

    With regards to the suggestion of the City's administration and aldermen to have Chicago Firefighters and Paramedics take furlough days off, I must first tell you that the City and the Union agreed at the start of our contract negotiations that we would not negotiate in the press. Unfortunately, the City is not able to live up to this arrangement. Recent public statements by the Mayor and members of the City Council give us no choice but to respond to their recent published remarks.

    It is obvious that fires, accidents, hazardous materials incidents and the need for quick and competent firefighter and emergency medical response do not take a holiday or a furlough day.

    The taxpayers of Chicago need to know that when they call for help in their darkest hour, there will always be fully staffed emergency service ready to respond. Chicago Firefighters and Paramedics provide protection for these always existing dangers, but we must also have the manpower and capability to respond quickly and successfully to an emergency and potential catastrophe. The world we live in has changed, and we cannot afford and should not gamble on the public's safety. The safety of our citizens and also of our responders is paramount and we must not jeopardize their well-being by reducing fire and emergency medical services.

    The motto of the Chicago Fire Dept. is “We’re there when you need us” but that may well not be the case if reductions and cuts are implemented.

    Tom Ryan

    President

    Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2
And the FOP response?

Pretty much summarized right there. We're all for taking the high road, but when the mayor and his lap dog media types are the only ones talking, guess who the public is listening to? Silence isn't doing us any favors at this point and being gentlemen in a mudslinging contest means the police are the only ones covered in mud. It isn't like the arbitrator is penalizing the city and Shortshanks for their underhanded techniques. We don't win any points for taking it in the shorts day after day after day. Step up and make a statement FOP. Even if it's just on your website.

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Let's Cut the Police!

Someone at the Daily Southtown talks sense:
  • With a recession making money tight and jobs scarce, police said Wednesday they weren't surprised to see more people turning to crime for a fast buck.

    While overall crime in the Southland dipped 1 percent last year, burglaries were on the rise, and police blamed the economy.

  • Officers are seeing more phony credit cards linked to real credit card accounts, which can drain a victim of cash or credit without the theft of the card itself, Division Chief Mike Kaufmann said.

    "The economy is certainly a factor. The need for more money puts people on edge, and you'll see stuff directly related to that," Kaufmann said. "It's definitely a factor in Oak Lawn, but also regionally and globally, really."

The article covers a bunch of southern suburbs but the reality is it's happening everywhere. Especially here, no matter what statistics the media is spoon fed by the bean counters.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

2,000 Short?

  • Heading into year No. 2 of a hiring slowdown, the Chicago Police Department is now nearly 2,000 officers short of its authorized strength of 13,500, counting vacancies, medical leave and limited duty, records show -- with 36 percent of police jobs at O'Hare Airport unfilled.

    After hiring only 46 police officers this year, Mayor Daley's 2010 budget counts on federal stimulus funds to boost manpower next year. Still, just 86 officers are to be added, 30 of them to patrol CTA buses and L trains.

    That's nowhere near enough to fill 596 vacancies and a wave of retirements.

No shit Fran. We've been saying this for a few years now.

Of course, whoever fed Fran the numbers is counting Medical, IOD and Limited Duty, so even that isn't a true number. But it's getting closer.

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Volunteers Needed

We're asking again for someone to step up who just doesn't care about the political fallout to collect and submit the petitions currently making the rounds. We have people stating they've already collected a hundred or more signatures and are just looking for a place to send them after being notarized.

We have one volunteer so far, an outsider. We're hoping to get someone a bit closer to the fight, but on such short notice, you go with what you have. Keep collecting signatures if you are so inclined and we hope to have an address to send everything to sometime this weekend.

Part of the Problem

Actually, Daley is all of the problem, aided and abetted by 50 spineless wonders:
  • Mayor Richard Daley and some aldermen suggested today that police officers and firefighters take off nearly five weeks without pay to cut city spending next year.

    The idea, which the city cannot force on the police and fire unions, surfaced as outside critics and aldermen are questioning Daley’s plan to dip into long-term cash reserves to help pay for his proposed $6.1 billion budget.

    “Everyone has to be part of the solution, not part of the problem,” Daley said today when asked if police officers and firefighters should take unpaid furlough days. “And that’s why I’m taking 24 days without pay, and I got other people to take that, because you have to show that government understands the suffering that is going on throughout your communities.”
You want 24 days without pay, you better be bringing something to the table Mr. Mayor. something big. There's a reason the Teamsters, the SEIU, CPD and CFD haven't taken furlough days. The first two unions stuck together and refused givebacks for no guarantees. They paid in layoffs, but they still have their negotiated benefits. The second two can't strike, but they didn't surrender anything and an arbitrator isn't going to touch previously negotiated items that aren't even on the table at this point. It's a dead issue as far as we can see.

Just for shits and giggles, let's look some stories from ChicagoBreakingNews.com over the past two days or so:
  • A boy and girl were shot in an apparent drive-by shooting tonight in the Far South Side's Morgan Park neighborhood, police said.

    WGN-TV reported that the children were an 11-year-old boy and his 10-year-old cousin.

  • GeRod Thomas went out of his way to avoid trouble, often staying inside when he was at his Bronzeville home.

    Yet violence found him on his front lawn Tuesday night when he was gunned down in what police believe was a gang-related drive-by shooting.

  • A body was reported to be found in a trash receptacle this morning in the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago's South Side.

    The discovery was made about 10:40 p.m. near West 73rd and South Carpenter Streets, officials said.

  • A man in his 20s was shot and critically wounded this morning in the West Englewood neighborhood on the South Side.

    The shooting happened within a block from where a woman and a teen were killed Tuesday afternoon in a drive-by shooting, which also left two men wounded.

  • A 19-year-old man and a woman were killed Tuesday afternoon in an apparent drive-by shooting in the city's West Englewood neighborhood, police said.
That's about 48 hours worth of mayhem, mostly in Englewood. We imagine that most coppers in 007 would welcome 24 extra days away from this bullshit, but not at the cost of two paychecks. Someone better get these idiot aldermen a reality check. Soon.

We already gave at the office. We've been pointing out the manpower shortage for over two years now. The Department is finally admitting they are 591 officers short after two years of non-stop retirements and three Academy classes totaling maybe 150 police. Add in the voluntary resignations to take other police jobs, details to outside agencies and we're lucky if we aren't 1,200 short right now. 591 is just what they admit to being short. And that is shortage is 365 days a year. Figure it this way...
  • 24 furlough days times 9000 cops is 216,000 days "saved"
  • 591 open positions times 365 days is 215,715 days "saved"
The difference is negligible. And the retirements haven't stopped. There are going to be almost 200 scheduled retirements in the first half of next year, more probably. Reduction by attrition is savings. It isn't doing shit for officer safety or public safety, but it's "savings" according to Shortshanks.

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No New Taxes?

  • Despite Daley’s promise to hold the line on taxes, fines, and fees, Budget Director Eugene Munin acknowledged that the budget includes a 14 percent increase in water rates.

    “We took pains to say, ‘No new taxes,’ ’’ Munin said, noting the increase was approved three years ago.

Daley slips another one in under the radar - a tax increase passed 3 years ago? Gee, why so far back? Oh yeah, an election coming up.

The entire article is a bit of claptrap about how the aldercreatures are taking Shortshanks to task for mortgaging the city's future, as if they didn't have anything to do with voting and approving the entire process for the past few decades. We cover the rest of the BS in the post right about this one.

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Remember When...

Was it a year or two ago?

Aldercreature Ed Smith had a next door neighbor whose house burned to the ground. Total loss. And firefighters or responding police units had to wake Smith from a sound sleep to evacuate his house as it smoldered. Might have saved his life. We bet they worked like hell to save his building, too.

What if that cop or that firefighter was on an "Ed Smith sponsored furlough day?"

You'd think Ed would be a little more appreciative of the people who saved his life and his property.

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Meeting Confrontation

Another school of thought:
  • If you go onto the 12th ward website he offers a meeting with him to address concerns on mondays from 3pm to 6pm. I say we (hopefully a few hundred or so) of us should show up there and ask him in front of his constituents about his discretionary fund and his 6% pay raise. It is about time we put them on the hot seat and open the publics eyes on their pay and how it is distributed. I just called his office and spoke with one of his flunkies that said he would be available to meet. I am serious SCC make a post about this. We need to start putting pressure on this goof and it needs to be done now while it is still fresh and doesn't fade away.

    I encourage everyone to call his office the number is 773-523-8250
We're sure there are coppers among his constituents. Those calls would carry the most weight. A few dozen calls might have an impact. A few hundred calls and he might cancel the next meeting.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Another Reason for Referendum

  • If an independent arbitrator awards double-digit pay hikes to Chicago Police officers, there's a good chance the City Council will reject it, some aldermen said Tuesday.

    During closed-door briefings on the status of police negotiations, aldermen vented their anger about the fact that public safety employees who account for 70 percent of city spending have been exempt from furlough days and other cost-cutting concessions.

    Some aldermen also served notice that City Council ratification can no longer be taken for granted.

    "The message given was, it is very likely the Council will reject any double-digit increases in pay for sworn personnel," said Ald. George Cardenas (12th).

The article doesn't state whether or not Cardenas ever graduated from a certified accounting school, but 3 or 4% a year for 4 years isn't a "double digit" increase - that's just keeping up with the rate of inflation, cost of living and the massive tax increases passed by the state, county and city over the past 2 years. Of course, we didn't see these objections when this came before the City Council a few years ago:
  • Some Chicago aldermen are suggesting a change in salary. There's growing support for a pay raise, but the general election may play a role in how much more money they get.

    Chicago aldermen make $98,000 a year for jobs that are technically part-time. However, most council members said they work 24/7 and they deserve a raise. Under state law, they have to vote on salary issues before the election, which forces them to make controversial decisions now. Those decisions can be used against them by opponents come February.

  • Cost of living seems to be a fair request to most Chicagoans.

    [...] The cost of living this year is around 4%. Last year was 5.7%. So it might actually average out at $5,000 over the next four years. That's harder to attack politically than the fixed amount. So we'll see how it plays out over the next few weeks.

Gee, cost of living. Seems reasonable. Especially for police officers and firefighters making much less that the $110,000 per year aldercreatures make.

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Pick a Number Ed

We were hoping Aldercreature Smith could answer a few questions for us:
  • how many casualties are you willing to accept?
  • how many structure fires and fire deaths?
  • how many grandmothers, grandfathers and shooting victims are you willing to have die in the street?
  • how much property crime and damage are you willing to endure?
You give us a number and we'll see if we can't balance it out. Maybe you can have Jesse and Phleger and even Sharpton come up with a number and negotiate it with the gangs. Maybe Richie can license thieves and collect a percentage? We mean in the open, not in the shadows like today.

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What's This Statistic?

  • Crime in Illinois continued a steady two-decade decline last year, reported the Illinois State Police in its annual crime-rate index released today.

    While the crime rate was up slightly in suburban Cook County, it was mostly in crimes against property and not violent crime. The crime rate dropped in the collar counties of DuPage, Lake, McHenry and Will.

But the last line of the article:
  • The crime index was up 3.1 percent in Chicago, but down 2.2 percent over the rest of the state.
Crime is up? But we've been hearing it's down, and down big? Is someone fudging the numbers released to the media? Again?

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Selling the Referendum

Someone asked if we could supply "selling points" for those collecting signatures. Some stories they could tell people they approach to somehow justify reducing the number of aldercreatures from 50 to something around 25 or maybe less.

Seriously?
  • Foie Gras ban
  • Bottled Water tax
  • Potholes
  • Sewer collapses
  • Snow removal - haha
  • Barking dogs
  • Burke actually proposed looking under dogs tails for unneutered pets
  • Substandard schools that never get better
  • Crooked land deals, including CTA property for $1
  • Approval of the Parking Meter debacle
  • Approval of selling Chicago's future for pennies on the dollar
  • Wasting money fighting for a gun ban that is in direct conflict with an established Supreme Court ruling
  • Jackpot justice payouts
Oh yeah, and an undermanned Police Department that has been giving and giving for over two years of de facto layoffs via attrition without any relief in sight.

Does that sell it?

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Daley Giving Away Money

  • Chicago homeowners squeezed by rising property tax bills could be in line for cash grants of up to $200 thanks to $35 million worth of property tax relief tied to Mayor Daley’s 2010 budget.

  • It will be confined to families whose total household income is $200,000 or less.

  • The city is not requiring tax returns to prove income, which raised questions of whether people would be truthful about their income when applying for aid.

    But Daley said, “You have to have faith in people. . . . You’re trying to help ’em. . . . You can’t have ’em bring 40 different documents.”

That's a lot of faith Mr. Shortshanks. You aren't buying up votes already, are you?

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Chicago's Future

It's happening as we speak. It's also a reality elsewhere:
  • New Yorkers are fleeing the state and city in alarming numbers -- and costing a fortune in lost tax dollars, a new study shows.

    More than 1.5 million state residents left for other parts of the United States from 2000 to 2008, according to the report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy. It was the biggest out-of-state migration in the country.

    The vast majority of the migrants, 1.1 million, were former residents of New York City -- meaning one out of seven city taxpayers moved out.

One out of seven residents of NYC left town?

We can hardly wait for the 2010 census. Numbers not too dissimilar from those may be revealed in Chicago's numbers. Daley's "sanctuary" policy is going to pay off shortly. And not in a good way.

That's the trouble with taxing the rich. The rich can afford to leave town and live elsewhere. Not so with those required to live here. It's like Pullman's village in the 21st century.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Referendum Goes Mainstream

  • An internet blogger who claims to be a Chicago police officer wants to fire 25 aldermen.

    The Second City Cop blogger says it's his response to West Side Ald. Ed Smith. Last week, Smith said police and firefighters should no longer be immune from the cuts in pay and benefits that are hitting other city workers.

  • The cop blogger wants this non-binding, advisory referendum on the February 2010 ballot: Should the Chicago City Council be reduced from 50 aldermen to 25?

    It's a far-fetched idea, maybe, but it could save taxpayers more than $10 million a year.
$10 million? It'd save over $32 million in aldermanic "discretionary" funding alone. Add in another $2.5 million in salaries for aldercreatures, $10 million or more in staffing cuts, the ward yards consolidated and lord knows how much graft and corruption eliminated, and we're talking somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million and more.

We're hoping this takes off now that the local media is starting to cover it. At the very least, it might energize some grass-root types who have better access and better organizational skills.

In the meantime, we're going to suggest people print out petitions and gather signatures where ever they can - church, school, public gathering. We suggested keeping it away from work because someone will bitch. Remember, only registered voters and the person collecting signatures has to have the bottom portion notarized (do not number the pages). Many banks do it for clients, someone said the Credit Union will do it for members. We're still looking for a volunteer to collect these things, bind them and submit them. As soon as a viable candidate steps forward, we'll get their name and collection point to the readers.

In the meantime, spread the word. We might surprise some people.

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Election Night CR Number

We've gotten a couple of e-mails and posted a couple of comments about a Department-wide Complaint Register investigation being initiated in regard to OC discharges on election night.

The media refused to cover most of the mayhem that night, concentrating on the celebrations in Grant Park while ignoring the assaults, batteries and mini-riots exploding all over the south and west sides.

If you were able to hear the tapes from that evening, it's amazing no one got killed or badly injured. We can only compare it to the Bulls "celebrations" of the 1990's and we remember how those CR numbers were handled in the weeks following the riots. This appears to be another witch-hunt instigated by J-Fed and his cronies at the behest of Shortshanks. Why else start taking statements nine months after the fact? Oh yeah, contract arbitration. We forgot.

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Ah, Hypocrisy

We remember when Bush was doing this, the left was having conniption fits every day:
  • President Barack Obama has only been in office for just over nine months, but he's already hit the links as much as President Bush did in over two years.

    CBS' Mark Knoller — an unofficial documentarian and statistician of all things White House-related — wrote on his Twitter feed that, "Today - Obama ties Pres. Bush in the number of rounds of golf played in office: 24.

    Took Bush 2 yrs & 10 months."

    This news comes on the heels of today's news that Obama played golf with a woman — chief domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes — for the first time since taking office.

Well thank goodness he finally played golf with a woman. Talk about generating BS news.

Aren't soldiers still fighting in Iraq? Weren't 14 Americans killed in Afghanistan yesterday? That's the war that Obama said was the primary focus of the Global War on Terror, right? The war he said he would win? We seem to recall an entire campaign built on the premise that Bush had lost sight why we were at war in the first place.

But there's Obama, golfing 3 times a month while Americans die overseas, the economy circles the drain and UAW workers go without even a miniature golf outing. Has he no shame? No compassion? Seeing as how he's from Chicago, we're going to say, "Probably not."

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Monday, October 26, 2009

War!

Ed Smith voted himself a 6% pay raise. Ed Smith voted his staff a 5% pay raise. Ed Smith voted for the teachers to get a pay raise. Ed Smith wants to take money out of your pocket and food out of your children's mouths to pay for Richie Daley's years of financial mismanagement. He also belittles the job CPD (and CFD) does day in and day out in while shorthanded and while getting the short end of the stick each and every day. Ed Smith is symptomatic of everything that is wrong with Chicago politics in general.

It's about time Ed Smith joined the ranks of Illinois' 10.1% unemployed, don't you think?

Someone asked if the SCC blog could initiate some sort of effort to recall or unseat aldermanic candidates. We had some research done and this is the result:
  • An Advisory Referendum can be placed on the ballot for the February 2010 election if a total number of signatures equaling 11% of the previous general election totals can be gathered in a 90 day period preceding the filing deadline.
Unfortunately, the deadline is 16 November. That leaves just about 3 weeks to collect, notarize, bind and file the required number of signatures. The magic number?
  • 121,660 signatures
That's a lot of signatures for an advisory referendum. But it's doable, and here's the first step:
Reduce Alderman Petition 2009

And here's what has to be overcome:
  • 10,000 cops? If everyone did a sheet, that's 100,000 signatures. Cops being cops though, figure on less than 50% participation. That means everyone who did contribute would have to get 2 or 3 sheets.
  • 2,400 firefighters? That would be another 24,000 signatures. Again, the under 50% participation though would mean 3 sheets per participating firefighter.
  • Other unhappy city dwellers and regular people visiting the site might be able to push another few thousand signatures. The Machine would react badly to this initiative, so estimate double the number of signatures to survive the inevitable challenges.
  • You couldn't circulate these at work, you couldn't mail them around via Department mail, and to be sure of not getting duplicate signatures, you'd have to make sure you got all the signatures from people unassociated with the Department - it would have to be friends, neighbors, acquaintances outside of work.
And that's not even counting the fact that a point person is needed, someone willing to step up and collect these things, bind them, have them notarized and deliver them in person before 16 November. It's a big job. But the payoff in terms of shaking the political establishment would be monstrous.

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Well...

...that sucked.

8 and 8 is looking like a distinct possibility.

At least things are looking up for the Blackhawks.

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Parking Tickets Up

  • Your chances of receiving a parking ticket in Chicago have shot up from last year, and the pace has accelerated even more in recent months.

    A ticketing blitz in the city has led to a 26 percent spike in parking meter violations so far in 2009, according to city records provided to the Tribune in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

    The area in and near the Loop accounted for half the increase in tickets.

  • Parking and non-moving compliance violations tickets issued by the Chicago Police Department and traffic control aides declined about 10 percent in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period last year, Walsh said. Meanwhile, tickets issued by the Revenue Department increased almost 10 percent.
Compliance violations (front/rear plates) and meters (surprise!) showed large increases while Rush Hour and Street Cleaning tickets (both traditionally police written) had double digit decreases. And as the manpower shortages continue to leave police running from job to job and unable (or even unwilling) to perform ticket writing duties, we expect a bigger shift toward "revenue" writers rather than police.

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Zombie Combat

  • Iowa City police are investigating an early morning assault in which a man accused another of being a zombie, then punched him twice. Police said the assault occurred at 1:17 a.m. Sunday at an Iowa City restaurant south of the University of Iowa campus.

    A man was ordering food when he was approached by another man who called him a zombie, then hit him in the eye. When the victim tried to call police on his cell phone, the man punched him again, breaking his nose.

    The man then ran out a back door.
If we remember our zombie history, punching a zombie in the face is never a good idea and seldom works in terms of defeating the zombie. Preferred methods of defeating a zombie include machetes, halberds, pikes, axes, shotguns, rifles and fire. Remember, doors and windows, even walls are no obstacle to a zombie. One surefire way to eliminate the zombie threat is removal of the head from the body.

We hope this was helpful.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Turnovers


Turnovers Turnovers Turnovers Turnovers:
  • Force Turnovers
  • Don't give up any Turnovers
Turnovers Turnovers Turnovers Turnovers.

Any questions?

UPDATE: Remember....
  • Apple Turnover...GOOD!
  • Fumble Turnover...BAD!

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H1N1 "Emergency"

Unfortunately, we think Shaved called this one 100% accurately:
  • President Obama declares the SWINE FLU a national emergency - To get the public's attention off all his failures.... EVERYBODY, LOOK OVER HERE INSTEAD! SWINE FLU IS A NATIONAL EMERGENCY! Even though more people will die fire ant bites than the swine flu.
It's almost like he took lessons from Shortshanks in the art of distraction. Oh wait, he did.
  • The clinics are set up at six City College locations, and health officials are cautioning that the supply is more limited than they had hoped and that it would be reserved only for high-risk population groups.

    Each site has about 1,500 doses and officials will start turning away people once they reach that number.

    At the West Side Technical Institute, 2800 S. Western Ave., the line numbered more than 600 at 9:30 a.m. People inside the gymnasium were filling out paperwork as a woman in an orange vest called out numbers in English and Spanish.

So about 9,000 doses for a city of 2 million? And they aren't even screening for the weak, infirm, juvenile or high risk. They're just giving them out on a "first-come, first-serve" basis. Someone said Daley got his? Thank goodness he's safe!

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McClendon Homicide Arrests

At least it will close a painful chapter in the family's lives:
  • At least two teenagers are being held in police custody in connection with the murders of CLTV talk show host Garrard McClendon’s parents, a source said.

    The suspects, who have been in custody since Friday, were positively identified as being seen in Milton and Ruby McClendon’s car, the source said.

    One of the teens is from Hammond, the source said, where Milton, 76, and Ruby, 74, lived.

Now hopefully, the state can make it stick.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ed, Shut Up

What a stroke this guy is (and what a stroke Flannery is for even giving this the play he does):
  • As Chicago aldermen prepare to pore over Mayor Richard M. Daley's $6.1 billion budget and the spending cuts and financial maneuvering needed to balance the budget, one alderman is suggesting a politically risky idea: pay cuts for police officers and firefighters.

  • He said that means police officers and firefighters should have to take pay cuts to help deal with the budget. "I mean, they are employees of the city of Chicago and we have to make sure that the city functions."

    But Smith's suggestion has no realistic chance of being approved by the City Council.

  • [Ald. Leslie] Hairston (5th) would like to eliminate the practice of paying police on days when they're "available" for duty, even if they don't actually get called in to work.
Well then Leslie, we'll just take that duty-availability as an add-on to our salaries and pensions as it was an "end around" play on actually giving us raises years ago. We did our part back then when the City was crying poor - what did you do? Oh yeah, another raise for you.

And Ed, you sure got a pretty mouth when you're talking about cutting police and fire manpower after you just voted yourself a 6% raise, voted your staff a 5% raise and increased your "discretionary fund" by $1.3 million per aldercreature. Are you giving any of that back for your $100,000 per year part time job?

When are these morons going to realize the City would function better with 30 less aldercreatures that with one less police officer?

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Bad Pothole Season Coming

We were driving around a bit yesterday from job to job to job. And we noticed the streets are draining very poorly during the 24 hours or more of rain we've had.

It's the end of October. Winter freezing temperatures are right around the corner. We had a bit of fun tweaking Daely and Streets & San over poor plowing and salting last winter.

Anyone want to bet what the pothole season is going to look like in a few weeks? Especially since they skimped on road repairs all summer in anticipation of the Olympic "windfall."

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Powerful Words

  • A member of the McClendon family is blaming the "thug mentality" in the black community for the slaying of his parents and said black leaders have "to wake up" to change it and "come to grips that our pathologies run deep."

    Theodore McClendon early this morning posted a 3-minute videoclip entitled "AddressingThug-Life" on the Facebook social networking site in which he also said that "this kind of intimidation has to stop."

  • "My parents happened to be the unfortunate victim of their immaturity and their thugism, and quite frankly to their primitive nature," he said. "We got to change this. Unless we change this we are doomed to have an uncivilized society. We are doomed to live in a quagmire of primordial existence. Unless we change it.

    "But we got to admit it. That's where black leaders have to wake up. Black leaders have to come to grips that our pathologies run deep.

    "Despite the causes of black pathologies, we must understand they exist. We need to address them rather than to blame external forces, blame economics, blame the white man. Blame something that's not going to solve anything.

    "You got to admit our shortcomings... That's what we got to do."
The first step to recovery is admitting there is a problem. And guess what? There's a big problem in this community and it's going to take big words, bigger ideas and huge actions to solve it. Not money, not empty promises, not blaming the bogeyman.

The elder McClendons appear to have raised some straight thinking, straight talking, stand up men who speak their mind. Let that be their legacy. RIP.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Another Dispatching Flub?

From a dispatcher at 911:
  • Dispatcher on zone 6 doesn't give out a 10-1. Two 10-1 events come across the board and her partner can be heard loudly and urgently telling her to get out the 10-1 event. Dispatcher refuses so the secondary does what she is supposed to do and dispatches the job. The primary dispatcher who failed to dispatch the job is the sister yes I said the sister of the guy who failed to dispatch the infamous 10-1 last month. Guess stupidity runs in the family. Best part is that nothing happened to the primary who failed to dispatch the 10-1 in a timely manner but a supervisor was seen giving papers to the secondary who thought quickly and gave out the job (I didn't see the papers but am told it was a reprimand). Watch your back out there guys and girls because while most of us up here at OEMC want you to make it home, some of us just aren't cut out for this job.
And as was told to us, they have family on the job? One sleeps through a 10-1, the other refuses to put it out? And the dispatcher who took charge and got the job done gets a reprimand?

Hellooooooo? J-Fed? Ray? WTF?

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Fenger Boiling - Still

  • Five students were arrested at Fenger High School — four charged with reckless conduct and one charged with allegedly threatening a teacher — after a fight broke out in a lunchroom Thursday.

    Police responded to a disturbance at the school at 11220 S. Wallace St. about 11:25 a.m., News Affairs [...] said. Officers were called to the scene after a fight broke out in the lunchroom.

And the e-mails are alive with accounts of the west side going up with upwards of 75 "students" being arrested at Manley, Orr, Marshall, Crane and Farragut High Schools the past week. Where's the media coverage of high schools being nothing but gang factories and recruitment centers?

No video, no story evidently.

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Toddler Runs on Taxes

  • Cook County Board President Todd Stroger unveils his budget for next year which he says includes no new taxes or fees.

    He told county commissioners on Thursday afternoon that the $3 billion spending plan will not reduce services.

    Stroger says this is possible because of a controversial sales tax increase passed last year.

See? He's already raised the taxes and bought off at least one commissioner who changed her vote so the tax hike could stay. Now he can claim to be "holding the line" on the previous increases.

Vote Toddler - for change!

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CPD v CFD Soccer

Upcoming:
  • 5th Annual Call Box Cup Charity Soccer Match
  • Chicago Fire Department vs Chicago Police Department
  • 25OCT09 7:00pm at St. Rita Stadium
  • $5 Donation to benefit the CPD Peer Support and CPD/CFD Honor Guard
  • www.cpdsoccer.com
Always a good time.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

TASER Restrictions

  • The maker of Taser stun guns is advising officers to avoid shooting suspects in the chest with the 50,000-volt weapon, saying that it could pose an extremely low risk of an "adverse cardiac event."

    The advisory, issued in an Oct. 12 training bulletin, is the first time that Taser International has suggested there is any risk of a cardiac arrest related to the discharge of its stun gun.

    But Taser officials said Tuesday that the bulletin does not state that Tasers can cause cardiac arrest. They said the advisory means only that law-enforcement agencies can avoid controversy over the subject if their officers aim at areas other than the chest.
So what use is the TASER if you can't fire it at the largest target possible - center mass? We guess we'll be going back to shooting and killing non-compliant subjects and mentally disturbed individuals shortly.

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Um, How About "No"

  • As part of his new budget proposal, Mayor Richard Daley wants to give low-income homeowners $200 in property-tax relief.

    Daley would take $35 million out of parking meter lease proceeds and offer the tax relief to partly fill a gap caused by the state's decision to phase out a limit in how much property assessments can increase.

How about people only buy the houses they can afford? How about using that $35 million to hire more police? Better equipment? Raises like the teachers got, the aldercreatures got, the aldercreature's staff got, the mayor's office got?

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Our Wonderful Justice System

Remember the homeless jagoff who attacked a woman in front of the grocery store downtown because she wouldn't give him a cigarette? He and his companion jumped her, knocked out 14 of her teeth, attacked her boyfriend and who knows what other mayhem. This happened in August 2008.

Well evidently, he pled guilty on 02 October to two counts of robbery (felonies) and was released "time served awaiting trial" on 20 October. And mere hours later....
  • Derrick King, 47, was paroled Tuesday for the earlier attack, which happened in August 2008 less than a mile east of today's incident. Hours later he was in police custody again, charged with misdemeanor simple assault.

    Police say King approached the woman, who was smoking a cigarette, at about 3:20 a.m. in the 500 block of West Roosevelt Road and asked her for a smoke. She said no.

    "He told her: 'Remember the couple who got beat real bad for not giving a cigarette? That was me,' " [...]

    King then charged at her, Chaplin said. The woman caught the attention of two police officers patrolling nearby who quickly arrested King.

Couldn't even stay out of trouble for 24 hours. And he's out just after pleading guilty to two felonies? What a wonderful system we have here in Cook County! Maybe Alvarez and her crew want to explain this one?

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Ben Joravsky Article

  • On October 15, Mayor Richard M. Daley held a press conference to break some bad news: To erase a $500 million budget deficit for next year, he would probably have to eliminate jobs, cut services, and dip into reserve funds generated by leasing the Skyway and the parking meters.

    But behind the scenes, the mayor and his chief aides were proposing to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on a rehab of Willis Tower, subsidies for privately run hospitals and Fortune 500 corporations, and pet neighborhood projects that won't be included in the official city budget.

    We recently came into possession of hard evidence of what we've long argued: that the city produces two annual budgets, one released to the public, covered by the media, and debated by the City Council, and the other forged behind closed doors by the Daley administration, shared only in pieces with certain aldermen, and never fully disclosed to citizens. Both budgets are funded by taxpayers.

And this "shadow budget" shows Shortshanks awash in cash.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Star Retired

The last duty for the star of Officer Alex Valadez:
  • For Thomas Vargas and Alex Valadez, friendship came easily after meeting at the Chicago police academy in 2005. They shared similar backgrounds, music tastes and senses of humor.

    Reunited later at the Englewood District, they found they also had similar street sense -- and such a strong resemblance that they were known as "the twins."

    Later, as partners, they found their lives reflecting each other in even deeper ways. Both were going to be fathers -- Valadez for the first time and Vargas for the second. From then on, conversations were sprinkled with how they would raise their children together.

Five-week-old Alex Jr. attended the ceremony today. While he will never have a living recollection of his father, he ought never lack a memory of his father's extended family. RIP Alex.

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First of Many Festival Cuts?

  • Venetian Night — Chicago’s annual parade of illuminated boat floats that draws up to 500,000 people to the lakefront — could be sunk, thanks to cost-cutting tied to Mayor Daley’s 2010 budget.

    Special Events Director Megan McDonald said the decision to end a time-honored tradition that dates back to the days of former Mayor Richard J. Daley was dictated by a decline in corporate sponsorships.

    Chicago’s production costs were $100,000. But that taxpayer tab was multiplied by the cost of police, fire, traffic and sanitation needed to stage the event.

In Mike Royko's book "BOSS," he described the founding of Venetian Night as something like Old Man Daley stuffing old people into buses, trucking them down to the lakefront and making them watch a parade of boats that none of them could ever afford as an election year ploy.

Many of these fest are just another opportunity for the mayor to plaster his name on things. Corporate sponsorship seems like the wave of the future of these festivals. Charge for the permits and have them hire their own garbage pick up, traffic control, security and such. We seem to recall the FOP pushing for some sort of "side-job" listing for these sort of events years ago. Maybe it's time to push again?

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Local Tax Hikes Here

Hooray hooray! In the middle of the biggest recession in how many decades? Got to love that Cook County government:
  • It’s time, once again, to pay the piper.

    Cook County tax bills should arrive in your mailbox next week — and Chicago landowners will be paying a collective 6.04 percent more than last year, according to tax rates released today by Cook County Clerk David Orr.

    Across Cook County, property owners — including the city and suburbs — are paying 4.2 percent more, said Bill Vaselopulos, the Cook County clerk’s director of tax extension.

And something that ought to have everyone reaching for the barrels of tar and bags of feathers?
Twelve-hundred taxing bodies? Anyone else think there might be more than a little fat to cut from these government entities?

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And the Supporting Cast?

  • It didn't take long for Bears management to see that they wanted Jay Cutler to be their quarterback for the long term.

    The team signed Cutler to a two-year contract extension late Tuesday that will give the Bears rights to Cutler for four years after this season. The rookie contract he signed with the Broncos went through 2011.
The guy can throw a ball, that's obvious. And if he had two more targets, he'd probably be a 400-yards-per-game QB. But are the Bears going to remain mired in mediocrity or are they going to pony up the $$$ for the offense needed to win at the next level? And how about a linebacking corps that can stay healthy? Lots of questions.

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The City That (Doesn't) Work

How long has Daley been in office now? And how long has Block 37 been an albatross around this city's neck?
  • Bank of America Corp. and a consortium of lenders have filed a foreclosure suit against the developer of the Loop's Block 37 project.

    The suit was filed late Monday in Cook County Circuit Court. The action could herald new financial trouble for property that has been dogged by false starts and missteps for two decades.
A microcosm of Daley-land.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another Reason for 4 - 2

People have been pointing out more than a few reasons the City is going with a "4 on-2 off" schedule. More checking the "time due" box, more burning of comp time, redeployment of one-seventh of the street force.

Here's why the last one matters most:
  • After hiring only 46 Chicago Police officers all year, Mayor Daley acknowledged Monday that the slowdown would continue in 2010, dramatically impacting the city's ability to fill 591 police vacancies.

    "We will be filling them, but not at a faster rate," the mayor said after announcing unrelated budget moves.

    Daley was noncommittal when asked whether Chicago could afford to hire any police officers -- beyond the 80 whose salaries will be paid by federal stimulus funds -- and still honor his promise to hold the line on all taxes, fines and fees.

And even those 80 officers aren't anywhere in sight. The grant stated they had to be hired after 01 July, and at that time, the class of 46 was already in training. The money has an expiration date, so it has to be spent soon or it goes back to Washington. We haven't even heard of a power test being offered.

The next step is shutting down a district or two to alleviate next year's shortages.

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Mismanagement

  • Mayor Daley said Monday he would eliminate 220 vacant city jobs, cancel cost-of living pay raises for 3,500 non-union employees and order those bureaucrats to take 24 unpaid days off to honor his promise to keep his hand out of taxpayers’ pockets in 2010.

    Together with cuts in non-personnel spending, the latest round of bureaucratic belt-tightening will reduce spending by $64 million.

    The remainder of the city’s $550 million budget gap is expected to be filled by raiding reserve funds generated by city asset sales. That’s a controversial move that threatens the all-important bond rating used to determine city borrowing costs.
The 220 jobs are a drop in the bucket - there's plenty of middle management that can be eliminated across the board in any number of departments. The belt-tightening is long overdue, but don't expect any sweeping change the way we didn't see any last time they "tightened" things up. The "reserve funds" are monies the mayor lets the connected people play with at taxpayer expense.

Here's a clue - how about the City trying to live within it's means?

The Death Spiral at CTA

  • The CTA has sent out just under 2,000 notices to bus drivers and other unionized employees that their jobs will be eliminated in the next two months.

    The layoffs are part of a plan to close a massive $300 million budget hole. The proposal also includes raising El rides fares to $3 from $2.25 for a single ride, as well as the cost of a monthly pass.

    “They want to mimic what City Hall did with the unions — the furlough days, the unpaid vacations and holidays, things of that nature,” said Darrel Jefferson, president of the bus driver and mechanic’s union, which is expected to bear the brunt of the layoffs. “We’re not open to that.”

Of course they're not. But the noose is drawing tighter. More layoffs mean more service cuts and maintenance delays. Higher prices along with the decaying infrastructure means more people will be tempted to use their own cars and carpool and find alternate means of transportation. Less riders means more layoffs and route cuts and service reductions.

And the slide into becoming Detroit II continues unabated.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Examining the "4 & 2"

A whole bunch of feedback in the previous postings. Lots of give and take and more than a little unhappiness, although if others are to be believed, at least one person has posted 20 or 30 comments in an effort to make his argument look more convincing.

The upshot is it looks like the Department is going to a 4 & 2 schedule. Not only does this eliminate the 6th work day, it eliminates the 5th. It also eliminates the 3-day weekend but that seems a small price to pay for the advantages.

Here's a side-by-side comparison someone threw together for us. First up, the regular "6 on 2 off" that may soon be ending:

Just based on this 15 week model, you work 75 out of 105 days, meaning 30 days off.

Now, the same comparison but with a "4 on 2 off" variation:

The same 15 week model, but you only work 69 days out of 105, meaning 36 days off over the same period. Based on this particular day off group, you get an extra Sunday, Thursday, two Fridays and two Saturdays. That's a whole bunch more weekend family events that we couldn't attend suddenly being available. Those complaining about having to burn some hours to get a 3-day-weekend seems shortsighted at first glance. You have 6 extra opportunities to get Special Employment if that's up your alley. If you're on days, that 6 extra chances to get some court time you would have otherwise been doing for free. Holidays are only spread among 6 day off groups instead of 7 and are worth 13.5 hours now.

Does it have flaws? Sure. We have questions about how this "furlough hours" thing works, especially for working day furloughs. The start times seem to have some questionable overlaps that might lead to equipment shortages. The Captains' and Lieutenants' reactions are going to be interesting.

But let's face facts - the City was never going to give us 10-hour days if we were getting 50 or 60 extra days off a year. That would have made too many people happy. And the City will never willingly make us happy. This seems to be making just enough people irritated that Shortshanks is going to be the only one happy.

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Sleeping Dispatcher Suspended

  • Two employees at Chicago’s 911 emergency center have been slapped with lengthy suspensions without pay for their roles in an Aug. 28 dispatch delay that left an off-duty police officer to fend for himself while being shot at by a car filled with alleged gang members.

    Ray Orozco, executive director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, identified the suspended employees as a dispatcher and his supervisor, but he refused to name them.

  • Four men are facing first degree attempted murder charges after allegedly following the unidentified Marquette District officer and firing shots into his vehicle shortly after 3 a.m. The officer reportedly kept driving while returning fire until he reached the Harrison District station, where he sought help while the alleged gang members drove off.
No word if some retraining might be included. And removal from the zone.

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Out of Control

Someone want to explain what's going on in Roseland?
  • Four people were charged this afternoon after a teen girl was critically injured during a melee in the Far South Side's Roseland neighborhood that one witness said involved up to 25 people.

    Chicago police responded to 111 W. 115th St. at about 9 a.m. to a call of a disturbance...

  • A man who answered the phone at a nearby store said the fight broke out at about 9 a.m., just as he was opening up shop. He said the 20 to 25 people--largely teenagers--involved were punching each other and wielding bottles and bats.

    The fight appeared to start when "people just started talking trash to each other," said the man, who declined to give his name.

Why does this sound familiar? Trash talk. Bats, bottles. Someone goes to the hospital in critical condition. Oh yeah - it's just under a mile from the Fenger school beating death.

Quick! Someone blame the police!

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Wow

It's awfully hard to blame this one on George Bush:


Almost bigger than all of Bush's deficits combined. And if Obama Care gets passed, his own people are projecting a $2 trillion expenditure on top of this deficit.

Anyone want to bet if Obama keeps to his "no raising taxes" pledge? Bush the Elder lost an election over his.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Night Game

Atlanta has an advantage in most of the offensive categories

The Bears lead in the defensive ones.

It should be a good time at the bar tonight enjoying our non-alcoholic beer and dining on heart healthy low fat chicken wings.

UPDATE: What a way to lose a game. Geez.

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Rio Problems

They've had the 2016 Olympics for two weeks now and this isn't good:
  • Drug traffickers shot down a police helicopter and killed two officers in a burst of drug-based violence just two weeks after the city won the 2016 Olympic games. Three suspected drug traffickers were also killed.

    Bullets flying from the Morro dos Macacos ("Monkey Hill" in Portuguese) slum in northern Rio de Janeiro hit the police helicopter pilot in the leg as he hovered above a clash between rival drug factions, causing him to lose control and crash.

    The pilot and another officer managed to flee with burns after the helicopter burst into flames on a football field, but two officers were unable to escape, said a police spokesman who spoke on condition of anonymity because of department policy.

Deepest sympathies to the Rio Police.

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Another Shooting

Again, we seem to be experiencing an upsurge of police involved shootings:
  • An unidentified man was shot by police Saturday night on Chicago's South Side, officials said.

    At about 10:20 p.m. police responded to the 8200 block of South Marquette Avenue, said Chicago News Affairs Officer [...].

    A person was shot by police at the scene [...].

    A 41-year-old man was taken from the scene to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition, said Fire Department spokesman Quention Curtis.

How about a few Public Service Announcements? "Stop Pointing Guns at Police."

Jesse and Phleger can do the voice over work. Oh wait....

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What Mafia?

Gee, who'd have even thought such a thing existed? And that they had tentacles reaching into government?
  • Illinois state Sen. James DeLeo (D-Chicago) -- who has made public statements questioning the existence of the Chicago mob -- was credited by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's office with trying to help the widow of one of Chicago's most infamous slain mobsters.

    The Northwest Side lawmaker is listed in a secret hiring database the then-governor's aides kept as the political sponsor for Anne Spilotro, the widow of murdered mob associate Michael Spilotro.

    She's among 146 "recommended" job candidates linked to DeLeo by Blagojevich's office, though it isn't clear for what job.

DeLeo (D-How You Doin?) sure seems to have a lot of "friends" with questionable backgrounds. Of course, that could be said about many politicians in Chicago. The mayor's sister-in-law for one. And his golfing buddies. And more than a few of his political contributors.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Police Shooting

Officers reportedly OK:
  • One person was shot and critically wounded in an exchange of gunfire with Chicago police late Friday in the West Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side.

    At about 11 p.m. police shot a person who fired at them in the 6300 block of South King Drive, said Chicago Police News Affairs [...].

    The suspect was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Quention Curtis. The gender and age of the suspect were not available.

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New Schedule for 2010

This is a good thing. It's all over the comment sections. The main points:
  • The Lodge has been working to modify the current 6-on 2-off work schedule for at least fifteen years. That goal was finally accomplished today when the Contract Negotiations Team unanimously recommended that the full Board of Directors vote to accept an agreement that will implement a 4-on 2-off work schedule in Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25 beginning the first period of 2010. Areas 1, 3, 4, and 5 will also participate in this schedule. The full Board of Directors unanimously voted to accept the Negotiations Team's recommendation.

    This schedule has been piloted in the 014th and 018th Districts for the past ten and one-half months. All details, including sample rotations, regarding this schedule can be found on the FOP website under the Current Contract tab on the left side of the page.

    The 005th and 020th Districts will continue to work the Ten-Hour Rotating Schedule in 2010.

    The 008th and 013th Districts will continue to work the 6-on 3-off Schedule.

    Area 2 will continue to work the Ten-Hour Rotating Schedule in 2010.

    All Special Functions Units that participated in any 2009 pilot work schedule will continue to work that schedule in 2010.

    It should be noted that all desk, lockup, and watch relief positions will be included in all of these work schedules in 2010.

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Still Not Getting It

We've been taking a lot of heat in the comment sections yesterday for our stance on the G-20 people. We've been misquoted, called names, challenged, etc. And people are still trying to defend the actions of a few idiots.

We assume the supervisors on the scene passed a promotional test at some point. Or at least a part of promotional test seeing as how "merit" pretty much skews Part 2 of any test. And we know from our own experience that the order on Processing Persons Under Departmental Control has been a large part of a few exams we've taken. This is indefensible. We have yet to see even a tiny argument that makes any sort of sense.
  • Policy to take photos of a prisoner? In a controlled environment for booking and ID purposes. This wasn't that.
  • Mass arrest? Of one person? You've got to be joking.
  • The prisoner was a willing participant? Try running that one by the Supreme Court. You've already restricted his movement, you think the Court is going to say he had any sort of freedom at all? Not likely.
  • No time on the job hair-gels did it all? Not even close.
  • You never did anything stupid so you must be a pussy copper? We never denied doing anything stupid - but we were wise enough to not take pictures of it and smart enough to learn from others' mistakes. Who doesn't know about cameras everywhere? Especially in a strange city?
  • If everyone keeps their mouth shut, they'll never find out? Two shifts of coppers, in a known intersection, with an actual arrest that has some one's name on the report somewhere? Stevie Wonder could pick that platoon out.
Yeah, we joke about throwing the cuffs on some jagoff and tossing them in the car and taking them to the station. It's routine. But do you ever stop to realize the awesome power we've been granted by the state? We can remove someone from the streets and completely deny them the freedoms granted them by the Constitution of the United States. Call it what you want, but that is a power not granted out of hand to just anyone. That is why there are Rules, Regulations, General Orders of all stripes, Legal Bulletins and everything else. The system was built to be completely at odds with the monarchy of the day.

Most of the people who show up at these G-20 summits are anarchists, protesters, grievance-mongers of all stripes. They all have cameras (which are better than anything the Department fields), they all have agendas (with media machines to maximize exposure) and they are all trained to provoke a reaction for publicity and lawsuits (which is likely what this was).

So while our post was written out of anger, disgust and frustration with the actions of a few, we'll stand by the message - stop doing stupid shit and making it that much harder on the vast majority of us trying to make a living in what was once a respectable profession.

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Camden Gets in on the Act

Pittsburgh reporters actually tracked down the Orange One for quotes:
  • Pat Camden, who spent more than 30 years with the department and was its spokesman for several years, harshly criticized the officers for damaging the reputation of a department that has been trying to rehabilitate its image that was hurt by several incidents, including one, captured on film and shown worldwide, of an off-duty officer beating up a female bartender.

    "When you put on a police uniform you represent the Chicago Police Department and we've got these idiots with a prisoner right in front of them, and supervisors are standing right there," he said, incredulously. "That kind of childish behavior is totally unacceptable."
When Pat isn't on your side, something went wrong.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

You Fucking Idiots

Honest to god, the Chicago Police Department could fuck up a one-car-funeral. Who the fuck was leading this expedition of mentally-challenged sorry excuses for police officers? You can see at least one of them holding the camera and another right there in the front row:



What the hell? How do you even begin to defend something like this? You can't. It's impossible. That isn't a world record grizzly bear being put on display there - it's a prisoner, in handcuffs, and the subject of what is probably the largest General Order in existence for the Chicago Police Department (Processing Persons Under Department Control). And he's being posed in front of a group of Chicago Police who were on loan to Pittsburgh for the G-20 summit. Is this fucking Abu Ghraib? Was that your BIG arrest for the entire trip? A 150-pound nimrod?

You are ambassadors of the goddamned Department and you were being paid time-and-a-half for a 12 hour a day. Who the fuck do you think you are and what the hell did you think you were doing? You are embarrassments. And the white shirts taking the pictures and posing in the front row? You are disgraces of the highest order.

We hope each and every cop there takes heavy time and each supervisor gets fired. You fucking idiots make it all that harder on the rest of us trying to serve out an honorable career.

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