One Way to Solve Gang Problems
The 23-year-old man was hanging out on a dark street in tiny south suburban Sauk Village. The temperature was 14 degrees — and Cook County Sheriff gang officers suspected he was a dope dealer.
When Sgt. Terry Tabb rolled down his window and asked for identification, the man said, “Why do you care, officer?” Tabb leapt from his car, ran up to the man and asked again. The man refused to produce an ID, and Tabb pushed him onto the hood of the squad car and checked his pockets. Other sheriff’s officers arrived as backup.
The man, who has an aggravated assault arrest on his record, told the officers he was with the “BDs” — the Black Disciples street gang. Asked where he lived, he said he was from Chicago. Officers didn’t find any drugs or weapons and told the man to go.
We kid of course, but too many smaller suburban departments are ill prepared to deal with a large influx of gangsters looking to set up safe houses, dope spots or criminal enterprises. The main stumbling block is manpower, where a Chicago District can outnumber an entire suburban department by two or three or ten times as many cops.
We aren't much better off actually, and the bureaucratic roadblocks thrown in our way along with the discontent rife throughout the Department aren't doing anyone any favors.