Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Last Chance to Vote

Densey and Mary have a 5,000 vote lead, but that's down from almost 9,000 last week. The push is on and there are only two days left. If you haven't voted already, if you haven't told all your friends, relatives and social networking strangers, if you have a spare e-mail address collecting dust, now is the time to get it done.

NBC did a nice piece on the Coles and hopefully it will sustain the momentum that's been propelling this event since February.

Go HERE and vote today.

UPDATE: We have been watching the votes for the last 20 minutes and the second-place contestants are getting around 5 votes every 30 seconds or so. If you haven't voted yet, go to the link above and vote. Tell your friends. Tell your family. There is about a 2000-vote difference right now.

Post updated to move to top of the blog.


A Study in Stupidity

Who's watching the cameras? It's way less than you think it is:
  • In less than a decade, residents have seen hundreds of POD cameras or police operational devices go up in Chicago neighborhoods. But what impact have they had on fighting crime?

    The highly-respected Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. has come out with the first comprehensive analysis of the cameras. The group wanted an in depth look at how police use cameras to fight crime in Washington, Baltimore and Chicago. The first two cities remain a work in progress.

    For Chicago, the study's architect says, the early results are quite positive.

Oh really? Get ready for some egghead response that has little or no basis in reality and ignores a key component in the real world. Anyone want to bet us on it?
  • The Urban Institute set out to study the effectiveness of the cameras as a crime-fighting tool. Using a sophisticated model, and three years of data, researchers sought to find - do the cameras lesson [sic] crime? Do they just move it? Is there a cost benefit to their use?
There's the egghead - the "highly-respected" Urban Institute (highly respected by whom?)...
  • Dr. Nancy LaVigne led the study which focused on two neighborhoods - Humboldt Park and West Garfield Park. Each has a fairly high concentration of cameras.
There's the pitch...
  • In Humboldt, the conclusion is that the cameras have had a real impact. Drug, robbery, weapons offenses, and overall crime dropped significantly after cameras arrived.

    The same, however, is not true in West Garfield where there was no signficiant [sic] change pre and post camera.

    So why would they have an impact in one neighborhood and not in another? There are a number of possible explanations, but the short answer is researchers don't know. What they can say, however, is that if you combine the numbers from the two neighborhoods, the cameras still have a significant impact on crime.

And there's the bullshit! Let's break this down from the perspective of some people who actually work in Chicago and not some "think tank" in Washington.

West Garfield Park is a disaster zone. It has been for over 50 years. It's overwhelmingly Black, suffered through the King riots, decades of urban neglect and decay, the Crack Wars, and a series of crooked politicians who took mere pennies to use the entire area as a dumping ground for millions of tons of contaminated construction debris.

Humboldt Park is a former Puerto Rican stronghold that has morphed into a gentrified neighborhood that could rightfully be called a turnaround of miraculous proportions. The shops, stores and loft buildings that occupy former flop houses, abandoned structures and decrepit factories now entertain thousands of yuppie residents. A thriving art, club and music scene provides entertainment to suburban tourists. The site of many riots back in the 1970's, the area has since rebounded and priced out lower income families along with much of the criminal element.

In short, a comparison of West Garfield and Humboldt Parks is a study in opposites. And claiming POD cameras had anything to do with it is to ignore the realities on the ground. And these quotes just make our stomachs turn:
  • Fewer crimes means you spend less on investigation, less on the court system and less on victims of crime.

    "We found that for every dollar spent on cameras, there was over a $2 savings in terms of the money that was averted for the crimes that were prevented," said Dr. LaVigne.

Really? How do they come up with that figure? We suspect they pulled it out of their asses.

How about this - let your Detective Division dwindle by 700 or 800 Detectives - voila! - fewer crimes. Instruct your States Attorney to deny felony charges in most cases, "CI" the other cases, accept quick misdemeanor guilty pleas for forcible felonies and guess what? Less investigation and less court time!

We could go on, but the cops reading already get it. The question is - does anybody else?


Militia Nutjobs

Amid all the hyperactive "reporting" tying a Michigan Militia group to Christians, right-wing hate groups, Tea Party activists and every other entity opposed to the Obama socialist agenda, an old acquaintance of ours writes what we think is about the most accurate piece out there so far:
  • An undercover FBI agent and a cooperating witness were involved in an investigation that led to the arrests of nine people, accused of being law enforcement-hating militiamen who plotted to kill police officers in Michigan.

    A government filing in the case indicates an undercover FBI agent as well as an unidentified cooperating witness helped provide intelligence to a federal grand jury about at least one of the alleged members of the group -- Thomas Piatek, who delivers steel drums for a South Side company.

  • ... When militia members allegedly set an April date to carry out their attack, they crossed the line from "just fantasy," she said. "
There are people on both sides of the political spectrum that hate each and every one of us because we wear the uniform of a police officer. We are the most visible functionary of government. We are easily identifiable by our uniform and are tasked with carrying out the laws passed by the elected legislators, regardless of personal feelings. This makes us targets. And sometimes the targets are well-armed morons who dream up some scary shit.

We won't get into the piss-poor reporting done on this story, nor the media smear jobs twisting this into something it obviously isn't. Violence against the police and government isn't the exclusive domain of either political wing, but it has been advocated and exercised far more often by the leftists than the right.


A Day at the Academy

  • Participants in a media training day Tuesday at the Chicago Police Academy learned that it takes a lot of training and hard work for police recruits to become Chicago police officers.

    Every weekday, as the sun and the flag rise at the Chicago Police Academy training headquarters, about 90 recruits hear a name of a fallen officer - a reminder of what is at stake. Most of the men and women will pass their 1,000 hours of training but it's not easy.

    "It's a rigorous training we go through, everything from physical fitness to education, training us to what life's like when we hit the streets," said Fred Coletta, Chicago Police Department recruit.

    Coletta left looming layoffs in corporate America to become an officer. And what he will learn in 30 weeks, participants in a media training day Tuesday tried to absorb in six hours.

While this may have noble intentions, we've always thought of it as a "gimmick." It's a fluff piece. The fact is police work isn't, and shouldn't be, explainable in 6 hours. Stuff like this convinces many people that police work isn't difficult and enables hundreds of Monday morning quarterbacks to second guess what we do with the tiniest frame of reference.

And it's more than a little disturbing to see reporters get blasted by AirSoft wielding bad guys and them laughing it off, completely forgetting that these "real-life scenarios" are reenactments of coppers getting killed in the line of duty.


Warm Weather

  • Tuesday's sun whispered of spring. And across the city, Chicagoans were counting on the rest of the week to scream of it, with plans to shed their winter wear, ready their rakes and eat under the stars.
Chicagoans are also dusting off the guns, cruising for trouble and getting ready to settle up old grudges that have been nursed through the cold winter months. We've noticed an uptick in calls of shots fired, armed robbery reports, gang disturbances and midweek homicides that we guess can be attributed to the warm weather and spring break.

Be careful out there.


Armed Offender Expires

  • Chicago police said today that there didn't appear to be any wrongdoing on the part of an officer who shot and killed a Broadview man after he allegedly brandished a gun at officers on the Northwest Side.

    But family and friends of William Hardy described the 27-year-old as nonconfrontational and criticized the actions taken Monday night by police.

    "They shot him, and they didn't even have to," said Corey Lofton, a close friend who said he was with Hardy when he was shot about 9:15 p.m. Monday in the North Austin neighborhood.

Well, you see, it's like this. We kind of "had to" since he pointed a gun at the police. All these denials are, once again, from people who weren't there and have no idea what transpired. But the media treats them like gospel.

The cops responded to a call of "shots fired," and 'lo and behold, there's a gun on the scene. Do people really think that this is a coincidence? Cops just happen to show up and there's a gun right there? Oh wait, we forgot - drop guns. Every cop is issued two or three drop guns a night and then spend the rest of the shift looking for people to kill.

Again, excellent job by the coppers.


Two Seasons

Winter and Construction. Here comes Construction:
  • With a congestion-free Congress Street Bridge as a backdrop, state and local transportation officials issued a warning Monday to motorists: Be prepared for big-time delays beginning this week.

    Repairing the aging bridge -- built in 1956 and slowly rusting away -- is one of four major projects in and around Chicago that will likely frustrate motorists in the short-term.

It will also frustrate west side dope sales to suburbanites jumping off and on I-290 in 012, 011 and 015.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Police Shooting

When they say "March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb," the opposite appears to be true for police shootings in this month:
  • A 25-year-old man was critically wounded tonight in a shooting involving Chicago police in the city's North Austin neighborhood.

    No officers were injured in the incident which occurred at 9:16 p.m. in the 1400 block of North Mayfield Avenue, according to the Independent Police Review Authority.

    The man was taken to Loyola University Hospital in Maywood in "very critical" condition, a fire department spokesman said. He didn't know the victim's age or gender.
Best wishes to the officers involved.

UPDATE: Post corrected for proper lion/lamb reference. Thanks.


More Guns = Less Deaths?

And not published by the NRA. This story is right out the left wing media - MSNBC:
  • In the 1980s and ’90s, as the concealed-carry movement gained steam, Americans were killed by others with guns at the rate of about 5.66 per 100,000 population. In this decade, the rate has fallen to just over 4.07 per 100,000, a 28 percent drop. The decline follows a fivefold increase in the number of “shall-issue” and unrestricted concealed-carry states from 1986 to 2006.

    The highest gun homicide rate is in Washington, D.C., which has had the nation’s strictest gun-control laws for years and bans concealed carry: 20.50 deaths per 100,000 population, five times the general rate. The lowest rate, 1.12, is in Utah, which has such a liberal concealed weapons policy that most American adults can get a permit to carry a gun in Utah without even visiting the state.

    The decline in gun homicides also comes as U.S. firearm sales are skyrocketing, according to federal background checks that are required for most gun sales. After holding stable at 8.5 to 9 million checks from 1999 to 2005, the FBI reported a surge to 10 million in 2006, 11 million in 2007, nearly 13 million in 2008 and more than 14 million last year, a 55 percent increase in just four years.

So Shortshanks, J-Failure and just about everyone who claims there are too many guns are pretty much on the wrong side of every single reputable study out there. And as the CPD manpower continues its downward trend, more citizens are going to have to take responsibility for their own security in their homes.

We offer this advice - regular practice, sight alignment, smooth trigger pull. Results may vary.


No Money?

Fusco and Novak hit another one out of the park. No wonder there's nothing left for first responders:
  • Humbert began working for the City of Chicago in 1967 in the first of a series of construction and maintenance jobs, records show.

    In 1993, at age 56, he took early retirement from his janitorial job with the Chicago Board of Education and began collecting his city pension.

    After that, he went to work for Cook County as an operating engineer.

    Then, in 2001, Humbert heard about a job at McPier.

These are Outfit-connected people we're talking about. We're going to go out on a limb here and speculate these were Tony Soprano-type "no-show/no work" type jobs. And incentives for buyouts? Oh yeah:
  • By that time, he had been working in government for about 35 years. That made him eligible for a McPier "reciprocity" program "in which vacation credits are given for prior government service," according to Stacey White, a McPier auditor. In other words, McPier would pay him for vacation days he didn't earn at McPier.
Really? Might this be part of the hidden costs driving conventions, conventioneers and their business away? This might explain the $200 cases of soda, $100 boxes of donuts and whatever other inflated prices are attached to everything to do with McCormick Place?

Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. It's about time for a slaughter.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Fed Up Yet Chicago?

The next great revenue grab:
Yes, that's a photo enforcement Stop Sign. Click for a full size pic. Another shot:The sender tells us this is on the far northwest side, where people have jobs and actually pay bills, fines and fees. We have no idea if or when these went active, but we heard they had been testing some in 008 on 63rd Street? Anyone have the scoop?

UPDATE: Read the post please. We state the following:
  • "We have no idea if or when these went active..."
That's a question for info, not an invitation to harass us or whomever sent these in. And if it is unincorporated Norwood Park Township, that borders city limits for a few miles and might be of interest to our northside dwelling brethren. We also mention that we heard they were testing them on 63rd Street, so Shortshanks is obviously looking at these to use somewhere.


Area 4 Scandals?

This one is just dumb:
  • ...any one hear anything about The Weisel going off on Area 4 and their Overtime. Hear he wanted to indict everyone there.
Well, if you don't promote Detectives for over two-and-a-half years, someone has to pick up the slack. Otherwise, the "X" doesn't get moved, the case doesn't get suspended, the crime doesn't get solved. Why not just disband the D-Unit all together and just admit we don't solve crimes anymore - we just let the insurance companies pay out.

And this one is just really really dumb:
  • a little birdy friend in IAD retiring next month let me in on the next A4 embarrasment....seems IAD cameras were put in a certain district supplies room to catch pos stealing. the good news? no pos stealing. the bad news? 2 pos bumping uglys. investigation put on backburner cuz of pennys case, but hammers ready to drop on this now. pos looking at some hefty time off. maybe they can take the time off together and screw away from the job to. jealous soon to be ex spouse got wind of it and dropped da dime. OUCH.
Seriously? We have enough scandals with people allegedly taking money, recommending towing companies, beating bartenders, driving drunk. Now we're going to be treated to a sex scandal? Is there anything this department can't do?


Summer Preview?

  • Multiple gunshots in Chicago Friday night left four dead and three injured in the hospital.
April 15 or thereabout is the first day of what could be a long summer. The numbers we've heard are in excess of 100 officers leaving on this first day of the "55-and-out" provision (115 was the last number we heard.) The numbers for the rest of the year are supposedly on pace for previous annual totals, so that means we still have another 400 plus retirements to go.

What no one is sure of is how many people might just get fed up and decide to go. That's the big variable.


Excuses Excuses

The excuse, "These aren't my pants" has just been supplanted by, "That isn't my bullet wound"
  • A career-burglar picked the wrong house to steal from when he targeted the home of a Chicago cop’s family Friday morning, prosecutors allege.

    Lamont Ferdinand, 21, hobbled into court Sunday morning bare-chested and bandaged, after a bullet recovered from his body was matched to the officer’s gun.

    [...] Though Ferdinand claimed he was shot in a drive-by shooting, the recovered bullet matched the officer’s gun and Ferdinand’s jacket was recovered from near the officer’s home, the report says.

    Ferdinand, who has three prior felony convictions and was on parole at the time of the alleged offense, is charged with aggravated assault to a peace officer and residential burglary.

On a side note, shotgun pellets don't leave ballistic signatures. Slugs either.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Republican, eh?

Vengeance for Shortshanks? For daring to run for office? Or for making noise about running for aldercreature?
  • It appears J-fed got to chop the heads off two hispanic bosses, Capt Morado sent to 007th district and Lt Garrido sent to 21
At least this time, no one got demoted, just exiled.


Updating Graft and Corruption

  • In an effort to streamline unethical practices and boost illegal profiteering, Mayor Richard M. Daley announced sweeping new plans Monday to overhaul his city's "antiquated" system of graft.

    According to Daley, Chicago's once-great fraudulent institutions have grown obsolete, and City Hall is no longer bilking taxpayers out of as much money as it once did.

    "It's been business as usual for too long in Chicago, and now it's time to find more efficient ways to misuse authority for personal gain," said Daley, who has served as Chicago's mayor since 1989. "We must modernize our illegitimate activities right now, today, before it becomes impossible for public officials to act in my best self-interests."

Yes, we know it's satire. We only wish we wrote it. Go read the whole thing.


CPS Cuts

Someone mentioned that the schools were cutting jobs via e-mail. Whether or not that was true, at least they're cutting in the right places according to this article:
  • Chicago Public School officials on Saturday confirmed a major transition of the administration, affecting 280 jobs through layoffs and closure of vacant positions.

    The layoffs began last week and will continue through Monday. They are part of a broader wave of major cuts at the central office that new schools chief Ron Huberman has undertaken.

    The layoffs come amid the high-profile resignation of David Pickens, a top aide for former schools chief Arne Duncan. Last week the Tribune revealed that Duncan's office kept lists of people -- many politically connected -- who dialed up the office seeking help in landing a seat at a top school.
The "central office" seems exactly like many of our bureaus - a place to hide numerous middle managers with no discernible function or talent for anything. The schools (and our Department) are still too top heavy.

Perhaps instead of J-Failure and crew telling everyone to "police smarter," they ought to start a course called "manage better."


We're Back

Someone broke the Internet last night. We had nothing but problems even trying to log in to take care of business. Good thing it was a Sunday morning.

Open post while we catch up with things.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

FOP Wins FTO Lawsuit

Once again, a bad decision by the command structure comes back to bite the city in the ass:
  • In September 2008, the Department changed the Training Districts and required all FTOs assigned to other districts to either, transfer to the new Training Districts, or resign their FTO position and give up the D2 pay.

    The Lodge filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the Illinois Labor Board. The Board conducted a hearing and today, March 26, 2010, the Administrative Law Judge issued an order requiring the Department to rescind all the changes made in the FTO program.

    This means the new Training Districts go back to the old Training Districts. The forced reassignments and resignations are rescinded and the Department must pay those FTOs who resigned back pay with 7% interest on the D2 pay they lost.

    The City has 30 days to appeal, and we fully expect they will. We will notify the membership as soon as we hear more.
Back pay, seven percent interest, a return of the D-2 pay, the stripes sewed back on. We imagine there will have to be a return to old units for FTO's that were forced to make an unwanted bid.

The FTO program, what should be the most important part of training up new officers to be the police, has been beaten, battered, bruised, abused and pretty much treated like shit since its inception. Attempts at making it "legit" were (and still are) undercut at every opportunity by exempts who refuse to allow FTO's to fail or retread recruits. Expectations of surrendering working relationships with partners, forced exoduses from watches and the elimination of legitimate training districts turned this entire experiment into a joke.


Off Duty Police Shooting

  • An off-duty Chicago police officer shot a burglar who broke into his South Side residence this morning, law enforcement sources said.

    The officer, who was inside the home when burglars entered the house in the 7600 block of South Vernon Avenue about 9 a.m., shot one of the suspects, the sources said.

    Shortly after the shooting, a man with a gunshot wound went to St. Bernard Hospital, and detectives were working this morning to confirm whether that man was the burglar who broke into the officer's home.

We look forward to this being a regular headline once the Supreme Court strike down the handgun ban in Chicago. And to all the commentators over at who claim they'd be jailed if they had shot a burglar, nothing could be further from the truth. You might have received a summons and lost your gun in the past, but that was rare in the first place and will cease to occur sometime after June.

Look for J-Failure and Shortshanks to credit CAPS or more "effective" policing for the double-digit drop in property crime for the second half of 2010.

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Surprise! Shortshanks Unhappy

  • Mayor Daley warned Friday that Chicago would kiss its middle class goodbye by allowing teachers — or any other public employees — to live outside the city.

    One day after the state Senate voted 40-to-7 to lift the residency requirement for teachers in the Chicago Public Schools, Daley lambasted the idea as the beginning of the end.

    "Go to Detroit, St. Louis, the rest of ‘em. When they allow government employees to live outside the city, they lose all their middle-class," the mayor told reporters after a City Council meeting.

Shrtshanks discounts the entire auto industry collapsing in Detroit and the aircraft builders leaving St. Louis as primary motivators for the middle class to abandon those cities. Where there are no jobs, there will be no middle class. And as Chicago continues to lose its manufacturing base, decent paying jobs are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Combine that with the business-and-middle-class unfriendly tax rates, you can see why Chicago is caught in a Detroit-like death spiral.

Government jobs shouldn't be the only middle class jobs in a healthy economy. And in an economy like this one? It's a slow death sentence.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Yet Another Police Shooting

  • Charges have been filed after a police involved shooting Wednesday in the Lawndale neighborhood on the Near Southwest Side -- the sixth police involved shooting since Sunday -- in an incident that sent three Chicago Police officers to a hospital with minor injuries, police said.

  • Officers tried to stop the vehicle at 3146 W. 15th Pl. when Dorado allegedly used the SUV to hit and injure three police officers and also hit three police vehicles and a light pole -- before fleeing at a high rate of speed, the report said.

    After Dorado allegedly struck them with the SUV police fired at least one shot but did not hit Dorado, police said.

The officers involved should be OK. But six shootings in five days is a bit disturbing. Watch yourselves and watch out for each other.


The Door Opens...

  • Teachers at Chicago Public Schools would be able to live outside the city limits under a measure that won approval today in the state Senate.

    Sponsoring Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, said the legislation would expand the hiring pool, perhaps bringing in more quality instructors.

    "The quality of the teacher first and foremost really indicates how well that child is going to do," Steans said. "I think making sure that we can draw on the broadest employment pool for teachers in the city is good educational policy."

    The measure passed 40-7, with nine voting present.

Expanding the hiring pool would be great...if there was any hiring going on in the first place. In any event, it's a crack in Shortshanks' armor that ought to be exploited, even if it's just for the cheap publicity.



With the Obama Healthcare backlash and endless bad headlines here, the republicans really ought to be pushing harder for Illinois races:
  • A diverse group of House lawmakers today threw their support behind Rep. Art Turner to be Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s running mate and warned the governor could suffer politically if he doesn’t go along.
This is an opportunity to exploit a democratic bloc. They aren't going to vote for a republican, but they will stay home.

And even better:
  • Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn made an about-face on his choice for a running mate and plans to unveil Sheila Simon, the daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, as his preferred candidate for lieutenant governor, sources familiar with the selection said tonight.
Quinn's reasoning for picking Simon? She supports his massive tax increase in the midst of a recession/depression. This should be in every single ad running this summer and fall.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pension Changes

  • Following years of calls for pension reform, changes that would raise the retirement age to 67 for government workers to collect full benefits and put new limits on annual pensions zoomed through the General Assembly tonight.

    The idea is to save billions of dollars in the coming decades for taxpayers who will have to dig deep to cover retirement costs for school teachers, lawmakers and public servants in state government, universities, cities, park districts and counties.

    But the reforms would not apply to anyone who’s currently in the retirement system, only new government hires and state officials elected in the future.
This would seem to open the door to a two-tiered pension system.

It would also seem to push the retirement issue for anyone who is already maxed out, but still working for whatever reasons. If your pension is suddenly pushed off until age sixty-seven, it might be a good time to bail before this becomes law.

UPDATE: We may have incorrectly assumed the phrase "currently in the retirement system" meant only those who were retired. Some of our readers are saying if you are paying into the system, you are "in" the system. We aren't too sure about that - the City has changed the rules on retirements in the past. If you're a 30-something with 10 years on, and they raise the maximum to 67, what does this do to your pension rate and benefits? It certainly isn't going to go over the 75% currently in place.


Because YOU Asked For It

We don't know why you asked for it - we're still having nightmares:

Thanks to whoever keeps sending these in.


Daley Opposed ISP Cuts?

  • The Daley administration will strongly oppose Gov. Quinn’s plan to impose State Police cutbacks so draconian, they would require Chicago Police to assume primary responsibility for patrolling 53 miles of Chicago area expressways, City Hall sources said today.

    [...] Sources said Mayor Daley will attempt to hold the state to that agreement on grounds that Chicago cannot afford what amounts to an unfunded mandate from the state.

    [...] The mayor is reportedly prepared to argue that the Chicago Police Department simply cannot spare 182 bodies for highway patrol.

No shit. And that "182 bodies" is down from 300 Troopers just 18 years ago. Our Traffic Unit can barely patrol Lake Shore Drive most days. To cover five major expressways for speeders, DUI, fender-benders and major incidents would require more manpower than is currently available.

A lot of this doesn't pass the smell-test. We aren't sure how much of this is election year BS, but everyone reading ought to be prepared to take their lives into their own hands on the expressways if it comes to pass. As bad as it is now, it'll be 10 times worse if these cuts go through.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

009 Shooting

  • A 21-year-old man was hospitalized after being shot by police Tuesday night in the Brighton Park neighborhood, according to authorities.

    The incident happened about 10:30 p.m. near Mozart Avenue and 42nd Street, when two men approached plainclothes gang officers flashing gang signs, according to a police statement.

    One of the men drew a handgun and fired at the officers, who returned fire, hitting one of the men, police said. That man was taken to a hospital. The extent of his injuries was unclear.

    A gun was recovered at the scene...
Officers are fine.


Last Night's Shootings

  • The first shooting linked to a traffic stop occurred about 8:20 p.m. in the 1400 block of South Michigan Avenue, said Police News Affairs [...]. The suspect pulled out a weapon and pointed it at the officer [...]. The officer opened fire, but the suspect was not hit [...]. The suspect fled in an unknown direction.

  • The second traffic-stop incident happened about 8:25 p.m.. in the 8200 block of South Loomis Street, said [...] another news affairs spokesman.

    Again, the suspect apparently was not injured, but sped off after the officer fired his weapon...

  • Lastly, an off-duty Chicago police officer fired at suspects who were attempting to rob him in the Vittum Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side.

    Preliminary reports said at about 10:30 p.m., an unknown number of suspects approached and tried to rob the officer on the 4800 block of South Laporte Avenue...

Wait a that first address by us again?
  • ...1400 block of South Michigan Avenue...
That's what we thought. Mere blocks away from a number of high profile public officials. Mere inches in one case.

It doesn't sound like anyone is in custody for any of these, but no officers injured. Be careful out there.


Meeting Time!

The fourth in a series of poorly attended meetings where the brass, led by J-Failure and Masters Masters Masters can come in and lie directly to you without the needless layers of bureaucracy.
  • 24 March 2010, 1700 hours
    Area Five
    North Grand High School
    4338 W. Wabansia
Remember, last week's meeting had a whopping THREE attendees as reported here and elsewhere.

Where's that morale survey again?


Eavesdropping Charges

Felony charges? Guess it wasn't Cook County:
  • Two DeKalb brothers were indicted Monday on felony and misdemeanor eavesdropping charges for reportedly recording police officers on a November traffic stop.

    [...] While a DeKalb police officer was talking to the driver of the car, a second officer advised him that Fanon Parteet appeared to be recording him using a camera-equipped cell phone. When asked, Fanon Parteet said he was only recording people inside the car, police said. But when he played back the video, the arresting officer said he saw and heard himself on the recording.

    In Illinois, it is illegal to make a recording of an oral conversation without the consent of all parties. There are exceptions, including uniformed police officers using recording devices like squad car-mounted cameras in the course of their duties.
This law is supposed to cover convicted gangbangers who record traffic stops and then turn the tape over to WGN. As WGN aired an illegally recorded conversation, we wonder if they might be civilly liable for damages.


Trooper Layoffs

  • The Illinois State Police will lay off more than 460 troopers and close five regional headquarters by this fall, acting State Police director Jonathon Monken said Tuesday.

    With expected retirements, the layoffs will reduce the number of sworn state troopers by about 600, or 30 percent, Monken said. The force currently has a little over 2,000 troopers.

    The five offices are those in Litchfield, Carmi, Pecatonica, Macomb and Des Plaines. State Police have 22 offices now.

    “There will be significant consequences to public safety,” Monken warned.

If this Department had half a brain, they'd snatch up a bunch of these guys if they wanted to relocate.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Short Yellows?

  • The difference may be little more than a snap of the finger, but yellow lights on city traffic signals are shorter than ones in the suburbs. That gap is fast becoming fodder for a new and murky front in the battle over red-light cameras.

    Most Chicago yellow lights last three seconds, the bare minimum recommended under federal safety guidelines. In the suburbs, yellows generally stay on for four to four-and-a-half seconds.

    Cameras are touted as an effective tool to combat red-light running, but critics claim Chicago's shorter yellows undermine that premise by making it harder for motorists to stop in time and inflating the volume of tickets.
As long as they're using the established federal minimum, this story is a non-starter. Shortshanks and his camera-connected buddies are operating within the law. We've seen studies that say the extra half second to one second on a yellow light reduce crashes, but this was never about safety, at least not here in Chicago.

Here's a funny quote though:
  • But speed limit is just one factor in determining how long yellow lights should be, said Brian Steele, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation. [...]

    "What may have been successful in one community might not be successful in the city," Steele added.
Isn't that the rationale that city lawyers have been using for keeping the Chicago handgun ban in effect? What is it about Chicago that compels a complete departure from the established norms everywhere else in America? Restaurants across America serve foie gras and trans-fat-laden foods with nary a problem, but Chicagoans are too dumb to know what they're putting in their digestive tracts, so our City Council bans it. Crime goes down in 48 states where handgun ownership isn't subject to unconstitutional restrictions, but Shortshanks claims the streets will run red with blood if everyone can keep a gun in their home. Four-and-a-half second yellow lights are good enough for most other jurisdictions, but even a half-a-second increase in a Chicago yellow light means Chicago drivers turn into assholes?

The mind boggles.


Playing with Fire

Shortshanks, using Huberman as a Judas-goat, is targeting the teachers:
  • Mayor Daley urged the Chicago Teachers Union on Monday to enter “the real world” of shared sacrifice to avert drastic budget cuts that, Schools CEO Ron Huberman has warned, may include raising class sizes to 37 students.

  • Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart issued a statement saying that teachers “appreciate the real fiscal crisis facing Chicago Public Schools,” but they don’t believe that means they must give up salary or benefits. She urged Daley to fight for more education funding from Springfield, specifically by raising the income tax.
Stewart isn't doing the teachers any favors supporting tax increase in these times. But she's facing her own election and after all, a signed contract is worth its weight in gold. She'll sacrifice the kids and class size to protect her membership.

If Shortshanks and Huberman were serious about closing the budget gap in the schools and in the city, they'd look at all the money being spent on connected contracts and the like. See the post right below this one - we're talking billions over the past few years.


Connected Lobbyists?

  • It's one of City Hall's busiest woman- and minority-owned contractors. And, for the last two years, Azteca Supply Co. has been the target of a federal investigation that led to charges last month that the company is a sham "front" that fraudulently was awarded millions of dollars in government contracts.

    This is the story of a Hispanic woman who found she could make millions by selling goods to government agencies eager to do business with women and minorities -- and did so with the help of some of Chicago's most well-connected Hispanic leaders, including a former chief of staff to Mayor Daley.

    But there was one problem: Federal authorities say Aurora Valadez Venegas lied to the city to obtain certification as a woman- and minority-owned business so she could get government contracts set aside for women and minorities.
This is a massive part of the high cost of doing business with the City of Chicago and it's all played out in the open. Say you need something for the your department - a box of paper, a length of chain, a pipe, a widget. You can't just go to Staples or Office Max or Home Depot or WalMart or any on-line site and do a little price comparison before buying what your department needs. You have to go through a vendor. And certain things are only sold by connected vendors, many of which are so-called "set asides."

But this "set aside" company isn't anything special. In most cases, this company simply goes to Staples or Office Max or Home Depot or WalMart or any on-line site and buys the exact same thing you could have gotten. He (or she) just adds in their mark-up charge to the cost of doing business. Voila! Minority contract!

And in almost ever case, these "companies" aren't warehouses, storing whatever material you need that you can get at a moment's notice. They are storefront offices with an answering service. You can find lists of approved vendors and contractors on line and when you look up their addresses, they are in some of the most unlikely places, many times in buildings owned by connected people.

It's all connected.


Psycho Had Cops' Names

  • A man who last week tried to bring four knives into the Daley Center courthouse faces more charges after authorities said they found almost 50 illegal weapons, including switchblade knives and brass knuckles, in a raid Saturday of his Northwest Side home.

    Investigators from the Cook County Sheriff's Department and agents from the U.S. Marshals Service seized 1,600 knives -- including plastic knives designed to foil metal detectors -- as well as one operable handgun, expandable metal batons and a handful of fake law enforcement-style badges from the home of Kevin J. Long, 48. The raid resulted in 47 additional weapons charges against him.

  • They also recovered evidence that Long had collected personal information on certain law enforcement officers with whom he had disputes in the past, according to Steve Patterson, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.

    "We recovered numerous boxes of documents from his home, and in those were several pieces of papers with police officer and sheriff deputy names on them," Patterson said. "There was nothing saying a specific threat against a specific person, but it was certainly clear that he was documenting specific people's names."

And just in case you think this guy wasn't seriously goofy?
  • He has also been arrested 18 times since 2000, including for entering a judge's chamber, masturbating in public and violating an order barring him from Northwestern College in Chicago.
A real whack-job.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Shooting in 007

Police and hostage okay. Offender dead.

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Here Come the Quotas

Quota based policing, coming to a district near you. And how will they encourage you to participate? By not allowing you to work Special Employment unless you generate numbers!

That's right. No contract for 3 years, no raises for 3.5 years (excluding step raises). Taxes through the roof. Fees and fines jacked up. The cost of living out of control. But if you want to get a little breathing room by working special, you better have numbers:
  • Movers
  • Parkers
  • Curfew/School Absentee
  • Contact Cards
  • Misdemeanor & Felony totals
No more seniority. All graded by the numbers. And how are they going to suck you in? They're going to set the bar low so as to show you, "Look, it isn't so bad. You can get Special just by doing the barest of minimums." And after 6 months or a year, they'll start to inch it up, and there you have it. Inside spots will be graded on what they pull in during the "grace" period prior to full implementation.

Quotas lead to bad police work and are a loser in court:
  • Officer, is it true that by not arresting/ticketing/citing a certain number of citizens every month, you are denied opportunities to earn additional money? What is to say that my client was anything but a "head number" so you could line your own pockets?
This has bad news written all over it. Anyone else see it?


Final Push for Densey and Mary

We're down to under 10 days for voting. The Coles continue to have a lead of nearly 8,000 votes, but that is down from over 10,000 in the past day or two.

If you have been saving your vote for the final push, this is it. If you haven't voted, time to get on board.

Here's the link for the Crate & Barrel Ultimate Wedding Contest.

Let's finish it off with a strong showing.


Shortshanks Lied Again

This ChicagoNewsCooperative is turning into quite a nice source for inside info regarding Chicago politics. They seem to be the only ones pointing out that Daley makes it a habit of lying through his teeth - and then backing it up:
  • In news conferences over two days in October 2008, the mayor refused to comment on disclosures that Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, Democrat of Illinois, had met with the mayor to help advance Mr. Boender’s development plan. Jacquelyn Heard, the mayor’s press secretary, ultimately sent reporters an e-mail message saying that neither Mr. Daley nor his aides “can recall him meeting with the congressman on this project or anything else except for the city’s legislative agenda” in Washington.

    Fast forward to the Boender trial. A former city planning commissioner testified that Mr. Daley met with Mr. Gutierrez and Mr. Boender about the developer’s project, prompting mayoral aides to acknowledge that evidence of the meeting also appeared on the mayor’s personal calendar. City officials confirmed last week that federal investigators had questioned Mr. Daley about the meeting in March 2008, months before he dodged reporters’ questions.

So not only did the actual meeting appear on Daley's personal calendar, but shortly afterward Daley met with the FBI at a downtown hotel about this very same incident. You'd think that being questioned by Federal authorities might stick in your mind and make the Gutierrez meeting a little more memorable.

But then again, we've heard of people meeting feebs before and they described the experience as bland, sort of like meeting a loaf of white bread. Maybe Shortshanks is telling the truth?


Police Survivors Fundraiser

As posted over at Shaved's site and by Mike Lappe in our comment section:

    Thursday April 15th, 2010
    Chicago FOP Lodge 7
    6:00 pm - 11:00
    Entertainment provided by "The Pipes and Drums" of the Chicago Police Department!!!
    Tickets available at the door or in advance by contacting the Police Survivors Office at
    (773) 849 3133
This isn't just a Chicago organization, but statewide, helping officers and their families. Click over and donate today.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sarcasm is OK

  • It's not what he did. It's what a Chicago Police officer said Tuesday night to passengers in a car he pulled over at 25th Albany Avenue on the southwest side.

    An exchange between the officer and the passengers has caught the attention of Police Superintendent Jody Weis.
Really? This catches the attention of J-Failure? This? After one of his exempt picks is arrested after almost a week of dithering, another is violating FAA rules with armed airfield incursions, another has dope and guns confiscated on her property, and THIS pops up on his radar? What a joke.
  • On the 5-minute recording given to WGN News, the officer tells them, "Normally when someone tells me why did I get pulled over, I tell them 'cause they're (expletive) black."

    The driver responded by saying, "That's prejudice though."

    The passengers say they view the statement as racial profiling.
We're told the officer was Hispanic. The car occupants were Hispanic. The entire neighborhood is Hispanic. The car was pulled over for window tint. Racial profiling doesn't even enter into the equation. What the officer said isn't germane to the discussion in any terms except professionalism or lack thereof. And the lack thereof? J-Failure clears the officer in his statement:
  • In a statement to WGN News, Superintendent Jody Weis said, "The manner in which the officer and subject interacted was unacceptable. Officers are trained and expected to deal with these situations in a professional manner, free of unnecessary sarcasm."
Obviously, this means that if the officer feels that sarcasm was necessary (and there is no rule or order that defines when an officer can or cannot feel that sarcasm be utilized in citizen interactions), then the entire incident must be judged on the officer's interpretation of the necessity of sarcastic, or even caustic, wit. J-Failure was not there, was not trained by the Chicago Police Department, and as a feeb has never been in possession of a sense of humor, let alone an ability to recognize sarcasm.
  • The driver and the passengers say they didn't do anything wrong Tuesday night, and do admit they have a a troubled history with police.
And they're using J-Failure and his touchy-feely politically correct exempt staff to do their dirty work. Way to go idiots! You're being played by gangbangers and they're laughing at you while coppers shake their heads. You think this cop and most of the 010th District are going to think twice about pulling over carloads of gangbangers from here on out? Way to have their backs! Warriors!


St Baldrick's Thank You

A final thank you to everyone:
  • St. Baldrick’s 2010 was a GREAT success! Thanks to every one of you that participated, volunteered, and helped get the word out, 300 brave members, family members, and friends of the CPD ranging from 16 months to 78 years old got their heads shaved. While the final tally won’t be in until all the checks and cash are posted to each participant’s web site, the preliminary numbers show we raised over $110,000!!!! This money will go directly to hospitals, research facilities, and doctors that concentrate on finding a cure for childhood cancer and tops last year’s total of $98,822.

    This event could not have taken place without the many volunteers, both CPD and others who gave up their time and offered their talents to make the event such a success so thank you one and all, especially the beauticians who gave up their day to cut so many heads of hair. There’s no way to list all the people who helped out without accidentally omitting someone but I would like to especially thank Anne Zamzow who coordinated the Area 5 event and Bill Murphy and Lee Bielicki who coordinated the Area 2 event. The groups they put together at each of their locations did an outstanding job!

    Thanks again SCC for helping to get the word out and to all who had a part in the success of this event. The children who suffer from this horrible disease are all a little better off today because of your efforts. I’m certain that we will be holding this event again next year so mark your calendars now for either March 11th or 18th and we’ll let you know more as the date approaches.

    Until there’s a cure,
    Bill O’Reilly
A lot of drafty skulls out there, just in time for the spring snowfall. But all for a good cause.


Health Alert

From the comments:
  • Word is a student at Prosser Career Academy High School was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) in the past week or so. And, some students have shown signs of having TB with many teachers, students, and staff members being tested for TB
Seeing as how we have fellow officers stationed in these schools, along with kids who bring all manner of disease and such from home, keep an eye out for this.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Boss Revolt?

Has one or more been pushed too far?
  • Kudos to Joe Patterso A/1 Dep Chief for telling Masters and the screaming skull why crime in Area 1 is up ("they are unemployed and have nothing to lose. Its been this way for 40+ years in Englewood. Why should it change now? The only difference is the lack of police presence in these areas due to manpower."). Supposedly happened at a CAR meeting Wednesday for Area 1. The screaming skull went berzerk, and none other than Masters had to explain to Jody why Pterson was so upset.
The truth hurts. And the truth is we're on the verge of a disaster here. Midnights across the city are running at 30% undermanned. We actually had someone from a west side district e-mail us the sheets from the first 35 days of the year and they were operating down 3 to 5 cars per night for 32 of those days. That's not just insane - that's a recipe for disaster.

J-Failure has already lost the rank and file. Did everyone hear about the 16 March meeting at West Side Tech? An e-mailer tells us the total number of officers who showed up was three. Three officers from a Department that numbers nearly 10,000. We verified it through an exempt who has written to us in the past.

Now we hear that a Deputy Chief is finally admitting the manpower shortage is affecting policing? We can only say, "It's about fucking time."


And It Didn't Stop

Evidently, fifteen wasn't enough:
  • A teen-age boy was shot in the head today in an alley in the Southwest Side's Brighton Park neighborhood, Chicago police said.

    The boy, whose exact age was unavailable, was reported in critical condition this evening at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

  • A 20-year-old man was shot this afternoon while standing on a sidewalk in the Humboldt Park neighborhood.

    The victim was shot in the lower back and left ankle before being taken to Stroger Hospital, Chicago police said.

  • Two men were shot this afternoon in the South Chicago neighborhood on the Southeast Side.

    One of the victims, a 19-year-old man, suffered gunshot wounds to his head, abdomen and arms, Chicago police said. The other victim, a 24-year-old man, was shot in his right shoulder, police said.

And the topper:
  • A person was shot and killed tonight in the Northwest Side's Portage Park neighborhood.

    According to preliminary reports, someone walked into a barber shop near Irving Park Road and Central Avenue about 8:20 p.m. and opened fire, officials said.

Someone really needs to talk to J-Failure about this stuff. And Tommy Skilling. The snow can't come soon enough for this weekend.


Bang Bang Bang Bang

Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang:
  • Fifteen people were shot -- including one man who died -- all over the city Thursday night in just under six hours.

  • Belmont, Grand Central, Calumet and Wentworth Area detectives are investigating all shootings.
Wait a minute....Area 4 got shut out?

Fifteen in six hours though, that's a pretty good clip. Someone ought to talk to J-Fed about that.



  • A man was arrested for the 242nd time Thursday night --this time after allegedly touching customers aggressively on an outside patio of an upscale Gold Coast restaurant, police said.

    Darryl Marlow, 54, of 940 N. Cambridge Ave., was arrested at 6:05 p.m. at Tavern on Rush, 1031 N. Rush St., according to police who said Marlow was cited with panhandling in a prohibited manner after violating a city ordinance.

    Marlow was seen reaching into Tavern on Rush’s outside patio seating area where food was being served and touching customers while aggressively panhandling for money, according to a police report.

So exactly when does this rise to the level of imprisoning or committing the mentally ill person so he stops bothering people? He's obviously incapable of functioning in society. We'll forgo our standard snide comment about bringing back street executions for the moment, but this individual has proven beyond a doubt that the system is broken.

One hundred arrests really ought to be a life sentence somewhere.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Multiple Shooting

  • At least four people were shot -- with two severely wounded -- tonight in the area of West 77th Street and South Loomis Boulevard in the Auburn Gresham community on the South Side.

    One of the victims, a man in his 30s, was shot in the chest and taken in serious-to-critical condition to Stroger Hospital, said Larry Langford, a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department. He said that victim, however, was alert at the scene.

    Another victim, a man believed to be about 20, was taken to Loyola University Hospital in Maywood in serious-to-critical condition after being shot in the abdomen, Langford said.

Initial reports were up to nine people shot. Some may turn up later. But it's nights like this, on a warm March evening, that hint at a busier summer again. And multiple incidents like can throw off the whole statistical curve.


Developer Guilty

  • A developer with ties to a number of Chicago politicians was convicted Thursday of bribing an alderman, propelling forward a federal investigation into how development works inside City Hall.

    The jury found that Calvin Boender provided nearly $38,000 in home improvements in 2004 to then-Ald. Isaac "Ike" Carothers to earn Carothers' crucial support for a multimillion-dollar residential and commercial development.

    [...] The jury, which deliberated for a day, found Boender guilty on all counts: one count of bribery, two counts of illegal campaign contributions and two counts of obstructing justice. He is free on $500,000 bail but will now be placed on electronic monitoring.
Congressman Luis Gutierrez was the recipient of a $200,000 loan from this guy. Anyone know if the note ever got paid off? And will Gutierrez face any investigation from his US House Committees?

Daley also met secretly with the feds in a downtown hotel during this investigation. And then there's the actual committee vote that altered the zoning.

But this whole thing looks like it may just die out.


Comment Problems

e-Blogger has been having more than a few issues lately with comments either disappearing on our end or not saving as we moderate. Supposedly, there is a fix in the works, but we have no idea on their timetable for rolling it out.

If you've noticed your comments not appearing, it may be that they are in a holding pattern until e-Blogger fixes things.

But if you're that guy that keeps saying, "I dare you to print this" or "SCC doesn't have the ball to print this," rest assured we can never resist that type of challenge and your comment has been sent to the great internet toilet in the sky.

Open post in the meantime.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Intemperate" Voice Mails

  • A Chicago Police commander might have sent "intemperate" voice mails to her former boyfriend -- a Chicago cop -- but he went overboard in getting a protection order against her and having her arrested, her attorney said Wednesday.

    Cmdr. Penelope Trahanas was charged Tuesday night with misdemeanor telephone harassment of Officer Matthew Jackson. She has been stripped of her police powers until the case is fully investigated.

    Jackson claims in court documents that Trahanas left voice mails last week "of an insulting and harassing nature." The calls suggested she could ruin his career and hinted at violence, he alleged.

    But Trahanas' attorney Thomas Needham said the allegations have been overblown. "Regardless of whatever intemperate, unfortunate things she said in her voice mails to him, there is no need for an order of protection," Needham said.

From the voice mails as documented on a CPD Case Report:
  • "If I ever get a chance to fuck you up on this job, I will, you pussy."

  • "I am so glad to be done with you..I hate you so much..You are so lucky you are on the other side of town..I would knock the shit out of you....I can't stand you I hate you so much? You ain't even the real police, you are nothing but a fucking mailman, you are a glorified mail clerk that is all you are.. I hate you so much, you have no idea"
"Intemperate"? Sure, we'll give you that one counselor. We also see at least one EEOC beef and one count of assault.


Off Duty Assist

  • An off-duty Chicago Police officer helped police apprehended two people suspected of shooting a 7-year-old girl in the head as she rode her scooter Wednesday afternoon on the South Side.

    The girl was shot at 4:13 p.m. near East 80th Street and South Manistee Avenue, police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala said.

    South Chicago District police Cmdr. Eric Carter said an off-duty officer witnessed the shooting and police apprehended a motorist and passenger in a car that fled the scene.

And a good job by the responding officers as well. The vast majority of police continue to do this type of work day in and day out. Professional even in the face of adversity.

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Tahoe Contracts Toast?

Try to follow this if you can....
  • well well well... seems the city is stuck once again on the fleet problem...or non problem I guess if you ask the city but I digress. So anyways, I went out to dinner last night with an old friend who does ordering and inventory in fleet for police vehicles.

    Well, I guess the tahoes are going to be short lived. The city is currently attempting to opt out of the remaining contract for the tahoes and is currently shopping around for another type of squad car. According to my friend at fleet this task could be a fairly easy one...however..ta da!!!! Enter politics and the city not wanting to spend any money.

    There are three options they city would consider. Number one, the new Chevy Caprice(yes, they brought back the caprice), The newly unveiled ford Taurus police interceptor which has 115 more hp than the crown vic, and the dodge charger.. GREAT! plenty of picks to choose from right?? umm, no.

    The city was told that in order to get the ford taurus package they would have to make modifications to be able support what is needed, and also take away some of the bells and whistles that isnt needed... well the city said, no... maybe we should stick to chevy because it may make the cancellation of the current tahoe order easier then they could just make a re-order of caprices and keep the buisness with the hodgkins dealership(yes, the dealership has connections to a certain alderman) but anyway, thats not important...

    ok, so fleet makes some calls, does some research and seems like it can get the job done... fleet makes a presentation, gives the pro's and con's of the chevy and advises the city that it would have to buy all new computers and get rid of the toughbooks due to a floor shifter in the chevy. there are much better, smaller and easier computers for police cars than the toughbook that are made to fit in the caprice... city flips a lid. go figure.

    They refuse to buy new computers because the city had a contract with...guess who, another connected person who has a hand in the toughbook deal. so the city shoots down the chevy pick.... fleet says it will look at the charger... city says dont bother its way too fast.. fleet says its available without the hemi engine city says they dont care they wont do buisness with dodge.. fleet says those are the only viable options and city then asks how long can the current fleet be streatched if they stop buying tahoes in january of 2011... fleet replys.. ohhhhh, we should be able to stretch it till about febuary of 2011 and walks out the door(pretty funny if you ask me).

    so.. city and fleet are now at an impass. city will not budge on any of the choices and the tahoe contract is as good as done... whatever. just sharing with you and giving you an inside look at the morons in charge in the city... and by hearing the horror stories from my fleet friend.. I now know fleet has ABSOLUTLY nothing to do with our shortages. the blame goes directly with the politicos.
Did you get all that? An amusing situation...if we weren't driving pool cars with 120,000 miles on them and Tahoes that have more maintenance costs than any other Fleet vehicle we've ever driven.


Operation Protect Youth

The latest incarnation of "Back to the Street" or "Closed Market" or whatever. Supposedly, everyone working inside has to do one week a quarter on the outside.

So why is it that certain members of the "Policy Group" are attempting to use letters with a signature stamp to get out of service dates? And why do they show up without duty belts when reporting for their street time? And having that pancake holster positioned like that - that's not very "tactical," is it?

Maybe Orwell had it right - some animals are more equal than others.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Master's Day

Can't leave out the Chief of Staff, can we?

Nice tights.


Happy St. Patrick's Day

Hopefully, this embeds and plays correctly - we've had problems in the past:

Look at those guys dance!


The Sky is Falling!!!

The wheels of justice move slowly if the obstruction is a handpicked member of the J-Fed staff evidently:
  • An investigation into a Chicago police district commander has been launched after allegations she made phone threats against a former boyfriend, who is also an officer, according to court records.

    A Cook County judge filed an emergency order of protection March 12 against Penelope Trahanas, the commander of the Harrison District, according to the court documents.

  • The filing also said that while Trahanas does not have the specifics of the allegations against her, any claims that she engaged in "unlawful or violent behavior ... are completely untrue.''

    Trahanas "enjoys an excellent reputation within the law enforcement community," the filing said.

It would seem that the Tribune has a copy of the case report, seeing as how they quote from it extensively:
  • The details of the alleged threats are outlined in a March 11 Chicago police report, according to the court record. In that report, Jackson stated he was concerned Trahanas would do "everything within her power to try and have him fired from his job."

    In another alleged voice message, Trahanas allegedly made a veiled physical threat against him, the court documents said. The report also mentioned that Trahanas made 15 other phone calls of "a similar nature."

Fifteen other calls? Voice messages? Just based on this alone, this looks bad. We can't imagine how Penny's lawyer is going to explain away this goofiness. Another black eye for the Department, brought to you by "meri-clout-orious" promotions and J-Fed.


Richie the Snitch?

The drumbeat gets louder that Shortshanks is actually a government mole:
  • Mayor Richard Daley was secretly interviewed in 2008 at a downtown hotel by FBI agents who questioned him about the politicians who pushed for a Chicago real estate project now at the center of a federal bribery trial, the Tribune has learned.

    The interview focused on the Galewood Yards project, an old industrial rail yard on the West Side that was rezoned for commercial and residential buildings over the objections of city planning staff.

    Daley had trouble recalling any controversy surrounding Galewood Yards during the March 2008 interview and could not remember participating in City Hall meetings about three years earlier with his planning staff, an alderman and a congressman about the project, the Tribune has learned.

    There has been no suggestion that Daley did anything improper.
Because the FBI just interviews people at random in downtown hotels for shits and giggles. It always happens. Seriously.

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Honor Roll Student Tasered

Once again, CPS students making everyone proud:
  • A 17-year-old girl was charged after Chicago police say she punched a female officer during a disturbance in the city's South Austin neighborhood. Officers used a taser on the girl, who they say strongly resisted arrest.

    The girl, Keaira Matthews, was charged with felony aggravated battery to a police officer, according to the Cook County state's attorney's office. She was also hit with two misdemeanor counts of resisting, police said.

Once again, a CPS high school up for grabs:
  • The situation began when police were called to help disperse a large disturbance at about 3:23 p.m. Monday in the 5200 block West Congress Parkway, police spokesman Veejay Zala said. The disturbance occurred near the Clark Academic Preparatory Magnet High School, but police couldn't confirm whether Matthews was a student.
Once again, a YouTube sensation!
  • Police say Matthews ignored direct orders to leave the area and became combative toward a female officer, striking the officer across the face, Zala said. Police tased the girl and several officers handcuffed her. Video footage of Matthews' arrest had been posted on Youtube, but has since been taken down.
We have no doubt it will be back. Maybe after some careful editing of sound or sequence, but it will be back. The officer suffered only minor injuries and should be OK. Be very careful out there boys and girls.


Nice Ride Carrie

  • A Cadillac Escalade belonging to Ald. Carrie M. Austin (34th) was impounded after her grandson, who was driving it, was pulled over and cited for driving without a license early Monday in the Far South Side Roseland neighborhood, according to police.

    About 2 a.m. on Monday, Kenneth Austin, 21, was driving an Escalade belonging to the alderman when he was pulled over by Targeted Response Unit officers near 113th Street and Normal Avenue, according to police. The TRU officers were already in the area performing an investigation.

    Officers found Kenneth Austin did not have a valid driver’s license and he was issued a citation, according to police, who said he is the alderman's grandson.

Nice to see the law applied properly.

Everyone might want to keep an eye on the officers stopping, issuing tickets and impounding the vehicle. We will gladly post any and all instances of the aldercreature attempting to mess with them or their assignments.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bury This Asshat

The Sun Times has a poll up for grading Shortshanks.

So far, the voting is thus:
  • A

    5% 105 votes

    5% 101 votes

    7% 153 votes

    15% 310 votes

    65% 1271 votes

We figure we should be able to get that "F" total somewhere over 3,000 by midnight tonight.

Vote here. Tell your friends.

UPDATE: Damnit - only 2,200 votes for "F." But the percentage of people giving him a failing grade is up to 72%. Keep it up people.


Question on the Double Standard

How is it possible to be an active police commander with an active Order of Protection against you? Isn't that some violation of State Law concerning the surrender of firearms? Can someone from Callback let us know about that? Because we're pretty sure there are a few dozen people down there under the same sort of Court restrictions who are wondering the same thing we are.

There's an open CR. There's a case report. There's an Order filed - an e-mailer claims that the victim was removed from his regular duties today so as not to violate his own Protective Order.

Things that make you go "Hmmmm?"


Um, Duh?

  • When convicted mob bookmaker Carl Dote was interviewed on the popular WTTW-Channel 11 show "Check, Please!" about Danny's, the restaurant he runs in Melrose Park, there were a few things he made clear: [...] "I'm the owner," Dote said in the unedited version of the interview, adding that his wife, Paula, was the co-owner.
  • But when it came to the forms needed to get a liquor license, Dote -- a twice-convicted felon for illegal gambling -- isn't listed as owner. In fact, his name is nowhere to be found.

    Felons typically can't obtain a liquor license.

    But officials in Melrose Park and in Des Plaines, which hopes to be home to a new casino, don't appear to be overly troubled.

No one ever seems to be troubled when Outfit figures suddenly find themselves within one-degree of separation from all sorts of things that they shouldn't be near - liquor licenses, casino licenses, adult entertainment licenses, police brass, city council members, construction firms, municipal contracts, mayor's brothers, mayor's sons, mayors themselves, etc.

It's kind of interesting to those who actually pay attention.


No Testimony

Shortshanks and 20% of the City Council won't have to testify under oath:
  • A defense lawyer said today he won’t follow through on plans to call Mayor Daley to testify in the bribery case of Chicago developer Calvin Boender.

    “We do not intend to call him,” Boender lawyer Robert Sanger said in court of Daley. “We will release him from the subpoena.”

    Sanger also said he’s unlikely to try to get the testimony of 10 Chicago aldermen who had been subpoenaed.

The prosecution rested in the trial of Boender yesterday without calling convicted aldercreature Ike Carothers, who wore a wire and pled guilty himself earlier.

It sure seems unusual that in a trial about bribery, the prosecution would refuse to call the politician who was bribed, especially when the bribed politician is already under a guilty plea, wore a wire and has to verify what he taped.

Is this Carothers thing over before it even starts?


Daley Appoints Reformers


Sorry, we knew we couldn't keep a straight face for long:
  • Mayor Richard Daley on Monday named a state lawmaker and a businessman with ties to a politically influential Latino group to fill two City Council vacancies, saying they stood out from among 44 applicants he interviewed after posting the jobs online.

    To replace former Ald. Isaac Carothers, 29th, who resigned last month after pleading guilty to bribery, Daley picked Democratic state Rep. Deborah Graham, a city worker.

    In the 1st Ward, where Manny Flores gave up his seat to lead the Illinois Commerce Commission, Daley named Proco "Joe" Moreno, vice president of a graphic arts and printing company.

And lest you think that these are just more of the same old, same old...:
  • Graham, 43, said she will give up her job as coordinator for special events in the city Department of Planning and Development and her legislative post to serve as alderman.

    Moreno, 37, lost a contest for the state Senate in 2008. He is a member of the Jose de Diego Academy local school council and the Humboldt Park Social Services board.

Can you smell the bullshit from where you're sitting?


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