Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Splitting Hairs

  • Chicago may severely limit the number of handguns that can be kept in a single home and ban gun dealers within city limits in the wake of Monday's landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that gutted the city’s handgun ban, City Hall’s top attorney said today.

    The court's ruling “did not say that a person is entitled to more than one handgun, and one handgun is sufficient for self defense,” Corporation Counsel Mara Georges told aldermen at a City Council committee meeting. “We believe that a limitation on the number of handguns to one per person per residence would be consistent with the Supreme Court’s decisions.”
We believe this has been tried and failed before. Government doesn't get to tell people how many cars to own, how many houses to own, how many phones, radios, computers, etc. If we want to own half a dozen handguns, that's our business, not theirs.

We can't wait to see the procedural roadblocks Shortshanks starts to throw up. The Department can't even run rifle and striker-fire transitions courses for officers. If he tries to task the Department with "qualifying" new gun owners, we expect waiting lists to be years long.

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Again with the Tow Trucks?

Many tow truck drivers are among the shadiest of operators we've ever met. Sorry if that offends any towing companies, but why would anyone do anything except keep these guys at arms length in any dealings?
  • A Chicago police officer was arrested today as part of an ongoing investigation by federal officials into police pocketing bribes to steer work to tow truck drivers, an FBI spokesman said.

    The arrest was made late today and officials expect to release details on Wednesday, said [...] an FBI spokesman.

    The officer was charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court, [an FBI spokesman] said. [He] said he could not give details of the arrest or give the officer's name or other information until the charges were unsealed in federal court.

Job gone, pension gone, prison time looming, all for how many hundreds of bucks? Maybe a few thousand at most? And all while everyone and their brother knew the feebs were looking at towing companies.

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Daley Says "Be Quiet" About Burge

Check out this spirited and passionate defense of Jon Burge on the FOP website. It stirs the blood and should be an inspiration to all who read it:
  • The jury has reached their verdict and hopefully this brings closure to this long-standing dispute.

    The Lodge will have no further comment.

    # # END # #
Wow. Nothing at all? Shortshanks got your tongue? Not even a mention of appeals or expression of support? It's not like there's a contract under negotiation or anything. Or would a comment of the wrong sort jeopardize future employment in the Daley-controlled Illinois Combine?

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Welcome Instapundit Readers!

Just found out we got linked by the esteemed Glenn Reynolds himself. This is a first for us. Hope you get a chance to look around.

Be forewarned however, we cannot prove, nor do we intend to prove that every poster here is a Chicago cop. Yes, we cater to the CPD, but it's an open blog. The language might be raw and the tempers run high at times. We moderate with a light touch. Take it all with a grain of salt.

Just a bit of inside info for first time visitors:
  • Shortshanks is Mayor Daley. He was so labeled by Tribune columnist John Kass as an anti-"Longshanks" of olden days.
  • J-Fled is our Fearful Leader (superintendent) so labeled by our readers after he fled the scene of a shooting a mere block away during a news conference. He was formerly "J-Fed" as he is a retired FBI agent brought in to dismantle the CPD.
  • Aldercreatures are our sometimes elected City Council. There are 50 of them for some reason and their conviction rate averages around one-a-year - we don't know how New York City gets along with only half that many with three times Chicago's population. Must be something in the water.
Thanks again to Professor Reynolds.

Insignificant? It must be so since J-Fled said so.

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Daley's Ultimate Goal?

  • Economic hard times are causing many municipalities to look for ways to reduce their payrolls, but none has taken it as far as the town of Maywood, California.

    On Monday night, the Maywood City Council voted unanimously to fire all 100 city employees and contract out most services, including record-keeping, street maintenance, and parks and recreation, to the neighboring town of Bell.

    “We will become 100% a contracted city,” Maywood’s interim city manager stated.

And who's to blame?
  • Even the Maywood police department will be disbanded. Those services will be provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, since a proposal earlier this month to merge Mayfield’s police department with that of Bell was met with angry protests by Bell residents.

    It was the police department that largely got Maywood into its current financial troubles. Last month, the town was informed by the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority that it would no longer be able to obtain liability insurance, largely as a result of excessive claims filed against the police.

But it isn't just the police - does this sound familiar?
  • “Four years ago, the department faced a political outcry when it began running checkpoints that resulted in hundreds of cars being taken away from unlicensed illegal immigrants,” the Times explains. “The checkpoint sparked a political movement that brought a new council that was more sympathetic to illegal immigrants. But Maywood was back in the headlines when it declared itself a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants, making the town a target of conservative talk radio and TV news shows.”
Change that to "Chicago" and one has to wonder at the parallels.
  • The Los Angeles Times reports that town residents blame the current problems on “years of financial abuse and corruption” by the city council. Ironically, however, the city manager, attorney, and council members are the only Maywood employees who will remain on the payroll.

    “You guys had the power to change it and you didn’t,” City Treasurer Lizeth Sandoval told the council at Monday’s meeting. “You single-handedly destroyed the city.

Wow. Déjà vu all over again.

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Shortshanks Cares About Us!

  • Last Friday, as Daley awaited the Supreme Court ruling, he continued to fret about the dilemma the ruling would cause police officers, firefighters and paramedics arriving at emergency scenes.

    “What does a first-responder [do when they] come to your home, if you have 50 guns and you pointed a gun at your wife? You have a legal right to a gun,” the mayor said.

Um, Mayor Asshat? It's illegal to actually point a gun at your wife. Seriously. Look it up. You were the Cook County States Attorney for how long? What a fucking stupid argument Shortshanks is attempting to make.

And as for the pretend concern, the fact is any cop who has worked the streets has responded to a location where there was a gun. And if you maintain situational awareness and keep things under control, you usually never even saw the gun. People don't run around broadcasting they've got guns in the home. If they did, the CPD would have taken it away and they wouldn't have it when they needed it.

The fact is that legally owned firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens are seldom a problem. Legit citizens don't usually have run-ins with the police and don't need the police around to live upright and moral lives. What they do need is a means to defend themselves, their families and their homes when the government can't. Like when there hasn't been any police hiring for 2-plus years and manpower shortages are becoming so acute that even the aldercreatures can't make excuses that sound like anything but BS.

You know....like today.

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Another Vanecko Disaster

  • For the last three years, Mayor Daley's nephew Robert G. Vanecko has been a frequent figure in the news.

    First, when the Chicago Sun-Times revealed that five city pension funds gave him $68 million to investment in risky real estate deals.

    Later, when a federal grand jury began investigating.

    Now, Vanecko's real estate deals are falling apart, records show, potentially jeopardizing the money he got from the pension funds representing Chicago's police officers, teachers, city employees and CTA workers.

And who approved giving this connected jackass millions of dollars in our pension money?

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Burge Guilty

Jurors say Burge wasn't "credible." But neither were the accusers:
  • The backgrounds of the accusers, some of whom were convicted murderers and former gang members, gave some jurors pause, they said.

    "They all have a big rap sheet," said Jane Smith of Peotone. "We took all that into consideration."

    Smith said she didn't find any of the five accusers particularly credible, although several jurors differed.

So Burge faces anywhere from probation to 40 years for Civil perjury. The appeals will also take years as Lefkow made more than a few questionable decisions throughout the trial over admissibility of defense evidence and testimony while allowing tapes from a convicted (and now dead) cop killer to take center stage.

We haven't heard the last of this one.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

McDonald Decision (UPDATE)

Here it is:
It seems City Hall took delivery of 30 or 40 oxygen canisters early this AM. Daley is in full hyperventilation mode, blaming guns guns guns and attempting to ram through a whole bunch of delaying tactics or blatantly illegal ordinances that will accomplish nothing but wasting taxpayer dollars - which as we all know are few and far between nowadays.

Give it up Shanks - we can't protect everyone all the time and you are actively seeking to create more casualties as the city spirals into Detroit II. Give law abiding citizens a fair chance to defend themselves, their loved ones and their property.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers! Take a look around, visit our main page and enjoy the sarcasm and silliness we've been inflicting on the City of Chicago and the Police Department for 5 years now.

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How to Get Around Code 049

Remember a few weeks ago, the Department wouldn't carry anyone Code 049 anymore? Direct orders from J-Fled or Masters or somebody. We guess they meant "We'll just carry you as present for duty, even if you aren't here"
  • The manpower numbers aren't bad, otherwise how could POs in the Sup's Policy Group go to Tactical training monday through friday last week just outside of Detroit MI, but guess what - she wasn't carried code 49 or used any personnal time to do the training, they were covered as present on the A&As.

    Why do two POs in the policy group have to go to Tactical pistol instructor training on company time (armed and out of state)? Maybe cause they could use it, for a tactical association.

    Go ahead and try and change the A&As now they've already been submitted and approved your PC #s will reflect the changes. Why doesn't IAD do anything?
"Present for Duty" even though they were no where near Chicago? Golly, how do we sign up for that gig? It almost seems criminal. Oh wait....

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Supernintendo J-Fled

Paraphrasing a comment here yesterday:
  • "I'd go through a door with [Dugan] anytime," but I will not respond to a "shots fired" call a block away.
Yup, that sounds the like the Chicago Police Department of J-Fled in a soundbite.

Gotta run!

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Just for the Sake of Comparison

IPRA wants to give Mike Mette 90 days for allegedly being drunk off duty (even though there is no documented proof), walking home (not driving) and being the victim of an attack, while a woman who left messages on a voicemail system threatening revenge and job retaliation that ended up being transcribed by IAD investigators onto a complaint log number is up for what again?

We were just curious.

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This Sounds Interesting

Shortshanks isn't just looking to privatize hiring - what could this be about?
  • There is also a plan to privatize part of what the fire department is doing, its all very hush-hush, but its moving forward
Any idea what this might be? We're pretty sure we can rule out actual fire fighting. Ambulance service? Probably not. Building inspections? Probably getting warmer in this area.

Any smoke-eaters want to chime in?

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Friendly Warning

Be careful:
  • OT: CPD EMAIL WARNING

    Word from Information Services...

    CPD email web servers have been set up to flag emails with specific "code words"... for the express purpose of intercepting and reading those email messages.

    Also, the newer PC's have key stroke readers installed. Spies abound and big brother is watching.

    Be very careful on what you send on CPD email.

This isn't the first time we've gotten this warning in the comments. It won't be the last. I-Phones are amazing little inventions, don't you know?

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

More Shot; Not Dugan's Fault

Since Dugan was taking the blame for the 52 shot, 10 dead weekend, we guess this is the opening salvo in Ernie Brown's tenure of blame:
  • At least 13 people were shot, two fatally, within less than six hours early this morning, authorities said.

    The shootings took place in several neighborhoods between a little after midnight and just before 6 a.m. , according to a Chicago Police News Affairs news media notification log.

This was Friday night into Saturday morning, so Ernie can thank Tommy Skilling once again for the stormy weather for keeping a lid on things.

What's that you say? Dugan isn't to blame and J-Fled is spinning faster than a top?
  • Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis said today he changed the leadership of his department's patrol division to inject a shot of innovation and bolster officers' ability to forge bonds with community residents to tackle the gang problem and fight crime across the city.
  • Brown has shown the creativity the department needs, Weis said today during an appearance with Mayor Richard Daley at a community policing meeting in the Grand Crossing neighborhood on the South Side.

    Department sources said the decision was based on broad concerns that Weis' strategies for the patrol division were not being implemented.

    Weis declined to discuss why he removed Dugan but said he had been considering the change for some time. He said Dugan's removal had nothing to do with the shootings of more than 50 people last weekend during a spate of violence that left at least eight dead.

    "I can't say enough great things about Danny (Dugan). Terrific guy," Weis said. "Like I said, I'd go through a door with him anytime, and have a beer with him anytime. But at this time, we're faced with some unusual circumstances, and I just think Ernie Brown is a really innovative guy who can help us move the department to the next level and overcome some of these challenges."

Wow. J-Fled seems to be more flexible than Stretch Armstrong here. We could barely keep up with the number of background investigations Ernie Brown seems to have failed and we're still counting the number of domestic type court cases someone was kind enough to post with Ernie's name listed.

"Innovation" indeed. And we didn't realize that there was a "next level" beneath "rock bottom," but J-Fled certainly seems to be driving the department that direction.

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Bad Penny Turns Up

We admit missing this story the other day:
  • A Chicago police commander who was charged with harassing her former boyfriend by telephone was acquitted this week of all charges, authorities said.

    Harrison District Cmdr. Penelope Trahanas was removed from her position after a former boyfriend, also a police officer, filed a report alleging that she had threatened his job.

    The former boyfriend, Matthew Jackson, also filed for an order of protection.

    The protection order was dropped in May, and on Tuesday a Cook County judge acquitted Trahanas of the misdemeanor harassment charge.

    Thomas Needham, Trahanas' attorney, said the evidence - including text and voice messages between the two -- showed that Jackson and Trahanas were involved in a mutual dispute.

We figured this wasn't going anywhere. After all, the two or three different tiers of discipline require that exempts get off on charges that would keep a PO at call back for years. Evidently it's perfectly OK to threaten someone's job and create a hostile work environment on voice mail - there's got to be a few dozen Officers at call back whose lawyers are salivating at this.

Now we get this letter from a cop in 011:
  • Penny returned from exile today. She gave speech to all the roll calls thanking everyone for prayers and support. Then she told everyone that "I am the Commander and we are all moving forward from this point on." Later she took a ride to the acting commanders house and removed her car from in front of his house without calling ahead to have him empty out all his equipment.
We also got this letter:
  • It seems the 011 District Commander's office got a phone call from a reverend Friday to congratulate Trahanas for being reinstated after her disgraceful behavior. No one knew what was going on until the reverend spilled the beans that Mike Masters had told the reverend Penny was coming back Saturday. No one told 011 or it seems the Area 4 Deputy Chief's office that the Bad Penny had turned up once again. If you had any doubts about whose running the show, you shouldn't anymore.
Penny and Ernie. Sounds like a Muppet show, but it shows what a disaster J-Fled is presiding over. Neither of these two is fit to be a shift manager flipping burgers, yet they're commanding men and women who put their lives on the line day in and day out.

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From Stockton, California

Why not a few of these posted on the inbound Kennedy from O'Hare or on Cicero Avenue near Midway?

Change the wording a bit to "Hire more Police, Promote more Detectives." Of course, we'd have to add an electronic body and shooting victim counter seeing as how it goes up by 50 or so every weekend.

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No Gun Meeting for You!

If Shortshanks doesn't like your message, he'll cancel your meeting:
  • Gerald Vernon says he did everything he should have to obtain a permit to hold a meeting at the Tuley Park field house on the south side. He told the park supervisor he expected 150 to 200 people to attend, filled out the paperwork she gave him, paid a $100 fee, and walked away thinking he'd reserved a meeting room for the evening of June 30. The group that would be convening was Illinois Carry, an organization advocating for the right to bear concealed firearms.

    But on Wednesday, a week before the scheduled date of the event, he got a call telling him his permit had been revoked.

    Vernon says a Tuley Park official informed him he has to submit a new permit application that will be reviewed before he gets approval for the meeting. But when I contacted the park and asked about it, I was told the event had been canceled altogether.

    Says Vernon: "This just sounds a whole lot like Daley's bullshit."

Once again, the Chicago Reader, a staunchly liberal paper given away for free, is the only media outlet giving voice to the other side in Chicago. The author, Mike Dumke, has admitted to supporting much of Daley's anti-gun agenda, but even he smells the heavy-handedness of this move by Shortshanks.

Monday is going to be an entertaining day to say the least.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Taste Rumors (and other stuff)

Did this really happen last night?
  • The taste is out of control. Last minute call to RDO tact/gang/tru and Msf to work days then keeping them till the end of the night. Think it could have something to do with the fact that there is rap groups on stage at the bandshell?
Someone else mentioned that the Tact Order we talked about earlier this week was rescinded when someone at HQ realized that Tact Teams were the backup plan in case the Taste goes south this year? Is that true?

And did any of this disaster-in-progress contribute to the downfall of Dugan? We predicted (along with many of our readers) that some heads were going to get chopped off over the public flogging J-Fled administered via the Pax 501 regarding Captain and Lieutenant reassignments being sent out via "unapproved" channels.

This Department feels like the Titanic, except somebody raised her from a watery grave and ran her into the iceberg again just to see if they could sink her any better than the first time.

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Party at Vice (UPDATED & Bumped)

Ernie Brown promoted AGAIN??
  • The Blackberries are alive with the news that Dugan is out, Downtown Ernie Brown is in. No wonder J-Fled was singing Brown's praises on the Blargh-501. The fact this guy is now in charge of Patrol after his long and storied history in the ghetto trenches is un-forking-believable.
Where the fuck is this department headed?

UPDATE: Once again, the Tribune plays catch-up to the "insignificant" blog:
  • Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis announced late Friday that he was reassigning a top department official in charge of all patrol officers.

    The removal of Dan Dugan, the Deputy Superintendant [sic] of the Patrol Division, follows the shootings of more than 50 people last weekend during a spate of violence that left at least eight dead. Department sources said the decision was based on broad concerns that Weis' strategies for the patrol division were not being implemented.

    Weis promoted Dugan from deputy chief to deputy superintendent during a November 2008 restructuring.

So now they're blaming Dugan for the 50 shot? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Now that is priceless!

The article mentions Dugan got promoted during a 2008 restructuring, but doesn't say a word about Downtown being demoted during another restructuring, and then triple-promoted a few months later. Not a whisper of his overblown resume follies in Arizona that cost him a chief's job there. There is also a re-hash J-Fled's tongue job on Brown from over on the Q&A section of the electronic propaganda arm of the CPD.
  • Dugan will be replaced by Ernest Brown, the current chief of the organized crime division. In an announcement of Brown's appointment to acting deputy superintendent of patrol, Weis praised him as "highly respected" and "progressive in his anti-violence strategies."

    "I have full confidence in his ability to engage the community and the men and women under his command in new and dynamic ways," Weis said in a statement
"Anti-violence strategies" that seem to involve busting private house parties with astonishingly good inside information. And the "engag[ing] of the ... men and women under his command"? We'll say they got half that statement correct.

Originally posted 25 June 2010 @ 11:10pm - bumped to 26 June 2010 @ 12:05pm

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

  • Three police officers rescued a 5-year-old boy who accidentally fell 10 feet into a hole and a man was Tased after allegedly punching the officer who scooped the child up after being lowered into the hole by his ankles Thursday night on the Northwest Side.

    No one was seriously hurt and three men, including the man Tased, who allegedly punched the officers and fought with them were charged with misdemeanors, police said.

Say what now? We thought people appreciated heroic efforts?
  • But while paramedics were trying to render aid to the child, a relative of the boy, 17, allegedly became “very belligerent,’’ and tried to climb into the ambulance. When medics called for police assistance, the teen allegedly punched Morrison in the chest, the report said.

    While the teen was placed in handcuffs, another man on the scene — 29-year-old Pedro Bahena — allegedly became irate, and was yelling and swearing at the officers. Pinal tried to calm him down but Bahena then allegedly punched Pinal, who Tased Bahena and subdued him, the report said.

This city is lost - people who should be thankful the cops took the initiative and lowered their partner into a 10-foot-deep hole without the aid of ropes or safety harnesses before the Fire Department even arrived end up attacking the paramedics and cops who went beyond the call of duty. Fucking jagoffs, each and every one of them.

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Fifty-Two "Furough" Days?

This is pretty sad:
  • Anonymous said...

    I hear that exempts were told on Wednesday to expect to be required to take "up to 52" unpaid furlough days next year. But the shrubs on city hall's roof look great! And there's millions for useless school safety programs. Beale's private police plan is making a comeback.....same shit, different day!
That would be three paychecks. You've already got captains and lieutenants making thousands more than exempts, pretty soon sergeants and detectives will be bringing home more bacon than the gold stars without having to prostrate themselves before the steaming pile of "leadership" currently in charge of this failing Department.

You're pretty much admitting to everyone that you're J-Fled's and Shortshanks' bitch at this point.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

More Bodies Out of Districts

Volunteer or Reverse Seniority in a new Operational order:
  • Subject: District Tactical Teams

    [...] One team of tactical officers, 2 police officers,will be reassigned from each 2nd watch District Tactical Unit to the Area Deputy Chief. The officers will be assigned to the third watch under the command of the Area Deputy Chief. This will create a third watch, civilian dressed tactical team under the direction of the Area Deputy Chief, to be deployed to Districts with upticks in violence. [...]
So they're going to take away your rotating days, night, relief schedule, take you away from your District and your teammates, and assign you to a straight watch? Gee whiz, where do we sign up?

So what's the purpose of the day and night saturation teams, the midnight tact teams, MSF, TRU, the Area guns teams and who knows what other units that are being or have been specifically created to throw bodies at problem districts that they now have to raid Tactical Teams?

Once again, we're losing manpower in the districts and no one is opening up bid spots to fill any of these vacancies. Anyone care to lay money on these coppers being "double-counted" in J-Fled's fantasy numbers so it looks like manpower isn't affected?

Is this the beginning of the end of District law enforcement doing street corner dope jobs in an effort to reduce overtime and radio backlogs and concentrate on more "conspiracy" type operations?

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Privatize Your Problems Away

  • Mayor Daley revived his failed plan today to outsource city hiring to cut costs and restore public confidence shaken by the hiring scandal that culminated in the conviction of his former patronage chief.

    The latest example of Daley's privatization frenzy will start with a request-for-proposals from firms interested in recruiting and hiring tradespeople in five city departments: Streets and Sanitation, Transportation, Water Management, Aviation and General Services.

    If it works to have an outside personnel firm recruit and hire carpenters, electricians, laborers and plumbers, City Hall will move to outsource all other hiring, the mayor said.

This includes public safety hiring? We heard that retired Superintendent Hillard's company is all set to do background investigations and such for police hires.

Aldercreature Joe Moore has the best quote in the article though:
  • Ald. Joe Moore (49th) said he's “not a big fan of privatization,” especially after the parking meter fiasco.

    But he said: “Because the mayor has thoroughly failed to manage hiring in a legal fashion, he has no choice. He just received another scathing review by the inspector general on contracts. The monitor has continued to find fault with the mayor on his hiring. It's clear he's just not capable of managing certain aspects of the city.”

That's going to leave a mark.

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Ike to Prison

Twenty-eight whole months. Underwhelming:
  • In sending former Chicago Ald. Isaac "Ike" Carothers to prison for 28 months, a federal judge on Thursday said a message needs be sent that the people deserve "honest elected officials."

    "Bribery and tax fraud are serious crimes," said U.S. District Judge Robert Dow, who told Carothers he let down the citizens of his West Side ward when he took bribes from a developer. "When they are committed by a high public official, they are even more serious."

And the only reason it wasn't more?
  • Carothers is rare among crooked aldermen in one regard — he chose to cooperate with federal prosecutors, a move that cut his sentence in half. For months, he secretly recorded businessmen and public officials.
So where is everybody else in this stage drama? As pointed out in our comment sections, he flipped on the guy who bribed him - big deal. Where's all the rest of the graft and corruption and other crooked pols he recorded? Any reason they're all being granted time and opportunity to either continue scamming or hiding evidence of previous crimes?

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McDonald Decision Monday

Good news widely expected - from the Illinois State Rifle Association website:
  • As expected for weeks, the Supreme Court is holding off its ruling in the Second Amendment Foundation’s case against the Chicago handgun ban until the last day of the current session, which is next Monday.

    Joining in the case was the Illinois State Rifle Association and four Chicago residents, including Otis McDonald, for whom this sure-to-be-landmark case is named.
Also at the ISRA site is the notice of a Range "Open House" being held at their Bonfield range outside of Kankakee. Click over and see why it's more than worth your while to join organizations like ISRA and the NRA.

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Another Problem Fixed

Once again, the Department is using this "insignificant blog" to find problems and fix them:
  • I just wanted to drop a quick note to point out, once again, how "insignificant" the blog is. I sent you the photos of the 011th District female locker room and the human filth dripping from the ceiling. It's amazing...after YEARS of complaints and exposure reports, the department did nothing to fix this health hazard. Yet 2 weeks after the photos of said filth were posted on the blog, the locker room was finally cleaned up. Of course it's not a perfect job, but they did paint over the poop and replace the ceiling tiles where the leaks were coming from. Thank you so much for your insignificance!
Similar to the cracked and failing support column in Area 2, this appears to be another "slap a coat of paint/plaster/concrete over the problem and move on" type fix. We suppose if your stuck using an excrement coated locker room, any fix is better than looking at what's running down the walls.

Anyone else have something that needs fixing? Anyone want to bitch about the collapsing Fifth Floor at Headquarters? Or is Masters (Masters Masters) still racing his Hot Wheels car collection down the five degree slope?

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Fire Commissioner

  • A third generation Chicago firefighter whose father was killed in the line of duty was chosen by Mayor Daley Wednesday to be the city’s new, $185,652-a-year fire commissioner.

    Robert Hoff, 54, replaces John Brooks, who resigned two months after the Chicago Sun-Times reported that a sexual harassment complaint against him was allegedly swept under the rug.

And the support of the rank and file?
  • Tom Ryan, president of the Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2, added, “He’s a highly-trained, highly decorated firefighter who knows the jobs inside out. The men and women all respect him because of his vast experience and his leadership qualities.”
Wow.

Fellow blogger Shaved also points out Ryan is a "son of the sod." This being Chicago and Daley being Daley, this means it's only a matter of time before the "reverends" and connected political groups demand their "share." The cynical side of us agrees. The not-so-cynical side of us gave up a year ago and is currently out drinking.

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Interesting Chart

  • It shows the average cost to educate a kid from kindergarten through 12th grade in inflation-adjusted 2009 dollars. In 1970 each child's education cost about $40,000. Today it's nearly $160,000 - nearly four times as much! And if you look at the test scores over that period, they haven't budged at all. So we're paying 4 times as much in constant dollars and getting jack shit for it. In even a poorly run company that would be enough to get people fired and auditors looking for criminal fraud.

    And it's not like children's brains are fundamentally different now or there's a lot more material to learn - basic math is still basic math and reading is still reading. Which means that teaching might be the only profession in the world that has become less efficient over the last four decades.

    And if you're wondering where all the money went, well this little tidbit will give you a clue: former Niles Township, IL school superintendent Neil Codell will receive $26 million dollars in retirement checks from the Illinois teacher pension plan which he will qualify for after just 34 years of work. Which means he'll be getting nearly a $1 million dollars a year in his pension. Now multiply that by every school district and you start to see why some states are facing bankruptcy.

A bunch of interesting links posted all over the original article, but it's obvious that educating children has become a secondary or tertiary concern over votes, political contributions and golden parachutes for administrators. It's an unsustainable system and guess what's coming next?
  • After losing $4.4 billion on investments in fiscal year 2009, and 5 percent on investments in fiscal 2008, the pension is now underfunded by $44.5 billion, or 60.9 percent, according to the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability's March 2010 report.

    They have 40 cents of every dollar they need.
  • Tell me again how they get to do this? What their capital base is for it?

    Oh yeah, it's you, the Illinois taxpayer, who will be required to make up the shortfalls when (not if) this blows up in their face.

    Get the hell out of Ill-noise folks. Right now.

    Oh, if you're an Illinois teacher?

    Your pension is toast.

    Mark my words.

Not just the teacher pensions though. Very rough times ahead.

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Another Blago Twist

  • Rod Blagojevich's lawyers say they should be privy to remarks that President-Elect Obama made to FBI agents in December, 2008.

    The defense team has filed a motion asking for written reports of Obama's two-hour interview with prosecutors and the FBI, saying that testimony by key government witness John Harris has opened the door to possibly new information concerning Obama.

    They say that testimony contradicts the government's previous public statements that Obama knew nothing about deal-making involving the Senate seat appointment.
This opening gives new life to Blago's defense seeing as how Rod was on the ropes after the past few days. He's been painted as depressed, money-hungry, power-grabbing - it's all likely accurate and true. But he needed a better excuse than "everybody does it."

He may have just gotten it from John Harris.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tornado Warnings!

Sirens are going off across the city. High winds, damaging hail, tornadoes spotted in Cook County. The following neighborhoods are advised to seek shelter immediately:
  • Englewood
  • Bridgeport
  • Hyde Park
Wait a minute...is this a sign? The three neighborhoods that have contributed the most to the wholesale destruction of Chicago and the United States of America?

It must be a sign. Look for a Cubs winning streak starting tomorrow.

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Wounded Survivors Sculpture

  • As Chicago police Officer Cedric Brumley lay in a hospital in 2002, recovering from massive injuries suffered in a car crash as he answered a call, he dreamed of picking his children up from school.

    When he woke from a coma, his two children were the first ones he asked to see.

    So when the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation commissioned a work to honor officers who have been severely injured in the line of duty, Brumley and other officers asked that the artists include family members to recognize the sacrifices they have made.
Those sacrifices that thankfully didn't end in an officers' death, but nevertheless denied us the continued service and company of a brother or sister officer will be recognized and remembered along with our deceased brethren.

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Walter's Perspective Skewed

  • It won't do any good, I know...but I pray that the justices of the Supreme Court care more about people than about their personal politics.
Judges are supposed to apply the law equitably across the board, devoid of personal politics. While that doesn't seem to be the norm lately, it was the aim of the Founders, and most of the Justices seem to recognize that.
  • I know the Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, but still I pray the court will not wipe out the Chicago law that bans handguns.
That puts you in a distinct minority then Walter. A minority with a television bully pulpit, but a minority nonetheless.
  • Please, Mr. Chief Justice and your esteemed colleagues, step down your marble stairway to walk the streets we walk, and find a '38 in your face. Maybe then you'll understand why the Chicago gun law is important to us.
Important to whom? In what way. Almost 60 people shot this weekend shows that Daley's gun laws are failures Walter. The gangsters are winning because law abiding folks can't protect themselves.
  • Come to our neighborhoods, just once, and maybe you won't wipe out our law. You must not have heard of the 54 people shot in Chicago over the weekend...10 of them dead. Maybe you don't know of our children being murdered in drive-bys, even if you do know what a drive-by is.
Yeah, OK Walter. You're overheated rhetoric and attempt to align yourself with the commoners is laughable.
  • Your honors from Harvard and Yale in your robes of grandeur, how can we help you understand that our lives and the lives of our children depend on getting guns off our streets.
Newsflash Walter - the guns are there already. Banning them is working as well as banning liquor did during prohibition or maybe you've been away from reality for so long you haven't been seeing the shooting and murder statistics for the past decades.
  • Unless you have a better idea for trying to stop the killing, our gun law is all we have -- Constitution or no, somehow we must get you to understand that.

    Until then your honors, any chance that we at least can get you to butt out?
Oh, we don't know, how about long jail terms, no second and third chances, maybe an State's Attorney who actually prosecutes felons who acquire guns? But we're supposed to disregard the entire foundation of our system of government because a lakefront liberal reporter thinks guns are the problem?

You know, we remember a time when Walter used to be a thorn in Daley's side over all sorts of nonsense and not a shameless ass-sniffer.

UPDATE: If Walter doesn't want to keep a gun in his house or not carry a gun if Concealed Carry ever arrives, that's HIS CHOICE. It is OUR CHOICE to remained armed and we are fortunate to be able to do so because of our profession.

It's amazing how liberals like Walter can find all sorts of justifications for "choice" when justifying all sorts of inanities that aren't mentioned in the Constitution, but when someone "chooses" to exercise a RIGHT spelled out in black and white, they're considered the radicals.

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Alcohol Conspiracy

  • Some 350 cases of liquor were spilled on the North-South Tollway (I-355) in the northwest suburbs Wednesday morning when a semi and a box truck collided.
  • State Police expect a Stevenson Expressway ramp in the southwest suburbs to be closed to traffic for several hours while crews remove a semi truck that overturned Monday afternoon.

    [...] The semi was traveling too fast for conditions, according to a release from Illinois State Police District Chicago, which caused its load to shift and the semi to roll on its right side. The semi was loaded with 40,000 pounds of grapes, according to State Police.

  • A semi truck overturned on the Edens Expressway (I-94) on the Northwest Side early Tuesday, injuring the driver and spilling 1,200 cases of beer across the roadway.
Hard stuff, wine makings, beer. Someone has it in for the alcoholics and connoisseurs of adult beverages in Chicago.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Carnage Continues

The final tally for the weekend - 54 shot and 10 dead. Add in the stabbings and the numbers approach 70 aggravated battery victims, mostly "outies," which means mostly preventable according to J-Fled, which means J-Fled's policies (as well as J-Fled), are failures.

Monday night didn't provide any relief as the Northwest side gets in on the act:
  • At least five people were injured in shootings Monday afternoon to early Monday evening on the South and Northwest Sides.

    A teenaged boy was seriously wounded when shot in the leg in the Albany Park neighborhood this evening, authorities said.

ABC National News picked up on the story, so a "J-Fled Watch" is now in effect for the Chicago area since nothing annoys Shortshanks more than having Chicago come under a microscope and him looking bad as an administrator.

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Pebbles? Oh, Right...Pebbles!

  • Loose pebbles from roofs caused downtown windows to pop out and crash to the ground in Friday's storm, Chicago officials said Monday.

    The pebbles are placed on top of buildings to reflect sunlight, said Jose Santiago, director of the city's Office of Emergency Management. Friday afternoon's storm, which whipped up 77 mph winds, kicked up an unusual amount of pebbles, causing them to strike skyscraper windows, including a few at Willis Tower, Santiago said.

    The wind was sporadic and blew in unusual directions, Santiago said.
"Unusual directions"? You mean like from west to east? Up to down? Seriously, this is the best they can come up with? Seventy-seven windows across the street from City Hall, and all they can come up with is "unusual amount of pebbles." Nothing at all about the garden paths and loose fill on top of Shortshanks' green paradise.

And the media just eats this crap up. How's that taste guys?

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Dozens of Stores; 12,000 Jobs

  • Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Monday pledged to pay a starting wage of at least $8.75 an hour if the city allows it to build dozens of new stores in Chicago, but influential unions called the amount disappointing.

    The giant retailer's offer — 50 cents above minimum wage but 50 cents below what unions sought as a compromise — comes ahead of a key vote Thursday on a South Side store that would be the second Wal-Mart allowed within city limits.

It's amazing how people, who have probably never run a business in their lives, are attempting to dictate to an internationally successful corporation how to operate their business model.

It's even more amazing how the mayor and city council members are participating in this debacle while demanding 30 and more unpaid "furlough" days, massive lay-offs, hiring freezes and a budget hole that looks like something out of a third world nation while breaking every union and shafting every vendor.

Wal-Mart isn't rocket science. It isn't brain surgery. It's not even a union shop although the buildings would be union built. It's entry-level jobs and the entry-level salary is the Federal minimum wage. Everything else is just extortion on the part of politicians. Wal-Mart should continue with its previous plan of ringing the city with stores, drop a few in the unincorporated surrounding Cook County, and watch the workers from Chicago line up around the block for a shot at the jobs.

Then they could send Daley a photocopy of their sales tax receipts every month and watch his head explode.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Hahahahahahahaha

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha:
  • Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said Sunday that citizen complaints against his officers are declining.

    Weis said complaints were down 12 percent in 2009 from 2008 and that this year's numbers through May are down 7 percent from the pace of a year ago.

    He attributed the decline to better training and performance evaluations, including a system that gives supervisors instant access to complaints lodged against individual officers.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA....Oh Lord, that was a good one:
  • “There will be no excuses for our supervisors not knowing the activity of their officers,” Weis said at a news conference at police headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan. He also said lawsuits against the department for alleged mistreatment of suspects are down 60 percent year-to-date through April compared with the same period in 2009.
A few questions that media cheerleaders might want to ask J-Fled:
  • Manpower - up or down since 2008?
  • Street Officers - up or down since 2008?
  • Officer Issued Moving Violations - up or down since 2008?
  • Officer Issued Parking Violations - up or down since 2008?
  • Arrests - up or down since 2008?
  • Officer Initiated Streets stops - up or down since 2008?
We'll even give the media a hint - choose "down" for every answer and you'll ace the test. The fact of the matter is that fewer citizen contacts result in fewer complaints against officers:
  1. It has nothing to do with training, most of which is 5-minute videos at roll call;
  2. it has zero to do with supervisors having "instant access" to complaints against officers since it still has to be investigated and put on paper by supervisors and is all subject to FOP Contract rules and restrictions;
  3. it certainly doesn't have anything to do with "performance evaluations," none of which mean anything since it just started this year and hasn't even established a baseline for half the Department yet.
What is happening is a classic example of a phenomenon called "de-policing." But don't take our word for it. Here's someone who noticed it almost two years ago. Anyone who claims otherwise is full of shit - and that includes all the talking heads down at 35th Street.

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Disaster Preparedness

  • One of the drills was supposed to be a CTA bombing/derailment w/chemical weapons discharge, I think along the Brown line. Now, this thing has been in the planning for over a year, but someone must not have run it past the stuttering prick, because he apparently found out about it when the press releases came out and he went ape shit. Flat out REFUSED to allow the National Guard to come into his city in uniform, or with weapons. The Guard CBRN units (that handle chemical biological & nuclear incidents) were told if they wanted to go observe the exercise, they had to do so in civlian attire.

    SO there ya go: your safety jepordized because Daley doesn't want soldiers in the City. Never mind that the drills were designed to prepare us for the worst and save lives. Someone might have seen a soldier and thought they were called to quell the 4 most violent districts in America or something. And we can't have that!
Public safety - Shortshanks style!

Not only won't Daley have a necessary component of first responders trained, now the citizens he's supposed with serving are nothing more than canaries along with the Police Department. Seems like it's going to be every man, woman and child for themselves.

UPDATE: In light of this story last night, how stupid does Shortshanks look in regard to public safety?
  • Chicago firefighters extinguished a track fire in the Red Line subway north of the Chicago Avenue station this afternoon, officials said. At least 19 people were taken to area hospitals, five of them seriously injured, a Fire Department spokesman said.

    Five people were being taken to area hospitals in serious-to-critical condition; three were taken in fair-to-serious condition; and 11 were transported in fair-to-good condition, according to Fire Department spokesman [...].

    The victims were being treated for smoke inhalation at hospitals including Northwestern Memorial and Stroger Hospital of Cook County, [...]. All of those who were seriously injured were adults,...

That was just a track fire - 19 hospitalized, up to 5 critical.

Now imagine that was a bomb or a gas canister and you're working TO-SPOT with little-to-no disaster preparedness training.

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Indiana Gun Saves a Life

Remember, guns only cause violence - they can never ever save a life. At least, not in Chicago:
  • A South Bend woman fatally shot her ex-boyfriend after he broke into her home and attacked her Saturday, police said.

    Anthony Echols broke a large window at the back of the home to get in, according to the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit.

    The woman had invited a male acquaintance to spend the night because she'd been having problems with Echols, police said.

    Echols started to fight with the other man and the woman got her handgun and told Echols to leave, but he attacked her, police said.

Echols then learned a valuable lesson in the value of having a gun in the home to deter acts of violence against the occupants of said home. As a matter of fact, we heard it was the only lesson he learned properly since he dropped out of high school a few years back - he won't be repeating his mistakes ever again.

That also puts him at least one lesson up on Shortshanks and J-Fled.

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Master of the Obvious

  • More than half of the 18 shootings over a 24-hour period this weekend involved gangs, Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said today.
Good God, how did we ever get along without a feeb in charge? One-hundred-seventy-three years of policing in Chicago culminates in this declaration.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

And Eight More Wounded

  • Eight people were shot in three separate incidents on the West Side within less than 15 minutes this evening including a shooting near the Puerto Rican Day festival, authorities said.

    In the first shooting incident, five people were shot in the 2200 block of South Kolin Avenue in the Lawndale neighborhood just after 6 p.m., said Chicago Police News Affairs [...]. Police initially found three men in their 20s with gunshot wounds at the scene...

    Two additional people were later located who had been shot in the foot...

    [...] About 10 minutes later in the Humboldt Park neighborhood blocks from where the Puerto Rican Day festival was taking place, two men were shot in the 1100 block of North Washtenaw Avenue, [...]. A 20-year-old man was shot in the stomach, and another man or boy was shot in the leg.

    [...] A few hours later, a woman or girl was shot in the 1300 block of North Homan Avenue in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, said News Affairs [...]. Her condition and age were not immediately known.

Three shot within walking distance of the fest? We recall a certain south side ethnic parade that was canceled for outrageous drunkenness, not for people actually being shot.

Things that make you go, "Hmmm."

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Three More "Outies"

Or as they're saying downtown, "Unprevented Preventables:"
  • Three men were killed in what appeared to be a gang-related shooting early this morning the Little Village neighborhood, according to Chicago police.

    The shooting happened about 3 a.m. near West 23rd Street and South Springfield Avenue.

    Ogden District officers heard gunshots in the area, toured it and found the three victims, police said. Two of them lived at the same address and all three share the same last name.

The stone-cutters will have an easy job with the headstones.

In the meantime, the inanity of the "innie v outie" debate continues to provide comic relief for police everywhere:

Gotta run....and mix more kool-aid!

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No More Practice Ammo?

Are we really this hard up?
  • More cut backs. Say good bye to your free 100 rounds a year for practice. Order just came out Wednesday. Pretty soon we'll get slingshots because ammo is too much money. Rocks are free.
Next year's qualifying is supposed to be with an empty gun and you yell, "Bang! Bang!" at a piece of newsprint (targets are too expensive you know) and then you walk downrange and poke holes in the paper where you think the bullets might have gone.

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Hey Bikers

It's riding season. Of course, there are some who'd argue riding season never ends, but for those who prefer the warmer weather, here are a couple of rides coming up for good causes:
  • THE 2ND ANNUAL BIKES N BADGES RUN FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS

    REGISTRATION/CHECK-IN:
    RANDALL’S PANCAKE HOUSE
    305 SOUTH RANDALL RD

    DATE:JUNE 27TH–SUNDAY
    TIME: 830 AM
    COST: $45 PER BIKE

    CONTACT: (847)741-2151 OR MPALAZZO@SOUTHELGIN.COM
And:
  • The 6th Annual Area 4 Ride to Remember Memorial Motorcycle Ride will take place on July 25, 2010.

    When: Sunday, July 25, 2010 - 10:00 a.m.
    Where: Area Four Detective Headquarters, 3151 W. Harrison - Harrison & Kedzie - West Parking Lot, Chicago, Illinois 60612.
    Registration: 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. sign in and line up. Online registration is available for a small convenience fee.
    Pre-Registration: Register by July 1, 2010 to ensure t-shirt delivery on day of ride.
    Registration Fee: Rider $30.00 Passenger $20.00
    After July 1, 2010: Rider $35.00 Passenger $25.00
Worthy causes.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Act of God"? Or Stupidity?

Big storms yesterday. So big that it cracked tens of dozens of windows throughout downtown, including a few on the Sears Tower.

But the most damage downtown appeared to be directly across from City Hall. The 70 mph winds carried what seemed to be a dump truck load of pea gravel all the way from Iowa, across Illinois and deposited it up and down Daley Plaza, Jackson and Washington. The power of these storms to actually carry rocks over 100 miles....

What? The gravel didn't come from Iowa? Well where did it come from then? We mean, nobody would be so silly as to put a couple of tons of gravel on top of buildings, would they? Not 11 stories up in the air where who knows what might happen to it in a strong wind?

Walking the route of today's ethnic parade event, the damage wrought by short-sighted thinking is obvious. Gravel and glass mixed for literally block and blocks. We aren't kidding when we say the building across from Shortshanks' rooftop garden looks like it lost over two dozen windows with another few dozen cracked. The scaffolds and cranes are going to be busy for weeks and damage estimates we heard run to $500,000 just for glass. Labor and installation will probably push the total higher and who knows how much the City is spending at this moment to clean up the streets and plaza for Monday.

The City That Works.

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Someone Under the Bus?

Thanks to a couple of readers, we've gotten copies of the following, all dated 17 June:
  • BOP #10-0001.2 - Detail of Captains
  • BOP #10-0001.3 - Detail of Personnel - Administrative Captains and Lieutenants
  • BOP #10-161 - District Watch Commander Assignments
And now comes word from J-Fled via a PAX 501 sent through Department-wide e-mail on 18 June:
  • The documentation that was previously distributed through the Bureau of Patrol regarding the distribution of Captains and the detail of Administrative Captains and Lieutenants was inaccurate and published without formal approval. For this, I apologize.
If the BOP letters were distributed without approval, someone in Patrol just stepped in a pile of shit hip deep and we're about to see some dumps, demotions, maybe resignations. If the PAX 501 is the verification of the BOP letters, we're going to see a bunch of Captain retirements and more Lieutenant movement than has happened in the past five years combined.

Does anyone know the real story? What's valid and what isn't? Who's making what power play?

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Dangerous Neighborhoods

  • Collectively, according to a Chicago Reporter analysis, Chicago's 11th and 15th police districts on the West Side had a higher murder rate last year than New Orleans, the nation's deadliest city in 2009. Meanwhile, on the South Side, collectively, the 6th and 7th districts had a higher rate of violent crime than St. Louis, the nation's leading city for violent crime per capita in 2009.

    In 2009, the 6th, 7th, 11th and 15th police districts had the four highest murder rates, among Chicago's 25 police districts. Those districts were also home to four of the city's five highest rates of violent crime.
So is there any way we can encourage these parts of town to secede from Chicago? Or the better-behaved portions can take their votes and tax money and leave for the 'burbs?

Just so we can leave Shortshanks in the shithole he's created one way or the other.

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Beware of Company Records

  • People who want to send highly personal notes to a romantic partner were given a word of warning Thursday by the Supreme Court: Do not use the messaging system supplied by your employer if you want to keep them private.

    In a 9-0 ruling, the justices rejected a broad right of privacy for workers and said a supervisor may read through a public employee's text messages if he or she suspects work rules are being violated.

    The decision was the high court's first to consider the privacy rights of employees who send messages on the job. It comes at a time when millions of American workers spend at least part of their day talking on phones or sending messages on computers or cell phones, many of which are supplied by their employers.

At one point, we recall rumors that certain persons were not only sending love notes back-and-forth on their Department Blackberry, but also sending threatening notes and voice mails once the romance went south. We assume those would be used administratively and not swept under the carpet just because the offender was a connected gold star?

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Q & A with J-Fled

The insanity continues over at the Supernintendo's blog that we don't link to:
  • Question: Still trying to figure out what Chief Brown did that was sooooo great in the detective division as a lt to get him repromoted several ranks to chief.

    Posted on June 09, 2010 at 04:03 PM CDT

  • Answer: Superintendent's Response

    Chief Brown is creative, refuses to accept the status quo, looks to improve efficiencies, pushes his personnel to new heights, demonstrates both courage and conviction, and is loyal to the department. In simple terms, he is a leader. We would be well served with many more like him. JW
Is it something in the water? Or willful blindness? Or something far more sinister? Anyway, the obvious disconnect from reality is astounding and amusing all at once. Good luck to the next guy or gal trying to put the pieces together from this Humpty-Dumpty Department.

Off-topic (but a truly inspired bit of hilarity from an anonymous commentator), J-Fled claims World War II never would have happened if the United States didn't have a Navy.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Captains Moved?

Who's got a copy of the order?

We were told a whole bunch of surgical appointments were made for next Wednesday so shoulders, knees, elbows, and arterial stents could be prepared for longer and healthier retirements.

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CPS Worker Fights Residency

  • Chicago Public Schools chief Ron Huberman said he plans to personally review the case of Dan Coyne, the social worker who was honored as a humanitarian at a luncheon today, less than a week after he was told he may lose his job.
  • After the luncheon, Coyne called the residency policy "fear-based and outdated" and said he hopes others who received residency-related termination notices will be judged on merit and not on where they live.

    Chicago Mayor Richard Daley "says if we get rid of the residency requirement, everyone would flee Chicago," Coyne said. "But I think Chicago is better than that and so are the people."

The WBBM transcript was even blunter:
  • A Chicago Public Schools social worker who was honored for donating his kidney and then threatened with being fired because he doesn’t live in the city responded today to word that schools CEO Ron Huberman might intervene in his case. Dan Coyne said he would welcome intervention by Huberman but also said he would like to see the city intervene on behalf of thousands of other CPS teachers who are in the same boat.

    "Now it’s my understanding that one of Mayor Daley’s friends has a son who is a legislator holding up the legislation in committee trying to get this through our state legislator. [sic] I just wish that the mayor could call his friend and have the son release this from committee and let democracy take its place, and I do believe the people of Illinois would get rid of this archaic law."
Shortshanks will never let this come up for a vote seeing as how it would open up residency to all the other unions. And unless Daley keeps everyone prisoners here paying taxes for all those who won't work or contribute, his whole political structure collapses.

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Clout Rules!

"Out the Clout" and you'll probably find a veritable ant farm of connected chambers, tunnels and such:
  • A city supervisor could face up to seven years in prison after an undercover investigation allegedly caught him stealing cigarettes seized by the city from an evidence room and selling them to convenience stores run by members of his family.

    Abd Ayesh is a $66,564-a-year supervisor of Tax and License Compliance for the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

  • Typically, he is accused of placing the cartons in a black plastic bag in his office. An inspector working under Ayesh then allegedly would pick up the bag, drive to convenience stores at 48th and Wood and 69th and Damen run by Ayesh family members and sell those relatives half the cigarettes for a fraction of the cost. Investigators further allege that the inspector sometimes sold his own half of the take to the Ayesh family for $20-a-carton.

    [...] The joint investigation by the FBI, the state’s attorney’s office and the city’s Inspector General Joe Ferguson got a boost when the inspector agreed to wear an electronic eavesdropping device after being snared in an unrelated investigation.

So there was another unrelated investigation that led to this one? How typically Daley-esque. And it isn't really a scandal until you drag in the Police Department somehow:
  • Ayesh worked as an Aviation security officer for less than a month in 2001, then abruptly resigned. Two years later, he spent a few weeks as a probationary Chicago Police officer before going to work for the city Revenue Department, where he received a series of promotions.
"A few weeks" as a PPO, then off to another series of connected jobs? He must have heard we weren't promoting fast enough.

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Oh Yes!

  • Utah is set to execute a condemned killer by firing squad shortly after midnight Thursday, reviving an old West style of justice that hasn't been used for at least 14 years and that many criticize as archaic.

    Barring the success of any final appeals, Ronnie Lee Gardner will be strapped into a chair, have a target pinned over his heart and die in a hail of bullets from five anonymous marksmen armed with .30-caliber rifles and firing from behind a ported wall.
Call us old-fashioned, but we still believe in the deterrent effect of executions. We have yet to see a single executed criminal kill again.

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Oh No!

  • Some 350 cases of liquor were spilled on the North-South Tollway (I-355) in the northwest suburbs Wednesday morning when a semi and a box truck collided.

    The two drivers suffered only minor injuries in the crash but the mess took about 90 minutes to clean up, according to Illinois State Police.

    About 6:50 a.m., a semi crashed into a box truck in the southbound lanes of I-355 near I-290, according to ISP Tollway District Master Sgt. Tim Zych. The accident happened in a construction zone.

    The box truck rolled on its side, spilling its load of about 350 cases of liquor, Zych said. The contents were a "mixed load of boxes of hard liquor," he said.
We were wondering why our local watering hole doubled the prices of the shots and the tropical drinks with the umbrellas in them. This also explains the weeping heard behind the Watch Commander's closed door today.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Police Limit

An cartoon drawn and published by a cop:


He even uses our favorite word! In any event, it's a weekly cartoon with a whole bunch of parallels to Chicago, some very uncanny parallels. It's also here at this link and if you get a chance, check the archives all the way back to late 2007/early 2008.

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More Tax Money Given Away

  • Three days after the Chicago Housing Authority reopened its waiting list for public housing, more than 125,000 people have signed up. The number is expected to keep climbing.

    The agency has waiting list spots for 40,000 people but has opened the application process to everyone until July 9, when it will conduct a lottery to determine who can stay on the list.

    "I don't think this surprised us," said CHA spokeswoman Kellie O'Connell-Miller. "I think it speaks to the need of affordable housing in the city."

It actually speaks to the failure of an entire way of thinking that you can keep giving and giving to people and expect them to have any pride of ownership, neighborhood or belonging to something bigger, better and beneficial to society.

But hey, if you keep people dumb, poor, ignorant and tell them the government is going to solve all their problems if they keep voting for one set of politicians, what would you expect?

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All That Money Wasted?

Set up a system destined to fail, throw money at it for years, then privatize it? Must be the Shortshanks way:
  • Under fire to deliver suburban-style curbside recycling to all Chicagoans, the Daley administration is exploring the possibility of privatizing the service, City Hall sources said Tuesday.

    Several aldermen, who asked to remain anonymous, said they've been told Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Tom Byrne is working on a plan to privatize recycling to shave as much as $40 million off the $60 million annual cost.

Hi Tommy!

So are taxpayers due any money back for this disaster in the making? Or are we just taking it in the shorts again?

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Naperville Term Limits

  • The Naperville City Council tonight moved closer to placing a measure on the November ballot to limit the number of terms the mayor and council members could serve.

    After an hour-long discussion, council members voted 7-1 to direct the city's legal staff to draw up a possible referendum question on term limits. Council members will review that question at their July 20 meeting. They have until an Aug. 29 deadline to place referendum questions on the Nov. 2 ballot.

    On Tuesday night, council members agreed to instruct Naperville's lawyers to develop a referendum question that would limit all city elected officials to serving three consecutive terms, beginning with officials whom voters elect in April 2013.

    The action is in response to recent efforts by the Naperville Voter Education League to gather signatures to place the issue of term limits on November's ballot.

After our last referendum foray, we realize the enormity of the task at hand in Chicago. You need professional signature collectors, lawyers versed in election law, time beyond what we have available to even hope to get to the point where a Daley-controlled Election Board would even consider granting you one of the three referendum spots available. The chances of that happening rapidly approach "zero" with alarming speed.

Reform is a long way away here.

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Where's Waldo?

We mean "Where's J-Fled?"

Our fearful leader has been absent from the headlines for over a week now. No bragging about crime being down even though homicides are up, indoor v outdoor killings, blaming inanimate metal objects for a lack of impulse control, etc.

Maybe he needed a vacation after taking all of Daley's heat for the spring? As pointed out below, Shortshanks has Huberman in the pressure cooker now. It's all smoke lately with nary a mirror in sight.

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Paid in Prison?

  • After his third conviction for drunken driving, city laborer John LaGiglio was sentenced to one year in Stateville Prison.

    But that didn't stop him from keeping his $30-an-hour city job thanks to a heavy dose of timekeeping fraud, according to a report by city Inspector General Joe Ferguson.

    Ferguson is recommending LaGiglio be fired for using a combination of sick days, vacation days and personal days to serve his two-month prison sentence.

And they kept it quiet for five years.

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Huberman to Destroy Schools

Not that they weren't on the verge of collapse anyway, it's just that someone is giving them a couple of good kicks to see what falls off the rotting corpse:
  • The Chicago Board of Education today granted schools chief Ron Huberman authority to lay off teachers and increase class sizes, a procedural move that was met with fierce resistance from union groups.

It may all be a show though:
  • The threat of class sizes of up to 35 students next fall has loomed for months due to an estimated $600 million budget deficit for Chicago Public Schools. However, more than half of the deficit comes from state cuts to education funding, which could be restored when Springfield passes a final budget.
Either Shortshanks is running a bluff, counting on Springfield to come up with the dough at the last minute, or he's making Huberman the stalking horse for a full scale attack on the Teachers' Union.

Right now, we figure it's door #2, the full scale attack. And he's got the perfect tool to carry it out - a non-educator who's managed to move from city job to city job, collecting pay raises every step of the way and leaving nothing resembling progress in his wake. Even the BreakingNews headline names Huberman as getting "the OK" to launch the offensive.

And why not? Shortshanks dragged a whole bunch of unions back to the table after the No-lympic failure for concessions, he's ordered managers and exempts to take anywhere from 12 to 30 to 40 days off, he won in arbitration with the FOP, so why not see what he can wring out of the teachers? It's not like anyone gets hurt except minority children - and they probably would have gotten shot anyway.

Whichever way it goes, Daley is making Huberman radioactive for any sort of elected office, which might be another part of the plan.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Police Shooting (Updated - Another)

  • A Chicago police shot and wounded a person who had opened fire on the officer on the South Side Monday night, police said.

    At about 9 p.m., Calumet Area Gun Team officers tried to conduct a field interview with a male in the 6900 block of South King Drive, according to a statement from police early Tuesday morning.

    As the officers approached and announced their office, the person fled on foot. The officers gave chase into a vacant lot in the vicinity of 6900 S. Vernon Ave. As one officer emerged from the lot, he was met by the suspect, who opened fire. The officer returned fire, striking the suspect, according to the police statement.

Reports from the scene are the offender expired. Nothing official yet, but all looks good on our end.

UPDATE: More shooting down south:
  • Two people were being questioned Monday night after shots were fired at police in the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago's South Side.

    Preliminary reports said shots were fired at officers about 10 p.m. in the 5800 block of South Sangamon Street, said Police News Affairs [...].

    [Police News Affairs] said police did not return fire, but took two suspects into custody for questioning. Two weapons also were recovered from the scene, she said.

Numerous 10-1's called citywide for this one. Multiple guns recovered including a rifle.

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Useless Paper Continues

It has become the program that wouldn't die:
  • AdMin Fax #101916 issued on 10 June

    REFERENCE: Revision to Department Notice 07-15, entitled Illinois Traffic Stop Statistical Study

    This revision extends the expiration date of the above-referenced directive from 01 July 2010 to 1 July 2015.
So a program (created in part by then State Senator Obama) that was supposed to track the racial profiling that existed in the Chicago Police Department, but which in ended up proving that the only profiling taking place was Traffic Violating Profiling, has gotten a new lease on life to the tune of five additional years.

That's five more years of a printing contract for the stickers and five more years of data collection by a local university, thereby ensuring five more years of some government subsidy and five more years of "grants" for connected professors and grad students.

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Gouging Tourists

  • At a time when Chicago is trying to shed its image as a high-cost travel destination, the state and city are layering additional fees on visitors.

    Airport taxi ride fees are doubling, from $2 to $4; O'Hare International Airport car rentals will be slapped with a daily fee of about $8 later this summer; and Chicago is among a number of cities lobbying for a hike in the airline ticket-tax limit, from $4.50 per leg of a flight to as much as $7, and the city has stated its intent to raise it to the max.

    The fees come just as a new state law restructures operations at McCormick Place, with the aim of cutting costs to trade show exhibitors, some of the city's most valued visitors.
And with Shortshanks blaming texting suburbanites for lakefront problems and Chicago's crime being covered relentlessly in the national media, tourist dollars are drying up as the day-trippers go elsewhere. Add in the city dwellers shopping for everything possible outside of Chicago and Cook County, the death spiral continues.

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