Oh Mikey Mikey Mikey
This wasn't a fight we wanted. It isn't even a fight we needed to have. But as most people know, you don't get to pick the time, place or occasionally, even if you get dragged into a fight. FOP President Mike Shields has decided to pick a fight with the blog. Not only pick a fight, but pick it badly, frame it poorly and conclude it immaturely. The comments are alive with trolls accusing us of all sorts of crap, none of it provable and even more of it just outright wrong. We will attempt to address Mikey and the trolls in this post and frame the debate as it should have been in the first place if Mikey let his brain do his thinking instead of running off at the mouth:
- Dear Kid,
Congratulations on your recent electoral victory. You managed to capture the presidency, but you ought to give Bella some credit. He ran a half-assed campaign and pretty much handed you the election. Don't read too much into it. You need to actually run the organization now, gain support, mend fences, build in-roads, introduce and support legislation, negotiate, fight battles, etc.
What you don't need to do is address the blog. The blog has been around for almost six years. When founded, it was touted as the new "Rumor Central" (you can ask an old-timer about that...it was before your time). A bathroom wall of sorts. A place for coppers to bitch, moan, vent, commiserate, exchange info, whatever. Your predecessor was in office for nine years and guess how many times he addressed the blog? We can think of two times total - once at a meeting to a direct question (yes, we attend regularly), once in the president's message. That's it. Donahue realized a president is supposed to lead; to be a big-picture guy; to be the face of the organization. If he addressed every little gripe people had, he'd be ineffectual. He'd also look like a petty ass, as you've so ably demonstrated.
Now, addressing part one of your post. You state in the opening paragraph that SCC was "critical of the FOP because the organization has not come out in favor of the proposed legislation [concealed carry]." Guilty as charged. Did you read the entire post though? All of the other supporters of Concealed Carry? Chicago Police Sergeants. Chicago Police Lieutenants. Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. Illinois Sheriffs Association. That's some pretty dignified company, isn't it? It's also under 4,000 people if we guess correctly. Chicago FOP is twice and more times that, the "big dog" so to speak. Why are we being followers and not leaders? Granted, you can argue that it's Donahue's fault for staying silent for so long, but you decided to make this a debate about our statement and your aims. How better to break with the past than become a leader in the Concealed Carry debate? You did read the Constitution of the FOP, didn't you?
to cultivate a spirit of fraternalism and mutual helpfulness among our members and the people we serve; to increase the efficiency of law enforcement and thus more firmly establish the confidence of the public in the service dedicated to the protection of life and property.
What better way to start making a name for yourself than uniting behind something that's already legal in 48 other states and tracks with the Constitution of the FOP in being good Americans. Oh wait, you've already decided the police are better than the citizens we serve. We quote:
"Chicago Police Officers already have that right"
That certainly seems to run contrary to the FOP Constitution. We aren't better than the citizens we serve. We are entrusted with certain duties and privileges to ensure domestic tranquility and help preserve the rights of all citizens. Driving a wedge between the public and the police will serve to undermine your stated agenda to protect benefits, wages and pensions by alienating those whose support we need to pass legislation, but we suppose you missed that.
And guess what else? Concealed carry IS an FOP issue. Who is going to be dealing with citizens carrying weapons? Who is going to be investigating citizen-involved shootings? We'll give you a hint kid...police officers. Don't you think the FOP would be better served with a well-trained force of officers not only familiar with the new laws, but actually well versed in investigating and enforcing laws that we might have had some input in? We run into more and more officers all the time who not only support Concealed Carry, but join the ISRA and the NRA to support these goals on a state and national level. Polling the membership and being a leader makes sense. Stop following the chiefs, sheriffs, lieutenants, sergeants, and especially the Daleys and see if a leadership role is a road to better days for the FOP. At the very least, we'd establish ourselves as a political force and not a punchline.
And now to the other part of your post. Yes, we are anonymous. We have been so since the beginning. Your challenge to "emerge from the anonymity of his basement" is childish in the extreme. First of all, we don't have a basement. Second, how long have you been on the job? Do you have any idea what happens to people who don't toe the company line? There's a reason we're anonymous and we're pretty sure you know exactly why. Your grandstanding is exactly that - without substance and a cheap shot. Congratulations. You've demonstrated in one single line exactly how you intend to crush all opposition to your rule. We aren't the Lodge. We've never purported to be anything but the voice of the street cop with no aspirations to anything but needling the powers that be, exposing cronyism and nepotism, and pointing out in our own inimitable style the nonsense that goes along with being a Chicago Police Officer.
Have you been clicking on our ads? Maybe going over to our PayPal account and dropping a few bucks in it just to say "thanks for the entertainment"? Oh yeah, you can't, because this is a hobby for us. A hobby. We post 3 to 5 articles a day, moderate 200 to 300 comments a night, pull in 14,000 visits daily and topped half-a-million visitors last month. And we do it for free. You've been in office for a month and posted two articles: One about the 1,300 SPARs story (that we broke here and drove the media to cover), the other attacking the blog.
Wow. How many visits does the FOP site get? We challenged Aguilar to post a hit counter once so we could compare. He never responded, so we can assume that if people want info, they don't go to the FOP website, despite the fact we've given the FOP the top link in our "Police Related Websites" tool bar for all six years. Instead of challenging the blog and making accusations you can't possibly prove, why aren't you using the blog? Maybe there's a way to bottle the lightning. You had your people all over the comment sections during the election, spouting off about your opponents (and they had their supporters here, too). We let most of it go, deleting only the most outrageous accusations and rhetoric.
This brings us to the other part of your post. The truly childish portion. We have never allowed speculation on the identities of SCC. That includes name, rank, assignment, etc. This blog was founded 6 years ago by police officers for police officers. We work the street in the trenches. Any comment guessing or accusing individuals of being "SCC" is summarily deleted without exception for the reasons previously stated above.
That being said, we know you, your brother and others have been spreading certain names around. It pops up in comments, it is whispered in bars, and it appears in e-mails we've received from others (including your brother and other candidates actually). We will state for the record that each and every name bandied about is wrong. And now, as the President of the Chicago FOP, you have a larger responsibility to protect the organization and its assets from harm. Not harm from us, but harm from those you so cavalierly accuse without any proof and without any ability to prove diddley shit.
You "keep hearing..."? Who the fuck are you trying to be? You have a storefront church that needs another few asses in the pews? You need some sort of federal handout or something? We "keep hearing" you bought cuff links for Rahm. We "keep hearing" you are using the FOP spot to run for a state senate seat. We "keep hearing" you like to drink the blood of kittens. You "keep hearing" crap and spreading bullshit, then you are going to get into a shitload of problems and it's going to be our dues money paying the price.
There is a whole host of other issues to deal with. Delegating responsibility can cover much of the tedium that goes with these things, but the buck stops at your desk. Camden, Farrell and Donahue can help in small ways but they can't give you the gravitas you so desperately seem to be seeking by attacking the blog. You are supposed to be the face of 16,000 active and retired members. Stop acting like a child and start acting like a leader. Learn a lesson from Donahue, concentrate on the big picture, and grow thicker skin. Our criticisms of the FOP started long before the blog and have existed since the founding of the union in one form or another. You aren't immune to criticism, but we never named you as the target. You made this personal. Grow the fuck up.
PS - We'd probably respect you more if you didn't reply to any of this. We've already handed you your ass.
Labels: scc responds