Monday, October 31, 2011

North Side Tickets?

Any of our north side readers know anything about this?
  • Why is revenue writing tickets to church goers in 016? Saw them out today on Touhy writing cars and it looked like they were in a hurry to get it done before church let out.
    Is this getting done on west side and south side?
Sunday church-goers targeted in a well-to-do part of town? Interesting to say the least. Any truth to this one?


Slow News Day

Not much going on in the big city. Aside from the regular mayhem we mean:
  • Police are looking for suspects after a man was beaten to death on Chicago's South Side.

    The victim was found unresponsive at about 3 a.m. Sunday in the 7900-block of South Greenwood Ave.

    He died shortly thereafter.

    Chicago police say a group of four to five men attacked the man.

  • A 19-year-old man has been charged with a shooting in Bronzeville and pointing his gun at police as they responded to the scene on Friday, according to police.

    Anthony Robinson faces one count of aggravated assault on a police officer and one count of unlawful use of a weapon, both felonies, Chicago Police News Affairs
  • A man burst into two different Wicker Park apartments to demand beer about 4 a.m. Saturday morning, and he tussled with a man in the second apartment before stabbing him with a corkscrew and sending him to the hospital for 22 stitches, prosecutors said.

    Timothy Snyder, 36, spat on a police officer after he was arrested, and he was charged with two counts of home invasion, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and aggravated battery to a police officer. Cook County Judge James Brown set his bond at $250,000 Sunday morning.

If we didn't know better, we'd imagine crime was rising.

And since there's no crime, consider this an open post for now.


Speed Cameras Guaranteed

This couldn't have been timed any worse. Expect Rahm and company to trot out this example as support for their push for speed cameras city wide shortly:
  • A 6-year-old is dead, and a teenage girl was injured when a car hit them in an Englewood street Saturday night.

    The 6-year-old girl -- identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office as Diamond Robinson -- and a 16-year-old girl were crossing the street in the 7000 block of South Loomis Boulevard when a car hit them around 8:20 p.m. Saturday, police said.

    Vantaysia Chism, the 16-year-old who was with Diamond, said the driver was speeding, and hit them even though they were in a crosswalk.

Any child's death is a tragedy and our sympathies are extended to the family. But this death is almost certainly going to be exploited by politicians as an excuse to impose fines and create a revenue stream where none existed before.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Next Layoffs

The City has cut sworn positions (lockup keepers) then will be hiring back TMAs and will be training them up as civilian lockup keepers.

Now comes word that on or around 01 January, the City will be laying off civilian Crossing Guard Supervisors and turning over the duties to sworn personnel, supposedly CAPS sergeants.



Bloody Friday

Gotta get those last few shootings in before the snow flies - and it's already flying on the East Coast:
  • At least 15 people were wounded, one fatally, in separate shootings between 5 p.m. and midnight on Friday on the city's South and West sides, police said.
We imagine the ACLU is going to call this exhibit #1 for their ongoing lawsuit. But crime is down. Move along people. Nothing to see here.


Illinois Subsidizes Job Losses

At least that's what it looks like to us, but we aren't accountants:
  • Motorola Mobility, the smartphone maker based in Libertyville, will cut 800 jobs worldwide — but a company spokeswoman said the downsizing has nothing to do with the company’s planned $12.5 billion takeover by search giant Google.

    The cuts, which also involve consolidating office spaces and reducing “discretionary” spending, are “intended to improve operating efficiency and financial performance and are not related to Google’s proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility,” spokeswoman Jennifer Weyrauch-Erickson said late Friday.

    About 185 of the job cuts will occur at Motorola Mobility offices in downtown Chicago and in Libertyville, but none of the office closings will occur in Illinois, said a source close to the situation.

    The company, which announced in May a deal to accept $100 million over 10 years to keep its headquarters and 3,500 jobs in Libertyville, is taking pre-tax costs of $27 million to pay severance costs and $4 million for the office closings. Motorola is expected to keep the tax incentives as long as it maintains at least 2,500 jobs in Illinois.

Sweet deal. $100 million for 10 years but shed up to 1,000 jobs AND take pre-tax charges against the layoffs. If the deal was front-loaded, Quinn just paid for all their outlays.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

125 Years

The maximum sentence, but in reality, barely adequate for the crime committed:
  • A reputed gang member was sentenced to 125 years in prison today for the 2009 murder of Chicago police Officer Alejandro “Alex” Valadez in June 2009.

    Shawn Gaston, 22, sat expressionless as the maximum sentence was imposed on him at the Cook County Criminal Courts Building.

    “There is no sentence that can undo what Mr. Gaston has done,” Judge Jorge Alonso said in a courtroom packed with members of the Valadez and Gaston families and Chicago police officers.
Too bad the judge was restricted to only 125 years and not a public flogging, hanging, drawing and quartering. Rest in Peace Alex.


Fire Chief not Fired

  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday made it clear he plans take a hard line in contract talks with Chicago firefighters — even though his own fire commissioner is “deathly against” closing fire houses or reducing the minimum staffing requirement on fire apparatus.

    Emanuel said he made Commissioner Robert Hoff one of only a handful of holdovers from the Daley administration because Hoff “does a great job.”

    But, that doesn’t mean the two men agree on the cost-cutting changes the city will seek when the firefighters contract expires on June 30.

A very interesting summer coming up, to say the least.


All the JibJabs

Someone was asking in the comment section about these. We aren't sure if this is the exhaustive compilation, but it has a bunch of the good ones.
Go enjoy some of the stuff cops do when they're bored.


Legal Weed Saves Time?

  • Chicago aldermen are wading into the controversy over drug enforcement with a proposal to decriminalize possessing small amounts of marijuana in the city.

    Supporters say the ordinance — which Ald. Daniel Solis, 25th, plans to introduce at next week's City Council meeting — will raise revenue for the city and free up police to chase more serious criminals.

Weed is still contraband, right? Contraband is illegal to possess, by definition. So we're still going to be in the station inventorying the marijuana, correct? And an inventory for cannabis/narcotics still requires a case report to be generated? So the time saved will be the time that would have been spend on an arrest report and complaints we suppose.

And then, just to make it interesting, you have an aldercreature playing the race card - over weed:
  • Ald. Walter Burnett, 27th, said people arrested for marijuana possession are disproportionately minorities, who now end up with arrests on their criminal records even though the vast majority of the cases are eventually dismissed.

    "I had the opportunity to go to Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, and I think I got contact high being at all those events," Burnett said. "Police there, everything. It wasn't predominantly African-American, and guess what? No one got arrested at those events. If that was an African-American event, the jails would probably be filled up. I think it's almost a discrimination issue."

But in reality, we think weed is more likely to be legalized because of this upcoming event:
  • Roger Waters is expected to bring his massive tour of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” to Wrigley Field next summer.

    Live Nation has scheduled an announcement for Tuesday at the venerable North Side park, which has hosted a series of concerts in recent years
If this ordinance passes unanimously, we know there are going to be a whole bunch of aldercreatures in those up-close seats smoking a few blunts.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Valadez Killer to be Sentenced

A commentator is saying today is the day. Anyone have a room number? If you're by 26th Street today, stop in and show your support for the family.


ACLU Sues for What Now?

  • Chicago is a city of haves and have-nots when it comes to police protection, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois sued in Cook County Circuit Court, saying the city is failing to deploy cops equitably across the city’s neighborhoods.

    The number of backlogged 911 calls is unevenly large in neighborhoods with the biggest minority populations, the lawsuit said.

    “Disproportionate numbers of delays in 911 calls have a devastating effect on a neighborhood,” said Harvey Grossman, an ACLU attorney.

Well, if your clients didn't act like assholes every single chance they got; if they understood the meaning of the word "emergency;" if they didn't waste officers' time with nonsense and bullshit and noncooperation and making a scene rather than solving the problem....

You get the picture?

And actually, we recall entire platoons of SOS, MSF, TRU, GEU, Area Sat Teams, Gun Teams, and so many undercover narcotics officers on one block we thought it was a class reunion, being deployed in North Lawndale, Austin, Pullman, Englewood, Little Village, Pilsen, Auburn, Bronzeville, ....the list is near endless.

So all of these assets being poured into these neighborhoods and who does the ACLU sue then? Why, they sued US!!! Allegations nearly daily about violating civil rights, home invasions, stop-and-frisk type enforcement.

We can't win for losing.



Like a bug killer for stupid people:
  • A man trying to steal copper wire in a Lockport park was killed when a power line fell on him, authorities said this morning.

    Emergency personnel called to Dellwood Park at about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday found the man on fire and trapped by power lines, according to Lockport Township Fire Chief David Skoryi.

    “No rescue attempt was possible,” he said. “Electricity had charged the ground. You could feel the electricity. You couldn’t get near."

Anyone bring the marshmallows?


Jumping Jacks

  • The wildly-popular Jumping Jack program salvaged by Chicago aldermen just three years ago is back on the chopping block — sort of.

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration plans to maintain the longstanding Chicago tradition of providing free moonwalks to neighborhood festivals and quadruple — to four hours — the time kids at each event get to bounce.

    But, to shave $300,000 from the $500,000 annual cost, the perk will be reserved for block parties and other “public events on Chicago streets.”

    Private events will be bounced.

Why not get rid of the entire program? There are bunch of local outfits that will rent you a jumping jack for about $300, you get it all day and all you supply is the electricity to run the fan. There shouldn't be a block club around that couldn't raise that money for rental fee. But then we suppose the aldercreatures wouldn't get to plaster their name all over that crap and claim they entertained the kiddies with yours and our tax money.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Manpower Manpower Manpower

  • A lone gunman quietly approached three men walking down a West Side street and opened fire, killing two of them and critically injuring the third, Chicago police said this morning.

    The broad daylight shooting happened just after 10 a.m. Tuesday in the 200 block of South Laramie Avenue in the South Austin neighborhood, according to police.

    The three victims, two 20-year-olds and a 24-year-old, were walking down Laramie when the gunman attacked, spraying all three victims with gunfire before vanishing, police said.
Once the third and first watches were inundated with manpower from the disbanding of the big citywide units and the office dead weight, our readers predicted that the criminals would move to where the pressure was less evident. This is among a number of brazen broad daylight shootings with multiple victims that have started to pop up on the radar. Also, our readers have been noting a trend of carjackings and armed robberies in formerly "quiet" areas of downtown. There are at least two different crews of armed robbers working the north side in Areas 3 and 5.

Manning the overnight watches at full strength or better is a great thing. But the criminals aren't complete morons. They will adapt, and unfortunately, they'll adapt faster than we'll change policy.

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Protests Come to Rahm

  • About 150 protesters with Occupy Chicago marched on City Hall this afternoon aiming to speak with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and "assert our First Amendment rights."

    But the mayor did not come out during a one-hour demonstration, and the protesters ended up handing over petitions to an aide demanding that they be allowed to occupy Grant Park.

    The demonstrators said the march was sparked by two weekends of arrests by people who sought to set up camp in the park. They were joined today by groups who plan to protest during next spring's NATO/G8 summit in Chicago.
As the weather turns colder, we imagine that the Occupy Chicago forces might need a permanent warm and dry place to continue protesting. That hallway looks pretty comfortable - we're just saying.


Dig Deeper

As the revenue from red-light cameras continues to flatten and even decline, Rahm's looking to squeeze more money from drivers - or at least, car owners:
  • Bigger swathes of Chicago could wind up on video cameras under anti-speeding legislation that passed the Illinois Senate on Wednesday.

    The proposal, which passed 32-24 and now moves to the House, is being sought by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to help nab speeders around city schools and parks. The measure applies only to Chicago.

    “We have in Chicago a pedestrian fatality rate that’s 68 percent higher than in New York City, and we do lose a number of young children in these crashes in the city of Chicago,” said Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), the bill’s chief Senate sponsor.

We'd really really like to see the statistical evidence for the speed cameras and the numbers floated around by politicians.

In a WBBM story, a reporter throws out this stat:
  • ...approximately 84 percent of all pedestrian accidents in Chicago happen within a quarter mile of parks and schools.
This covers something like 60% of the landmass of Chicago and just happens to be areas where kids congregate, so it's going to be skewed. This reminds us of the "within a 1,000 feet of school/church PCS charge that covers something like 80% of Chicago and makes it all but impossible to avoid enhanced charges in the city.

In the same story, they quote a doctor:
  • “We routinely see hundreds of kids a year hit by cars,” said Dr. Sally Reynolds, director of the emergency department at Children’s Memorial Hospital.

Sure you do - you're a hospital specializing in children. But Children's Memorial treats kids from the suburbs, downstate, and even out-of-state. Can we see the break down of Chicago kids treated who got hit in school zones? We're almost positive it will be a miniscule number. If we had hundreds of kids being struck by cars in school zones, we would have been redeployed there years ago and the headlines would have been screaming about the carnage in the streets. The media won't even cover the existing bloodbath in the minority communities of hundreds of gunfire deaths a year, but we're expected to believe hundred of kids are run over in school zones due to speeders?

Anyone want to bet the small number of kids hit by cars are as follows:
  • unattended children -
  • crossing away from designated crosswalks -
  • out of sight of crossing guards -
  • darting out from between parked vehicles -
  • or negligent parents running over kids while backing up
But Rahm needs his $100. It's all for the children you know.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

HB 3827 Pulled - for Now

From the comments (and the FOP site we are told):
  • House Bill 3827 Update

    State Representative Cross initially introduced HB3827 which would have had a negative impact on the makeup of our Pension Board in that it would have put the Board in the hands of the Mayor and his appointed members while placing our elected members in the minority. Today, Representative Cross pulled the bill out of committee. While this is a victory for the moment, the Lodge and our lobbyists will continue to monitor this particular bill. We will be diligent in protecting our members pension.

    The Lodge would like to extend a hearty thank you to all of our members who called or emailed their State Representatives prior to the Personnel and Pension Committee meeting that was held this afternoon. [...]


    Please do not let this victory stop you from coming down to Springfield to sound your voice in the battle that has been waged against our pensions. The Lodge has confirmed 180 officers will proudly be on the buses to Springfield tomorrow. We must let our voices be heard.
If you already planned on going, don't let this dissuade you. A good showing will demonstrate to the politicians we're serious about keeping this bill bottled up.


Related Stories

  • Despite Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s highly promoted efforts at concentrating additional police patrols in the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods, many crime-ridden police districts still have fewer officers patrolling their streets than far safer areas of the city have, according to recent data obtained by The Chicago News Cooperative.

    The data included officer-assignment data for all 9,400 Chicago police officers, as well as almost 1,000 detectives — information that the city has steadfastly declined to make public.

    The analysis found that the distribution of patrol officers among the city’s 25 police districts does not correlate to the places where crime rates are highest.

The methodology is a bit faulty and didn't take into consideration the extra 500 or so officers deployed on a daily basis from MSF, TRU, and GEU. As expected, the politicians are making hay over all of this, demanding more police for certain areas, etc, etc.

But as stated here and elsewhere, the real problem is actually no manpower:
  • Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday warned that financially strained police forces around the country likely will shrink for the first time in the quarter century in which statistics have been tallied.

    Holder said that by the end of this year, 12,000 police officers and sheriff's deputies probably will lose their jobs amid government budget shortfalls and cuts in a sluggish economy, citing a new Justice Department report.

    "The findings included in this new report show that law enforcement agencies nationwide have nearly 30,000 unfilled vacancies," he said in prepared remarks to U.S. police chiefs.

And less police means longer response times - and more dead officers:
  • The number of law enforcement officers who were killed nationwide has jumped nearly 17 percent.

    Newly released statistics from the FBI show that 56 officers were murdered in the line of duty last year. That is a jump from 48 in the previous year.

With no help on the horizon, we're fighting not only the criminals on the streets, but the criminal politicians as well.


Fire Commissioner to be Fired

Let the countdown begin:
  • Chicago Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff today said fire deaths would increase if the city lowers the number of firefighters on a truck to save money, an idea mentioned as one potential cost-saving option in a recent report by the city’s inspector general.

    Hoff said he is “adamant” in his opposition to the idea of lowering the minimum staffing on all trucks to four, instead of the five-person minimum now in place on most trucks and engines.

    “Number one, it affects our performance,” Hoff said, explaining his opposition to the change. “And number two, it (affects) the lives of firefighters and paramedics and the people that we serve. Our fire deaths will go up.”

    Inspector General Joseph Ferguson said lowering the standard would save about $57 million a year — while also noting such a reduction could pose a safety hazard in an urban area like Chicago.
Hoff is making sense, and the Inspector General agrees with his assessment. But this isn't what Rahm wants to hear - Rahm wants to hear "$57 million saved," so we figure it's only a matter of time before Hoff is shown the door.


Eliminating Review

Another missive from the last days of Downtown Ernie Brown last week declares that all case reports will be done on the Automated Incident Reporting Application. Paper reports will only be done when "authorized by the Watch Commander" and then only in extreme circumstances. Sergeants are ordered not to approve paper reports.

We don't know about where everyone works, but at any given time, we have 20% or more of our cars down, many without working PDT's or computer mounts. That means we have to run into the station to do reports, which of course, kind of defeats the purpose of maintaining a presence on the streets while we bounce from job to job to job.

How about we invest in decent equipment first of all, make sure we have enough replacements in case something breaks, then maintain the equipment regularly, then eliminate the paper. We want to go paperless as much as the next guy, but this backasswards method is just silly.

Penny wise, pound foolish.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fly On The Wall?

Truth? Or wishful thinking?
  • McCarthy is the first high level city official to feel the wrath of Rahm.

    Just before McCarthy went to a dinner for the National Chiefs of Police he got a major in person ass reaming from Tiny Dancer. He had already irked Rahm with his constant careless talk in front of the media and his never ending love of being in front of the camera.

    Rahm was informed by a partner at a big downtown firm currently contracted for a lawsuit involving numerous 8th District police that the Superintendent is now a defense witness in any and all lawsuits involving this officer. The Superintendent is an expert in Police Management and he has now publicly stated that the city was negligent. Rahm was told that these comments virtually guarantee an eight figure settlement on the Farmer lawsuit.

    The anger from Rahm's advisors is so real that rumors around City Hall are that McCarthy could be fired before 2012. The thinking is Rahm will wait for one thing to go wrong, one scandal, one bad car chase, one anything, and he will drop the hammer on McCarthy.

    First, you can guarantee that McCarthy will do absolutely no more press conferences. City Hall is sending a new spokesman to handle police affairs who will be installed by the end of this week. The McCarthy media tour is over.

    Second, you can expect McCarthy to tone down his Compstat beatdowns. His only friend in Chicago just called him out on the carpet and basically told him he fucked up and if he fucks up again he's gone. Aldermen had already begun beating the drums that McCarthy is an asshole who doesn't treat them or their cronies with the respect they deserve.

    The general consensus is that McCarthy better start looking for a new police department to screw up.
Let's see who makes the next public appearance on behalf of the Department, maybe even tonight at the 013 "rally." McMedia might (and should) be in big trouble. We also heard the First Deputy didn't unpack all his boxes from the last move yet.

Come to think of it, public FOP "no confidence" vote could very well be the trigger Rahm is looking for. Never let a crisis go to waste and all that.


FOP Reads the Blog

Trustee Rich King left a lengthy response in the "Buses to Springfield" posting. We're giving it its own thread since it contains a lot of valuable information:
  • The bill authored by Rep. Cross from Oswego is nothing more than an attempt to circumvent the law that was passed by the legislature in Springfield forcing the city to live up to its obligations and bring the Chicago Police Pension Fund up to 90% in 30 years. Since its passage the city has introduced several bills attempting to water the bill down by extending the 90% target date to 50 years and failing in that attempt 40 years. Some of the city's legal minds have found a loophole that renders the law ineffective if the pension board does not request that the city's sales tax revenue be withheld if the city does not provide the funding that an appointed pension actuary says is necessary to reach that 90% funding level.

    Rep. Cross who's district is in Kendall and Will County has no Fire and Police agencies in his district that will be effected by this bill (HB 3827), yet he had chosen to champion this cause. He claims that it would be in the best interest of the Police Pension to have the Mayor of Chicago be in control of how our funds are invested.... Has he never heard of the former Mayor's Nephew by the Name of Vaneko. All the Mayor's appointed Trustee's voted to give the Mayor's Nephew over 15 million which is now lost.
    Over all the city pension fund I believe the mayor's Nephew got over 62 million which again was soon lost. Is Rep. too young to remember former Mayor Harold Washington's attempt to use the Police and Fire Pension funds to fund low income housing. Does anyone doubt what a financial disaster that would have been ?

    If the Mayor had a permanent 4-3 majority that would have been passed and our fund would be in even more trouble. Rep. Cross wants you to give control he says to the Mayor who will better invest our funds, this being the same Mayor who has such a short memory that he can't even remember his involvement, as President O'Bama's Chief of Staff, in the disastrous Cylindra scandal that cost the American Taxpayers over 500 million ! yes Rep. Cross this is the man that needs to be in charge of our Pension Funds.

    Who are you kidding Rep. Cross from Oswego. I am sure down the road we will find out what kind of deal has been struck between you the republican House Leader and our new Mayor, O'Bama's former Chief of staff. How does the republican National committee feel about your cozy deal with Rahm ?

    FOP members politicians only fear our votes. We must show them that we are a force (voting Block) to be reckoned with. I can not stress the importance of defeating this bill. This bill will influence many things including future cost of living increases. If there is any way that you can get on these buses down to Springfield to show our strength I urge you to do so, even if you have to miss a day of work on your side job or a Dr. appointment etc. If not instead of showing these politicians our strength we show them our weakness.

    To make it as convenient as we can to get you to come out and stand with us, we have arranged to have a bus leave from the 22nd District at 8:00 am. Please call FOP at 312 733-7776 and say you will stand with us down in Springfield, We need to put on a show of strength. Your Pension hangs in the balance.
    Rick King
    FOP Trustee
Sign up ladies and gents.


Ernie Reads the Blog

From the mind of Downtown Ernie Brown, comes this missive:
  • Effective immediately, all field patrol personal [sic] that receive any calls for service assignments via OEMC dispatch or PDT, will notify the OEMC dispatcher of their arrival to the assignment and the completion and departure from the assignment. Sergeants will monitor pending RAPS and perform assignments [sic] status checks to ensure that pending RAPS are cleared. The Sergeant will also ensure that when a unit has come clear that the RAP is cleared by notifying OEMC.
Evidently, Ernie is reading our post from last week wondering aloud if our antiquated half-assed system could actually track dispatch, response and clear times the way Milwaukee did in the referenced article that pretty much proves Less Police = Longer Response.

We don't know what DTEB hopes to prove by trying to track these numbers - there's no way in hell Rahm is going to let them become public, kind of like that "morale survey" that J-Fled buried after it was determined he'd have to resign his million dollar payday if someone quoted his words back at him.


"Save 013" Rally

Community groups are having a rally and meeting with McCan'tShutUp about closing Wood Street at 2247 W. Chicago Avenue tomorrow.

The rally starts at 1730 and the meeting is at 1830. We understand officers have been told not to show up with any identifiable police clothing and to not identify themselves as the police during the Q&A session.

This is pretty much a foregone conclusion in our opinions, but you never know. Rahm could suddenly change his mind and let a crisis go to waste for the first time in history.


Crime Still Down

  • Four people were killed and 22 others were wounded in acts of violence across the city this past weekend.

    At least nine people were wounded in shootings Friday afternoon and evening alone.

You know it's going to be bad when you get one of these:
  • It was supposed to be a surprise birthday party — complete with friends, family, music and a hired stripper.

    But 23-year-old fork lift truck driver Harry Rodriguez’s special day ended instead in blood and gunfire when a masked gunman burst into the party and fatally shot him in the early hours of Sunday.

    Shouting “Cobra lovers!” as he opened fire in an apparent reference to the Spanish Cobras street gang, the gunman fired three shots from a rear porch at Rodriguez’s home on the 2000 block of North Leclaire shortly before 2 a.m., relatives said.

Word is there might be suspected gang activity involved.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Time for a No Confidence Vote

  • Despite the video, the Police Department ruled Farmer's June 7 death justified, just as it had Sierra's other two shootings this year. But police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said he considers the Farmer case "a big problem" and told the Tribune that the officer involved should not have been on the street given his history of shootings.

    The shooting is under investigation by the FBI, the Tribune has learned.
So the superintendent is commenting on a case currently under investigation? And this?
  • McCarthy told the Tribune the previous administration failed to recognize a pattern in police shootings and had no mechanism to track if officers were repeatedly involved in shootings. He also said the department did not have a system in place to monitor the emotional and psychological state of officers involved in shootings, suggesting they could be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and should be kept off the streets until they are better.

    Without naming Sierra, he said the first two shootings were justified but that the officer should have been assigned to desk duty before Farmer was shot.

    "He shouldn't have been where he was," McCarthy said during a recent meeting with the Tribune editorial board. "We should've had him off the street so that he was not in that particular environment and that problematic type of scenario."
We didn't realize that McTool had a medical degree that allows him to diagnose PTSD conditions and remove officers from the streets without any due process. If the first two shootings were justified, how is he making this leap that the last one isn't? Some people have a nose for guns - we've all met them. We've known, met and worked with a few who had upwards of twenty shootings in their careers and they were damn fine officers. One of them even posts here at SCC occasionally.

And the topper:
  • McCarthy told the Tribune that the officer could face criminal charges.

    "One of the big questions I got when I got here was are you going to have our backs," McCarthy said. "I said, 'Absolutely … but I'm not going to defend indefensible behavior and don't expect me to.'"
Perhaps McTwoFaced can explain to the membership exactly how this is "indefensible." Because from everything the article says, this is still under investigation by the FBI of all people and as far as he knows, no Grand Jury has been empaneled.

How about just keeping your fucking mouth shut McDumbass. Try this one on for size:
Time for a "No Confidence" vote. McRahm has proven by his actions to be nothing more than another tool of the mayor, a carpetbagger brought in to demoralize and demonize the police in Chicago for whatever reasons lurk in the dark recesses of his master's heart. FOP, are you listening?


Muzzle Flashes in the Dark

Watch this video. The action begins around 50 seconds and again after the minute mark:

That's a .40 caliber Glock and a .45 caliber Kimber being fired in the dark. Note the flashes and streaks as the bullets leave the muzzle. Now compare this to the flashes of alleged gunfire that the Tribune posted the other day involving a shooting still under investigation.

Those don't look like muzzle flashes.

And even if it turns out that they were, the shooting may still be justified. We've seen numerous training videos where an armed subject on the ground can roll and fire while prone with deadly accuracy at approaching officers, which is why we stated the other day, the best way not to get into a situation is to listen and do exactly what the police are saying to do. No reaching for phones to call mamma, old girl, your buddy, a lawyer, especially in the dark and especially after you just finished beating your current flavor of the week and her child. They'll all be waiting for you after your prints clear and a Cook County judge I-bonds you for your twelfth domestic arrest.

Oh, and the other two shootings the officer was involved with and the Tribune uses to imply he might be "out of control?" Guns recovered from both offenders.

On a side note, if anyone doubts the Tribune has an agenda, dig around in the article and you find this asininity:
  • Farmer's father, Emmett, said the tragic chain of events reminded him of the LaTanya Haggerty case, a 1999 incident in which a 26-year-old computer programmer was fatally shot by police after she rode in a car that led officers on a 31-block chase. She raised a tiny object at an officer when the car stopped, prompting the officer to open fire and kill her. The object was a silver padlock.
"...tiny object"? Gee, guns wouldn't be tiny, could they? Guns couldn't be shiny silver, would they? Guns wouldn't be in cars that flee for four miles, could they? Haggerty ended up being a tragedy, but under the circumstances, a series of avoidable mistakes instigated by the driver of the car (fleeing), the officer (disobeying orders) and yes, even Haggerty herself (failing to keep her hands in view and empty).


More Mass Arrests

Good and bad things at Saturday's downtown arrests. A couple of good things gleaned from e-mails, comments and observations:
  • Mass arrest kits seemed to be in plentiful supply;
  • Sheriff buses on scene instead of using CTA buses;
  • Holding those who were in violation of their Bail Bond restrictions from last week.
There was still a lot to be desired though:
  • Again, why are we waiting until 0100 AM to arrest people? The park closes at what? 1100? One announcement and then arrests. Pretty straightforward, it sends the message we mean business, and establishes precedent for future events like G-8 and NATO.
  • Provide the protesters with an out - an "escape route." Once we start arresting people, the people wavering will realize they really don't want to spend a night in jail and they'll leave. This frees up manpower for the dedicated protesters and empties the park anyway. Rahm obviously doesn't want arrests because then he becomes the focal point. We ended up doing 40 fewer arrests this time. Anyone want to bet there's even less next week?
  • One working printer in 001? For processing 130 arrests? Of this doesn't say worlds about the state of this Department, we don't know what does. How about either getting us the equipment we need or going to a truly paperless Department as we were promised 20 years ago?
And this last point is just insane. We didn't witness this, but it appeared a few times in the comment sections:
  • Wow! What a clusterfuck here at Grant Park. The Gold Stars decided to start arresting protesters at 0100 hrs after warning them at 2300 hrs. Then two Stars Stars were approaching the protesters, one at a time and politely asked them if they were sure that they wanted to go to jail. Then 2 PO's locked them up, escorted them by a Cook County prisoner bus, where they waited in line for 15-20 minutes! It has been 3 hours and they are still making arrest! There were less then 100 people! These bosses are so fucked up, it's ridiculous! This is totally humiliating and shameful, we are in trouble come May with these brainiacs!
Just a thought, but that isn't going to work in May 2012. We don't have nearly enough Deputy Chiefs or Assistant Superintendents or whatever they're called now to ask every single rioter if they wish to be arrested while the protesters are busy burning garbage cans, breaking windows and flipping over cars.

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Sacrifice for Some

  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel's first-ever city budget seeks sacrifice from nearly every corner of Chicago, but he's not making cuts to the one group that has to vote for his plan.

    The Chicago City Council is getting a slight budget increase.

    The new mayor's belt tightening also leaves untouched two controversial accounts aldermen have tapped to hire relatives, pay political consultants and lease expensive cars. And he is renewing a multimillion-dollar program that lets council members order up neighborhood improvement projects.
Oh corruption, how we missed you. But wait! There's more!!!
  • Mayoral Chief of Staff Theresa Mintle helped enact a special early-retirement plan at her former employer—the Chicago Transit Authority—that entitled her to a $65,000 annual pension she wouldn't have qualified for otherwise.

    Official records obtained in a joint probe by Crain's and the Better Government Assn. indicate Ms. Mintle, left, is eligible for a pension of $64,908.53 at age 65, based on just eight years of service at the agency. The early-retirement sweetener passed in 2008, when she was chief of staff to then-CTA board Chairman Carole Brown. Ms. Mintle resigned from that job last spring to assume similar duties for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

    Ordinarily, Ms. Mintle, 47, would have needed 11 years of service to qualify for a pension at the CTA, a milestone she wouldn't have reached until 2014. But in 2008, she was involved in the approval and possibly the design of an early-retirement sweetener for agency executives containing two separate clauses that, together, allowed her to buy extra service credits and lock in her pension in exchange for leaving her job by mid-2011.

Rahm is in full damage control mode. His office says that Mintle has decided to forgo taking advantage of this pension bump, but she has eight years to change her mind. Eight years? We're betting everyone forgets this inside of eight months and she'll be taking that bump after she's safely ensconced in some other government job, perhaps in Washington if Rahm fulfills his dream.

But remember, cops and teachers and firefighters are greedy for wanting a pension after twenty years of service. And that's a FULL TWENTY YEARS - no one is giving us an eleven year waiver to collect a pension a fraction of the size of what this bureaucrat is getting.


Does This Sound Familiar?

  • Politicians hate yielding power. But in recession-hit Greece, more governing Socialists are choosing to do so rather than back Prime Minister George Papandreou's deeply hated austerity measures.

    In growing numbers, Socialist lawmakers are calling for an end to their single-party government, unable to face their angry constituents after two years of punishing tax hikes and slashed pensions, jobs and salaries.

  • Greeks are heading into a fourth year of recession with 16.5 percent unemployment and a rapidly expanding class of poor. Now they face yet more emergency tax hikes, pension cuts, and steep levies on their homes.
The socialists here in town seem to be following the same playbook.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Here We Go Again

  • Occupy Chicago protesters were back in Grant Park tonight after marching from Federal Plaza, and police appeared to be making ready to arrest scores of them after Grant Park's official closing time.

    Initial police estimates put the crowd at about 1,500, but it had swelled by the time the marchers arrived at Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway.

    In the Plaza, protesters made speeches talking up the cause and declared their event peaceful. As the 11 p.m. park closing approached, several hundred decided to stay in Grant Park as a few hundred more moved across Michigan Avenue, off Park District property. A little before closing time, police began making announcements that anyone in the park after 11 p.m. would be in violation of municipal ordinance.

We'll have reports from on scene to see if any of the shortcomings our readers pointed out are being addressed. Hopefully, the gold stars down there learned some things and adjusted accordingly. Because you can bet the protestors and the anarchists are adjusting as we speak.


In Jolly Olde England

Bears game!

Statistically, these teams are as closely matched as any of the games this week. Neutral territory and the spread is Bears by a point-and-a-half.

No word if the Queen will be attending.


Stop Shooting Criminals! (UPDATED)

  • An organizer of a downtown protest against police brutality Saturday said Flint Farmer’s death in June was “just another case of a young black man shot to death by police for no reason.”

    Farmer, 29, was fatally shot by police June 7 in the 6200 block of South Wolcott. Police have defended the shooting, saying he “aggressively came at” an officer responding to a domestic battery call.

    But protest organizer Grant Neuberger, reading from a letter from Farmer’s father, said the younger Farmer carried a cell phone, not a weapon, when he was shot.

Hey Grant? Too fucking bad. Daddy Farmer wasn't there and neither were you. And even if Flint was unarmed, he advances on an armed man and somehow wrestles the gun away? Now we have a big fucking problem. In our book (and fortunately in the laws on the books), the officer is given plenty of leeway to eliminate the threat and protect him/herself from great bodily harm and harm to others.

When it comes down to it, and the choice is between a cop going home in one piece and an ignorant piece of garbage with no impulse control advancing in an attempt to take a cop's gun, we're going to support the cop every time.

UPDATE: We've seen the video referenced in some of the comments. A few points for the armchair quarterbacks and civilian trolls popping up:
  • Have you ever seen muzzle flashes at night? It lights up pretty much the entire area around - trees, grass, sidewalks, buildings. We don't see that in the video, so the conclusion drawn from the video is suspect at best;
  • Police are completely within their rights, and we could argue, expected by law to shoot unarmed people in close quarters, because the minute they get hold of our gun, they're not unarmed anymore. In fact, a sizable percentage of officers murdered are killed with their own weapon. So the safest course of action for anyone in a high-stress close encounter is TO DO EXACTLY WHAT THE POLICE TELL YOU TO DO! No ifs ands or buts. If you want to go home in one piece, shut the fuck up and listen to the police and comply. You want to motherfuck the police, flap your gums and get a payday, then you do that at Civil Court, not on the street. And believe us, there are plenty of scumbag bottom-feeding lawyers more than willing to take your case on a contingency basis.
  • And who the hell leaked the video to the media? Someone ought to see who benefits directly and indirectly from this piece of evidence being in the public realm. This is an ongoing investigation and guess who else in involved? J-Fled's very own feeb buddies. McCarthy ought to shut his mouth and start looking inward at what this mess means to the integrity of countless criminal investigations instead of saying there's a "problem." No shit Sherlock - there's enough problems here to fill a book. You aren't helping.
And to a couple of the unpublished trolls, you weren't there at all, but you're eating up the media reports littered with quotes from people WHO WEREN'T THERE EITHER and by people with an axe to grind. If we were there, we wouldn't admit it here, but obviously, we have more access to people who were present. But in your tiny agenda-driven minds, the police are always in the wrong regardless. So go fuck yourselves and go troll somewhere else. Your crap isn't seeing the light of day here. Go post some more drivel at the Tribune site - they seem to love that sort of thing.


No Openings - Again

For what we think is the third month out of four, no openings were posted across the city for transfer opportunities. It would seem that the Department has everything balanced exactly the way they want it for the time being and no one will be allowed to move.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Buses to Springfield

Free rides!
  • SCC:

    The FOP says to get the word out on the 3 buses they have available going to Springfield at 8:00am next Wednesday.

    Only a few people have signed up so far.

    Perhaps you can put up a new topic for this!!

    Our pensions are under attack!!!!!
And again:
  • Protect your pensions! Pension Bill day in Springfield IL, 26 Oct 11.

    I just signed up to go with the FOP to Springfield by bus. The FOP has chartered three buses, as of 1530 hours on Friday only 17 PO's have signed up to go! ONLY 17!

    Don't go cussing out Shields and the FOP if you don't get on that bus, be at FOP Hall at 0730 hours on Wednesday, 26 Oct 2011
Apathy is our enemy here. Get involved, make some calls, write some letters, take a bus ride.

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Swimming Gibraltar

  • When Chicago police officer Nial Funchion swam across the Straits of Gibraltar recently, he was joined by some unexpected guests: a family of killer whales.

    “I was so focused on making it through that I never even noticed the whales were there. I knew everybody was looking at something else, but I figured it was a boat,” Funchion said.

    “I didn’t find out until after I finished that a family of whales had been following me. They were only about a hundred yards behind me, and the pictures my team took look really cool, but I’m glad nobody told me at the time.”

    Funchion, who has been swimming all his life, made the 12-mile swim Oct. 6 from Tarifa, Spain to Morocco in an impressive 3 hours, 50 minutes, to raise awareness for the non-profit police organization, The Brotherhood of the Fallen.

Officer Funchion has some other big swims coming up in the next two years. We wish him luck in all these endeavors.


Good Point

Yesterday, we asked, "Safety? Or Cash?" Our question was facetious - it was always about the cash. But someone brought up some very good points and proofs about this whole sorry business being only about the cash:
  • Can a camera pull a car over for this traffic offense?
    Can a camera check for a valid d.l. and insurance?
    Can a camera see if there are any other infractions?
    Can a camera take a suspended/revoked/unlicensed driver off of the streets?
    Can a camera detect whether or not the driver is driving through said school zone under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
    Can a camera detect whether said driver or occupants are wanted on warrants or registered sex offenders?
    Can a camera see contraband in plain view in the passenger compartment?
    Can a camera search the vehicle and recover contraband?
    Can a camera testify at court as to the probable cause for the vehicle stop and subsequent charges?
    Can a camera observe gunshots in the school zone and respond?
    The answer to all these questions is NO.
    What can a camera do?
    Generate cash flow for the city. Generate cash flow for the company.
    Give the impression of a safer city for those who drink the kool aid.
    Not collect a salary or a pension.

    Rahm, hire more police. Consult the courts and nail them down on what they will find a legitimate tool for fining and convicting speeders. Buy said equipment. Encourage your police and back them up. Now you have a marked squad car stopping speeders and potentially worse lawbreakers generating your beloved income and most importantly providing legitimate safety to those in and around schools.
    There is no greater deterrent to crime than the presence of a uniformed police officer. This will you make you much more popular with the public than a camera program.
So you see, it's all about the quick $100 and not actually addressing citizens' safety.

And as someone else pointed out - how many more children have been shot than have been hit by cars in school crosswalks?


How Many Retirements?

Talked to a friend who managed to hang onto his spot in Personnel. According to him, over 1,500 people have either retired or have announced their intention to retire during the 2011 calendar year.

1,500 and some change. Meanwhile, how many recruits have gone through the Academy in the past 3 years?

That manpower thing we've discussed here for years is coming around to bite us.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Shots Fired in 014 Overnight

No police or offenders hit, subject in custody, gun recovered.

Anyone have specifics?


Safety? Or Cash?

We're betting the answer is "B"
  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday he wants to use red-light cameras and vans with hidden cameras to catch motorists speeding near schools and parks to protect children.

    Speeding motorists would be slapped with $100 tickets, but it’s not about the revenue, the mayor said, even though red-light cameras have turned into a cash cow for the city.

Oh yeah - won't somebody think of the children!!!!

Geez Rahm, stop playing to the stereotype.


Officer Injured

  • Eight people were injured, four seriously, in three-vehicle crash that injured an officer in his police vehicle in the Chatham neighborhood this evening, officials said.

    The crash near 80th Street and Indiana Avenue left a Pontiac sport-utility vehicle on its roof and also involved a Ford Fusion and a Dodge Intrepid, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford, who was at the scene of the crash this evening. Video from the scene showed the Fusion was an unmarked police car.

    Initial reports indicated the SUV may have been fleeing police, run a red light and struck the Dodge, and that the officer's car may have also struck the Dodge after the SUV hit it.

Best wishes to all the injured.


New Calendars Out

  • Not too surprisingly Department Notice D11-14 was issued by the Department today without the Lodge being informed by the Management and Labor Affairs Section. This notice eliminates full 5th period and split 5B furlough selections for 2012.

    A class action grievance was immediately filed by the Lodge on behalf of any and all members affected by the Department's arbitrary actions.

    Any member who wishes to take a full 5th period furlough or split 5B furlough should indicate this on their 2012 furlough selection form.
If you want a 5B or 5 Full segment, bid for it. And expedited grievance process might just pay dividends. Look what happened to Rahm yesterday:
  • A state labor relations board sided with the Chicago Teachers Union today, asking the state attorney general’s office to seek an injunction to keep more of Chicago public schools from lengthening their days.

    [...] The union’s legal victory, while not unexpected, seemed to rankle attorneys for CPS, who said the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board already had decided the case before the two sides presented oral arguments at a public hearing Thursday.

    “It appears to me that the labor board had made up its mind before we came here. I think that’s extremely distressing,” said James Franczek, lead attorney for CPS’ Board of Education.
The labor board didn't "[make] up its mind...." The labor board enforced existing rules to a mayor who seems to treat signed and negotiated contracts as so much toilet paper, and the fact remains that the G-8 and NATO summits are not emergency situations if they are planned months in advance and they are here at the invitation of city officials.


Can We Nail This Down?

This might eventually be the truth:
  • There is a memo floating around out there from the ever flamboyant JL outlining the pending changes. 19 and 23 merging but the building is staying open. 21 split between 2 and 1, and 13 combining with 12. The areas will be south - 4,5,6,7, and 22. Central will be 2,3,8,9,10,11,and 18. The remainder will be North. North patrol area offices will be in 25, Central in 10 and south in 5. Det will come out of Belmont and Western - North (no they are not closing the bldg), 51st - Central and 111th st - South. Not rumor, fact. Saw it in writing, just not sure how to upload the file or I would. Also, Capt's have agreed to become XO's. One XO per commander and 5 inspectors. Lt.'s to become watch co-ordinators, not watch commanders. No extra pay, just more responsibility. The rest is yet to be seen. Hang on with both hands, it is going to be a wild ride.
It pieces together a lot of stuff we've seen, what other people have seen and what's been e-mailed or commented on.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rumors Everywhere!

Most seem to center around the D-Unit lately. The latest:
  • OT - new reorganization of the dicks will have a citywide units called major crimes/homicide of about 40 dicks working days and afternoons. All other dicks will be in uniform and assigned to the districts and do follow-ups in uniform as it will give the impression of more cops on the streets. 019 will close completely except for the annex building maintained by the courts. Homan square will close and those units will be filtered into dicks offices at the other areas. This should be good!
So if they ever manage to make another class of detectives under McYork-sey, the potential exists for them to remain in uniform, in a beat car, in the district they get promoted from? That seems a stretch.


Beaches Closed Again

(photo by Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune)

They can't blame it on the gangs today - everyone is wise to that excuse.

Damn that heat anyway!
  • High winds and waves buffeted the lakefront this evening, hours after the bike and jogging path was closed following National Weather Service warnings of severe weather and lakeshore flooding.

    A high wind warning is in effect for the Chicago area from 3 p.m. this afternoon to 10 a.m. tomorrow morning.
Always with the weather. Extra gel for the hair, more tape for the hairpiece and the Department is good to go.


Less Police = Longer Response

Shaved had this up earlier, so we "borrowed" it from his site:
  • [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel] A Journal Sentinel report in August found average police response time to calls for service was slower last year than before Police Chief Edward Flynn took charge in 2008.

    Department records showed police response lagged in 13 of 15 major call categories last year compared with 2007 figures.

    New records obtained this month by the newspaper show the department's overall response time was 3.5 minutes longer on average during the three full years since Flynn's arrival compared with the three years prior. That's more than 10% longer.

And the accompanying graphic spells it out in stark black, white and gray:
Anyone want to guess what a Chicago chart would look like? Covering the same period? Is it even possible to track this sort of thing with our antiquated half-assed systems?



Anyone have the time or inclination to research this?
  • OT why would Cross from oswego be so interested in chicago pension reform, could there be a link between his law firms relation with Brigeview bank and that banks link to chicago politicians.
Mahoney, Silverman and Cross LLC in Joliet does a booming business with a litany of municipal entities, including Plainfield, Lockport, Aurora, Frankfort, Joliet among others. One would have to wonder what being a stalking horse for Rahm's pension grab could lead to.


A Mostly Happy Ending

  • A gang member shot by a DuPage County homeowner during a bungled, bloody break-in that left two other people seriously wounded was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in prison.

    Alejandro Roman of Chicago was wounded as he searched for drugs and money in 2009 after breaking into a townhouse near Glen Ellyn with two gang associates, authorities said.

    After Roman was shot through a closed bedroom door by the homeowner, his accomplices opened fire on two other residents they already had tied up in another room of the house, DuPage County prosecutors said.

    A 20-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man were shot in the head during the melee, but both survived.

Would that this were a headline each and every day, crime would plummet to depths as yet unknown.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Riot Helmet Problem?

  • The Department has apparently discovered that there is a problem with the helmets that were issued to all Deparmtment members. The helmet shield cannot be lowered while wearing a gas mask. How does the Department intend on fixing the problem?

    Those officers in voluntary units (tactical teams, etc) may be required to purchase a new helmet or be reassigned. The cost of the new helmet is upwards of $200.00.

    The Lodge's position is that these new helmets would be the subject of a first issue item. Any member who is told that he is required to purchase a new helmet as a condition of remaining in his current assignment should contact the Lodge immediately.
Actually, this shouldn't be an issue - the gas teams from years gone by will not be utilized downtown. Seems the brass is a little intimidated by the old newsreels of years gone by of the gas clouds drifting over Michigan Avenue along with the footage of the Bulls riots and have vowed it won't happen this time. So the tanks sit unused, with lapsed certifications and no plans to fill them for the summer of 2012.

But the FOP is certainly correct in that the City must provide required equipment as first issue.


Rahm Still in Charge

  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel said today he consulted with Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy late Saturday night before police arrested about 175 protesters who refused to leave Grant Park.

    Emanuel also said his administration has reached out to organizers of the Occupy Chicago demonstrations, but a spokesman for the group said they have refused a meeting.

  • "As it relates to Grant Park, there's a very specific law as it relates to closing down the park," Emanuel said. "There was conversation between the police department and the protesters about respecting that -- and it starts at 11 o'clock -- about vacating Grant Park. Those conversations went all the way to -- I'm doing this by memory -- 12:30 or 1 o'clock-ish.

    "And at that point -- Garry and I had a couple conversations throughout the night -- we have to respect the laws and we have to enforce them."

    Asked if he directed McCarthy to arrest the protesters, the mayor said "I was in -- not 'direct,' I wouldn't characterize it that way. I was in consultation and conversation with the police superintendent."
Riiiight. Whatever you say Rahm.


LINK Fraud? In Chicago?

Evidently, nationwide. But no one seems to care:
  • Link cards are supposed to help families across the country that are out of work or struggling financially to put food on the table.

    It’s the modern-day version of food stamp, and it’s all funded by taxpayers. But local convenience store operators are getting their hands on the cards and profiting without selling any food, [...].

    Nationwide, the problem is so bad, it is estimated there is $330 million in Link Card fraud each year.

If you go into any corner grocery store in certain neighborhoods, the only food items in evidence are bags of chips and assorted drinks, yet these corner stores pull in more Link and WIC money than any individual Jewel or Dominick's store. How can that be? Fraud, on a massive scale, but no one is following up on it.

Anyone want to guess where much of this money ends up? We're betting overseas, working against American interests. And even Tom Dart recognizes the problem:
  • In Illinois alone, $251 million in Link Card food assistance is given to recipients each month. The big bucks are badly abused, says Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

    “I could do Link Card cases every minute of the day, and use every person that works for me, and I’m still not going to be able to get out in front of this thing,” he says.

It's huge.


Once Again, No Justice

  • A former CTA bus driver was acquitted Tuesday on charges that he lied about being beaten up by an off-duty Chicago Police sergeant.

    But although 43-year Ricardo Mendoza was cleared of disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice, Cook County Judge James Linn lambasted him and called him “selfish and greedy” for filing a federal lawsuit against the city.

    “None of this needs to be in court,” Linn said, referencing Mendoza’s criminal case and apparently the $1 million he was seeking in his pending civil suit tied to the Sept. 12, 2009 incident.

The judge all but called the former CTA employee a liar, but his lawyers are proceeding apace with their lawsuit for "damages," even though no damages can be documented.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011


  • Chicago firefighter-turned-alderman Nick Sposato (36th) and the union representing fire dispatchers maneuvered Monday to kill Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to reduce the ranks of police and fire dispatchers at the city’s 911 emergency center.

    Fire and EMS dispatcher Jeff Johnson , union steward for IBEW Local 9, said the mayor’s plan to eliminate the jobs of 17 fire dispatchers, lay off nine others and shrink the supervisory ranks from 13 to 8 could send response times and employee burn-out rates through the roof.

    The jobs of 45 police dispatchers would also be eliminated. So would four of 22 radio repair technicians at a time when radio and data frequencies need to be reprogrammed to comply with a Federal Communications Commission mandate.

Almost word for word from our comment section, so evidently, the IBEW is trolling here. The Sun Times also points out the rather large amount of overtime generated by current shortages, so wouldn't it follow that making the dispatch center more shorthanded would only increase overtime? It might be cheaper than actually hiring dispatchers, but then the Sun Times really ought to stop ripping the overtime costs when they're tacitly supporting Rahm's cuts - especially when overtime is MANDATORY for dispatchers.


McCarthy Road Show

  • Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy took to the road Monday to sell Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to close police stations.

    At a packed community meeting in Kenwood, McCarthy said the decision to shutter stations and "right size" police districts was based on the geographic size of the area, reported crime and staffing. Closing stations puts about 20 more cops on the street, he said.

    "I know everybody loves having a building," McCarthy said. "It's not the building that matters. Instead of taking something away, we're getting more cops on the street."
Twenty? Wow. And this is truly amazing:
  • "I'm hoping your department is taking into consideration the peculiarities of each district," said Anita Newsome, who lives in North Kenwood. "We are home to the president of the United States. I want you to be aware that we are combining districts that have different cultures."
This is the 21st Century, right?


He's Back?

Oh this would just be priceless:

    An interesting rumor has just surfaced...anyone hear anything more? It's being bantered about at CPS.

    RON HUBERMAN is rumored to be making a comeback to Chicago...and guess why?
    We all know that the CPD and the CFD are going to be merged at CPD headquarters....well, guess who Rahm is bringing in to 'facilitate' this monumental merge?

    You guessed it...the same man who left OEMC with a major scandal involving a contract for police radios. The same man who left the CTA in shambles. The same man who left the public schools in shambles...oh, wait...they STILL are. The man quoted by former Mayor mumbles as the reason why he (shortshanks) 'slept good at night, knowing Ron Huberman was in charge of things.' Ladies & gents, strap in and hang on, it's gonna be a real interesting and bumpy ride if this comes to fruition,

    And just HOW is Tiny Dancer 9.5 going to justify bringing this well educated bureaucratic destroyer back into the fold? What kind of salary will he command? How can Rahm justify paying this well educated non-boss a princely sum? I guess we'll see soon enough!
So Officer Huberman might be figuring out another way to sneak back into a gold braid pension again? Or just back to finish the job he started? Hey Garry? Run. Run far away if this is true.


Detective Names?

Rumors abound of downtown requesting a list of the "top ten" homicide dicks from every area.

Are we forming a major case squad? Or something along the lines of New York with different grades of detectives?


More Questions

So where's the list the Department used to have of everyone with CDL's?

You know, the guys qualified to drive the Prisoner Vans?

You know...Prisoner Vans? Those big things that you can pack the prisoners into. Yes, we realize there were only two of them available up and running Saturday night. Where were the rest?

Oh, no drivers? And three hours to get a CTA bus? Driven by a CTA employee? Not too much liability there, eh?

And what was the total OT cost? For 175 arrest, most of whom were I-bonded out on BS city charges that aren't going to stick in court?

The protesters don't have to win the streets - all they have to do is tie up the manpower and bankrupt the city. That's as good as a win for them. Throw in a few frivolous lawsuits filed by bottom-feeding opportunistic lawyers and they can declare victory on every level.

Watch yourselves boys and girls.


New Movement Begins

One of our more humorous colleagues posted this earlier the other day:
  • "Occupy Englewood" is now recruiting
Now that would be a movement worth joining.


Steven Spielberg Called

Not to make light of crime, but...:
  • North Aurora police today released a sketch of one of two men who bound a woman in a home invasion Friday and stole a gold necklace from her.

    A patrol officer was flagged down by a passerby about 9:15 a.m. and told that a woman was injured near Lincolnway Street and Elm Avenue, police said.

    Officers found the 44-year-old woman with her hands bound behind her back with duct tape.

    She had been in her home on the 100 block of Elm Avenue when two male suspects -- at least one with a gun -- entered through an unlocked door and struck her several times before taping her hands and eyes, police said in a release.

And this is the sketch they released:

Hollywood was immediately contacted:

Line ups are being held as we speak.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupy Chicago Arrests

As you might imagine, Saturday night was interesting. Interesting on more than one front. First, the arrests:
  • Chicago Police arrested about 175 Occupy Chicago protesters who refused to leave Grant Park early Sunday following a march from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to the Downtown park.

    More than 2,000 people marched and set up two-dozen tents in Grant Park near East Congress Parkway and South Michigan Avenue with the goal of staying the night to draw attention to corporate abuse and express solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

    Police said about 175 protesters were arrested and charged with a misdemeanor violation of city ordinance for not leaving the park after it closed at 11 p.m. Police said the protesters were told to leave numerous times before making the arrests.

Leaving aside the nonsense chants of "The whole world is watching," "Shame Rahm," and "CPD is the 99%, CPD needs a raise," the entire situation was handled in a professional manner.

But it wasn't timely. The park closed at 11:00 PM, and the first arrests took place after 1:00 AM. Why the delay?

It would seem that the Department didn't have the manpower to make a mass arrest situation. There were three separate citywide call outs for cars. The first was for the tactical teams, already on standby. Then there was a second call for additional cars, and then there was a wait for midnight cars. No one was held over from third watch except for the 001 District. Other than that, districts citywide were stripped of regular beat coverage for a downtown protest. We bet certain bosses are wishing they had a "strike" force of some 200 bodies they could mobilize at a moment's notice and send downtown for incidents such as this.

Now the question becomes, what did the Department learn? This was a peaceful event, but with nearly 200 arrests. What happens when the anarchists arrive for the G-8 or NATO meetings? Has anyone been watching the highlights from Italy? Rioters hiding among the peaceful protestors waiting for their opportunity. We can't afford a two hour wait for cars to be mobilized, mass arrest kits to be scrounged up, transport vehicles to be on site (A CTA bus for prisoners? That's real secure).

Hopefully, someone important is paying attention. And putting some other people on notice about shortfalls in the response.


If You're Cutting Dispatchers...

...then how about reducing incoming 911 calls?

We've had this rumor pop up every so often in the comment sections and a lot of people e-mail us with rumors of a "committee" that's revamping the OEMC protocols for 911 calls. As we understand it (and someone can correct us if we're wrong), the Police Department dictates what OEMC can take as an "emergency" call. This dates back to O.W. Wilson's policy of "If they call the police, we'll send the police."

All well and good when most of society understood what constituted an emergency. But nowadays, an entire swath of society thinks the police are social workers and ministers and marriage counselors and landlords and whatever else they can pawn off on the Department while avoiding taking responsibility for their own actions/choices/decisions.

The majority of comments and e-mails we get propose that the Department has to come out with a list of calls that police won't be responding to, and then stick with it - child misbehaving, child missing school, landlord/tenant disputes, things like that. We'd add more like putting out drunk relatives, most thefts, vacant building checks and such. Aldercreature offices, 3-1-1 and other departments are more than adequate for some of these issues.

We're sure the readers will have plenty of suggestions for this list. If we're doing more with less, why not clear off some of the bullshit and make sure we're concentrating our effort on the meat of the situation?


Proposed Re-Maps

Someone was kind enough to post this in the comment section.

It originally appeared on 32nd Ward Aldercreature Scott Waguespack's website. Someone said Waguespack is losing two police stations - 013 and 019. We have no idea as to the aldermanic boundaries, but this would be a helluva slap if true. That means he has no input to two of the most coveted spots any aldercreature can grant.

In any event, the borders are hard to follow but appear to show the affected districts are simply being folded directly into existing ones, which makes little sense at all. Why not just redraw the maps citywide? It hasn't been done since Summerdale and population has shifted so much that a wholesale remap might be politically viable for the first time in three generations.


County Layoffs Threatened

  • Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is asking county unions to agree to eight unpaid days off of work next year to help save 500 jobs.

    Preckwinkle’s offer came in a letter sent out to union leaders this week as she looks to finalize her executive budget recommendation by month's end. In the letter, Preckwinkle asks union workers to give up pay for six holidays, including Labor Day, and to take two other unpaid days off.

    Unions, which have been meeting regularly with Preckwinkle as she puts together next year's budget, say they’ve been blindsided.

Evidently, the campaign contributions haven't bought the access they thought they had. But seeing as how County is the most overstaffed, useless and redundant arm of government that we can think of, we aren't surprised.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Night Football

The only thing the Bears have going for them is home field advantage - and that's only worth a safety according to the latest line.

Eight-and-eight is a distinct possibility this year.


Where the Axe Will Fall

Strap in:
  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel has talked about laying off more than 500 city employees and eliminating 776 vacant jobs, but he has not identified them or explained what city services will suffer.

    Now, an analysis by the Chicago Sun-Times and one of the impacted unions shows where the ax will fall — in a way that could slow response time to 911 calls or stretch call takers to the limit, decimate Chicago Public libraries and force dramatic cuts in health and human services.

    At the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, where 911 call takers have more than doubled their annual salaries in overtime over the years, the budget calls for 108 layoffs and the elimination of 80 vacancies. Seventy-three of the layoffs are recently fired Loop traffic-control-aides.

    The ranks of police dispatchers would be reduced by 45 or 10.3 percent. The number of fire communications operators would drop by 17 or 16.6 percent.

    “Management … is saying the wait time for a 911 call will go from one-to-three seconds to ten-to-fifteen seconds, possibly more. This is very disturbing,” said an OEMC employee, who asked to remain anonymous.

So not only has the Department gone from proactive to reactive in record time, we're going to go to an even slower reactive posture. And the dispatcher burnout, well, that's just an unfortunate side effect.


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