Thursday, April 30, 2009

How About Us?

  • Federal agents raided government offices in south suburban Crestwood on Wednesday, less than two weeks after a Tribune investigation revealed the village had secretly pumped drinking water from a polluted well for more than two decades.

    Acting on a search warrant obtained by U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald's office, investigators from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spent most of the day collecting records from Crestwood Village Hall, the public works department and the Police Department. They carted away several boxes of documents and took computers for further review.
The Tribune reports a contaminated well might be poisoning an entire town, the feds are there in under 14 days, grabbing boxes of records, seizing critical information, making a case to put a bunch of people behind bars for years.

Last week, Shortshanks celebrated 20 years of looting not only the City of Chicago, but the County of Cook and the State of Illinois of billions in crooked contracts, shady land deals, land give-aways, questionable campaign contributions, pension grabs, rigged voting, the list is damn near endless, and for 20 years, the US Attorney's Office can't be bothered to protect 2.8 million city residents, 8 million county dwellers and 12+ million Illinoisans.

Maybe enforcement is based on percentage of tax paying individuals?

UPDATE: Population corrected. Our bad.


See-BS News Parking Followup

Must be sweeps week or month or whatever they're using now.
  • It's one of the rarest things in downtown Chicago, almost extinct: a free parking spot. Some people thought that they had found that hidden treasure, but soon complained to CBS 2 Investigators that they had been caught in a parking trap.
Trapped by an officer "hiding" in an unmarked vehicle who noted the times they parked and then hung tickets after the fact.

Well, technically, they were "standing" illegally, waiting for the clock to run out before they "parked" the vehicle in a spot they had been holding illegally for tens of minutes and more. Pimpy? Yup. Trap? We'd say let the lawyers sort it out but they're working for Shortshanks, so we know which that decision is going. It's currently under review.

We thought the officer making Pam jog alongside his squad car was amusing though.

In any case, See-BS News apparently has decided that the only "corruption" worth covering in Chicago is parking "corruption." And not just any parking "corruption" - "corruption" that puts the police in a bad light. Not the aldercreatures, the storefront churches, the "reverends" who demand courtesy, not even the media that commits moving violations by the busload and parking violations by the bushel and then demand (and receive) "courtesy" after the fact.

Anyone want to waste any more time pointing Pam toward City Hall? The County Building? Springfield?


Pension Meeting Rumbles

The new found activism is becoming a thorn in the sides of the powers-that-be:
  • Dozens of Chicago police officers jammed their pension fund’s board meeting Wednesday to question an investment deal that went to a real estate firm involving a nephew of Mayor Richard Daley.

    The officers blasted fund administrators for declining to comply with a subpoena from the city’s inspector general, David Hoffman. In March, the Tribune reported that Hoffman is investigating public employee pension fund dealings with DV Urban Realty, which includes mayoral nephew Robert Vanecko.

    David Kugler, the police fund’s attorney, said officials would not provide Hoffman with recordings of closed board sessions where the deal was discussed.

    Among the officers who spoke at the meeting was Mike Mette, who was freed from an Iowa prison last year when the courts reversed his conviction for punching a man. The board’s refusal to cooperate with Hoffman “makes a lot of us feel something is being hidden,” Mette said.

Business as usual has to stop. And the way it stops is people not letting it go on. People getting involved. Voters. Pension beneficiaries. Future pensioners.

Read the article linked up top. Then decide to get involved. There are mechanisms in place to remove unwanted pension board members instead of waiting for the next election. Perhaps it's time to target one or two of them?


More OT Money?

  • Grants from the federal stimulus package will give the Chicago Police Department an extra $20 million to spend on overtime for officers and new equipment in the coming months, according to a police spokesman.

    The funds come at an opportune time as crime typically increases with the temperatures, but critics feel the extra cash should be spent on hiring new officers instead of paying an already strained force to work additional hours.

    "Staffing is always a problem," said Mark P. Donahue, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Lodge 7. "It's only gotten worse since last January."

What this says to us is no hiring for a long time.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chalkie 2016 Update

From the comments:
  • I just received the following from the USOC. Apparently, the words "CHICAGO 2016" are the "intellectual property" of the USOC.

    Dear Chalkie,
    I appreciate the good work you do and your efforts to honor and support the Hundred Club. Unfortunately, by using the mark CHICAGO 2016, you are creating an unauthorized correlation between your fundraising activities and the Olympic Movement. The USOC has a well established practice of registering trademark sequences that include venue cities and year components. Therefore, the mark CHICAGO 2016 is also covered under our legislation, making your use of that city/year mark unauthorized. The fact that it is being used commercially to raise funds without USOC oversight or permission places your use squarely in violation of our legislation.

    I restate my request that you select an alternative mark that does not feature the intellectual property of the USOC.

And hopping over to the site, it appears that the USOC lacks any sense of humor or proportion.

We'd hate to see this worthy cause fade into oblivion, so we suggest any of the following remedies:
  • "Chalkie 2016" as a catch phrase;
  • a reader suggested "Chalkie World Tour" with a listing of homicides by district on the back;
  • "Tokyo 2016" instead - the USOC isn't threatening the Japanese, are they?
We're sure our readers can come up with dozens more.


Parking Courtesy

The readers have come up with a few suggestions to keep Pammy in business. We doubt she'll take anyone up on them though:
  • Start at "reverend" Meeks church. Courtesy double parking blocking streets, sidewalks and curb cutouts for blocks around. And if rumors are to be believed, on-duty tact teams providing all sorts of free traffic control and direction at the behest of the District Commander.
  • Work your way north from there. All sorts of "reverends" demanding (and receiving) parking courtesies from Commanders they helped appoint.
But that wouldn't be politically correct, would it Pammy? Would anyone believe how often we see media vans parked illegally on hydrants, bus stops and no parking zones, yet they never get written because HQ non-suits media tickets as (wait for it...) a courtesy!


Impersonator with a Gun

  • A 21-year-old man claiming to be in the military helped Dallas patrol officers answer calls and make arrests, and he accompanied them on a ride-along, but officials say he was the one taking police for a ride.

    The impostor, identified as Ryan Caskey, wore a bulletproof vest and carried a U.S. Marine military police badge and a Glock, which he reportedly drew from its holster as he kicked in a door at a Far North Dallas apartment.

    Authorities said Caskey, who is wanted for questioning, claimed to be in an FBI task force, had the cop lingo and swagger down pat, and followed officers in his black Crown Victoria with red and blue flashing lights in the dashboard.

Brought his own vest and gun along? Standard for the impersonator. But bringing your own squad car along to patrol? That's a big old red flag - even here in Chicago. We'd wonder about that one.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jefferson Tap Verdict

Cleared of all charges.

Links to follow as we have them.

UPDATE: has the better coverage. Don't read the comments if you don't want to be irritated beyond belief though.

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Clout Parking

  • Chicago police officers in a special detail unit called "The Wolf Pack" are supposed to serve and protect by patrolling high crime areas. But CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman found them helping people with clout and connections get prime parking spots at special events. For at least part of their day, these officers serve and park.

    Getting to the game can be a pain and parking can be very expensive.

    But CBS 2 found VIPs with clout get to park for free in no parking zones right under the watchful eyes of Chicago police officers. What's more: police officers and firemen can take advantage of the free parking simply by flashing a badge.
The list of clout parkers is impressive:
  • Alderman Ray Suarez, for one, says he's taken advantage of what he called "courtesy parking
  • Edward McElroy, a longtime friend of the Daley family and public relations consultant, is a frequent VIP parker.
  • At U.S. Cellular Field, the VIPs included state senator Kimberly Lightford. She and her friend parked right under a "No Parking" sign.
  • Joe Kotlarz, the former alderman and state representative, who served three months in prison for stealing tollway funds in the '90s. But apparently he's still got clout.
And here's a good one:
  • Those with privileged parking spots weren't anxious to talk either, like Ken Hauser, vice president of the Chicago Police Pension Board.
Gee. And a Pension Board Meeting coming up this Wednesday. Perhaps some retirees would like to have a little chat with their representative? This could explain a number of his votes that seem to go along with the City wishes.


Blackhawks Advance

  • Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin made 43 saves to lead the Hawks to a series-deciding 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames Monday in Game 6 at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

    With the win, the Hawks advance to the conference semifinals for the first time since 1996.

Congratulations to the Blackhawks. This has beena long time coming. A great young team, a steady coaching staff, and a big thanks to Rocky Wirtz, without whom none of this would be possible.


Chalkie Banned?

We're hoping this isn't true:

    We have been contacted by the USOC regarding the sale of Chalkie t-shirts. It has something to do with an Olympic trademark. At first we thought it was a joke but a little investigation found that it could be a legit inquiry. We will be contacting our attorneys-Dewey, Cheatum and Howe for advise.

    We will plead our case, but for some reason, we don't think the USOC will give us their blessing.

    While you still can, find out how get Chalkie t-shirts and hats by sending an email to

    Supplies are limited.

    They may be collectors items soon.....real soon.
Yes, we see the humor in the "Dewey, Cheatum and Howe" crack. But we don't see where the USOC has a leg to stand on here. The Chalkie website isn't using the Olympic rings, colors or logo. The torch? It's a generic drawing. The entire premise is a parody based entirely on a drawing that was submitted to us via an anonymous e-mail that raises money for a worthy cause.

It seems like an attempt to bully an entrepreneur into shutting down his website or face crippling legal bills to keep it open. We encourage everyone to buy shirts as soon as possible in case the site is forced to go under. We truly hate lawyers who have nothing better to do than undermine the free exercise of the First Amendment. We certainly hope there is a special hell reserved for them.

Visit Chalkie at this link here.


What Could Go Wrong?

A White House photo op. A giant airplane. Downtown New York City.

But Bush was an idiot? Bush was out-of-touch? They certainly weren't flying airplanes around the Statue of Liberty and New York skyscrapers.


What Were They Thinking?

Anyone see anything wrong with this picture?

This "poster" or "artwork" or whatever you want to call it adorns the wall by the escalators leading up to the upper floors of the Harold Washington Library.

Now does anyone see anything wrong with it? We aren't against public art. We aren't book burners. If we don't like it, we don't patronize it. But in a public library paid for with public funds named after Chicago's first black mayor, do we really need a double entendre advocating a habit that has pretty much destroyed entire swaths of Chicago and it's inhabitants?

Unless we're embracing it now?


Monday, April 27, 2009

B.S. Interview

It's amazing. When J-Fed talks, you can't even see Daley's lips moving.

All in all, his interview with Carol Marin was a flop and a repeat of everything we've seen before. He talks up what Shortshanks wants in terms of the big "crime is down" story to get the Olympics interested in Chicago. Then he dances around and doesn't answer the other questions that might not mean much to the public, but mean a whole lot to the people he's attempting to "lead."
  • J-Fed talks up a 21% drop in homicides. After the coldest winter in a decade. But it's all wine and roses where J-Fed comes from. Aggravated Batteries with handguns are up over 100 even in the cold. A few warm days and we could manage to catch up really quick. Don't count chickens before they're hatched.

  • J-Fed says that with good equipment, good training and leadership by example, there is no morale problem. Last time we checked, there were still no pool cars citywide, Tahoes came two at a time then stopped and have to be downed at 3,000 miles for a transmission problem that ought to be the subject of an investigative report, we can't send anyone to training because we have no manpower to spare, and our leadership consists of one of the more amusing selections of buffoons outside of a carnival.

  • J-Fed bases his judgement of morale being fine by the fact that officers are still responding to calls and 10-1's, joking and in good spirits. Leaving aside the fact that we're required to go to jobs (it's in the description), everyone responds to 10-1's if they know what's good for them. That could be any one if us on the other end of that radio one day and you better believe we're going to be trusting that everyone shows up. It's what you're supposed to do and has nothing to do with morale. The joking and good spirits is more a result of everyone letting off a little steam after finding our co-workers in one piece. And the people greeting J-Fed and telling him what a great job he's doing - pure fantasy. It's either (A) cops have fun at his expense or (B) the fine CPD tradition of sucking ass. Look what happened to the first three people to smooch up to J-Fed - hello "Policy Group." Of course, at least two of them were mayoral plants, but don't tell J-Fed!

  • And finally, "merit" promotions. We called that one right on the money. J-Fed goes on and on about how merit is a badge of honor, merit promotions are good, and he lifted the "veil of secrecy" surround who was "merit" and who wasn't. If "merit" is so damn good, why not define it? Give everyone a fair shot at achieving career brownie points so as to have a shot? These were the payoff quotes - "I don't know all the players." "Mayor Daley has never called me regarding any promotion that I've made since I've been here."
Of course he hasn't J-Fed. He's been doing this long before you were here. His fingerprints aren't visible out in the open - he has people for that. He's a puppet master. And guys like you? You don't even see the strings he's pulling. We won't even name names, but you can't seriously think that a largish number of the people you promoted are even remotely qualified for the jobs they're holding?

Evidently, $310,000 per year buys a lot of blindfolds.


Again, Media Blackout

From the comments:
  • 11 different shootings in A2 on friday in less than 24 hours. Nothing in the news.

  • Oh Where Oh Where are the nice tourist supposed to go? 26 Apr 09 1450 hrs gang fight at Navy Pier. Five in custody. New Media where are you?????? Last week a fight breaks out involving the "flyer boys" a security guard was injured. What about the two stabbings New Years Eve? Are you legit reporters? Seems like you only report the news fit for the DALEY TIMES, with special anti-police stories in the shortshanks section
But strap in and wait for Pam Zekman's expose on cops abetting illegal parking since Shortshanks has made it damn near impossible to park legally anywhere in this town. Including around police stations.


The New "Chicken Leg" Murder

  • Police say a Chicago man faces murder charges for allegedly killing another man as they played games on an Xbox 360.

    Twenty-eight-year-old Joseph Johnson was charged with first-degree murder on Sunday.

    Authorities say Johnson and 24-year-old Danny Taylor were playing video games at a South Side apartment earlier this month when they got into a fight. Johnson then allegedly shot Taylor in the back of the head.
Initial reports are they were playing "Guitar Hero." Other stories are "Super Mario Carts" or a "Zelda" type game. We're sure that Johnson had a perfectly acceptable reason for his actions and we look forward to hearing it in court.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tribune Anonymous Byline

  • Mayor Richard Daley weighed in on the patronage scandal surrounding Cook County Board President Todd Stroger today, suggesting his ally should explain himself to the public.

    "He has to speak on behalf of himself. I've known the family for many, many years," Daley said after a peace rally. "He has to get out there and be able to explain that to everyone in Cook County."

    Stroger has been buffeted by a patronage hiring scandal that led him to dump his cousin, Donna Dunnings, from the county's top financial post.

This coming from the "Great Un-Communicator" Shortshanks, the man who can't explain how 26 aldermen in 25 years have gone to jail; how $40 million got spent in trucks no one needed, how connected developers manage to buy prime downtown lots for $1 and get the city to clean up the EPA disasters they are for free; how his son and nephew end up involved in all sorts of city contracts and pension money grabs; the man who won't answer who hired Angelo Torres.

Pot meet kettle. At least Kass will ask the difficult questions of the mayor once in a while instead of helping him weaken the Stroger/Beavers alliance and tighten his hold on the County Board.

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How Could This Happen?

  • Tony Cole, the convicted felon at the center of Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's patronage hiring scandal, has called the McGill Terrace Apartments on the South Side home since February of last year.

    The apartments are provided either free, or at reduced monthly rent, for those with a low income. Now a government agency is asking a simple question: How did Cole worm his way into a federally funded free studio apartment?

  • [...] Stroger lifted him out of a busboy job at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and placed him in a $48,000-a-year executive assistant position in the County Building. Soon Cole got a raise to $58,000 annually.

    Federal rules say Cole could only live in the subsidized studio apartment if he made less than $24,000 a year.
Gee, a violation of Federal law. In Chicago, Cook County, State of Illinois. Who'd have thunk it?


Downtown Crime Ignored

Anyone media want to touch this one?
  • O.T. Another wilding on Michigan ave. Address of occurrence 625 N Michigan to be exact. Multiple m/1's 17-20 year olds attack a couple on the street. Car 47 on-views and puts out flash. GREAT job by the 18th district 1st watch crew. Grabs at least 8 offenders at different locations. Not a "hate crime" huh? Funny how the news media did not pick up on it. This one is way to easy not to verify.
Bueller? Bueller?

Man, those crickets are LOUD.

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J-Fed on Sunday AM News

Unconfirmed information that the Superintendent is going to be on the Sunday morning news with Carol Marin. The subject of their chat?

"Merit" promotions.

Anyone want to guess if he actually answers any questions about what defines "merit?"

Or will he run with the tired old story that some people "just don't test well" and never commits to a single fact about what career targets that we, the un-clouted, can shoot for in the hopes for advancement?

Our money is on the latter.


Florida Sheriffs Killed

  • Two north Florida sheriff's deputies were fatally shot at a shooting range by a suspect who was later killed by deputies after he fled across the county line, authorities said.

    It happened around 1 p.m. Saturday when the two Okaloosa County deputies went to Shoal River Sporting Clays and Shooting Center in response to a call, said Michele Nicholson, a sheriff's spokeswoman.

    Deputies Burt Lopez and Deputy Warren "Skip" York were pronounced dead after being airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, about 45 miles away, the sheriff's office said. Sheriff's officials identified their killer as Joshua Cartwright, 28, of Fort Walton Beach.

Prayers and remembrances for the fallen only in this thread.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Happy Retirement Capt. Farrell

Good Luck.


Someone Seal the Border

  • Mexico City closed schools across the metropolis of 20 million Friday after at least 16 people died and more than 900 others fall ill from what health officials suspect is a new strain of swine flu. World health officials worried that it could mark the start of a flu pandemic.

    The World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland said at least 57 have died in the outbreak, although it wasn't yet clear if this larger number of deaths was due to swine flu.

    "We are very, very concerned," said Thomas Abraham, a spokesman for the agency. "We have what appears to be a novel virus and it has spread from human to human." If international spread is confirmed, that meets WHO's criteria for raising the pandemic alert level, he added.
Seeing as how we have contact with dozens of people every single day, police should be extra cautious. You don't want to bring anything home you didn't leave for work with.


Letters, We Get Letters

Whoever is looking into rearranging the call taking priority, look faster:
  • Today on Zone XX, we had two calls dispatch couldn't wait to give out in the middle of a backlog. The first? Assault in progress - with water balloons. The second was an EMS call for a drunk who fell over and cut his hand. They made that one a 1A priority call. Will someone somewhere tell the call takers to stop taking this BS that just buries us. Thanks.
What says the Department talking heads? Are we going to re prioritize soon?


Nothing Better to Do

  • Call off the dogs. Or rather, the Felony Franks.

    Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) is more than a weenie bit mad over the name and logo of a new hot dog stand that will be opening in his ward in a few weeks.

    Fioretti said he fully supports Felony Franks’ mission of providing ex-convicts with jobs, but he thinks the moniker and paintings outside the West Side eatery of googly-eyed hot dogs behind bars are in bad taste.

    “This, no matter what anybody says, is not that cute of an idea. It’s a great concept for ex-offenders, but it’s a poor theme for a restaurant,” Fioretti said, emphasizing that the business’ slogans, “Food so good, it’s criminal” and “Home of the misdemeanor wiener” only glamorize criminal behavior.

Once again, let the market determine what works. If people like the advertising and the hot dogs, then "Felony Franks" will sell a million of them and the city will rake in tax revenue and maybe a few felons leaning toward recidivism won't go down that path where they are a drain on society. But an aldercreature actively working against a new business in his ward? Has anyone noticed the city unemployment rate hit a new high this week? Something on the order of almost 10%.

Even a minimum wage job is a job. And it's someone off the streets working instead of going through garages and homes looking for money.

UPDATE: Spelling corrected


Friday, April 24, 2009

Up 77%?

  • The CTA has become a scarier place.

    Robbery has soared 77 percent on CTA trains, platforms and buses in the past three years, from 246 incidents in 2006 to 436 in 2008, according to the Chicago Police Department.

    Theft -- when no force is involved -- is up 6 percent, from 1,173 reported crimes in 2006 to 1,238 in 2008.

Ridership is up. Crime is up. That makes sense - more victims to chose from.

Crime is up. Arrests are up. That makes sense, too - more chances to grab an offender.

So what's left to explain the rise? Manpower shortages? If one team is in on an arrest, that leaves larger swaths of the tunnels and platforms uncovered. That's one explanation. Who has the CTA manpower numbers from year-to-year to make the argument?


Nice Pinch in Homicide

  • An alleged high-ranking Chicago gang member was gunned down Thursday afternoon while standing outside a West Side residence that police believe he was having appraised, authorities said.

    Police arrested three suspects after a short chase and also seized two weapons within minutes of the shooting in the 3800 block of West Flournoy in West Lawndale.

    Killed was Ray Washington, an alleged leader in the Four Corner Hustler gang for at least seven years, police said. An appraiser who was with Washington also was shot, but he was expected to live.

This homicide might open up a largish can of worms on the west side. Nice to see that the gangs are investing in the neighborhoods though. Not sure how Highland Park feels about the police record of it's newer residents, however. Not that that's a problem anymore.

And taking a bunch of credit?

  • "They did a murder in plain view in the middle of day,'' Schmitz said. "And we got 'em. We were on them. That's what our job is.''
Good job Ric Flair!


Carnage Continues

This one was the fifth slaying Wednesday:
  • Warren Beauchamp’s body was found by housekeeping staff at the motel in the 9100 block of South Stony Island about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, police said.
  • A Highland Park man was killed and a second man was wounded after a shooting on Chicago's West Side this afternoon, authorities said.
And reports of another one way up north in 024, though reports are he was alive at some point.

85 degrees Friday. 80 Saturday before the rain begins. Be careful boys and girls. We have the potential to make up a lot of ground this weekend.


Anyone See the Link?

  • Mayor Daley today questioned why union leaders hell bent on preventing Wal-Mart from expanding in Chicago have allowed suburban Wal-Marts to ring the city without saying a word.

    But, the mayor flatly declared that Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) doesn't stand a prayer in his quest to pass an amended redevelopment agreement that would allow Wal-Mart to build it's second Chicago store -- and first super-center that sells groceries -- at a former Chatham industrial site at 83rd and Stewart.

  • Jewel-Osco announced today it will slash prices up to 20 percent on thousands of products to help budget-conscious and strapped shoppers.

    A Jewel-Osco spokeswoman acknowledged that Chicago was chosen for the so-called "Big Relief Price Cut" program because of the market's "competitive environment," among other factors. Jewel-Osco has been feeling pressure from the openings of new local Wal-Mart stores that sell groceries.

So Wal-Mart isn't allowed to open stores in the city due to union pressure, even as they open stores all around suburbia, which in turn is driving long time Chicago icons Jewel-Osco (and Dominick's we're sure) to post 20% cuts just to attract customers.

We already do all our shopping out of the city. When we can, we do it out of Cook County, too. And the above articles are merely tens of thousands of others doing exactly the same thing with their wallets.


Yield to Pedestrians

Did anyone catch the TV footage?
  • Chicago police ticketed 18 motorists who didn't slow down for pedestrians -- really plainclothes police -- as part of the city's first crosswalk enforcement initiative of the year today.

    The motorists -- who city officials said had plenty of warning -- were stopped traveling northbound on Nagle Avenue at Peterson Avenue.

Are these are uncontrolled intersections with painted crosswalks? State law is very clear that cars will stop for a pedestrian in the roadway in these types of crosswalks, but if you're crossing against the light on foot, that's illegal.

In any case, the TV footage showed that these cars were flying. Really moving. We're sure they picked out the most egregious examples, but they were grabbing them two and three at a time. For $500 per ticket. And we're sure there are supervisors on scene to make sure each and every ticket is issued.

The next event is planned as follows:
  • The next crosswalk enforcement will occur Saturday. Police will be monitoring drivers at 119th and Stewart at 8 a.m., 103rd and South Prairie at 10:30 a.m. and 86th and Commercial at 1 p.m.


Daley Rejects Tax Relief

  • Mayor Richard Daley says he opposes plans to roll back city revenue raising efforts, but does say he believes a City Income Tax, like the 3% levy in New York City, would be a disaster.

    Daley rejected aldermanic calls for a 30 day waiting period for any more asset sales like the Skyway or Parking Meters.

    [...] He also rejected calls for an end to the 4 dollar a month head tax on each city employee and said he'd oppose any plans for a weekend moratorium on the 3-dollar a car parking tax.

    Asked what he thought about the idea of an income tax for Chicago, Mayor Daley says he's always opposed such a plan and still does. He said it would change the course of the city. He said it would be a disaster.
Rolling back some taxes, especially the "head tax" would bring businesses back to the city. Suspending the parking tax would bring in weekend shoppers. The only thing he's close to correct on is the disaster a city income tax would be. And notice that he's completely against any aldermanic interference (review) on his king-like ability to sell city assets at the drop of a hat.

Now why is he listening to this advice and not the advice we gave him a year ago that the "bottled water tax" would be a disaster; the property tax hikes in the middle of a housing slump was stupid; and why couldn't his brother put the breaks on the Toddler's sales tax hike that has led to business not only fleeing the city, but leaving the county as well and townships holding actual secession votes? And winning them.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Four Dead Wednesday Night

Let's see...
  • warm weather approaching - check
  • manpower stretched to the limit - check
  • weekend - wait a's Wednesday night?
And look what happens:
  • A motorist was shot in the back of his head and killed Wednesday night as he drove into an intersection in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side, officials said.

    Robert Murray, believed to be in his 20s, was shot shortly before his vehicle crashed into another vehicle at West 70th and South Sangamon Streets. Police said it wasn't immediately clear if the person who shot him was inside or outside the car.

  • Two men were slain Wednesday in separate shootings not far from each other on the West Side, officials said.

    Willie Parker, 38, was shot by at least one occupant of a passing vehicle about 5:45 p.m. in the 1000 block of North Monticello Avenue, officials said.

    [...] More than eight hours earlier, 24-year-old Juan Hernandez, of Cicero, was shot in the 4400 block of West Augusta Boulevard.
  • Lamont Johnson, of the 7800 block of South Calumet Avenue, pulled up in his vehicle to a Marathon gas station near East 79th Street and South King Drive about 10:10 p.m.

What the hell? Did J-Fed's pet unit have the night off? Because there's no way that the Districts can be staffed this inadequately. J-Fed said we're up to strength.

So who are you going to believe - a superintendent who has no idea about big city policing but says everything is hunky-dory...

...or the dead bodies showing up at the morgue on a cool Wednesday night?


New Search Rules

  • The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a ruling that modifies the search incident to arrest doctrine, rejecting a broad reading of New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454 (1981). In Arizona v. Gant, — U.S. —, 2009 WL 1045962, the Court overturned the search incident to arrest of Rodney Gant’s car after Gant was arrested for driving with a suspended license, handcuffed and secured in the back of a patrol car. With several officers at the scene, officers found cocaine in Gant’s car during the search incident to the driver license arrest.

    The Court held that a search of the passenger compartment of a vehicle following an arrest is allowed “only if [1] the arrestee is within reaching distance of the passenger compartment at the time of the search or [2] it is reasonable to believe the vehicle contains evidence of the offense of arrest. When these justifications are absent, a search of an arrestee's vehicle will be unreasonable unless police obtain a warrant or show that another exception to the warrant requirement applies.

Some details will need to be hammered out and interpreted, but what we're reading is that once you remove a subject from anything that he could possibly reach in the vehicle, the vehicle becomes off limits to a certain extent, especially in the case of traffic law violations.

Be aware that something may have changed. We aren't sure this is an earth-shattering change, but it's another procedural hurdle to clear.


Efficiency Experts - Take 2

So why is it that any effort to "improve operations" never seems to take any input from the guys and gals actually in the field, on the street, or using the programs the Department develops at god knows what cost? It seems every bit of computer software we get was created by a team of incontinent monkeys at the behest of vapid squirrels with personality disorders with a touch of ADHD thrown in for good measure. Seriously.

Who is getting paid tens, hundreds, maybe even millions of dollars to bring in "efficiency experts" to tell the Department what every street copper with more than two years on already knows? Front offices are overstaffed, Headquarters is overstaffed, specialized units are overstaffed, all to the detriment of the primary mission of the Chicago Police Department - to Serve and Protect.


PPO Power Test

From the comments:
  • PPO's from 08-01 going for their refresher when they hit their one year mark. They must take a power test as part of their refresher.

    is this true? if so the union should get involved. They are still PPO's I know but after a year of service PPO's get all the benefits of a PO and are protected by contract. This is probably a contract violation. If the city did this before their year is up then no problem. But not after a year.
Appendix P of the Contract is the relevant portion (page 126). Certain Rights and Protections take effect at the one-year mark of employment. Does anyone even know if the affected PPO's hit a year yet?

It wouldn't surprise us in the least if J-Fed was pushing to abrogate portions of the Contract and void certain protections. He's done it numerous times already. We've already deleted at least two comments that say, "screw the PPO's if they can't pass a POWER test within a year of graduating." All well and good, but if they were hired under certain rules and are protected under the Contract, then any surrendering of those protections affects each and every one of us in the future.

Again, surrender nothing to the City or the Department. Weakening the Contract by even minuscule amounts will bite everyone in the end.

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Turning a Life Around

  • Christina Campos had a turbulent teen-age life, moving from home to home on her own accord, friends say. But she was trying to turn things around.

    The 18-year-old Chicago girl was taking courses to earn a high school diploma before she was killed early today on a Chicago street.

    Campos was leaving a home on the city's Far Southeast Side about 1:15 a.m. with at least two male friends - a 17-year-old and 27-year-old - when shots were fired from a blue minivan. She was fatally struck in the back, police said.

  • Though police previously said the shooting may be gang-related because at least one of her companions is a known gang member, News Affairs Sgt. Antoinette Ursitti said that the motive is unknown and police are still investigating.
A few clues for all you guys and gals trying to turn it all around:
  • Be in at a reasonable hour. 1:15 a.m. isn't reasonable. 10:30 p.m. is the latest you should be out. Ever. Decent people don't usually get in trouble because decent people are in bed. They have jobs and need sleep.
  • Don't hang out with gangbangers. Again, you lay down with dogs, you're going to get fleas. Or bullets in the back. Gangbangers seem to attract a lot of fleas and bullets. It's an occupational hazard.
  • Don't hang out in Daley's Chicago. The Olympics take precedence over police hiring. We try to do our best with what we've got, but it isn't enough to be everywhere all the time. Daley needs money and if a bunch of people die because of his half assed priorities, well he'll get their votes anyway.
Anyone else have advice on turning it all around?

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Reporting Anomaly?

We heard this on a crime scene the other day and now it's popping up in the comments:
  • If a person is shot, and they make any statement to the effect that they were being robbed during the course of the incident, the event is classified as an Aggravated Robbery and doesn't appear in the shooting stats.
Someone from BIS want to address this for the edification of the readers?

UPDATE: Comments are correcting the misconception that it's an Aggravated Robbery, but confirming that it's not counted in the Aggravated Battery stats. We're deleting the ones from ignoramuses who merely insult without providing information - it was a question from a commentator looking for info.

Now does anyone know how they actually keep track of people shot?


Pension Board Meeting

We need increased attendance whenever anything happens that affects the Police.

The next meeting of concern would be the Pension Board:
  • 29 April 2009, 0900 hours.
    221 N LaSalle St
    Suite #1626
Cameras and video are welcome.

As was stated in our comment section, "We really need to keep our new found activism alive."

And we heartily agree.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Corruption? Silly, Silly

  • Two executives of a politically connected garbage cart firm were indicted today on charges stemming from a $2 million contract with Mayor Richard Daley's administration.

    Douglas Ritter, president of Urban Services of America Inc., and Steven Fenzl, a vice president, were charged with allegedly rigging the bid process so that their company won the garbage cart repair deal with the city's Streets and Sanitation Department in July 2005.

    Authorities also allege that Urban Services paid far less to its minority- and women-owned subcontractors than it had promised city officials as part of receiving the business.

How could such a thing happen?
  • Urban Services also worked for the Daley administration cleaning up after the crowds at the Taste of Chicago and other festivals, and it was a major subcontractor in the mayor's failed blue bag program.

    The company has donated more than $50,000 to local political causes, with $35,000 going to the scandal-plagued Hispanic Democratic Organization.

    Former HDO chairman and top Daley aide Victor Reyes was Urban Services' lobbyist at City Hall.

Oh, that explains it all. Pay-to-play. But Shortshanks knows nothing! Sees nothing! Hogan!!!


Another Spate of Shootings

  • An armed robbery and a drive-by within minutes of each other Monday night on the South Side claimed five shooting victims including one man who later died.

    At least four men were injured during a drive-by shooting in the 6300 block of South Ellis Avenue about 10:30 p.m., according to police News Affairs Officer John Henry, who said two of the victims were 20 and 39-years-old.

  • Only about five minutes after that attack, a man in his 50s was entering the building where he lives in the 6800 block of South Crandon Avenue when four or five juvenile males between the ages of about 15 and 17 approached him wearing dark hoodies, dark pants and masks, Grand Crossing District police said.
So the aggravated battery numbers continue to climb while hospital care keeps the homicide rate down. The weatherman is predicting 80's by Friday and Saturday.


Interesting Observation

There were almost as many comments about the "Office Space" crack we made as there were to the "Talk Like Shakespeare" post.

We see the the low side of humanity more than most people even dream about, but anyone who has grown up around coppers knows that there is an inordinate amount of knowledge regarding so-called "high brow" subjects like Shakespeare, cult movies, art, history and other subjects.

Still, it's amusing to see it in action.

Open post for now.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Shortshanks Fills Budget Gap

  • City officials announced today that the $2.5 billion deal to lease Midway Airport to a private operator will not be completed.

    "The company cannot secure the financing needed," said Gene Saffold, Mayor Richard Daley's chief financial officer.

  • The city will keep a $126 million down payment that the prospective Midway operator had paid already, Saffold said.
So if Shortshanks can pull this kind of non-deal off a few times this year and next, he'll be able to afford his precious Olympics, his three dozen bodyguards, another hundred Tahoes and maybe a 6% raise for the Police and Fire Departments.

Maybe he can even buy out J-Fed.


Union Meeting - Noon

If you can make it, do it. We need a decent turnout for at least two reasons:
  1. To show the City we're still more than a little ticked off;
  2. To show the FOP we expect them to keep the heat on.
We'll update as soon as we can anything that comes from the meeting. We expect it to be on the hot side - a lot of ticked off people are still incredibly angry.


Efficiency Experts Arrive

This will be interesting:
  • Department member,

    AtKearney, a well known global management consultant, has offered to assist the Chicago Police Department by analyzing our district administrative functions and offering recommendations for improvement. Chicago Police Department personnel will work with ATKearney on this project to generate recommendations on reduction of workloads, optimization of personnel assigned to specific administrative functions and improvements through technology.

    The 008th District, the 011th District and Area #4 Patrol have been selected as project sites. Department personnel from these locations will be working closely with ATKearney personnel. The project is anticipated to last for a 90 day period, commencing the week of 19 Apr 09.

    When the project is complete, ATKearney will develop a methodology for improvements in administration or technology that may be replicated Department wide.

    If you have any questions, you can contact me at [...]

    Beatrice Cuello
    Assistant Superintendent
We'll expect updates from the boys and girls in 008, 011 and Area 4. We imagine automation will be a big suggestion. The automation that keeps on crashing and deleting our reports along with the other automation that's draining our car batteries and won't come into range so we can actually input the data to lose.

Questions - what expertise does AT Karney actually have in the field of police work? Why do they hire outside consultants for this sort of BS, yet no one ever ask the members of Patrol what might make their lives easier in report writing, ticket issuing and crime investigation? And where is this money coming from when we can't even get a raise for two years?

Anyone ever watch "Office Space"? Watch out for "The Bobs."


CLEAR Crashes Again

A hiccup in the system loses another truckload of data Monday afternoon.

If this is going to become a regular occurrence, please DO NOT mention Huberman's name in regard to the disaster.

He'll be demanding a Police Department pension again for the screw-up.


Talk Like Shakespeare?

Another brilliant freaking idea from the mind of "Richard the Turd":
  • On Monday, Mayor Richard Daley is to announce that Thursday, William Shakespeare's 445th birthday, is to be "Talk Like Shakespeare Day," an occasion for Chicagoans to import the spoken words of the Bard of Avon into their everyday conversations.

    Because today is April 20 rather than April 1, we'll assume the mayoral proclamation is both legit and sincerely made. Soft! On Thursday, verily, haply we'll hear Shakespearean language in all kinds of Chicago settings. Alack! Prithee! Mark me well!

    At City Hall, Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) to Ald. Richard Mell (33rd):"Foolery, sir, doth walk about the orb like the sun. It shines everywhere."

    Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, in impromptu statement outside home: "Thieves for their robbery have authority, when judges steal themselves."
Give us a day or two and our readers will come up with a few dozen Shakespearean quotes that will make you spew frosty beverages all over the computer screens. But in all seriousness - what the hell does this have to do with running a city into the ground via taxes, clout, crooked contracting and phone calls.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Tokyo in the Lead

  • The chairwoman of the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission says its members were "most impressed" by Tokyo's bid to host the 2016 Summer Games.

    Nawal el Moutawakel praised the city's vision, concept and presentation at a news conference Sunday marking the end of the IOC team's four-day inspection of Tokyo.

    Tokyo is competing with Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid to host the 2016 Olympics. The IOC inspection team has already visited Chicago, and the full IOC will select the host city during a vote in Copenhagen on Oct. 2.

    Tokyo organizers say their bid offers the most compact games, with almost all venues located less than five miles from the main stadium.
In fact, there was only one major hurdle to overcome:


More Layoffs? Bigger Deficit?

  • With a growing budget deficit, Mayor Daley said Saturday that the city is talking with unions in an attempt to avoid layoffs through other concessions.

    "We're trying to work this out," he said. "They've been at the table. They've been talking to us about all these issues."

    The Chicago Sun-Times reported last week that union leaders had been told the city might have to lay off 1,600 workers -- but no sworn police officers or firefighters -- unless organized labor agrees to another round of givebacks to eliminate a potential $300 million shortfall.

Daley, Stroger and Blago all chose the worst time to push through the hikes that saddled us with the highest tax rates in the nation. A business and economy killer in the midst of a recession. Why didn't the government tighten its belt in the face of declining revenues and promote a pro-business atmosphere that would make Illinois a job magnet instead of the equivalent of job-kryptonite?

Blago is out of a job, facing jail. The Toddler is in major trouble with his poll numbers. Can Shortshanks be as vulnerable as the rest? He seems increasingly out of touch and headed around the bend.

Hey, we can dream, can't we?


Preventive Maintenance?

So someone forgot to oil the bearings? Tune up the lift engine? Grease the locks?
  • The first day of spring boat season was interrupted Saturday afternoon after a deadbolt on the Michigan Avenue bridge became stuck, blocking boat and vehicular traffic for more than an hour.

    The Michigan Avenue bridge -- just one of 20 bridges expected to be lifted Saturday along the main and south branches of the Chicago River -- became stuck about 12:30 p.m. on the first day of the spring boat run, when boats go from winter storage to Lake Michigan harbors...

We're just going to guess that Shortshanks "diverted" the money that should have been spent on bridge maintenance into the Olympic fund. It's completely possible and sounds like something he'd do. He certainly isn't giving us anything.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Complete Computer Failure

We've seen glitches come and go in the almost completely incompatible computer programs that the Department uses to run it's day-to-day operations. Data Warehouse, CHRIS, CLEAR, AFIS, AIRA, Data Warehouse. All have been full of their own special bugs. We worked around them.

This is the first time we can remember the systems being down for 24 hours, the entire Department reverting to paper arrest reports, paper inventories, no fingerprints, no photographs, no anything.
  • Lockups are starting to overfill;
  • petty offenses aren't being let to bail;
  • no court transports Saturday morning;
  • emergency court hearings are being scheduled for Sunday on prisoners held 48 hours
Wait until County has to process five times the normal number of heads tomorrow.

First thing Monday morning, we're buying futures in turkey baloney, because the lock-ups keeping so many prisoners must have depleted the supply to near critical levels.

But we're ready for the Olympics.


Hawks Win

  • The Blackhawks seem intent on making history rather than repeating it. The last time the franchise captured the opening game of a postseason series it proceeded to drop the next four in an early exit.

    In an effort to exorcise that demon in Game 2 of the Western Conference playoffs against the Calgary, the Hawks managed to avoid a historical repeat as they rallied to a 3-2 victory over the Flames.

    The victory before a crowd of 22,514 at the United Center gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series that now shifts to Calgary for Games 3 Monday night.
The Hawks showed real character, ending up down 0-2 in the first period, they rallied with 3 goals in the second period and then answered everything the Flames threw at them to win the second game in the best of seven series.

Thanks Rocky. No matter how far they go this year, we're happy the only game in town isn't out in Rosemont anymore.


22 Shot in Under 24 Hours

  • A SHOOTING INSIDE a car wash in the South Side's Hamilton Park neighborhood left one man dead and seven others wounded early Saturday, police said.
  • A VICTIM IS IN "CRITICAL" in critical condition after he was shot in the North Side’s Uptown neighborhood Saturday evening.
  • A MAN WAS SHOT while standing on a street in the South Chicago neighborhood Saturday morning.
  • A 51-YEAR-OLD MAN was wounded in a shooting on the West Side when a man got out of a van to shoot him, then drove off.
  • A YOUNG VICTIM IS DEAD and four others wounded after shootings within 15 minutes citywide Friday afternoon.
  • TWO TEENS shot in the 200 block of North Karlov Avenue, Knight said. Both went to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
  • ARTIES ANDERSON was fatally shot while playing a dice game near his house on the West Side.
  • AT LEAST THREE VICTIMS were shot on a South Side street early Saturday.
At least three fatals that we can see in the bunch.

Does anyone truly believe we're "adequately staffed" at the District level as J-Fed claims? And if we are, why did they have to pull cars from 002, 020, 022 and 024 to help out the boys and girls in 007 after the car wash shooting? We could see pulling cars from 006, 008, and 009. But was Area 1 that short handed on a warm Friday night?

In reality? Yes. They're that short every night.


Once Again, It's Negotiable

What is it about a contract he doesn't get?
  • According to reports heard all day on WBBM, J-Fed is considering random alcohol testing for cops.
So, is this on or off-duty testing? Because off-duty, they better have probable cause and they better be paying overtime for call-backs.

On-duty? We don't recall that anyone has been accused of driving into cars parked on the highway drunk and on-duty. Or is there something the Department has been hiding about three-martini lunches down at HQ?

We don't think anyone should be drunk on-duty. We haven't seen that it's a problem, so this is typical overreaction by the Department. But as drug and alcohol testing criteria are the subject of collective bargaining, J-Fed is welcome to bring it to the table at some point. And he can bring along some concessions to "persuade" the negotiators that this is in everyone's best interest.

How about an additional $10,000 cost of living allotment for being forced to live in Shortshank's Worker's Paradise? Or a 6% raise like the aldercreatures got?


Smile Cub Fans!

Funny stuff people:

A student of proctology is in the morgue one day after classes, getting a little practice in before the final exams. He goes over to a table where a body is lying face down. He uncovers the sheet over the body, and to his surprise he finds a cork in the corpse's rectum. Figuring that this is fairly unusual, he pulls the cork out, and to his surprise, the rectum starts singing, "Hey Chicago what do you say... the Cubs are gonna win today"

The student is amazed, and places the cork back in the backside. The music stops. Totally freaked out, the student calls the Medical Examiner over to the corpse. "Look at this, this is really something," the student tells the examiner as he pulls the cork back out again. "Hey Chicago what do you say... the Cubs are gonna win today"

"So what?" the Medical Examiner replies, obviously unimpressed with the discovery.

"But isn't that the most amazing thing you've ever seen?" asked the student.

"Are you kidding?" replied the Examiner, "I've heard thousands of assholes sing that stupid song."

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Someone Call Byrne

This is a great excuse for the sad state of Chicago roads:
  • A local council in Essex, England has deemed broken roads a "natural traffic calming measure." If you didn't catch that, "traffic calming" is a euphemism used by politicians when discussing measures to slow the traffic flow through an area. Generally, the "calming" involves taking active measures, such as installing speed bumps, round-abouts or narrowing the road. To our knowledge it's never been (openly) done by neglecting what most people would consider one of the duties of a government -- maintaining basic infrastructure.

    According to a councillor in Navestock, repairing roads just encourages people to drive faster. Of course, the counter argument involves safety. Leaving a road marked with craters causes drivers to swerve, as well as damaging suspension components and wheels. It also poses a hazard to motorcyclists and bike riders.
Of course, expecting an Irishman to use an excuse pioneered by an English politician might be considered blasphemous in the extreme, but it's a way for Daley to embrace the pothole phenomenon rather than explain the shoddy road work across the City.


One Warm Day...

School dismissal time.

Shift change.

Manpower shortages.

Who could have seen this coming?
  • Two people were killed, including a teen, and three other people were wounded in three separate shootings within minutes across the city this afternoon on one of the warmer days so far this year.

    Police had few details on the shootings, which all occurred in a 15-minute span after 3 p.m.

    Two 18-year-olds were wounded in what police described as a drive-by shooting about 3:15 p.m. outside a public library near 79th Street and King Drive.
  • About 10 minutes before, a 30-year-old man was killed in a shooting in the 3300 block of West Madison Street, according to police. The victim, whose identity was not being released pending the notification of his family, was pronounced dead within the hour at Stroger Hospital, according to the medical examiner's office.

    Two men in their 20s were also wounded in gunfire in the 200 block of North Karlov Avenue around the same time, according to police. One of those men was wounded in the hand and the other suffered a graze wound to the chest.

And an e-mail says another shooting occurred in 011 about 40 minutes before the 3 listed above.

So what do you believe now? The contention that everything is fine at the District level with adequate staffing and 13,500 officers maintaining the peace? Or your own lying eyes?

Watch yourselves - it's going to be warm today, too.


Stroger Follies

  • Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has ousted his cousin from her $175,701-a-year job as the county’s chief financial officer amid questions about her dealings with a recently fired county patronage worker.
  • The controversy began after the Chicago Sun-Times raised questions about Cole’s troubled past — as well as the fact that Dunnings twice bailed him out of jail while he was her then-$58,000-a-year administrative assistant, according to court records.
Well, that explains why the Toddler had to give his cousin a raise - her boyfriend's bail money was eating into her disposable income.

And combine this with the report a day or so ago about the Toddler's "tax cut" - 0.25% - which means it you spend $100 in Cook County, you'll save a quarter!

He's a shoo-in as the reform candidate.


Glock Issue?

  • The Milwaukee Police Department found that there is a serious problem with its guns.

    Officer Vidal Colon was injured over the weekend in a shootout, in which his gun jammed.

    [...] Both men were hit, and police have been investigating the shootout. They learned that one bullet casing had stovepiped, or jammed, in the officer's weapon.

  • "We had experienced a number of issues on the range with our issued Glock model 22, .40 caliber duty pistol magazines, which represents 45 percent of our issued weapons," said Flynn in the memo.

    The chief became aware of the problem in January 2008. Since then, "Glock has replaced 2,700 pistol magazines at no cost to the Milwaukee Police Department," said Flynn in the memo.

Replacing 2,700 magazines at no cost suggests a flaw of some sort, at least to us. Has this issue been resolved in the Glocks the Department is requiring new hires and transition shooters to buy? This is the first we've heard of this.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Realignment Rumors Get Louder

And now we come to what we and others feel was the primary reason J-Fed was brought to Chicago:
  • More than 1,200 times last year, residents of the South Chicago and Gresham police districts called 911, and there was no car available to respond.

    In the Foster Avenue and Belmont districts on the North Side, the same thing happened only ten times.

    On Thursday, those disparate figures for “radio assignment pending” calls were introduced by disgruntled Chicago aldermen as “Exhibit A” in the case for beat realignment, something that hasn’t been done in Chicago since 1985.

Ike "Waiting for the Federal Indictment" Carothers wants action now:
  • Carothers said he’s so tired of waiting for Police Supt. Jody Weis to deliver the police equivalent of reapportionment, he’s threatening to push through a City Council “order” that it be done by a specific date.
Welcome to being the political fall guy for Daley's 20 years of inaction J-Fed! You aren't going to be able to please all the aldercreatures, so they'll be demanding your head. They'll get it, too, as soon as the mayor claims it's a police matter he left in your hands even though everything you've done has been at the behest of Shortshanks. The man behind the curtain will be pushing you under the bus at the earliest opportunity. Count on it.

Deputy Superintendent Dugan gives a hint of what's to come:
  • As for the geographic disparity in “radio assignment pending” calls, Dugan said “violence and life-and-limb” calls are always moved to the “top of the pile.” It’s the borderline calls that sometimes get short-shrift — and might need to be handled differently.

    “We as a department dispatch approximately 68 percent of the calls we receive at the 911 center. Look at major cities throughout the United States. They’re dispatching at about 30 percent,” Dugan said.

    “We might be a victim of our own success. We’ve asked people to call 911, and people call 911. Are they all the right calls? Or can we maybe [divert some calls] to a more appropriate venue that doesn’t require a police officer actually showing up at the scene.”

The street cop would welcome a reduction in calls from 68% to 30%. Fire doesn't need a baby sitter every time there's a ambulance call. Kids not listening to grandma and not eating vegetables is a failure of parenting, not a police matter. Camera watchers calling in parking violators is a waste of an entire system. Missions that generate nothing but event numbers need to end. The list of nonsense goes on.

Re-prioritize the call system first. Then hire 1,000 cops. Then close two districts while realigning everything. Problem solved.


Restore the Roar

  • It had been great when the Blackhawks found their way from medieval times onto TV. It had been great when Hull and Esposito and Mikita were invited back. It had been great when President John McDonough reached out to fans in so many ways that you were sure he strained a few muscles.

    But there is no greater marketing strategy than winning.

    The idea Thursday night was that while the Hawks were in the playoffs, they might as well take advantage of the situation. Make themselves comfortable. Stay awhile in this best-of-seven series.
We aren't complaining.


Waste of Money

How about looking for ways to reduce our freaking taxes you idiots:
  • Chicago Aldermen are looking for ways the City might be able to help keep alive the weekly publication, StreetWise, sold by the homeless.
And then some truly moronic statements are made:
  • At a City Council hearing on Wednesday, mother of two Patricia Tillman said if StreetWise goes under, so does the income—and training—that have helped her family stay off the streets.
So if Streetwise goes under, you lose all that training? Someone is hitting the crack pipe awfully hard if you can forget the "training" that turned your life around. How about taking some of that "training" and applying it to a better paying endeavor?

And finally, an aldercreature almost makes some sense of it all:
  • Alderman Manny Flores, who called for the hearings, says they City—and the StreetWise board—should be leery of any government sponsorship of an independent newspaper.
"government sponsorship of an independent newspaper." Isn't that a description of the Sun Times?


Not a Major Problem

  • Citing the ongoing criminal and internal investigation into the actions of Wentworth Area Detective Joseph Frugoli, Weis declined to comment on the case during an interview this morning on WGN-Ch. 9. But he said drunken driving among his officers is not "systemic," adding: "If you look at other agencies, or other organizations--lawyers, doctors, pilots, even members of the media--alcoholism and alcohol abuse, it's a problem for American society."
As we are unaware of any reliable studies to cite regarding the prevalence of alcohol abuse and drunken driving amongst cops as compared to the other professions or the general population, we'll assume that the media and assorted trolls are just pulling numbers out of thin air and pumping their own agendas.

As a side note, corruption in the Department isn't "systemic" either. But we're supposed to believe that J-Fed was brought here to tame a Department that was "out of control." Meanwhile, 50% of the City Council has gone to jail in the past 25 years, two governors have served time and a third is on the way to Club Fed.

Some people are missing what's really out of control we think.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Complaints with a Purpose

Someone posted the following in the comments with a whole bunch of name calling. We deleted it for the nonsense, but felt the need to address this part:
  • ....the superintendent gets you new tahoes, you bitch
    the superintendent makes the merit selections more open you bitch
    the superintendent gets a program going for the new M4s on the street, you bitch
  • blah blah blah, you whiny no good overpaid blah blah blah
Listen up asshat - the superintendent bragged about how he got us new vehicles. He took credit! Now in actuality, he probably had very little to do with the contract to purchase these vehicles, but if he wants all the glory, he gets all the grief with it. We've had a bunch of letters from 007 about their 3 Tahoes going down for the same transmission problem. 011 lost at least one Tahoe for leaking during a rainstorm. We're still sorting through the rest of the mail, but it isn't an isolated incident.

The "merit" process is more open? The only thing that changed is that we don't have to play "Spot the Clout" anymore when a list comes out. The Department still doesn't define what "merit" is, the same people are nominating the same hacks for the spot, it's still who you know or who you blow. How is that an improvement?

And we still haven't seen an rifle on the street. All the Tahoes are being delivered without rifle racks. It's all smoke and mirrors.

One has to remember Clara Peller (or the Keesing Bandit) and ask, "Where's the beef?" Because we're getting a whole bunch of bread here and nothing of substance.


Off Duty?

  • Five accident-prone Chicago intersections near schools, seniors and shopping were chosen Tuesday to kick off a yearlong undercover crackdown against motorists who fail to yield for pedestrians.

    Off-duty Chicago Police officers posing as pedestrians will start issuing real tickets -- with fines ranging from $50 to $500 -- at 8 a.m. Monday at Division and Hoyne.

So where do we sign-up to run out into traffic and try to get hit by a rich yuppie with good insurance?

We had our doubts about this program when it was first introduced. It seemed like a suicide type mission. Off-duty doesn't seem any better.

UPDATE: By "off duty," we're assuming it's a Special Employment issue of some sort. Not like DUI Checkpoints because you really don't need any special talents or qualifications to walk into traffic.


Daley Blinks

Once again, Daley lies. The garbage men call him on it:
  • In an apparent attempt to ease tensions with organized labor, the Daley administration today abruptly cancelled a “request for quotations” to purchase up to 200 “automated, side-loading refuse trucks” that could pave the way for scores of layoffs and service cuts.

    [...] But Lou Phillips, business manager of Laborers Union Local 1001, said the RFQ was canceled because “we asked them to do it.

    “We helped them out of the budget problem. To slap us in the face with something like this was appalling. What kind of respect does it show this local or this leadership?’’

That would be "none" Mr. Phillips. Shortshanks wants you to give, give, give and then he's going to screw you anyway after all the concessions given. Welcome to the party pal.


About Time

There ought to be plenty of parking on the south and west sides once this passes:
  • Motorists who get pulled over in Chicago with a suspended or revoked driver’s license soon could see their cars impounded under a proposal approved today by a City Council committee.

    They also would face a fine of $500 plus towing and storage fees.

    The proposal could be approved by the full council as soon as the next meeting on April 22.

    Ald. Thomas Allen (38th) said he proposed the ordinance after a police officer told him that cops could not impound a vehicle even if the driver was found to be driving without a valid license. He said his motivation was to make Chicago’s streets safer.
And of course, the standard resistance arises:
  • Only Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) voted against the measure at today’s joint session of the council Traffic and Police Committees.

    “I think it’s too harsh,” Brookins. “$500 is a heckuva price to pay.”

We have to pay for functional wheels, maintain the engine in accordance with clean air laws, carry insurance, buy annual stickers, and be in full compliance lest we get suspended from work. But Brookins thinks that's too harsh? If he wants to suspend the rule of law, he can propose to do so, but until that time, obey the freaking law!


No-lympic T-Shirts

BuckleyTypographic has a new spot to get t-shirts:
And as a reminder, the artwork:

To show your lack of support.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Small World

  • Flyers denouncing Joseph Frugoli were plastered in CTA 'L' cars Tuesday night, accusing the Chicago police detective being "piss drunk" when he crashed into a car stopped on the Dan Ryan, killing two men.

    The rage that prompted the flyer may have begun a year and a half ago, when two acquaintances of the victims of Friday's crash were killed -- also by an allegedly drunk off-duty Chicago cop.

That's a hell of a coincidence, isn't it?

And what's with all this graffiti popping up all over the south side and up and down the Dan Ryan the past few nights? With pitchforks alongside?

While tagging isn't deserving of a death sentence, there are enough questions being raised that an investigation into how much these victims may have contributed to their own demise shouldn't be out of bounds.



Looking at the current Bulletin Board in the station, we see the following:
  • 4 retirement flyers
  • 5 promotional flyers, 3 for exempts
  • 1 Christmas flyer (they haven't cleaned the board in a while)
Without exception, each and every one of these events is being held at an establishment that is licensed to serve booze. And without exception, a District Commander or higher is listed on the ticket committee.

We've all heard the stories, we've even experienced a few of them, where if you want to keep that spot in the Unit or that spot on the team, you better buy a ticket to this event or that one or (and this is the BIG one) that Christmas party. Exempts are notorious for bragging about how well attended their Christmas party was. It's a popularity contest.

We see a day in the not so distant future where exempts will be forbidden to be a part of any ticket committees where liquor might be in evidence. Christmas parties will be Temperance Movement affairs. Retirement parties will be limited to cake and coffee (decaf) in between domestics and shots fired calls.

And a beer will be something you drink in the basement with the lights out and the shades drawn. Alone.


Only the Best!

Low bid contracting strikes again
  • [A]ll 3 of the Tahoes that originally came to 007 are down due to the same problem. Some kind of transmission problem where the back end is locking up. Just guessing the others will have the same fate. All have less than 3,000 miles. Anyone else having these issues?
And J-Fed has been taking credit for "getting" us new vehicles. Does that mean he takes the blame for the problems cropping up?


Enforcers Game

Spring football:
  • CPD Football Team the Enforcers are playing this saturday April 18th @ 7pm at Lane Tech HS 2501 W. Addison vs. the Inland Empire team from San Bernadino CA.

    Proceeds to benefit the Chicago Police Memorial, the Gold Star Families, and Mercy Home for Boys and Girls.

    The Enforcers are 1-0 after beating Cleveland PD 14-6 two weeks ago.
Good luck guys.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

35th Street Birdie

Here we go. Typical overreaction:

    J-Fed's "Think Tank" is drawing up plans as we speak to do premise checks in concert with the licensing unit at "liquor establishments known to be frequented by P.O.'s". Those patrons believed to be, or otherwise identified as ODPO's, will be asked to identify themselves. Interviews with the bartender/manager as to number of drinks consumed, time in establishment, etcetera will be conducted if they believe the ODPO is "impaired".

    In addition, another "policy group" suggestion is to monitor the perimeters of such locations doing "vehicular grid searches" with the equivalent of a plate-reading vehicle that will "hit" when a vehicle in close proximity to the drinking establishment comes back registered to a P.O. (this should be nightmare-ish to those of us with cars registered to 35/Michigan who like their pops).

    Now here comes the best part: when the details are all worked out in this latest knee-jerk-reaction, they'll be asking for volunteers to be detailed to this newly-created unit!! Preliminary numbers of 2 Sergeants and 12 P.O.'s. Officers with DUI experience/breath technician certification will be sought-out to step-up for the "cause".

    A handful of gold stars and their confidantes were assembled last- minute Sunday night to develop this plan to try and minimize the fallout created by Saturday's tragedy; seems the midget on the 5th floor was absolutely livid about the "possible negative ramifications" over the bad publicity generated by this latest CPD fuck-up and the collateral damage once the IOC got wind of the event. The midget wants to make it internationally known that he won't tolerate first-responders who engage in behavior that would jeopardize the citizenry/taxpayers (which means dampen his Olympic quest).

    I promise more on this subject once I can put my ear back on the wall. In the meantime, use your heads, brothers and sisters. It certainly looks like it's going to get a lot worse before the shit storm clears.
While we agree that something must be done regarding drinking and driving, this sounds suspiciously like "profiling" as it singles out a certain group of people based on the behaviors of a miniscule few. What happened to "Not on my Department"?


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