Sunday, May 31, 2009

Media Follows Blog Lead

Channel 5 did something last night we never would have believed if we hadn't seen it with our own eyes. They ran this picture at the tail end of a story:

This is the gangbanger who was found beaten, shot to death and then burned in a gangway on the south side, miles from his territory. The family immediately set out to sanctify the victim, painting him as a good boy who hadn't attended school in nine months, but was about to turn it all around and who would never ever run around with a gang. They forgot to shut down his MySpace account though, and we were able to save the incriminating evidence that gave lie to their entire tall tale.

But we never imagined an actual media outlet would broadcast something that was so obviously at odds with the "poor honor student" narrative they've been pushing for the past few weeks. It's like we woke up in Bizarro World.

Next thing you know, they might actually mention the aldercreatures 6% pay raise for a part-time, $120,000 a year job, or the brewing pension scandal, or the money Shortshanks has been bleeding away for decades.


Another Tax Increase

  • The state Senate voted Saturday to raise Illinois taxes by more than $5 billion as Democrats groped for ways of generating money to reduce a massive budget deficit and avert deep cuts to government services.

    "If we don't do this, who you gonna cut? The disabled? Senior citizens?" said Sen. Rickey Hendon, D-Chicago. "Who you gonna cut? Who's going to suffer? How much pain should the people of Illinois go through?"

How about our readers tell Hendon where he can make some cuts?


Four Years

Over 5,300 posts, read 13.1 million times by 6.1 million visitors who left behind something like over 250,000 comments. We may have made up that last stat, but we don't have the time to go back and add everything together.

Regardless, thanks to each of you.


To SCC Fan

We have no other way of contacting you, so we're burning a post for it.

Thanks for the unpublishable comments over the past few weeks. Your insight has been an asset to our understanding of certain operations within the Department. It's eye-opening on a number of levels, especially in areas of absolute ignorance.

In any case, it is people like you and your co-workers that help make this possible. While we might disagree on certain issues, the method of addressing the issues shouldn't be the subject of what it became. Thanks for looking out for the process, and us.

Stay safe and keep in touch.

Comments closed for this post.


Opportunistic Pandering

  • As she contemplates a run for governor next year, Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan is wading into the hot-button issue of Chicago's parking meter lease.

    Madigan's office has launched a consumer fraud investigation into the recent privatization of the city's 36,000 parking meters.

    Today, a Madigan spokeswoman said the office sent subpoenas about two weeks ago to three companies involved in the controversial lease deal, which ushered in dramatic parking rate hikes across the city.

So is she investigating Shortshanks? How he rammed the deal through the City Council in 72 hours? How a company was invented out of thin air involving City Hall and Daley insiders stands to reap millions, maybe billions in fees? Well, no, that'd be silly:
  • "We're looking for information related to the transaction and implementation of the system to determine if consumers were defrauded," spokeswoman Robyn Ziegler said.

    [...] When asked if Madigan was also investigating the city officials who quickly approved the deal, including Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Ziegler responded, "No, we're not investigating the city." The City Council voted overwhelmingly to approve the deal in December, despite having little time to consider it before it was brought up for a vote.

So pretty much hunting for headlines after the fact without really endangering anyone attached to her father, the Chicago Machine or Daley cronies. Yup, that's a sure way to garner votes. At least from people who don't know any better.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Noose Tightens

We aren't sure who should get the credit, but this is a good thing:
  • City pension officials have been hit with subpoenas from a federal grand jury trying to determine how they decided to invest $68 million with a start-up company co-owned by Mayor Daley’s nephew.

    The grand jury issued the subpoenas Wednesday, nearly two months after city pension officials refused to comply with similar subpoenas issued by the city of Chicago’s inspector general, David Hoffman.

We'd like to see at least a few people head to jail over this. We'd also like to see a few of the elected Pension Board members who seem to have forgotten whom they are supposed to be representing have a sudden flash of introspection. They are likely going to be answering questions in front of a Federal Grand Jury shortly. And they are facing the voters soon.


Scumbag Arrested - Gun Recovered

  • A 22-year-old South Side man was charged in connection with the theft of a 9 mm Baretta belonging to a Chicago police officer as he lay critically injured following a traffic crash Wednesday at 98th and Halsted Streets, authorities said tonight.

    Rasaan Shannon, of the 9800 block of South Morgan Street, was charged with strong arm robbery, disarming a peace officer and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, police said, adding that the injured officer's gun was recovered.

Gee, a felon. Anyone want to post his rap sheet? We're betting it's a beauty. And this worthless piece of shit went through an injured officer to steal. We're just irritated beyond words.

The officer is still in very bad shape. We'll update as possible.


Callback Shorthanded?

Word is that a number of POWs whose cases have been resolved or who never had cases that went anywhere are being reinstated at a decent clip. At least six and maybe as many as a ten were sent to District Reinstatement this week alone.

So we have front offices, CAPS offices, desks and callback being emptied out. Is someone admitting that we're short on the street finally? Or are they expecting something bigger this summer?


City Hall Plumbers

Reports are that a number of plumbing crews were called to City Hall this morning to unclog a number of lavatories. They found this:

We're of the opinion that since it was pretty much public knowledge that Carothers was the target of a couple of investigations (hell, we've been talking about it for a year) that there is probably no way Shortshanks got caught on tape.

There are however, a number of other persons who ought to be concerned. Any aldercreature who served on any sort of committee with Ike ought to be reviewing the substance of shared conversations, in the hallways between sessions, maybe over a cup of coffee in the lounge. And just about every builder who appeared before the Committee better review past business practices to make sure there was nothing that could be interpreted as shady.

Ike is posturing. He's not pleading "not guilty" because he knows he's innocent. He knew he was getting jail time the second he strapped on the wire. He's pleading "not guilty" because it's part of the dance. And maybe the feds have a bunch of other wiretaps in place that are just buzzing with conversation.


Another Citizen Says Thanks

You're welcome:
  • Greetings SCC,

    This email is a little late, but better late than never when expressing gratitude. I was trying to find a way to thank the officers from the 13th District who responded so quickly to the shootings on the 800 block of Francisco this week.

    The other night, I was reading in bed when I heard several gunshots right outside my window. I called 911 for shots fired and then went to put on my shoes to make sure a neighbor was not bleeding out in the street. By the time I got my shoes on and made it to the front porch, a squad was already driving down the block. It turned out that three people had been shot.

    I was really relieved to see that the response time was under a minute!

    Now before some respondents say that I should move, or I live in a ghetto etc... Let me just say that I am a lowly city employee who has to live within the Chicago city limits, and this was the most convenient neighborhood we could afford at the time. There are lots of good people in the neighborhood and if it had not been for the severe economic downturn, it would have been a great investment. I'm not sure why I feel the need to defend my home, but some people have a way of blaming innocent people for their misfortunes, so I wanted to clarify right off the bat that I live on that block due to economic reasons. I'm not someone who would move in to complain about the crime and the lifelong residents.

    So as a fellow City hostage employee, I really do appreciate everything our officers are doing. We can't all afford to live in Lincoln Park or the Gold Coast. It's nice to see that regular folks can get top-notch service too. Thanks for your fast and professional response. Several neighbors on the block commented on how fast you responded, so I thought I should share it with you, since you probably get more complaints than praise.

    Stay safe, and good luck with that contract...
Two letters in as many weeks? We're hoping this is a trend.


Friday, May 29, 2009


Ike wore a wire. For a year:
  • Federal court documents unsealed Thursday as Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th) was indicted on corruption charges suggest Carothers himself has been cooperating with federal investigators and secretly taping other public officials.

    The records included a motion filed in February to keep an earlier indictment against developer Calvin Boender sealed. Boender was indicted along with Carothers Thursday, accused of bribing Carothers to get him to support a zoning change at a large parcel in his ward.

    But a motion to keep a February indictment against Boender under seal suggests Carothers himself wore a wire during a federal investigation into zoning matters.

    The motion, which appears to describe the same conduct between Boender and Carothers outlined by federal authorities Thursday, only describes Boender as dealing with "Public Official A."
We guess that Ike won't be facing the full ninety-eight years he could get come sentencing. If recent history is any indication, the Feds will settle on 3 years, which is truly sad. Ninety-eight years would open up a lot more cans of worms. And slam shut a whole lot of sphincters.


Day One

Reorganization tales:
  • We thought the "Quality of Life" car took the cake. We were mistaken;
  • Some district put up a "Pod Mission" car. Never left the station, just watched cameras all day;
  • Rumor has it three different districts didn't even have cars for the extra people - no pool cars citywide you know. None of them left the station either;
  • OEC reports a plethora of "Squad, hold down the following vehicles on Special Assignments" phone calls from a number of Districts at various points during the day so the backlog of office work got done;
  • At least one District completely ignored the directive and kept their sheets exactly as before with desk, lockup, and watch secretary spots fully manned;
We make no claims to the veracity of any of the above. It's all out of our comment sections and e-mail. But we aren't blind. We can read a PCAD screen for some of these. It seems obvious that something is going to give at some point and the quasi-military decorum that's supposed to hold the organization together might be the first casualty.

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Right Hand, Meet Left Hand

Letters, we get letters:
  • SCC, you are going to loooooove this one.

    (XXX) District gets a letter today from Patrol Division wanting to know about a drop off in index numbers. They have a couple of days to respond. The numbers weren't down. They just weren't entered because the Officer who does stats was out of town.

    But the Officer comes back Thursday and guess what? Their spot has been eliminated! They're back out on the street and who knows when the stats will be entered now? If they were the vengeful type, they'd toss the whole pile of numbers in the garbage.
This is the second time we've heard of this and it points out a serious flaw in the ongoing reorganization. There are people downtown whose sole purpose is to generate useless reports to secure their own spots. And to demand an explanation of falling index numbers in the midst of eliminating the very spots that feed their useless statistical reports is truly ignorant. Whoever authored the report demanding that data ought to have their spot eliminated immediately.

While these efforts are a tiny step in the right direction (overstaffed offices and desks), they are missing where the most fat needs to be trimmed - HQ. And we doubt that even as one of the top five exempts in the Department, Dugan has any power to trim those spots.


It Wasn't a Rumor

We keep getting letters about the recent ticketing of police cars - State, County, CPD unmarked, all while parked downtown. The wording of a memo appeared, purportedly by City managers, the CPD brass got involved and FOP came out with a statement that the whole thing was a rumor that took on a life of its own. Then we get these:

The top picture and the first two tickets in the second shot are automated tickets written on "U" plates, which we believe are registered to State vehicles. The last ticket in the second picture appears to be written on an unmarked Ford. In any case, here's a pic of one of the offending vehicles:Definitely a police car. So the contention that this was an out of control rumor takes a hit. Hopefully, the whole unpleasant episode ended as quickly as it started. As an amusing side note, the tickets were written by a Parking Enforcement Agent named "Drew Peterson." Might that explain his dislike of the police?



What's going on over at Homan Square? OCD? 192?

Did the Gambling Unit get disbanded? Did we even have a Gambling Unit any more? What are Brown and EG up to? A whole lot of dissension over there if we're hearing about it over here.

And with Ike going to jail, who's going to back Ernie's nonsense?


City Sticker Renewals?

Has anyone else noticed that the City Sticker renewals aren't showing up in the mail?

We've been conversing with a number of Officers and it seems that while in previous years the renewal notices showed up by the middle of May, no one has gotten their mail from the City yet.

Our resident conspiracy theorists speculate this is a deliberate attempt by Daley to have as many cars as possible without city stickers on 30 June so he can unleash hordes of Parking Enforcement Agents (and police inspectors) upon the unsuspecting masses and get an influx of revenue. Our gut says that Shortshanks laid off the person in charge of mailing out the notices.

In the meantime, you can go to this link right here and order your stickers online without any additional fees. Have your plate and VIN handy.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bye-Bye Ike!

  • Federal authorities later Thursday plan to announce charges against Ald. Ike Carothers (29th), the chairman of the City Council's police and fire committee.

    They issued an alert Thursday indicating that new charges are expected in a public corruption case involving an FBI investigation.

    Federal prosecutors and the FBI will hold a 2 p.m. news conference.

    Also, a U.S. Attorney’s spokesman said a separate, unrelated case involving racketeering activity, armed robberies, arson and illegal gambling will also be unsealed.
So is this second indictment for Ike, too? Or is there a parallel Outift case working its way through the system?

UPDATE: The second indictment is a suburban Outfit case.

UPDATE: Interesting - Ike's dad was an aldercreature indicted for Extortion. Guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

UPDATE: Seeing as how Ike allegedly solicited bribes and took gifts in exchange for votes, we think it's fair to ask how much he charged his brother for three separate promotions.


Shooting in 011

  • Police reportedly fatally shot at least one person on the West Side Wednesday evening.

    About 7:30 p.m., police fired shots in the 4300 block of West Washington Boulevard, Independent Police Review Authority spokesman Mark Payne said.

    "There were shots with hits," Payne said. He could not immediately provide further details and said investigators were on the scene.

Be careful out there.


Reorganization Blues

As with any reorganization, there are hiccups, stalls and mistakes made before everything is "right-sized." This one is no exception:
  • CAPS Offices weren't hit hard enough. CAPS is dead and everyone knows it except Daley. It needs to be euthanized.
  • Commanders' Staffs were overdue for a trimming. Ticket Clerk? These spots should have been automated 10 years ago. Liaison Officers? The aldercreatures already have the Commander's phone number - they made the Commanders for pete's sake.
  • The Lockup and District Desk spots will be the mistake of this reorganization and should have been determined on a case-by-case basis. Areas handle double the prisoner loads of any District. Some Districts handle triple the walk-ins of other Districts. It's a crap shoot.
We're probably going to see more than a few retirements over this, too - not a big wave, but a noticeable number.

We're also going to see some creative attempts to get around sending certain people out on the street. A "Quality of Life Car?" What the hell is that? We don't know either, but we've heard tell of one starting up.

Has anyone heard about downtown or the Units giving up spots?


Police Layoffs = More Guns

  • The first round of Toledo police layoffs, in which 75 officers were let go, may already be having an affect on gun ownership.

    "I just don't feel safe with the amount they're laying off," says Jonna Ewing. "I think it's going to be a longer respond time."

    She is spending the day at a conceal carry class. She's been thinking of getting a gun for awhile, but feels now's the time due to the recent layoffs.

At least Toledo is being upfront about their layoffs instead of watching 50 officers a month retire for the past two years and then having a single class of 46 recruits expected to fill the gap. And Ohio acknowledges that its citizens are allowed to own firearms of all types.

Has anyone found out if that entire Academy class is being assigned to 003 yet?


It Was a Good Run

They did better than anyone expected.

They went farther than many dreamed possible.

Rocky has shown a willingness and a desire to make the right moves and difficult decisions that were all too often quashed by his father.

They are two, maybe three moves from a Stanley Cup appearance. They might be four moves away from a Cup win.

As someone pointed out, even the Bulls had to make a few runs at Pistons before the glory years. This is a team on the verge of those types of years.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Citizen Support?

  • A police officer was seriously injured in a three-vehicle crash on the South Side at midday, authorities said. Four other people also were hurt.

    A source said that police were trying to find the officer's weapon. As of 1:48 p.m., about two hours after the accident, the gun had not been located.
And according to cops and detectives on the scene, the gun isn't the only property missing. We wish we could say this was an "isolated incident," but every cop we know has at least eight stories like this. And at least one of the stories always involves an unconscious officer - we've written about it before.

The officer remains in critical condition.


No More Tickets

That's the word from on high.
  • In yet another breakdown in the city's automated parking meter system, nearly half of the new boxes broke down this morning.

    CBS 2's Vince Gerasole reports that about 200 or the 500 new boxes in which motorists deposit money and then get a receipt to display on their vehicle are not working.

    A city traffic aide reported that several boxes across the Loop are down and that no tickets will be issued until the problem is resolved.
So park wherever you want for a while. 200 out of 500 boxes all quit working at the same time? Sounds like someone needs to have their contract re-evaluated.

And be prepared for Daley to say he's even more broke than before.


No Civil Rights?

This certainly sounds like a winner of a case:
  • SCC, Please post this for all to see…
    During the 1st Watch on 25 MAY, an off duty P.O. from the 008th District was involved in a traffic accident in which a child ran out in front of his vehicle. Luckily, the off duty officer reacted in time and only knocked the child to the ground resulting in minor scrapes. As the off duty officer exited his vehicle to check on the child, several family members ran out from their backyard party and approached the off duty officer in a threatening manner, causing him to identify himself as a police officer before locking himself in his vehicle until 008th District officers arrived. After more than an hour later, one of the family members of the child made an allegation at the hospital that the officer must be drunk, resulting in the off duty officer being ordered into 008 to submit to an administrative blow, as the newly revised order reads. An IAD supervisor arrived in 008 and advised the W/C that field sobriety tests must be performed as well as the complete warning to motorist DUI packet. After the off duty officer called FOP, IAD changed their mind and wanted only an administrative blow. The acting street deputy, Cmdr. Carter, made several calls on his blackberry before finally overriding IAD and ordering an ET to administer FST’s to the off duty officer, now more than five hours after the traffic crash. The off duty officer passed the FST’s without problem but then was led directly into the processing room and ordered to blow. The off duty officer complied and blew a .000 on the breathalyzer machine.
First up, the relative that made the allegation should be sued. An allegation like that in front of witnesses is actionable and has been won in civil court many many times.

Then an investigation of the Acting Street Deputy's actions ought to be initiated.

You have rights as a citizen boys and girls. Get an FOP lawyer and a Field Rep to walk you through the process. This sounds hinky and needs to be investigated. We imagine the officer has a decent chance of owning the Commander's house. We hope it's a nice house.


Congratulations New Hires

We don't know where you came from, but your presence is appreciated:
  • [Daley] added, "People in stress positions, many of 'em take alcohol and many take drugs. . . . Especially today [with] a whole new generation. We think it was alcohol, but many times they do take drugs. That's what happens to people. . . . It's uncalled for. But remember — we have 14,000 police officers. He's just one of the [14,000].''
And evidently, people in political positions take drugs, alcohol and numerous blows to the head.

14,000? Shortshanks' tenuous grasp on reality continues to fade.


Inspect Your Porches

  • Chicagoans were warned today to check their shaky porches and avoid overloading them — nearly six years after the Lincoln Park porch collapse that killed 13 young partygoers.

    Although City Hall is no longer conducting a blitzkrieg of inspections, Buildings Commissioner Richard Monocchio urged residents to protect themselves by visually inspecting porches and using them responsibly.

We're sure that every single property owner is going to run out and instantly be qualified to conduct porch inspections, then run to Home Depot and spend thousands of dollars in these economic times when everyone isn't spending money to address a problem that has existed since the structure was built. Illegally no doubt. And maybe three owners and two real estate flips ago.

So instead of actually hiring to perform the required inspections, the City is admitting they aren't going to do them. But the next time a half-assed porch comes down, you can bet Commissioner Monocchio is going to be there with a battalion of building inspectors (some of whom might actually be older than 17-years and not related to union bigwigs) writing up every damn violation they can find to generate revenue.

Safety takes a back seat to $$$. Still.


National Politics - Chicago Style

  • Earlier it was reported that the Obama Administration may have targeted GOP donors in deciding which Chrysler dealerships would have to close their doors.

    Now there's this...
    RLJ-McLarty-Landers is owned by three men.
    One was the former Chief of Staff for President Clinton.
    One is the founder of Black Entertainment Television and a huge Obama supporter.
    All 6 of their Chrysler dealerships will remain open.
    And, get this... Their local competitors have been eliminated!
Change you better believe in! Or the government will shut you down.


Blame the Police - Always

Daley's policy of paying out to everyone who sues comes back to bite taxpayers in the ass. Again:
  • A Chicago man freed a year ago after DNA cleared him of a rape for which he spent 12 years in prison has alleged in a federal lawsuit that he was framed by Chicago police.

    Dean Cage, 42, was convicted in 1995 of the rape of a 15-year-old girl on the South Side after she identified him in a police lineup and said she recognized his voice.

    Cage, who had just moved to Chicago from Arkansas and was working at a supermarket, was arrested a week before Thanksgiving 1994 after police said a tip stemming from a published composite sketch led them to him.

    Cage, who had no criminal record, repeatedly denied that he had committed the rape but was convicted in a bench trial and all of his appeals were denied.

So he's identified by the victim, she testifies against him, he chooses a bench trial and the judge finds the victim more credible than him. Not only that, the appellate courts also find there were no errors in the process.

But whose fault is it?
  • Since being freed, Cage received a "certificate of innocence" from the state, allowing him to seek compensation for his years in prison, which he is in the process of doing, said his attorney, Jon Loevy. But last week Cage sued the City of Chicago, a police detective who investigated the rape and other unnamed officers, alleging that he was framed to simply clear the crime.
Ah yes, another Loevy case. We haven't heard that the judge is being sued. Oh wait, they're immune. What about the victim? Oh, that'd be cruel. Let's just blame the detectives who followed up on the victim's identification and testimony. Corp Counsel is probably already writing the check at Daley's direction.

And how about the CPD taking the hit for Cook County's decision to hold holiday bond court at 11am? This rule has been in effect for how many years now? But suddenly it's a giant police conspiracy? Amazing.


Historical Ignorance

Does anyone in the media even know how to do research at all?
  • President Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, selecting a woman who would be the court's first Hispanic justice and a liberal who is unlikely to change its ideological balance.
Without a single deviation from the party line, every news outlet we followed today ran with this storyline. Obama had to have some sort of first...even if it's wrong:
  • Benjamin Cardozo (1870-1938), Supreme Court Justice 1932-1938, was of Portuguese descent. He holds the distinction of being nominated by a Republican president even though he was a lifelong Democrat. Hoover actually took the advice of both parties and nominated a man named the most qualified jurist in the nation.
The wikipedia entry has been altered extensively all day today, casting all sorts of aspersions on his ancestry, concentrating on the fact that his relatives fled Portugal for Holland during the Inquisitions due to Jewish heritage in an effort to make Sotomayor the first true "Hispanic" nominee. We guess if you aren't from this side of the Atlantic, your historical contributions to the American experience don't count for spit.

It'd be amusing if it wasn't so "1984" in terms of altering past events to fit the present narrative.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Parking, Zoning, Corruption? Oh My!

  • The house is part of a $4.6 million development that Burke and his partners built on a parking lot over the objections of Mayor Daley's zoning administrators.

    Daley's zoning staff thought the development -- one massive, three-story house along with 13 town homes -- wasn't "compatible" with the Archer Heights neighborhood, where it would tower over the surrounding bungalows.

    But Burke, the city's most powerful alderman, won permission from his colleagues on the City Council for the project anyway.

But what Burke wants, Burke gets. Including 6 police drivers / bodyguards at Sergeants pay to drive him to suburban golf courses and sit around for five or six hours to drive him back home, all because of an alleged "threat" that happened two decades ago? We're sure this threat was documented on letters? Tape? Federal wiretaps? Anything? And we're sure it was investigated to the fullest extend of the law? Someone went to jail? For many years over telephone threats? Something? Anything?

We're slashing District desk crews. What about the bloodletting that needs to occur downtown or in the Units?


Citizen Appreciation

Letters, we get letters:
  • Hello SSC,

    I've long been a civilian lurker of your blog. I've found it interesting and informative but have never had a reason to write to you. The events of this morning have compelled me to write.

    A little after 6:30am Sunday morning my wife and I were awoken by gunshots very close by. Due to the mild night we had the windows open and there was no mistaking the 6-7 distinct pops that could be nothing but a gun discharging. (For some reason my wife always hears firecracker and asks me if it is gunfire. Today, when it actually was a gun, she asked me if it was firecrackers. Go figure.) I immediately grabbed the phone and called 911 and informed the dispatcher that I was just awoken to the sound of 6-7 gunshots and now there is a women in the street sobbing loudly. Within a minute there were 2 cops on the scene and two minutes later the area was absolutely swarming with police.

    I am a little weak on hard facts but from what I've heard from my neighbors this is what happened: While we had initially assumed gang involvement, the incident was the result of a man either leaving or getting kicked out of his wife's/girlfriend's apartment after a long night of drinking. From the sidewalk he fired 5-6 shots into the building and then turned the gun on himself falling dead on the sidewalk. No one else was injured.

    During this entire incident the responding officers dealt with a situation full of unknowns, grieving and distraught family members, and a concerned general public. I saw a police and fire department working together quickly and professionally to understand the crime scene and attempt to save a man's life. For that I would like to offer a sincere thank you to the police officers of the 17th District. Know that there are people who live in Chicago who do not judge an entire department based on the mistakes of a few.

    Jon M.
If only we could publish a letter like this daily, we'd feel a lot better about where the Department was in terms of citizen support. But these letters are few and far between.

In any case, Thanks for the kind words Jon M. We appreciate the support more than you know.


Brokeback Fitz?

  • Cop shop: Thus spake U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald about the bodybuilding Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis, a former FBI chief, at a City Club of Chicago luncheon Thursday: "If Jody Weis were here, and he's not, you'd recognize him. He looks like he's wearing a bulletproof vest, even when he's not."
Wow. Get a room you two.

Did Fitz also mention J-Fed's pectoral muscles ripple like Lake Michigan after a spring storm? That his legs are like tree trunks standing firm against a Gulf hurricane? That J-Fed's forehead looks like a empty billboard looking for an advertisement?

He should have.


Monday, May 25, 2009


All the men and women who have served and died. Thank you.


Manpower Shortage Solved!

Oh. Wait. We're not short-handed. We have 13,000 officers!

But a "little" Bureau of Patrol item came out on Friday (of course it did - long weekend). Major points:

  • District desks are authorized 2 POs and 1 Desk Sergeant, for a total of 3 sworn personnel. No watch secretary is authorized.
  • District desks in area centers (002, 005, 011, 019, and 025) are authorized up to 3 POs and 1 Desk Sergeant, for a total of 4 sworn personnel. No watch secretary is authorized.
  • CAPS: Duties and functions of all officers on the second watch in the CAPS office will be reviewed. The least amount of officers necessary will be placed in the second watch CAPS office to perform necessary duties. On third watch only 1 officer will be assigned to CAPS along with the third watch sergeant. All officers released from CAPS office will be placed back on their watches for field duty.
  • Lockup: Staffed by no more than 2 people on second watch and 3 on the first and third watches if arrestee intake justifies extra lockup personnel.
  • Office staff: 1 district secretary, 1 assistant district secretary, 1 administrative manager, 1 timekeeper, 1 PC operator, 1 senior data entry operator, 1 clerk III, 1 tact secretary, 1 crossing guard supervisor. And if a full duty officer is occupying one of those positions, the DC will have to justify why.
  • And DCs are to submit their lists by 27 May so that all freed-up officers can return to field duty on 28 May.
Office staff barely (if at all) touched. Smoke and mirrors. And when you get down to it, no real benefit to patrol.

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1968 Reunion

The cops of the 1968 Convention Riots are having a reunion:
  • If you plan on attending, please send me your full name, number of attendees, contact information and a check. Some of those who have contacted me only gave me your email address. CPD Re-pro graphics is printing tickets and posters - I'll either mail you your tickets or have them waiting for you at the door, if you choose to prepay. Please make the check payable to Michael Mattson, in the amount of $30 per person - in the memo line please write "convention reunion." My mailing address is:

    7455 W. Seminole
    Chicago, IL 60631
    (All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Chicago Police Memorial Fund).

    A T-shirt company is designing shirts for the occasion. If you have any other ideas please let me know.

    If you'd like to volunteer for the Food Committee, please feel free to research food vendors and let me know what you find out. I've hit a bit of a wall on that one, and the clock is ticking.

    Lodge rules prohibit any bottles - all beer, wine and pop must be in cans or plastic cups. Any volunteers for the Libation Committee would be welcome as well.

    I've contacted a photographer as well. Phil Cline has agreed to attend the event, as well. Still no word from John Kass or his staff.

    Depending on the success of the event, we may make this Annual.

    Please bring any memorabilia that you think relevant - old riot gear, call boxes, photos, log-books...etc.

    Thanks again for your interest and participation in this reunion. Thank you especially for your service to the City and to your fellow police officers.
We took out Mike's cell phone number as this site is trolled by non-police. If he wants to post it in the comment section, we'll pass it along. But it sounds like a good time. Hopefully, they have a "Dunk the Hippy" tank and a "Dodge the Flying Excrement" event. Come out and party like it's 1968.


Still Insignificant

Northside pointed out that we passed 6,000,000 visits this past week.

That's "million" with an "M."

Six million times, people thought that this site was worth at least a few moments of their time. Cops mostly, retirees from out of state, bosses downtown (yes, we still see your IP addresses popping up), civilians and reporters. Fans in Europe, Australia, Asia. The vacationing coppers in Belize, Mexico, South America, wherever there is an internet connection. Even the odd visit from Iraq and Afghanistan where our brothers in blue find time to stop by.

And along with the 6,000,000 milestone, we passed 13,000,000 page views.

We are truly thankful for all your visits. And we truly hope to continue serving up helpings of sarcasm, silliness, seriousness and the pointed commentary you expect. Again, thanks.


Time for Another March?

Well, if arbitration hasn't been set and we're still at an impasse, perhaps it's time for another march? Someone has been posting in the comments that 30 June might be an opportune time for a second round? Is FOP taking the lead this time?

It's a Tuesday so we get the maximum impact of downtown exposure.

It's two years without a contract.

If we march a few blocks east after City Hall, we get to see the Taste. Not that we'd offer to spend a dime there, but it'd piss off Shortshanks.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nothing New, As Usual

WBBM 780's At Issue program is discussing youth gun violence today. Same tired conversation and issues, especially from ceasefire -- sociological blah blah blah and let's throw money at it so the families can keep their kids off the streets.

It's usually available on the station's website for listening, if you're interested.

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The Age-Old Argument

Do fewer cops mean less crime?

The cynical and sarcastic among you will say, "Yeah, less cops stealing." We respond, "Haha, you're an ass."

But if there are fewer officers on the street making fewer arrests and generating less paper, then what?

A lot of police work is perception. If you see more police, you might think, "Hey, this place is pretty well protected" or you may think, "This place is out of control." If you see the beat car once every other week or so, are you actually less secure? What if the beat car is in on a burglary every day? They are fighting actual crime, but the high number of arrests would lead one to believe the neighborhood is actually less safe. And while they are processing, do other criminal have free rein?

Now look at backlogs. If it takes the police 3 and 4 hours to show up at a disturbance call or a damage to property call or a dope job, does the citizen who called actually wait around for the whole 4 hours to make a report that isn't going anywhere but the "suspended" file? No. But does that mean the crime didn't occur? Not at all - it just means it wasn't reported. And from there, does the perception of neighborhood crime take a hit? Neighbors talk, they'll let each other know about something that happened, but it never made the statistics. Every one of us has a story about showing up at a job and filling out a report after the fact and then the victim relates that their buddy up the street had the same thing happen three days ago, but they never made a report.

So are backlogs (or Radio Assignments Pending - RAPs) actually a good thing for crime reporting? A frustrated citizen not reporting crime might be a better thing for Shortshanks and his statisticians. It almost means the only true measure of crime is the number of bodies showing up at hospitals with holes in them.


Recruits Ticketing?

What's the deal with this?

Supposedly, the Academy took a bunch of recruits out and had them writing meter tickets this past week.

First up, it took a separate City Ordinance to authorize CTA Supervisors, Streets and Sanitation Supervisors, TMA's and PEAs to be able to write tickets. Did we miss something that permitted unsworn unarmed recruits to be able to write parking tickets?

Second, if this is supposed to be some sort of new mandated training, welcome to the future of the Chicago Police Department. You aren't the Police anymore - you are revenue agents, ticketing to feed the Machine. We imagine that the new kids will come out with a quota attached to their daily grading system and FTO's city wide (oops, we mean in 6 training districts) will be required to fail the recruits if they don't write at least their salary plus in parkers per day.

Maybe the City hopes to develop it into a habit - a mindless horde of revenue generators:
  • Old Vet: See that guy in the long jacket? Hanging around outside the Dollar Store? He keeps looking in the window and around the corner and it's 85 degrees out. That strike you as suspicious kid?
  • Newbie: Holy crap! Look at that car parked 12 inches from the curb with the cracked windshield! And that other car is protruding 6 inches into the "No Parking" zone delineated by signs! And oh my lord! Two fire hydrant violations, one with a hanging front plate! I think I'm in heaven - I need some oxygen!
Welcome to the future.


Zekman, Follow This

So when Ed Burke is out golfing and his bodyguards are sitting around doing nothing for 5 hours except waiting for him to return, couldn't they come back to the city and write tickets for 3 hours and justify their Sergeant pay?

Or maybe Ed could pay for his own transport and bodyguard detail out of that "war chest" of his?

If you haven't noticed, we're a bit busy out here. We could use the bodies.


Sue the City?

Serious question.

Is there any reason that a concerned member, perhaps even a concerned Board Member, can't file a lawsuit against the City of Chicago for failing to live up to its pension obligations as per state law?

We recall a few months ago that an actual Pension Board (perhaps in New York?) either sued or won a judgment against a municipality that said the Defendant was in violation of a contract and the law by not fully funding its obligations.

We don't see how the City keeps getting away with underfunding all these pensions for years, even decades, in violation of who knows how many rules that exist to prevent such an occurrence.

We'd happily kick in to fund that lawsuit. So would a bunch of almost-retirees who are nervous about whether or not the pension will exist in under 10 years. So would a bunch of retirees who aren't looking forward to eating cat food the rest of their lives.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

This Could Be Fun

Going back a rumor or two...
  • Daley has asked the exempts for 20, count them, 20 days w/o pay. Source says they have 10 days to decide whether to accept or resume civil service rank. Equivalent to a 7% pay cut.
Let's look at the last sixteen months of Department history:
  • J-Fed arrives. He knows almost no one, just Peterson if the rumors are true. He then changes 90% of the command staff with input from whom? There's only one person who could or even would allow him to do this - Shortshanks;
  • The current unpleasantness begins and continues;
  • Now Shortshanks is prepared to return any exempt who won't play ball with his 7% givebacks to their career service rank and grab the next sucker in line who's willing to give up 7% of their salary to run Districts, Units and Areas. Their primary qualification is going to be that they were willing to take a $10,000 or more hit?
And this is going to happen right before the killing season heats up? Summer festival season? The Third of July? Not that we're looking to drum up any sympathy for J-Fed, but how the hell is he supposed to run a Department with this amount of interference from Shortshanks? J-Fed has made any number of truly boneheaded moves, but this one by Daley takes the cake. He should be counting himself lucky that some exempts (and there are a few) who are trying to make a difference and address problems by working 60 and 70 hours a week for free.

Someone asked if Car 47 would be taking the 20 days off. We heard he offered to take 30 days off because everything he's made over sergeants pay for the past few years is just gravy anyway.

Someone else asked if the civilian exempt who was running around with a member of the "Policy Group" while illegally carrying a firearm would be adding the 20 days off to his expected suspension time. We still aren't sure if J-Fed is maintaining the separate tiers of discipline for the "Friends of J-Fed" and the unwashed masses. Time will tell.


Nice Pinch

  • An armed robber who held up a downtown 7-11 was arrested within seconds this morning by two marine unit cops who'd stopped for coffee, police said.

    Elgee Burdine, 32, of the 6100 block of South Ingleaside Ave., was charged with armed robbery and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon following his arrest at 5 a.m. outside the convenience store at 71 East Monroe Street, Chicago Police spokeswoman JoAnn Taylor said.

    Sgt. Robert Fitzsimmons and officer Raul Echevarria--who normally work on water with the Chicago Police Marine and Helicopter Unit--say they grabbed Burdine as he fled the store with $226 cash and a loaded shotgun stashed in his bag.
And about two weeks ago, the Mounted Unit grabbed another armed robber downtown. And another Marine Unit officer nabbed a third armed robber just before that?

Nice jobs Officers.


Not Good

  • A car driven by an off-duty Chicago police officer struck and killed a 13-year-old boy early today, then drove off, officials say.
Whatever. Let the investigation takes its course.

We're still waiting for the day the media writes "off-duty janitor" or "off-duty doctor" for some of these instances. An off-duty cop doesn't represent the City or on-duty Officers any more than an "off the clock trucker" represents the Teamsters Union.


Pay to Play Lives!

Thank goodness! We thought we might have to actually ask for an appointment:
  • In the midst of Gov. Pat Quinn’s drive for political reform, his campaign has been using the last weeks of the legislative session to try to set up fundraisers where major interest groups can have some “face time” with the governor and discuss their issues with him, sources said today.

    Executives for two major trade associations, who asked that their names not be used to keep from jeopardizing pending legislation, said they had been called within the past week by a Quinn political operative and told that the governor was making time available to meet with them.

    One of the trade association executives said today his group received a call Thursday from Quinn’s political operation, seeking a $15,000 fundraiser. The other association executive said his group was called a week ago.

Chicago (and Illinois) truly ain't ready for reform. Feds everywhere, one governor in jail, another on the way and this guy is still strong arming businesses for money. Government for sale. Priceless.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Sergeants List

Someone finally got it typed in:
  • Merit Selections as follows:

    006 Kevin Connors
    008 Clinton Sebastian
    018 Wilfredo Lapitan
    111 Patrick McKenzie
    153 John Curry
    196 Rodolfo Vargas
    216 Andes Zayas
    606 Senora Ben
    620 Johnny E Tate

    Rank Order Selections

    003 Nakia Fenner
    006 Davina Loggin
    019 Jeffery Stankus
    020 Felipe Reyes
    022 Daniel J O'Connor
    022 Willie Whitehead
    024 Ryan M Manning
    025 Richard Unizycki
    045 Andrew Senner
    116 Amin Jessani
    143 Dena Carli
    171 Leszek Dorau
    215 Joseph DePinto
    215 Jeffery Siwek
    253 Nicole Knoet
    630 Kevin Lameka
    640 Michael A Kelly
    640 Janine Hermann
    640 Daniel A Gallagher
    650 Brenda McCrudden
    650 Kevin Bruno

Spot the Superintendent's driver. Then ask J-Fed what special qualities this person possesses in such vast amounts that they'd make fine leader of police officers.


Tactical Shift

  • About 9:30 p.m., an unidentified person shot four people standing in the street in the 9400 block of South Burnside Avenue, according to police News Affairs. Additionally, a woman was also injured -- but not shot -- in the incident, authorities said.

    The shooting occurred just outside the campus of Chicago State University.

    Gresham District police indicated the shooting occurred during a gathering held in remembrance for 24-year-old Michael Johnson -- one of two Chicago men shot and killed early Wednesday outside a bar at 403 Torrence Ave. in Calumet City.

According to a few e-mails and a comment or two, one car drove east-to-west, firing up the block at the "mourners." As everyone fled the gunshots, another car drove west-to-east at the other end, catching the runners in a mobile ambush. The directions might be reversed, but you get the idea. Recovered brass indicated 9mm, .40 caliber and 7.62 rifle rounds were used.

So, multiple weapons (including rounds that will penetrate vests), multiple vehicles, and tactics meant to increase casualty counts. Thank goodness these gang bangers passed a stringent POWER test to carry all this artillery in case they stumble across a public servant who served in Viet Nam, either Gulf War or basic training but is suddenly unqualified to carry a rifle due to car accidents, old injuries or degenerative age conditions. Oh wait...


Inspectors Don't Get It

And neither does the brass:
  • Off Topic _
    Once again Inspectors chastised sergeants for managing calls for service ( 19-p that BS!)

    Apparently OEMC supervisors refuse to manage the calls taken and dispatched to units in the field. This results in a backlog of nonsense calls that are totally anti-productive. When good Sgt’s attempt to do what they are suppose to do; i.e. supervise!; they get threatened by some goof Big Bird inspector for doing their jobs. WTF does an inspector know about what’s going on in a district anyway. So the result is a 8 or 10 hour RAP with calls being dispatched 2 and 3 hours late. Officer arrive to find irate citizens who after waiting 2 hours, have already called IAD and got and got a CR# because they thought they got blown off. NOW, the poor Sgt has to handle a BS cr# because the BS inspector told him he couldn’t clear the board of BS calls !
    This is insanity.

    Oh yes- and when did you run that mission Sarge???

    Can I reassign this CR to the Birdman?
This started when supervisors attempted to do the job that OEC and HQ won't do - prioritize the calls. OEC takes every single call, regardless if it is a police matter or not. Field Sergeants and Lieutenants took the initiative and pushed civil matters, ancient disturbances, dope jobs without descriptions or operable data and got them off the board, thereby reducing backlogs and response times to real remember what those are, right?

But that flew in the face of OW Wilson's philosophy from 50 years ago that every call got a police response. Downtown tried to put a stop to it lest Shortshanks get irritated when the "reverends" bitched. Cuello even put out a directive saying the practice of blanket "19-Pauls" was forbidden. Backlogs soared and it wasn't uncommon for three and four pages of jobs to be handed off to every watch in Area 2 for days on end. Supervisors took the initiative to manage their non-existent manpower and handled what they could the only way possible - prioritizing.

And now, we see once again, what happens when people who have no idea what it's like in Patrol Division actually trying to run the Patrol Division. It's uncannily like Congress trying to run the Vietnam War. No fucking clue.


Aldercreature Follies

First up, Aldercreature Lona Lane (18th) tries to score brownie points with Aldercreature Tunney (44th) and maybe a bit of political cover for a contract employee's screw-up:
  • A Chicago alderman has introduced legislation to create "official placards" that the city's 50 aldermen could place on their vehicle dashboards, but she emphasized it wouldn't be to avoid parking tickets.

    Ald. Lona Lane (18th) said Thursday the measure will be tweaked, but she said she would like some designation for vehicles used by aldermen. She said she would like it to allow her to park on permit-only streets while visiting block clubs.

We're pretty sure there's already a method for non-residents to park on permit-only streets and it's only $10 for a book of them. Surely she doesn't plan on visit block clubs more than once a month or so? If she's going to be that busy, we'd recommend moving the block club meetings to a public venue such as a nearby park or church that has ample parking.

Let's just call this one exactly what it is - more aldercreature bullshit.

And then there's this one:
  • The heir apparent to retiring Ald. William J.P. Banks (36th) displayed a Fraternal Order of Police medallion and an FOP membership sticker on his car even though he is not a police officer, in apparent violation of state law.

    John Rice, a top aide and driver to Banks, said he did not know his use of the medallion was inappropriate.

    Shortly after the Tribune contacted him about the issue Wednesday, he removed the medallion from the "JR 10" license plate on his 2009 Lincoln MKS and took off a windshield sticker that read, "Active Member, Fraternal Order of Police, 2008."

So the not-quite-an-aldercreature Rice is already a police impersonator. Nice.

And finally, the drunk alderbitch:
  • Ald. Sharon Dixon (24th) was back behind the wheel Thursday evening after a judge ruled her license was improperly suspended when she was arrested for drunken driving in January.

    Dixon allegedly smelled of alcohol and failed sobriety tests after arguing for half an hour with four Chicago police officers on the Far North Side. Her license was suspended when she refused to take a Breathalyzer test.

    But at the end of a four-hour hearing at the Daley Center on Thursday, Judge Eileen O'Neill Burke said one officer's claim that Dixon appeared drunk was undermined by his own testimony that he told her to drive home moments before arresting her.

We were unaware that a suspension for the refusal to take a Breathalyzer test was negated by anything once the word "no" passed the arrestee's lips. Evidently, the fix is already in on this one.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

And in Contract News...

Arbitration is coming according to this e-mail:
  • So this is straight from Greg Bella's mouth. The city has come back with a new financial offer for the contract. They offered 10% for 5 years with no retro or pay raise for the first 2 1/2 years. The city wants the money from that first 2 1/2 years to fund the pension up to date. Union states they will be calling for a vote for arbitration.
Does Greg want to reply to this e-mail? In any case, arbitration looks like a way better deal now. As was explained to us the other night, the Arbitrator has to base his decision on the past few contracts and the comparables for Departments of this size. Off the tops of our heads, that means:
  • a 4-year-contract, not 5;
  • no changes to discipline;
  • an average of 3.5% a year;
  • retro;
  • no work schedule changes;
Shortshanks isn't going to suddenly give in and figures a roll of the dice with an Arbitrator can't hurt his chances. Morale is shot, the Superintendent is incompetent and hamstrung, the exempt camps are hunkering down for the long haul - what's there to lose?

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Rumor Mill in Overdrive

You can tell the shit is brewing and something is going to hit the fan. The lines are burning up.
  • #1. Daley has asked the exempts for 20, count them, 20 days w/o pay. Source says they have 10 days to decide whether to accept or resume civil service rank. Equivalent to a 7% pay cut.

    #2. All civilian employees of the department are to be fired unless they accept 15 days off without pay. Their unions asked whether or not this would ensure job security, and the city said we don't know. They are now negotiating over it, but the federally required 30 day notices of layoffs are scheduled to be mailed out to all such employees at the end of the month (10 more days), with language saying you MAY be laid off, but not that it will actually happen.

    #3. 38 Sgts to be named Thursday 21 May, with a start date in the Academy of Tuesday.
And this commentator has been dead on for a number of other rumors, so we look forward to the next few days.


County Layoffs Coming?

We've heard the rumors, the stories, the idle chit chat. Supposedly, the State's Attorney's Office has cut third chairs because there isn't any work for them to be doing. We also heard second-hand that Dart thanked J-Fed for solving his "overcrowding issues."

Now there's this from the comment section:
  • They have the arrest numbers since JFed was made. JFed is aware. Da mare is aware.

    They have refused to release these statistics to the media.

    2008 stats for FELONY arrests were a little more than half of 2005. 2009's pace is even below 2008.

    The drop is so dramatic that the State's Attorney's Office could be forced to make layoffs if the County rolls back Toddler's tax increase.

    Da Mare and Da JFed are scared out of their minds. They are just now realizing that they have completely loss control of the rank and file. Surveys, tickets, denied time due, denied pay increases, these are the acts of desperate men.

    The law and our contract do not demand that we do anything other than show up. We aren't just winning. They finally realized, we've already won.
Someone, some reader, somewhere has access to the stats we're sure. What say the numbers?


Who Left This Here?

Someone just crapped out this brick. We don't know whose it is, but rumors are it may have been a grieving husband.
Most of the local news stations are covering it, too. Time will tell.

UPDATE: Link fixed


Mass Stupidity

  • One man was shot and another stabbed during a street brawl Sunday night. Will County Sheriff's police were called after shots were heard around 5:40 p.m. in the 0 to 100 block of Bradford Road.

    According to reports, investigators learned a group of teens had been arguing throughout the day after a boy reportedly threw a water balloon at a girl. The conflict escalated between friends and relatives of the two teens, leading to what witnesses described as "30 or 40 people fighting in the street."

    During the melee, Cornequa Bass , 20, reportedly used a switchblade she was carrying to stab a 16-year-old boy who was fighting with her brother in the back. "After being stabbed (the victim) kept fighting, unaware of his injury," police said. Moments later, two men took out handguns and fired several shots. A black man wearing a black baseball hat and pants fired one shot that struck a 19-year-old man in the leg. A black man wearing a white T-shirt, red baseball hat and blue jeans was also shooting, reports said.

Water balloons = Switchblades and guns?

God help us, we love this shit. We'd roll on calls like this all day just for the humor value.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Streets & San Shakeup

Picardi out?
  • The Daley administration is mapping plans for a break-up and shake-up of the Streets and Sanitation Department that could remove layers of field supervision, transfer key functions to other departments and sweep out embattled Commissioner Michael Picardi, City Hall sources said Monday.

    Last winter, Mayor Daley lowered the boom on Picardi -- and dispatched Transportation Commissioner Tom Byrne to Snow Command -- after the city spent $490,000 on snow removal during a relatively minor first-of-the season snowstorm.

    Picardi landed in the doghouse, even though a City Council rebellion subsequently forced Daley to reverse a cost-cutting policy that saw City Hall use less salt, plow side-streets during normal working hours to reduce overtime and skip side-streets altogether after minor snowstorms.

So Picardi does what every other S&S Commissioner has done since Bilandic blew an election over snow and Picardi gets fitted for the dunce cap. Then Byrne comes in and tells everyone everything is all right and pretty much screws up "Snow Command" for the rest of the winter, missing opportunity after opportunity to show the citizens the side streets will be plowed, which leads directly to the Chicago streets looking like 2003 Baghdad.

But don't worry - Picardi's headed back to his first love - Fleet. Wait until he gets a load of what they've done to it in the past two years.


FOP Post on DoR

  • The Lodge has received numerous telephone inquiries about the Department of Revenue implementing a new policy where both marked and unmarked police units would be ticketed if illegally parked, even if responding to emergency situations.

    The Lodge made several inquires to the Department and the Department of Revenue. Both have assured the Lodge that this is simply a rumor that took on a life of its own. The current policies that are in effect have not changed.

A rumor that has a lot of meat to it:
  • From: Turranna Cuchran-Persons
    To: PEA Field Supervisor 1
    Date: 5/14/2009 @ 5:24:01pm
    Subject: Enforcement Reminders

    M-Plate vehicles:

    Enforcement of M-Plate vehicles is required of all Parking Enforcement Staff. Discretion is necessary when obvious emerency situations or investigations are being conducted. Enforcement of illegally parked vehicles is the responsibility of Parking Enforcement staff.
That seems to track with the other comment from self proclaimed PEA who posted earlier. We'd almost be willing to go along with the FOP's contention that it's all a "rumor." The trouble is we've worked for the City for too long to take that at face value. And we've seen the downtown pukes at other departments back off of stupider decisions than this one when confronted with the reality of where it would go.

UPDATE: Title corrected - we were sleepy

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Media Challenge

The media publishes this crap, but without any frame of reference. See if you can spot the problem:
  • A man serving a life sentence for a 1990 murder testified Monday he confessed only after he was beaten for half an hour by Chicago police detectives under the command of disgraced former Cmdr. Jon Burge.

    Cortez Brown, 38, who now goes by his birth name of Victor Safforld, is seeking a new trial, arguing that his confession was coerced because he feared for his safety and that of his family.

    [...] Safforld testified Monday that while he was handcuffed to a wall in 1990, O'Brien allegedly held him while Maslanka and another detective, John Paladino, punched him in the body, slapped the side of his head and hit him with a flashlight. After about 30 minutes, he said, "I told them I would say whatever they wanted me to say, sign whatever they wanted me to sign."
So, media marvels, we have a challenge for you and any other person who feels like participating.
  • get a heavy bag (it's a boxing device) at Sportmart or Dick's or other sporting good store;
  • secure the heavy bag to a bench, but not so much that it doesn't roll around a bit;
  • get a friend to hold the bag steady, then whale the tar out of it for 30 minutes - you can use open hand, stick, phone book, whatever.
Not one person out of 100,000 is going to be able to beat a heavy bag for 30 minutes. Even if you take it in shifts, one holding the bag and one beating it, the chances of making it through 30 minutes is small.

There's a reason boxing matches are 12 three-minute rounds. And those guys are in top shape for the most part. It's pretty near impossible to beat someone, even half chained to a wall (Brown says he had to be held by another cop) to the point where he feels that the electric chair is his best option.

It reeks of implausibility.


Safety Warning

From the comments:
  • Dear SCC, just want to give a heads up to Area Two guys, especially in 005. Last nite in the 005th district two identical fully loaded desert eagle .44 cal handguns were recovered in the waistbands of bad guys in completely separate incidents and gun desk let us know both have been stolen from the same place ( what are the odds?). My guess is more than two are still out there. Please give the guys a heads up.
No surprise a batch of guns may have gone missing. We still remember the story of a rail car on the west side being hit up for a load of rifles. The only saving grace was a lack of available ammunition to match the guns. There are other stories. Watch yourselves.


The Family That Kills Together...

Ah yes. The gangster lifestyle passed on from generation to generation:
  • A mother and son are scheduled to appear in court today after being charged in a killing last week. The son is accused of pulling the trigger, and the mom is charged with driving the getaway car and hiding evidence, police said.

    Delfino Juarez, 18, is charged with first-degree murder. His mother, Karen Juarez, 49, is charged with obstruction of justice.

    Delfino Juarez allegedly shot 18-year-old Jesus Sanchez Friday in the 2000 block of West Garfield after exchanging gang signs with him. Karen Juarez allegedly was driving the van that her son fired from, police said.

Obstruction? Sounds to us like "accessory" to murder. But this is Cook County, so that's probably all Felony Review would approve.

But how do you convince mom to come along and help you kill someone? Do you do it over breakfast? While she's doing the laundry? After she opens her Mother's Day card? Becasue we have to figure timing is everything.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Parking Enforcement Agent Speaks

Someone see if they can track this down:
  • Now...........the good news.

    It came down last night at the end of the shift.

    Marked CPD Squads are not at risk now.........Someone called our Deputy Director and Director and convinced them that having PEA's writing Mark Chicago Police cars was a bad idea.

    Read that line again...

    MARKED POLICE CARS ONLY are getting the pass.
Not quite a capitulation, but at least following the rule of law where Illinois Statutes are concerned.


Look in the Mirror

Ah, Chicago aldercreatures. Paragons of virtue and bravery:
  • Aldermen have been feeling the heat from residents since the city turned over its parking meters to a private company this year, so today’s City Council hearing was a chance for the politicians to share the blame with company officials.

    And share they did, railing about the rollout of widespread changes that boosted meter prices and questioning whether the company violated its new contract by not keeping the council informed about problems they encountered.

    “We’re talking about a $1.15 billion deal here. This is not something you enter into without a lot of due diligence and study here," Ald. Manuel Flores (1st) said during the joint hearing of the council’s Finance Committee and License and Consumer Protection Committee. did he vote again?
  • Flores was among the aldermen who voted in December to take a massive, upfront payment from a consortium doing business as Chicago Parking Meters LLC in order to help address the city’s budget deficit. Though many council members complained Mayor Richard Daley gave them only two days to review the deal, the vote was 40-5.
Ah yes, one of "the spineless" as we recalled. The time for questions was back in December 2008 Manny. But not wanting to rock the boat, you voted for the big early payout.

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Via PDT messages:
  • I got a message via PDT today, as did my whole zone, that the Director of the Department of Revenue has issued a memo stating that ALL police cars, marked and unmarked, will be issued parking citations if parked illegally. No matter if they are on an assignment or not, unless they have the blue lights and/or sirens on they will be ticketed.

    This is not the stupidest thing I have ever heard on this department but it sure is close. Now we are at war with Department of Revenue. OK, they get stopped for going three miles over the limit, obstruction of traffic etc. fuck this shit. This is Daley, you can bet on it.
This is ridiculous and someone downtown or at FOP better put a stop to it. Because somebodies feeling are going to get hurt and then a bunch of Revenue people will end up in jail and the Inspector General will have his hands full.

UPDATE: More verification:
  • Unit from 001 gets of the air after narrowly avoiding a parking ticket from a bike unit from the Department Of Revenue. 001 units states on the air that he has been warned by a man from the Department of Revenue that he has been told to ticket all "M" plated cars that are parked illegally. Only those that have there lights activated (that are illegally parked" will be given a pass. At that point 190 gets on the air asking for a repeat of that message... Message is repeated, and before 190 can respond Car 100 gets on the air asking for WHO gave that order. Car 100 then orders all units to continue with status quo until he can confirm that validity of the memo.

    Turns out that the Asst-Director of the Department of Revenue has issued a memo that states ALL cars even those bearing an "M" plate that are illegally parked will be issued a parking citations (in retailiation to the Channel 2 story regarding the CTA's vehicles???).

    Somebody got on the air stating that 5 city vehicles on Lake Street across from the Thompson center. I went there, and am able to verify that 5 unmarked vehicles were indeed ticketed. 2 State of Illinois unmarked cars with State of Illinois plates, and 3 Cook County unmarked Police cars all had Tickets hanging on them.
And so Rome continues to burn while the civil authority crumbles.


Michael, Michael, Michael

Really Mikey?
  • There is no "Madigan Electric" listed in the Chicago phone book. But maybe that's what they should call the place you call if your city streetlight goes out, a former personnel director for the City of Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation testified in federal court.

    "Madigan Electric" was the term Jack Drumgould coined for the department's Bureau of Electricity when he took the witness stand in the corruption trial of Mayor Daley's former streets and sanitation commissioner, Al Sanchez, who was convicted of rigging city promotions and hiring to benefit the Daley-created Hispanic Democratic Organization. Sanchez now awaits sentencing.

  • The speaker -- who hasn't been accused of any wrongdoing -- says Drumgould is wrong.

    "Madigan doesn't have anything to do with hiring in Chicago,'' says his spokesman, Steve Brown.

Do we really have to run through the litany of names of persons who owe their very existence to Michael Madigan? We could name more than a few people who happily eat their own Time Due to run Madigan fundraisers, parades, phone banks, etc. Some end up at call-back based on Madigan's blessing.


Monday, May 18, 2009

The Morale Survey

But this is Chicago...who counts the votes?
  • For months, Chicago police officers have been saying privately that morale at the department is at an all-time low. Now Supt. Jody Weis wants to see just how true that may be.

    The department launched an online survey of its members last week, hoping to determine how they feel about morale and stress on the job. The survey, conducted with the help of University of Illinois at Chicago researchers, is intended to examine how well pilot programs for alternative shifts are going but also give Weis a look at overall morale, said Bill Dougherty, first vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents rank-and-file officers.

    The survey, which includes more than 50 questions, asks department members about how their job affects time with their families, their satisfaction with the department and even whether they've considered working for other departments, Dougherty said.

    Department members have until mid-June to complete the online survey, and results are expected by the end of summer, police said.
And if, at the end of it all, morale is in the toilet, will J-Fed then resign as he publicly promised? If you have to enter your PC number, it's not as anonymous as everyone thinks. Years of Service and Unit? Might as well hand them a road map. Whatever. We did it already.


What Budget Hole?

We trust everyone heard about the little "affordable" housing scandal that popped up? Where the connected and the clouted (who already owned one or more houses, condos or other property) manage to get mortgages, in some cases with taxpayer-funded subsidies paving the way?
  • Matis was among 89 people who received one of those taxpayer-funded subsidies that ranged between $10,000 and $25,000, property records show. But there are no records of anyone repaying those subsidies when they resold their homes.
Even if every subsidy was the barest minimum of $10,000 that's almost a cool $1,000,000 the city laid out to assist the connected in increasing their assets.

Guess what Shortshanks said Sunday?
  • Mayor Daley said he doesn't expect the city will ever be reimbursed by people who got government subsidies to purchase "affordable" housing, only to flip the property for a profit.

    A Chicago Sun-Times investigation revealed that 50 taxpayer-subsidized affordable homes at University Village were resold -- often within just months -- for huge profits.

No raises available for police or firemen, but we can let a bunch of his business buddies and their cronies steal $1,000,000 from the taxpayers. Oh, he'll put rules in place that will prevent this from ever happening again, you know, for normal people. But he won't seek to recoup a million dollars.

If you don't pay those $75 parking tickets right away, he'll boot your car, tow it, charge you $125 for the tow, $10 per day storage fee and then when you still can't pay the ticket, sell your car for pennies on the dollar.

But if you steal a $25,000 subsidy to make another $75,000 flipping property, you're all good.

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Weekend Totals

It all depends on how you count it evidently:
  • Sun Times - 2 dead in 11 shootings just on Saturday;
  • WBBM 780 - 5 dead and 13 wounded for the whole weekend.
It wasn't really that warm either.


What's the Lesson Here?

The City won't provide parking for the police to show up at Traffic Court, on or off-duty. And now, the TMA's and maybe a few overzealous brothers and sisters are ticketing marked and unmarked vehicles? And Officers are being told to pay fines despite the fact the car was parked on "official business?"

In the old days, the midnight people, the day off cops and the afternoon crew could be shuttled to and from Traffic Court by a 2nd Watch car if the Captain was in a good mood and the radio wasn't too nuts.

Now, in an era of less-than-robust ticket writing, what message are we supposed to draw from these ticketings of marked police vehicles? They were already going to Traffic Court for free since they were on duty.

Yeah, that's what we thought, too. Message received loud and clear.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

What a Night

Sounds like another Saturday disaster:
  • A 3-year-old boy was fatally shot early today in what appeared to be an accident in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side, authorities said.

    Jaquan Reed, of the 500 block of Plum Grove Road in Roselle, was shot in a home in the 4700 block of West Van Buren Street, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

  • Two people were slain overnight in separate shootings, according to Chicago police.

    In the first attack, a 25-year-old woman was in a vehicle in the 8300 block of South Brandon Avenue shortly before 10 p.m. when an assailant fired and she was hit in her abdomen, according to a police news release.

    [...] In the second attack, a 19-year-old man was shot in his abdomen shortly before 12:30 a.m. in the 5100 block of West North Avenue, according to the release.

  • A man was critically injured late Saturday in a shooting in the Chatham neighborhood on the South Side, police said.

    The victim, who is in his 30s, was in the 600 block of East 87th Street about 11:55 p.m. when struck by gunfire, police said.

And the police were shooting, too:
  • An on-duty officer shot someone early today in the Gage Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side after the suspect fired a weapon on the street, police said.

    The officers saw the gunman fire the weapon in the 5400 block of South Homan Avenue, then the gunman turned and pointed the weapon at the officers, according to a police news release.

  • Chicago police fired shots Saturday night on the Near South Side, but no one was hit, authorities said.

    Details were sketchy as the investigation continued as of about 11:30 p.m., said Officer John Henry at Police News Affairs. He said one person was believed to be in custody following the shooting near 14th Street and Blue Island Avenue.

Just another regular weekend in the big city.


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