Sunday, January 31, 2010

Well This Explains A Bunch

Two weeks ago, a number of people pointed out that there were no bid openings for transfers. That was rare enough to provoke some pointed commentary in assorted posts.

Friday, the transfer order came out - eleven pages of it. Just about all "Code F - not subject to bidding" transfers. At first glance, someone just got rid of a whole bunch of paperwork. A deeper look reveals that this might just eliminate a whole load of "double counting" that went on in Patrol Division. For non-CPD readers, that was when a District Commander could claim they had no openings and everything was up to strength without mentioning the 50 or 60 or more people Detailed Out to TRU, MSF, Gun Teams, Gang Teams, outside agencies, etc. Districts that were formerly "up to strength" suddenly have a bunch of openings.

It also gives lie to J-Fed's PAX 501 that was e-mailed out last week:

    Over the past two years, I have worked hard to ensure that specialized assignments and opportunities are made available to all of our members and that they are filled with the most qualified and deserving applicants, based on open, fair and objective processes.

    Few things are as damaging to morale and operational effectiveness as an environment where officers feel that their performance, work history and attitude are less important than who they know.
This coming from an individual who spent 20 years in one of the most insular law enforcement organizations in existence. An organization that shows no loyalty to the individual, but revels in the cover up and ostracizes anyone who doesn't blindly support the organization. Remember Robert Wright?
  • In keeping with this philosophy, I have directed that vacancies on any and all task forces be posted Department-wide. Postings may include a description of the Task Force, required abilities and preferred qualifications as well as information required to apply (i.e., resume, writing sample, etc.), timeline for application and where materials should be submitted, as well as any other information deemed relevant by the submitting bureau.

    This process is intended to ensure that opportunities are made available to all members of the Department, and that the most highly qualified and best-suited officers are selected for positions. Networking and an ability to work well in a team with supervisors, peers and subordinates are important aspects of any officer’s character. However, who one knows should not be the defining factor in selecting a person for a position. Each and every officer of the Department deserves to know that what really matters are qualities such as; leadership ability, exceptional performance, attitude, work history, dedication to training and education.
"[P]referred qualifications" is legalese for "we're still going to let that commander's kid, the alderman's nephew and the hot chick in." But based on this PAX 501, is it safe to assume that each and every name on the transfer order re-applied for their old jobs at all these "Task Forces" so the taxpayers of Chicago have only "the most highly qualified and best-suited officers" working to eliminate criminal behavior across our fair city?

Or is this yet another case of "don't worry, it's all legit....from this point forward. We swear!"


What Did They Tell Him?

  • Sixteen hours before he was found dead, city School Board President Michael W. Scott got a Sunday-morning call from a top aide to Mayor Daley to schedule a meeting about questionable expenses that Scott and his staff had charged to board credit cards.

    Scott had a 13-minute conversation with mayoral press secretary Jacquelyn Heard starting at 11:01 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, according to police reports obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times about Scott's suicide.

So Heard was tipping him off? Heard was doing damage control? Heard was delivering the bad news that Scott had a ticket to the #42 Mayoral Express and he better be under it, so the mayor could giggle like he does and say, "I didn't know nothing about no credit cards"?

How many other calls did Heard make like this? And if it was at the behest of the mayor, that would explain why Shortshanks looked so shell shocked for a week afterward.


Another Ribbon

Word leaking out from various e-mailers that another "Crime Reduction" ribbon is in the works.

It is being developed under two separate names:
  • The J-Fed Junior G-Man Achievement Medallion with Oak Leaf Cluster and Shiny Silver Ribbon Things Around It;
  • or more simply, "The Masters Medal"
All kidding aside, it really is in development. We certainly hope everyone can find room on their dress blues for it.

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Is This a Bar?

  • Seven people were arrested and several police officers were injured during an early Saturday morning street fight involving more than 100 people on the Northwest Side.

    Police responded to the large disturbance near the 5600 block of West Grand Avenue around 1:45 a.m., and several officers sustained “non-life threatening injuries” while trying to break up the fight, police News Affairs [...] said.

    Several of the suspects refused orders to quit fighting and verbally and physically assaulted officers responding to the disturbance, [...] said. Police also used tasers and pepper spray to quiet the disturbance, she said.

5600 West? That's Central Avenue, isn't it? There's some sort of municipal structure there, something built on a haunted Indian burial ground?

Well, at least it was a short trip to the lock-up. Get well soon officers.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Name Names Ike

  • Chicago Ald. Isaac Carothers, 29th, is scheduled to plead guilty Monday to corruption charges, according to court authorities and records.

    Court documents previously filed in the case revealed Carothers has cooperated in the federal probe and indicated he has secretly taped other public officials. Carothers is charged with mail and wire fraud as well as bribery for allegedly accepting about $40,000 in improvements to this home.

    The government also alleged that Carothers accepted meals and tickets to sporting events in exchange for supporting zoning changes for a valuable piece of developed property in his ward.
So when do the feds reveal who and how many aldercreatures are on the tapes? How many State Reps and Senators? Maybe his sister and brother appear in prominent roles? Maybe even Shortshanks? We can only hope.


Questionable Endorsement

From an e-mail, a regular reader points out that in the newsletter, the FOP endorses Dan Gallagher for Circuit Court Judge.

We know that the FOP tends to endorse any candidate that shows up for the meeting, but if our e-mailer isn't mistaken, Gallagher was the public defender who succeeded in getting off the shooter of a Chicago Police Officer in the Rockwell Gardens complex. Gallagher spent his time in Judge Evelyn Clay's courtroom belittling and attacking the investigating detectives claiming that the confession given by his piece of shit client was (surprise surprise!) coerced.

Anyone from FOP want to explain this endorsement? Because we are kind of steaming right now that someone who spent time defending this asshole and attacking our detectives with baseless accusations somehow got endorsed in our names.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Police Shooting in Bronzeville

  • Chicago police shot a man who allegedly pointed a gun at officers late Thursday night in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood.

    Details about what led to the shooting weren't readily available, but the man, in his 30s, was reported in serious condition this morning at Stroger Hospital after being shot in the neck, police said, adding that his gun was confiscated.

    The shooting happened about 11:20 p.m. in the 4500 block of South Michigan Avenue.

Cold as hell last night, too. Good job officers.


Recruiting From Oregon?

  • Chicago has been playing defense lately because of the exodus of trade shows at McCormick Place. But it looks like Mayor Daley is preparing to make the switch to offense.

    Daley said Thursday he’s coming after businesses in the Pacific Northwest, emboldened by what he considers Oregon’s head-scratching decision to approve higher taxes on big corporations and big wage-earners.

  • “I’ve always thought America stands for [rewarding success]. You finish high school. You work hard, go to college and you hope to succeed in life. I never knew it’s a class war—that those who succeed in life are the ones that have to bear all the burden. I never realized that. It will be a whole change in America that those who succeed and work hard [that] we’re gonna tax ‘em more than anyone else.”

    Daley said Oregon’s tax blunder spells opportunity for Chicago.

What exactly does Chicago have to offer? The tax rate difference? Even with Quinn and Hynes either promising or claiming tax hikes are inevitable? The weather? The chance to live in Comrade Shortshanks Worker Paradise? The opportunity to pay Daley's head tax? Our lovely real estate market?

We just don't see it.


Deja Vu

Another misstep in the Global War on Terror by the increasingly tone-deaf Obama administration. They wanted to hold the terror trials literally in the shadows of the Twin Towers in Manhattan. New York put on a brave face, but behind the scenes, a completely different story:
  • The Obama administration on Wednesday lost its most prominent backer of the plan to try the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks in Lower Manhattan when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said the trial should not be held in New York City.

    The mayor’s reversal was a political blow to the White House’s efforts to resolve a landmark terror case a few blocks from where Al Qaeda hijackers rammed planes into the World Trade Center, a trial that the president saw as an important demonstration of American justice.

That was Wednesday. Thursday, this:
  • White House officials have told the Justice Department to consider other venues for the 9/11 terror trial that was to be held in lower Manhattan, the Daily News has learned.
Here's a bright idea being floated on the right side of the blogosphere:
  • How about military tribunals? Maybe on an island base? Something just outside of the USA, maybe 90 or so miles? Remote, yet accessible to aircraft or even helicopters to bring in lawyers, witnesses, evidence, etc., but protected and secure.
Anyone know where we might have a facility like that? It would have to be better than transporting terror suspects halfway across the US on aircraft and vans.


Comment Issues

E-blogger is once again having some issues with their comment sections. If there seems to be a longer than normal delay in seeing your comments posted, it's being worked on.

Closed post for now.


Illinois is Broke

  • Chicago business leaders are launching a media blitz Friday to highlight the breadth of the state's dire budget problems under the theme "Illinois Is Broke."

    The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago says it's pouring about $1 million into a campaign through the November general election to mobilize voters and influence candidates to address the state's fiscal woes.

    The non-partisan committee wants the state to reform its method of paying for the massively underfunded state pension systems, including the enactment of a plan that would give lower benefits to new workers.

    In addition, the group called for scaling back overall spending. The state's pile of unpaid bills this year reached a record $5 billion.
Spending cuts aren't going to happen under democrats. They aren't going to happen under Illinois republicans either. The "Combine" has a death grip on Springfield and they aren't letting go unless voted out. They will almost certainly go for a two-tiered pension system before cutting any sort of spending.

Here's the website link.



Should be arriving with the checks today. Don't panic.


Open post in the meantime.

UPDATE: Whoops...misread the calendar. Checks Monday, W-2's today. Had to make a special trip into the station to get it, but it was there. Taxes will be filed and mailed tonight, refund should be winging it's way to us next week, and the money is already spent.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Not Even Close"

Anita Alvarez, political hack, police hater, current Cook County State's Attorney, who actually ran on a platform of promising to jail any police officer she could, approved this case moving forward. Here are some choice quotes from the article:
  • A Cook County judge today acquitted two Chicago cops of planting drugs on a convicted felon outside his sister's home six years ago, saying that prosecutors didn't "come close" to proving their case.

  • "I just can't get overexcited about the supposed conspiracy to conceal," Porter said, shooting down prosecutors' argument that Bernichio, 43, and Murphy, 35, tried to frame Morris Wynn -- a convicted felon and self-admitted former gang member.

  • Bernichio's attorney William Gamboney said Wynn and Guy, who also has an extensive criminal record, were not credible, adding that the filling of the two police reports was simply a "clerical error."

    Gamboney continued, saying that prosecutors had wanted to protect themselves by treating the officers' case like "the Kennedy assassination."

And how did they want to protect themselves? By throwing police officers under the bus, based simply on what is described as "clerical errors."

Here's a howler from the BreakingNews article:
  • Prosecutors argued Wednesday that the alleged victims' accounts of their arrest contrasted starkly with the officers' arrest reports and implied they planted thousands of dollars worth of drugs on Wynn.

So Cook County prosecutors claim that since the "victims' account" differs so spectacularly from the police officers' account, it must be the officers who were lying at the trial two years ago. Never mind that fact that the "victims" have numerous felony convictions, are gang members and one was initially convicted of possessing more than an ounce of cocaine based on the same testimony given by the officers. And we'll completely ignore the fact that the "victims" have every motivation to lie during the initial trial seeing as how they might spend years in prison for drug possession.

We'll just run with vague accusations that Chicago Police drive around with ounces of narcotics, "drop guns" and probably bales of home-grown marijuana just so they can risk spending 20 years in the slammer. Yeah, that makes sense.

Anita Alvarez is not your friend. She is not the friend of any police officer, active or retired. She will attempt to jail you based on the lies of convicted felons and gang bangers. And her merry band of unqualified, bottom-of-the-barrel, law-school hacks will stab you in the back to help her do it so they can get the coveted "first chair." Citizens beware - the Cook County State's Attorney has declared war on the police and unfortunately, you will bear the brunt of any hesitation on the part of the officers to take lawful, legal action to protect you and your loved ones.

Buy a gun - the Supreme Court is about to make it legal anyway.


Giannoulias Bank Problems

Isn't this guy running for Senate? Shouldn't he, you know, have his own shit in order?
  • (Crain’s) — Broadway Bank, the troubled Chicago lender owned by the family of Illinois Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias, has entered into a consent order with banking regulators requiring it to raise tens of millions in capital, stop paying dividends to the family without regulatory approval, and hire an outside party to evaluate the bank’s senior management.

    The Jan. 26 consent order with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Illinois Division of Banking comes less than a week before Mr. Giannoulias — Broadway’s chief lender and then vice-president from 2002 to 2006 — must face voters in the Democratic primary for the Senate seat previously held by President Barack Obama.

    He’s faced criticism, principally from former city Inspector General David Hoffman, who’s running against him, for his past role at the bank and the $70 million in dividends the family took out of the bank in 2007 and 2008 as the real estate crisis was becoming apparent.

We aren't in the business of endorsing democrats for office, but any vote for Giannoulias would be a vote for "business as usual" in Illinois' corrupt government practices. If you're pulling a democratic primary ballot, Hoffman looks like the better bet for US Senate.

And while you're voting for Hoffman, throw a vote at Stroger for Cook County Board President. He's the most beatable of the democrats so we might actually see a republican winner in the fall.


Animal Control Volunteers

Exactly how many criminals, parolees and ex-cons are working at Animal Control?
  • Chicago is requiring more than 250 Animal Care volunteers to be fingerprinted, provide Social Security numbers and undergo criminal background checks in a crackdown that, some volunteers warn, could trigger a mass exodus of pivotal unpaid help.

    Human Resources spokesperson Connie Buscemi said criminal background checks have been "standard practice" for 110 volunteers in other city departments since "at least 2008."

    Somehow, the city's biggest group of volunteers -- 150 regulars and 100 part-timers at the Commission on Animal Care and Control -- slipped through the cracks.

  • Sources said some volunteers are so livid about being fingerprinted and screened, they're planning to resign in protest, leaving the department's 68 full-time staffers in the lurch.
So if they have to submit to fingerprints and screening, they're going to be so pissed off that they're willing to send Fido and Fluffy to the gas chambers that much quicker?

They're unpaid volunteers - we really don't see a downside for Shortshanks. He'll either (A) get a whole new generation of dog walkers and cat tenders volunteering or (B) he'll close the entire operation and get a bunch of "no-kill" shelters to pick up the slack. Animal Care and Control is already patrolling the entire city with one truck most weekends and doing a damn poor job of it.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Can You Hear Us Now?

  • The Chicago Mayor's Office of Special Events has canceled the traditional July 3 fireworks celebration in Grant Park, instead opting to organize three smaller fireworks on July 4 at Navy Pier and on the north and south lakefront.

    "I would say we're doing it to be fiscally responsible, because we have to be," said MOSE director Megan McDonald at a City Hall news conference this morning.

    "I would say that we're also doing it to more effectively manage what happens at the Taste of Chicago, as well as citywide on an already busy holiday weekend. I think it is always challenging to manage a million, 2 million people in a very small space," she added.
Two words - no manpower.

A few more words - gangbanger wilding.

Here's the 2008 video that sparked some controversy:

Here's another featuring the helicopter:

And another:

And another:

And guess what? This year there were going to be at least 100 more videos. Shortshanks couldn't afford this type of video display going into an election year. And certainly not while the Academy has 86 recruits in training and Personnel has 300 retirement PAR forms on the front burner.

Now when will they cancel some other out-of-control events? The week long Humboldt Park festival and the August "Back to School" parade are two that come to mind.


Cozzi Update

From the comments:

    I just got off the phone w/Bill and he said arguments on his appeal are beginning on Feb. 18.
    He and his lawyers do not have any idea how successful they will be, so everyone please pray.

    Bill also said that he is still in the process of writing everyone who wrote to him, and is able to get out 50-60 letters per week. He did not want to send a form letter, so he is writing everyone individually because he is so grateful to those of you who took time to write him.

    Bill is still EXTREMELY depressed, and keeps to himself and said he always has to have an eye open both ahead and behind him.

    As far as visiting, he said he does not want to jeopardize anyone coming to see him. He stressed that the part of the country he is in is crime-ridden and the people do not like northerners. He said he thinks it is too dangerous for anyone to make the trip, and he will not even let his family come to see him. He also said that the prison personnel treat northerners badly and he does not want anyone to have to go through that to see him.

    His lawyers are still working on getting him transferred closer to Chicago, but understandably are more occupied with his appeal.

    Bill said that although we tend to bad-mouth Chicago, since he considers himself 'at the gate of Hell,' that he still loves the city and the CPD.

    He said he has enough books and magazine subscriptions and he is grateful to the two persons who have arranged for him to get the Tribune. He said getting mail, reading the Trib, and going to bed are the only highlights in his day. I had been sending him news clippings, but the prison sent them back.

    I am thinking that Bill might like some photos, maybe of the old district, maybe a roll call, Chicago landmarks, anything funny, etc.

    Please keep sending cards and letters. He really can't receive much else.

    I will add another update next time I talk to him.


    One of Bill's friends
Bill's address continues to occupy the upper right corner of the main page and it only costs 44 cents to mail a letter.


Pat Quinn for Senate!

Wait a minute - this seems crooked, even by Illinois loose standards:
  • Even as he runs to hold on to his job in Tuesday's primary, Gov. Pat Quinn is still raising money for a U.S. Senate campaign he lost in 1996.

    The continuation of the "Pat Quinn for U.S. Senate" fund, 14 years after his Senate race was done, is unusual even in the heard-it-all world of campaign finance.

    Quinn has kept the fund alive by pumping in a series of personal loans and then soliciting political donations so he can pay himself back, at interest rates approaching 10 percent. The end result is that Quinn has made at least $24,000 in interest from the campaign fund he controls, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission.

What the hell? How is this even remotely legal? No wonder campaign reform never gets anywhere around here. It's a side job!


Hooray! Jobs!

  • Ford Motor Co. plans to add 1,200 workers when it begins production of a new version of the Ford Explorer SUV at its Torrence Avenue plant on Chicago's South Side later this year.
But there's a catch:
  • Those new union workers will be the first hired by Ford at sharply reduced wages, under a 2007 contract that allows Ford, General Motors and Chrysler to fill some jobs at about half the pay of what current workers made when they started, and with lower benefits, the Wall Street Journal reported today.
  • As many as half of the new Chicago hires may come from a pool of laid-off Ford workers in southeast Michigan and Louisville, said Jim Tetreault, vice president of North America manufacturing.

    "Our workers that are on indefinite layoff right now, no matter where they are in the country, get first choice," he said. "We have approximately 600 people on layoff, so we expect some percentage of those employees will elect to take a position in Chicago."
So a mixed blessing we suppose. We thought SUVs were on the way out?


Just in Time!

This scandal appears to have been a long time coming:
  • The credit cards of 89 Chicago Board of Education employees have been yanked in the midst of an investigation into questionable spending by the last two Chicago School Board presidents and their staff, officials revealed Monday.

    If employees at board headquarters want their credit cards back, they will have to justify their expenses dating back to June 30, explain why they need a credit card, and receive training on how to use it, Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Monique Bond said. She said Schools CEO Ron Huberman canceled all credit cards on Jan. 19.

    The disclosure of the action comes after the Chicago Sun-Times revealed that an internal report by Schools Inspector General James Sullivan details what sources said was thousands of dollars in artwork, limousine rides, high-priced meals and liquor charged by former board presidents Michael Scott, Rufus Williams or their staff to the board's tab.

In fairness to the Hube, he inherited this disaster from a number of previous school administrations. But Shortshanks really has no excuse as he's been in charge of the schools for decades now and appoints the head of the board.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shooting in 007

  • A 30-year-old man was shot and wounded by Chicago police this afternoon and three others taken into custody following reports of a group of men with guns in the city's Englewood neighborhood, officials said.

    Police recovered five weapons following the shooting in the 5900 block of South Sangamon Street.

Good job officers.


Clean the Damn Cars

We know many claim Dugan is a micro-manager. Lot's of people in positions of power are. But does he really have to send out a memo telling people to clean out cars and designate supervisors to check it out?

We know many have the attitude of "It's not my car - I didn't pay for it" and they treat that way. We've gotten into cars with under 1,000 miles and the steering wheel is cut, there's graffiti on the upholstery and all sorts of papers and garbage is on the floor. How much effort does it take to pull up to a garbage can and empty out the crap you brought into the car 8 hours earlier?

For the most part, all we leave in the car is the paper so the next watch has something to read. We understand there was that one incident where someone left a Styrofoam tray full of Maxwell Street cooked onions under the front seat on a warm summer night, but that was after they left the car on empty one too many times.

All kidding aside, cleaning out the car is a basic courtesy all too lacking lately, especially as there are no more "assigned" cars to specific beats. The city gives us crap equipment and shits on us we really have to stick it to the next watch because we're too lazy to simply dump our own trash?


Happy Days?

  • Mayor Daley today sloughed off a planned strike authorization vote by 2,000 Chicago truck drivers, saying he does not believe truckers would risk their "tremendous" jobs by crippling city snow removal, garbage collection and airport operations.

  • "These are tremendous jobs. ... They realize these are great jobs. ... You get a great salary. You get a great pension. You get great health care. You get sick days. You get happy days. ... Every day you want, you get off," the mayor said.
We haven't had a strike that has the potential to drive Daley completely nuts in years now. You can see he's teetering on the edge. A Teamster strike could completely torpedo his re-election chances and give potential other candidates a wide open forum to trash his mismanagement of the city. Remember, the unions helped remove 10 aldercreatures last election. Who says they can't unseat a wounded mayor?


Lease the Tollway?

  • Politicians who hope to gain traction with voters by urging that the Illinois Tollway be leased to a private company might want to rethink their strategy.

    By overwhelming numbers, Republican and Democratic voters alike oppose privatization of the tollway system and believe it would lead to higher tolls, according to a Tribune/WGN-TV poll.
How about paying off the bonds that were floated 50 years ago to pay for these things? Weren't they supposed to be freeways back around the 70's or 80's? The state wasn't supposed to create another huge bureaucracy with its own patronage army.


Monday, January 25, 2010


This is the first we've heard of this practice. Can anyone verify? Here's a couple of comments popping up here:
  • Vote a NO to the Rollback judges at 26th and California. He's guilty. Shes's guilty. Then.....when no ones around....weeks the sentencing hearing...Ummm...hrumph...umm...after further review I find him and her ..not guilty. What? What happened? ( later on in the day the poor citizen and the police officer see the guy and girl they thought got five years out in the street.) What? What happened? ....John Kass where are you??????????????????????????This is a new column in the making!!!!!!

  • This happened to me, too. 3 years turned into time served while I wasn't looking. Can't remember the judge's name, Room 600 26th and Cal is where it was in June 2009. Agg Batt to PO while on probation.

    The quip about this new thing about rollback judges is so true, especially in the last 6 months at 26th and Cal. My partner and I had thought we did a very good job getting all inventories and being present in court when notified. The ASA's congratulated us on a job well done after the defendant was found guilty in a bench trial in one of the 3rd floor rooms. The judges name escapes me now. But I distinctly remember the court room being in on the 3rd floor. Now the kicker is when I get my disposition paper it is signed by the ASA saying thanks for your help but the defendant got a finding of not guilty. I thought I had read it in error but nope. I called the ASA and when she called me back, she told me that this is becoming a frequent thing. I explained to her why? The ASA said she thinks that it could be a sign of the times with the jails being overcrowded. Well....I call another ASA that I knew well from another courtroom and ask him. That ASA informs me that he is seeing this happen more and more to in 26th and Cal and believes off the record that envelopes are being passed. Good now are all judges suspect? What is going on. The ASA's gotta know something. A new law enacted recently that we don't know about? One thing after another at that 26th and Cal for sure.
We have heard from a reliable source that judges are under orders to dismiss dope cases under 1 gram unless certain hurdles are met, and the hurdles are damn steep. Not surprising actually. We've even read that there's a judge that approves search warrants, then finds no probable cause at preliminary hearings on her own warrants - how fucked up is that? But this "rollback" sounds fishy in the extreme.

Of course, it wouldn't be the first time judges went to jail in Cook County. We can only hope for more to head that way.


Imminent Attack?

All sorts of rumblings the past few days if you're paying attention. The Brits up their terror warning level to "severe:"
  • The British government has raised its terror alert level from "substantial" to "severe," the second highest level, but it's not divulging the exact reason behind the decision.

    Home Secretary Alan Johnson made the announcement Friday. He said it means his government considers an attack on British soil is likely and that security officials are heightening their vigilance. However, he stressed there is no intelligence suggesting an attack is imminent.

Well something certainly spooked them. Then bin Laden releases a statement referencing the failed Detroit bombing:
  • Osama bin Laden endorsed the failed attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day and threatened new attacks against the United States in an audio message released Sunday that appeared aimed at asserting he maintains some direct command over al-Qaida-inspired offshoots.

    However, U.S. officials and several researchers who track terrorist groups said there was no indication bin Laden or any of his top lieutenants had anything to do with or even knew in advance of the Christmas plot by a Yemen-based group that is one of several largely independent al-Qaida franchises.
And a close analysis of the bin Laden statement is triggering increased alarm in certain intelligence circles:
  • Osama bin Laden's word choice in the latest audio message attributed to him is seen as a "possible indicator" of an upcoming attack by his Al-Qaeda network, a US monitoring group warned Sunday.

    IntelCenter, a US group that monitors Islamist websites, also said that manner of the release and the content of the message showed it was "credible" that it was a new release from the Saudi extremist.

    "The Osama bin Laden audio message released to Al-Jazeera on 24 January 2010 contains specific language used by bin Laden in his statements in advance of attacks," IntelCenter said in a statement.

And what better time to launch an attack? The president is severely damaged domestically by the ObamaCare fiasco, Wall Street is under attack by elements of Obama's left wing and lost 500 points last week, the job market continues to lurch and the economy is lagging, most likely headed for a "double dip" recession. One successful attack inside our borders and we're in a tailspin worse than September 2001.

Anyone still think we should be treating terrorism as a "law enforcement" problem rather than a war?



  • A 39-year-old Glenview Township man was shot today by Cook County Sheriff's police after he allegedly charged at them with a sword after an hour long stand off, officials said.

    The man, whose identity is not being released by authorities because he has not been charged with a crime, was taken to Lutheran General Hospital where he was being operated after being shot in the chest, sheriff's officials said in a statement.

    [...] After more than an hour, the man came out brandishing a large sword and approached police in a "threatening manner,'' police said. The man was shot once in the chest by police, officials said. No other injuries were reported.
In any event, no police hurt. We've never yet seen a sword wielding head case beat a rifle.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sue the "Deep Pockets"

  • A woman who says she was attacked by a homeless man and woman while leaving a Jewel Food Store is suing the store and her attackers.

    Jennifer Hall says that while she and her fiance were leaving the Jewel store at 1224 S. Wabash Ave. on Aug. 25, 2008, her 36th birthday, she was approached by Derrick King and Joyce Burgess. The two requested a cigarette and when Hall denied them, she was physically attacked -- losing most of her teeth and ending up with 85 staples in her head.

    King pleaded guilty to the crime last october and was sentecned to three years in prision. But according to state records, he was paroled just 18 days after pleading guilty to two counts of robbery for the attack on Hall..
First of all, the editor over at Breaking News ought to be fined for the errors in this story.

The victim's choice of targets for her lawsuit is interesting though. How much liability should Jewel have for homeless people who wander onto their property and beg, cajole, threaten, harass and beat citizens in an effort to get money? And if Jewel is liable, shouldn't they be able to protect their property by more than the usual means? Should we expect to see Jewel managers armed with Tasers, nightsticks and guns to protect their property? It would be entertaining no doubt.


Fake Cop

  • A Lincoln Park man has been charged with impersonating a police officer after allegedly luring a couple into his car and robbing them, authorities said.

    [...] About 4:30 p.m. Friday, the suspect, driving a silver Chevrolet Impala, stopped the vehicle alongside a man and woman in the 4800 block of North Hamlin Avenue in Albany Park, police said. The suspect showed the couple a pair of handcuffs, a police scanner, and what they believed was a handgun.

    The suspect ordered the victims into the car, telling them he was an undercover office, and drove the two to a nearby alley, where he took their belongings, including cell phones, an iPod and an unreported amount of cash, police said.

    Albany Park district police officers were called to the scene and broadcast a description of the suspect and vehicle over the radio. Patrol officers later spotted and stopped the car in the 3400 block of West Leland Avenue and called the victims to the scene.

Nice job by the responding officers. Too bad we aren't allowed to execute these types on the street and leave their bodies in the gutter as a warning to others.


Ousted CFD Trying for the Bench

An ousted CFD Union leader is running for judge. And firefighters aren't too happy about it:
  • In July 2007, John Chwarzynski was removed as president of Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2 by an internal panel that found him guilty of violating the union's constitution and bylaws.

    Eleven of the union's 13 executive board members had accused Chwarzynski of fraud, financial malfeasance and a host of other violations. Among other things, he was accused of filing a fraudulent expense report for an extravagant dinner for two at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

    Chwarzynski denied the charges, accused his union brothers of trying to "cover up their own acts of misconduct and payroll fraud" and filed a lawsuit against Local 2's executive board. The suit has since been dismissed.

    Now, Chwarzynski is one of 11 candidates running for judge in a subcircuit that takes in virtually all of the Northwest Side's 36th and 38th wards, portions of six other wards and parts of roughly 10 suburbs.

Former union boss and SCC reader Bill Kugelman is leading the charge. This doesn't seem like anyone we'd want to end up on the bench. Our north side readers might want to take note and find an alternate candidate to support.

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Another Nail for Quinn

The Accidental Governor receives even more bad news:
  • The Illinois seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December 2009 went up by two-tenths of a percentage point from November and is now at 11.1 percent, according to figures released Friday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

    The three-month moving average also increased 0.2 percent to 11.0 percent. Slight increases and decreases in the unemployment rate are to be expected in a national recession, according to a release from IDES.

But the major problem no one is speaking of is that these jobs are leaving Illinois and they aren't coming back. The unfriendly business environment is making Illinois a difficult place to open and maintain any type of manufacturing job. Construction? Few and far between. Even politically connected road work is suffering and we see even bigger problems down the road as taxpayers get fed up with the Illinois Combine.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Satellite Office?

Band-aids again. This from an e-mail:
  • I just got word that there is going to be a satellite office for the 8th District operating out of a library somewhere in the District (really bad idea). I really don't have any other information at this time regarding this, but I wanted to give you a heads up. Maybe someone from 8 can give us the lowdown because it's supposed to open up 03 Feb and be operational starting the 2nd Period (04 Feb). I'm assuming it will be only for taking reports to take slack off the beat guys that are so shorthanded there (and everywhere else).
Isn't it about time to redraw the 008 District? It's too big to effectively police and this "satellite" doesn't do anything except stretch thin manpower even thinner.


Denali Climb

Another bit of inspirational news and an event worth supporting:
  • A Chicago Police Officer and Breast Cancer Survivor will climb the highest mountain peak in North America to honor other survivors and their families. They will endure subzero temperatures, high altitude, and extreme arctic weather on an inhospitable mountain for other Chicago Police Officers as well as Alma Blake and Latrice Johnson, who both fight cancer today.
  • One of our expedition members, Matt Lockitski, is a Chicago Police Officer ....


Lieutenants' Challenge

A St. Baldrick's challenge:
  • The Chicago Police Lieutenants Association is throwing down the gauntlet and challenging all the other CPD Police Unions to see who can raise the most money for this fine foundation. If you are a Lieutenant, a family member of a Lieutenant or a friend of a Lieutenant or just someone who wants to join in you can sign up with team CPLA to have you head shaved on March 19, 2010 at the Chicago Police Academy . If you don't want to shave your head you can make a donation to St. Baldrick’s in the name of team CPLA. To join in being shaved or donating just go to

    Let's show the FOP, CPSA & CPCA who has the shiniest heads. If you have any questions about joining our team please email me at

    Bob Weisskopf President
We wrote about the event a few days ago. Interest is rising. We thought the only challenge was going to be beating out CFD this year, but a little oneupsmanship among the ranks is good, too.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Police Shooting in 011

  • Police and the Independent Police Review Authority are responding to police-involved shooting in the Northwest Side Humboldt Park neighborhood Thursday night.

    The shooting occurred about 7:40 p.m. in the 4300 block of West Augusta Boulevard, police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala said.

Northwest Side Humbolt Park? Sounds like someone has some real estate to sell. Humbolt Park is 2 miles east. And is anything south of Grand really "north"?


Whoa Whoa Whoa....Huh?

  • A homeless shelter on the West Side was bracing for a greater influx of evacuees from Haiti scheduled to arrive later today.

    The Chicago Christian Industrial League shelter at 2750 W. Roosevelt Road is already working to get about 60 refugees off to their final destinations after they arrived from Haiti late Wednesday night.

    Brian Rowland, manager for A Safe Haven Foundation Inc., which runs the shelter, said about 20 of the Haitians are already en route to New York, where they have relatives waiting. Another 40 are scheduled to leave for South Florida tomorrow, Rowland said.

OK, we're all for saving the poor and downtrodden. It's what America does. We are the most charitable, giving people in the history of the world, bar none. But why in the world would we fly sixty people 1,850 miles to Chicago, then ship 40 of them to South Florida and 20 more to New York? Don't tell us there aren't any direct flights to Florida or New York.

It's only 700 miles between Haiti and Miami. Why add a 2,000 mile detour? Who's making a buck on this one? That building on Roosevelt Road had Blago's wife making some obscene amount of money for BS - are they paying off her contract? Or someone's contract? Somebody is making some fast coin off this scam.


How About Returning the Money?

In many operations, if you don't spend budgeted money, you lose it. It goes back to the general fund and is applied to other things. In the future, your budget is cut by the returned amount since you obviously didn't need it. Not here though:
  • With incumbents everywhere in trouble and another election fast approaching, Chicago aldermen should be tripping over themselves to drain the $66 million-a-year pool that allows them to choose from a menu of street, sidewalk, alley and anti-crime improvements.

    Instead, thirteen aldermen left at least $500,000 of their $1.32 million-a-year allotment on the table and four of them closed the books on 2009 with more than $1 million unspent. Nine others failed to use anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000, records show.

At the bare minimum, we're talking $10 or $11 million unspent, probably quite a bit more based on carry over money from previous years. Couldn't this be used to alleviate layoffs or furloughs? It's nothing more than legalized bribe money that aldercreatures use to "buy" ward improvements and it's no better than the TIF money Shortshanks treats as his own personal ly controlled piggy bank.


Voting for Judges

We've been asked to post a list of judges that are worthy of your vote. We say "your vote" because we don't ever vote to retain judges. We only vote "NO" because there isn't a choice labeled "HELL NO." It's kind of cathartic to just run down the list and vote "NO" 80 or 90 times. Our dream is to have 10,000 cops voting "NO" on every single judge. The system would be in disarray overnight.

In any case, we're opening up this post for anyone with particular horror stories of judges who deserve to lose their spots. There must be dozens.

In interest of fairness, we'll even let "good judge" postings go through even though we won't be voting for any of them.


Harold Speaks from the Grave

  • Decades-old video of the late Mayor Harold Washington calling Pat Quinn "a totally and completely undisciplined individual," is at the center of Democratic challenger Dan Hynes' latest attack ad aimed at the sitting governor.

    [...] The Quinn campaign responded this afternoon in a statement issued by spokeswoman Elizabeth Austin.

    "The late, great Mayor Harold Washington is spinning in his grave today. It is outrageous that Dan Hynes is now invoking the name of Mayor Harold Washington in a blatant maneuver to mislead voters," she said. "That Dan Hynes would use a 24 year-old news clip of a beloved figure to attack Gov. Quinn shows there is no limit to his negative campaigning. There also is no limit to his hypocrisy."

We don't know - it sure seems that Washington had the true measure of Quinn almost two-and-a-half decades ago. Read this:
  • "I was nuts to do it. I must have been blind or staggering," said Washington, who died in 1987. "Pat Quinn is a totally and completely undisciplined individual who thinks this government is nothing but a large easel by which he can do his (public relations) work. He almost created a shambles in that department."
Freaking brilliant, especially in light of Quinn's promises to raise taxes, his continual missteps in the budgetary arena and his multiple early release programs that produce "savings" at the cost of public safety.

Quinn is toast. Perhaps the Illinois Combine follows?


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Imposter Arrested Again?

From the comments, a couple people are claiming the police impersonator has been locked up again. Can anyone verify and what the hell for this time?

And if true, someone get us the name of the Juvenile Court judge, because we are going to go to town.


Kass Homers Again

A nice write up in yesterday's paper, describing bond court for the recent biting attack on an off-duty PO and some of the stories that didn't make the papers:
  • One by one, the defendants stood before Ocasio — the 220-pound nipple biter was No. 58 on the list — and often they bowed their heads as Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti read the charges and extensive criminal records. Meek, eyes lowered, they didn't look as I pictured them with weapons in their hands, somebody bleeding on the ground, a neighbor calling 911.

    One was accused of using his car to ram a police squad car, then blowing through several red lights and stop signs before crashing his car on the South Side. Police who pulled him out of the wreck found a semi-automatic pistol and several bags of cocaine. Authorities said he had seven felony convictions before this charge, including a conviction for aggravated criminal sexual assault.

    Then came the two Insane Deuces, street gang members, almost dwarfish, heads shaved, topping out at a little less than 5 feet, accused of standing in the middle of 44th and Wallace, guns in their hands, firing at a car. The car contained a man, a woman and a toddler. They allegedly shot the man in the leg, twice. Their family members stood up in the gallery to protest. A skinny geezer, toothless, wispy hair, and two women, mouths open while listening, saying it was all lies.

    Up next was a man accused of beating his girlfriend to a pulp, a thick-set fellow with too much grease in his hair. Allegedly, as he was being handcuffed, he pulled away, swinging the arm with the dangling cuff and slamming it the face of the arresting officer.
A tiny glimpse behind the curtain. Now how about swinging it wide?


Another Convention Leaving?

Does Shortshanks want to revisit that "bill of rights" for convention participants yet?
  • The International Home & Housewares Show, a Chicago mainstay since 1939, plans to assess whether it should move from McCormick Place to Las Vegas or Orlando for 2012, the Rosemont-based show sponsor disclosed Tuesday.

    McCormick Place, which lost two big shows last fall, is at risk of losing several more in coming months, sources said. One of them, sources said, is the National Restaurant Association, which has not yet made a commitment for its 2012 show. The restaurant show is among the city's most well-known.

    The International Housewares Association's board applauded the city and state's push to cut trade show costs, but said the alternative site review is being done in case Chicago fails to make adequate progress in time for a 2012 decision. The March show is booked here for the next two years.
$75 million in business related spending. The tax revenue generated isn't anything to sneeze at when Daley has a $500 million hole in his budget and Quinn is running a deficit in the billions while trying to raise taxes.

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More Bad Headlines

CPD just can't get out from under them...even when it happened nine months ago:
  • A Chicago Police detective is charged with theft of services and aggravated assault over a dispute with a cabbie, officials said today.

    [...] — the son of a former police commander — is accused of getting into a dispute over a fare and pulling his gun, court records show.

    [...] Chicago Dispatcher, a news site for the city’s taxi industry, reported that cab driver Karl Clermont was involved in an incident with a drunken passenger at 1:35 a.m. on April 23.

Is it just us, or have most of the recent scandals in the Department involved "merit," clout, or the anointed being caught up in misdeeds?

Then there's this brainiac getting convicted - at least they label her as "former" CPD:
  • A Cook County judge today convicted a 38-year-old Chicago woman of attempting to deposit a $1 million bogus check.

    And not only was the defendant in Wednesday's bench trial a former Chicago police officer, but prosecutors say she attempted to deposit the bad check in her account at the Chicago Patrolmen's Federal Credit Union.

    Circuit Court Judge William Lacy found former officer [...] guilty of forgery, attempted theft and official misconduct.

Who knows which scandal is going to rear its ugly head again?


What Is He Smoking?

  • Mayor Richard M. Daley made a robust pitch for job creation today, proposing that businesses that create and guarantee good-paying jobs with benefits for life be exempt from paying federal taxes.
How about you eliminate the "head tax" locally Mr. Mayor? That's killing jobs inside city limits. And Stroger? We're thinking of pushing for everyone to vote for the Toddler because he's the most beatable candidate in the general elections coming up. And how about that massive tax increase Pat Quinn is running on? Talk about your tone-deaf democrats.

Shortshanks gets one thing right though:
  • Daley also urged federal officials to stop bashing Wall Street. "You can rap and beat up the business community on a daily basis in Washington, but they create jobs," he said. "Government does not create jobs."
That's for certain.


Standard Corruption

  • For years, employees of Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown have complained about having to pay a couple bucks to wear jeans on Fridays.

    Brown, who's seeking a promotion to County Board president, recently told the Tribune that all the money collected either goes to charities or into a fund that pays for an annual employee appreciation awards ceremony.
  • Brown has raised tens of thousands of dollars from employees for her Friends of Dorothy Brown campaign fund.

    In addition, many top-level employees have helped organize annual birthday parties that double as fundraisers. Brown has accepted cash gifts and other presents from employees at those birthday parties and on Christmas — a practice she halted after the Tribune asked her about it.

    [...] Such practices were the province of old-school politicians. During his federal corruption trial, testimony showed former Gov. George Ryan got thousands of dollars from employees for years as Christmas gifts. City Hall workers also were asked to voluntarily contribute to annual gifts for Mayor Richard Daley, the Tribune reported in December 2006.

So much untraceable cash. It's a wonder the feds haven't keyed on this habit here in Illinois, Cook County and Chicago. Actually, it's not a wonder, it's pathetic.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

St. Baldrick's Update

Two months away and their websites are up and running:
  • Once again, the St. Baldrick's Organization has requested the assistance of the men and women of the Chicago Police Department in 2010. For those unfamiliar, St. Baldrick's is an organization that raises money that goes towards research of a cure for childhood cancer. Participants agree to shave their heads in support of the kids who lose there hair in chemo treatments, and seek pledges for doing so. Participants with longer hair are also able to donate hair longer than 12" to be used by "Locks of Love" to make wigs for the patients that do lose their hair.

    This year's event will be held on Friday, March 19, 2010 from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Training Academy, Area 2, and Area 5 and we hope to surpass last year's total of over $96,000.00 raised to help fight this horrible disease that has impacted so many of us.

    Please go to and under "find an event" type in Chicago Police in the venue box and choose your location. If you are returning from last year, simply use your login information and click on register for 2010’s event.

    Should you have any questions contact: Bill O'Reilly for the Academy event at, Bill Murphy for the Area 2 event at and Anne Zamzow for the Area 5 event at

    Thanks for reading and we look forward to many shiny skulls on the 19th.


$500,000 Bail

Almost 100 arrests, violent anti-social tendencies, but still roaming the streets:
  • A Hazel Crest man accused of biting off the right nipple of an off-duty Chicago Police officer outside a Gold Coast steakhouse was ordered held in lieu of $500,000 bail today.

    Fernando Cooper, 31, of the 18100 block of South Kedzie Avenue, was charged with aggravated battery of a police officer, resisting arrest and attempted disarming of a police officer for the Sunday night incident outside Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse.

    Authorities said that about 9:30 p.m., the officer was working security for the restaurant when he was told that Cooper was outside grabbing at the feet of passersby in an attempt to shine their shoes.

What does it take to keep these jagoffs behind bars? We've got murderers, rapists, gun-wielding felons being released right and left by the powers that be, and no voter outcry. Sheep indeed.

Upon conviction, this particular asshole ought to have each and every one of his teeth removed with rusty pliers.


GOP Wins Massachusetts

First Obama blows the Olympic bid for Shortshanks, now he gives away Ted Kennedy's birthright?
  • In an epic upset in liberal Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown rode a wave of voter anger to win the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy for nearly half a century, leaving President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in doubt and marring the end of his first year in office.

  • The loss by the once-favored Democrat Martha Coakley in the Democratic stronghold was a stunning embarrassment for the White House after Obama rushed to Boston on Sunday to try to save the foundering candidate. Her defeat on Tuesday signaled big political problems for the president's party this fall when House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates are on the ballot nationwide.

    Brown's victory was the third major loss for Democrats in statewide elections since Obama became president. Republicans won governors' seats in Virginia and New Jersey in November.
And Brown's victory speech? Very, dare we say, presidential?


One Step Closer

  • Mumia Abu-Jamal, whose death sentence for killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981 has become an international cause célèbre for opponents of capital punishment, has suffered a significant setback at the US Supreme Court.

    In a summary order issued on Tuesday, the high court reversed a 2008 federal appeals court ruling that had required a new sentencing hearing for Mr. Abu-Jamal.

    [...] Tuesday’s action by the Supreme Court likely moves Abu-Jamal significantly closer to execution.

Not a moment too soon. Twenty-nine years?


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Missing Equipment

No, we aren't talking about almost ten light bars from various city, county and state police cars:
  • An entire Com Ed truck was stolen from a utility yard in 017 Sunday. No word yet if it has been recovered;
  • Upwards of fifty propane tanks disappeared in the same area. We don't know if these are 50 barbecue-sized tanks or the larger cylinders.
Given the price of fuel and the prevalence of space heaters using propane fuel, the tanks could be just a simple theft. But it still makes the hair on our necks prickle along with the Com Ed truck and the light bars disappearing. If any Water Department trucks go missing, we won't be worried - we'll be moving the families out of town.

Be careful. Be aware.


Dogs Kill Man

  • Police are investigating the death of a 56-year-old man whose daughter came home Sunday night to find him covered in blood and apparently killed by the pit bulls she was raising, police sources said.

    Johnny Wilson was found in the living room of his home in the 10200 block of South Aberdeen with numerous bite marks on his body, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. Other sources said he suffered massive head, chest and upper body trauma.

This is the second or third person killed by dogs in the past few years around these parts. Remember that woman jogging in the south side Forest Preserve not that long ago? They had cops with shotguns hunting those animals for weeks afterward.

Anyone want to guess how many comments in the major papers revisited the police officer killing the 125 pound stray dog on the north side? We saw just one in the Sun Times version. Too bad the copper wasn't around to rescue this guy.



People who fight like this ought to have their teeth removed - painfully:
  • An off-duty Chicago Police officer was injured when he was allegedly bitten in the chest by a Hazel Crest man outside Gibson’s Bar and Steakhouse in the Near North Side Gold Coast neighborhood Sunday night, police said.

  • The officer suffered swelling and cuts to eye along with a severe bite to the nipple. An ambulance transported the officer to Northwester Memorial Hospital where he was treated by a doctor who later said the victim lost a body part because of severe damage from the bite, according to the report.
Human bites are among the worst injuries to suffer what with all the bacteria and potentials for disease. The treatment is a mess, too, with shots, IVs and periodic testing afterward.


Monday, January 18, 2010

All Sorts of Rumors

It's definitely going to be an interesting spring.

No bid openings this past Friday. Some old timers are saying this is the first time in years they've seen something like this. What does it mean? Retirements have outpaced hiring for years now and the shortages are becoming acute. The only way to staunch the bleeding is not let people leave Patrol. And that leads to all sorts of rumors posted over the last day or so:
  • Saturation and Gun Teams soon to be disbanded. A lot of personnel and vehicles heading back to the districts. Level 2 DOC will be covered by tac and rapid response cars. Deputy chief will also have to send all sworn personnel in his office except for two P.O.'s back to the district for street duty. This is coming down soon per Dugan.

  • More than 35 people put their papers in on Friday. Many supervisors, some of whom said they ware dissatisfied with where this department is going. They expect that there will bo other "Black Friday's" as well. So many people in their 50's were lined up it looked like they were waiting to buy tickets to a Grateful Dead revival Concert.

  • The remaining capt's will love this. Four hours of ot everyday at D5 pay. They'll stay in the office for an extra hour and tell the desk sgt to call them if they need them. In all reality the commander should be the 2nd watch w/c. Then have the remaining capt's work 1st and 3rd watch.
How about an experiment? We'd like to see at least one poster from every district post the number of beat cars or wagons unmanned the next day or two. Just a snapshot of what the future holds. We're betting it ain't pretty.

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What We Deal With

And not just in the bad parts of town:

And the aftermath:

Good job by responding units. Very calm, professional and efficient.


Jobs or Votes?

The votes might be long gone, so the only question is how much more money can Shortshanks make for his Outfit buddies and Federal handlers?
  • The City Council's failure to resolve the stalemate that has prevented Wal-Mart from building as many as five Chicago Supercenters has put Mayor Daley in a political box he has desperately tried to avoid.

    He can either grant administrative approval for a Chatham Wal-Mart and risk alienating union leaders who opposed his 2007 re-election and whose support he needs to win a seventh term and solve financial crises at City Hall and McCormick Place.

    Or he can allow the impasse to drag on and risk a $30 million lawsuit against the city and a continuing exodus of jobs, tax revenue and shopping choices to the suburbs.

Expect Daley to make the wrong decision, then claim he knew nothing about who was in charge, who made the decisions and where the money went. Then expect the media to give him a pass. Again.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mandatory OT?

Supposedly, 4 captains, a number of lieutenants, sergeants and more than a few officers had their papers in for 15 January. This appeared in our comment section Saturday:
  • 4th period 1 apr 10
    no aprils fools joke
    2nd watch captains will be assigned to 1st and 3rd watches in districts without a captain
We can only imagine the overtime checks the City will be cutting shortly.

Other rumors of working days off in your district are also popping up with increasing frequency. We're looking at a very interesting summer in terms of stopgap measures coming up. Be careful out there.


Over $1 Million?

We missed this in the big media papers. This appeared in the Southtown Star Friday:
  • A Chicago police sergeant was indicted Friday on charges of skimming more than $1 million from the Chicago Police Sergeants Association to use on gambling, hotels and expensive dinners.

    Sgt. John Pallohusky was charged with two counts each of theft and official misconduct, and one count of money laundering, Cook County State's Attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.

    He is scheduled for arraignment Feb. 4.

The article also says the State has discovered 65 different bank accounts? Can a sergeant explain why the whole board isn't under investigation? This seems way too big for just two people to have run this scam undiscovered.


Bright Idea Shot Down

  • Under fire to stop the trade show exodus from Chicago, McCormick Place unions on Friday proposed a customer “bill of rights” for exhibitors and sweeping audits to ensure that savings are passed along to exhibitors.
  • Mayor Richard Daley today dismissed a proposed customer "bill of rights" for McCormick Place conventioneers, saying it wouldn't begin to address the high costs of doing business there.

    "They can have a bill off rights all they want. It's costs," Daley said.

    Union leaders proposed the bill of rights this week as a way to inform exhibitors what rules workers must follow, and how much goods and services cost at McCormick Place. But Daley said that won't help keep shows in Chicago.
You can say a lot of things about Shortshanks, but being close-minded and unwilling to accept criticism and input from parties who actually have a dog in the fight isn't one of them.

Oh wait, yeah it is.


It's Getting Bad

  • Illinois is ranked No. 2 in a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for its projected budget gap for fiscal 2011, just behind California, according to a Fortune magazine report.

    Illinois' projected deficit of $12.8 billion falls just behind California's forecast of a $14.4 billion budget shortfall, and ahead of New Jersey's $8 billion forecast, according to the report published on

    Besides California, Illinois and Arizona, 15 other states face significant budget shortfalls in fiscal 2010, according to the data. Nine states predict that they won't realize revenue similar to the healthier years of 2007 and 2008 until 2014, the report said.

This is a re-hash of a story we covered a few months ago. Nice to see the local rags finally catching up. As one commentator pointed out, the only things consistent over the past 20 years in Illinois is the Speaker of the House and the Mayor of Chicago.

Or as we call them, the Sources of All Evil.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another Parolee Arrested?

Quinn just can't catch a break...and that's probably a good thing:
  • A 53-year-old man has been taken into custody after a high-speed chase in northwest Indiana in connection with a shooting this morning in south suburban Merrionette Park.

  • Police received a call at 6:30 a.m. for a man with a gun in the 11800 block of South Kedzie Avenue in Merrionette Park, police said in a news release.

    Officers found an adult man and an adult woman shot with non-life-threatening injuries, and another adult woman and a girl battered, police said. They declined to comment further.

  • The man was wanted on a parole violation in Illinois and a warrant was issued for his arrest this week, Pritchett said.
What will Quinn screw up by next week?


No Openings?

  • There are not any recognized vacancies available for bid.
Seriously? Because the five beat cars we downed on midnights yesterday tells a different story.


Prayers for Cicero PD

The Cicero PD is suffering through an officer's suicide tonight. Details are sketchy and we won't be publishing any speculation or such.

The point of this post is to remind people that there is help somewhere. The men and women of the Chicago Police Department are blessed with a number of options and avenues available when it seems bleakest. Smaller Departments might not have the resources that we do, but that doesn't mean assistance is unavailable. Keep an eye on your co-workers. Talk to them. Maintain communication.

Prayers and well wishes only in this thread.


Enforcers Benefit

Fundraiser coming up.

Information at this link.

We're taking it easy this weekend so expect light blogging.


Friday, January 15, 2010

What a Difference 4 Days Makes

It's like night and day. Today's story:
  • The Chicago Public Schools inspector general has launched an investigation into senior staff's use of leased cars, including an SUV driven by schools chief Ron Huberman that's equipped with satellite radio and heated seats.

    The investigation was sparked by a Tribune story Sunday that disclosed Huberman's use of two taxpayer-funded cars -- a perk not available to previous school chiefs.

  • The story also prompted the administration to review its leasing program and discover procedures were not followed, said Monique Bond, schools spokeswoman.

    [...] "That department is responsible," Bond said. "I don't want to implicate any individual, but we found out that policies were not followed ... Those found to be responsible will face severe disciplinary action."

    [...] "Ron is upset that proper procedures were not followed," she said. "He's troubled. He's embarrassed, and he's angry."
  • Huberman's car and driver can be used by his senior staff, spokeswoman Monique Bond said. His personal car is to get to and from work, weekend events and school-related trips to Springfield, she added. Bond said Huberman worked at least 36 weekend days in 2009 , and has taken a handful of trips to Springfield.

  • On Saturday, Mayor Richard Daley said he was unfamiliar with the situation, but knows "Huberman will respond to that appropriately."

  • Bond said Huberman typically begins his day about 7 a.m. and doesn't end until 8 p.m., on average. She said it doesn't make sense to have a driver make trips to his home, and that it's more cost-effective to have a separate car.
And how about a photo to top it all off?

Hey look! It's Hubie and Mo'neeq wasting our fucking money! What a pair of pompous jagoffs.


Holy Crap - 33%?

  • The number of homes hit with foreclosure filings in the Chicago metropolitan area last year spiked 33 percent from 2008 to 119,662, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac.

    The report revealed a record 2.8 million homes hit nationwide.

    One in every 31 homes in the Chicago area received a filing.

It sure looks like nothing is getting better. And won't be for some time.



Someone has a bunch of money burning a hole in their pocket evidently:
  • The Cook County Forest Preserve Board voted Wednesday to buy an Elgin golf course owned by the family of Commissioner Timothy Schneider.

    The board voted to pay $5.745 million for Rolling Knolls Country Club.

    Five commissioners voted against the measure and one present, not counting the Bartlett Republican, who recused himself from the debate and the vote. Schneider did own a piece of the course, but said his brother Tom spearheaded the deal.

It may be about time to trim the Forest Preserve Board along with all the other proposed cuts in government, wouldn't you think?


Potholes Down?

  • Chicago streets are so far being hit with fewer potholes this winter, Chicago Department of Transportation officials said today.

    City crews filled 33,000 potholes between Dec. 1 and Jan. 10, officials said. That’s 12,000 fewer than during the same period last year.

    The number of calls to report potholes to the city’s 311 Call Center is also down.

Maybe 311 is just doing a better job of eliminating duplicate calls? Our completely unscientific survey of the radio zone reveals an almost 10% increase in broken water mains and leaking hydrants that freeze into ice dams. Sewer collapses are on a record pace though.

It's all just nonsense by Shortshanks and his department heads.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Armed Offender Shot

  • A Chicago police officer shot a man early this morning who authorities said pointed a gun at the officer as he was chasing the suspect in connection with a nearby shooting.

    No officers were hurt during the police-involved shooting, which happened about 12:45 a.m. in the 1900 block of North Karlov Avenue on the Northwest Side.

  • That vehicle stopped, two men got out and ran, police said.The officer gave chase. During the pursuit, one of the suspects turned and pointed a gun in the officer's direction, police said, and the officer shot him. The suspect was taken to an area hospital. His condition was not immediately available.

    His gun was also confiscated.

    The suspects were fleeing a shooting that left two people wounded at a gas station at Armitage and Pulaski, not long before their encounter with the officer, police said. Their conditions were not available either. No charges have been filed.
Gee, no "a gun was recovered at the scene"? We're all the way up to "confiscated." Maybe that meeting with the media actually meant something?


Damn Those Drunk Captains

And those lieutenants, always showing up for work three sheets to the wind:
  • Mayor Richard Daley has asked aldermen to approve five-year contracts with Chicago police captains and lieutenants that include new language on alcohol testing.

    The agreements do not cover wage increases, but they do call for random alcohol testing and say that captains or lieutenants who discharge their weapons will be subject to mandatory drug and alcohol testing, according to a statement from the mayor's office. The testing will be done after all shootings, including on- and off-duty.

Why is this a story? Has there been a sudden outbreak of white shirts discharging weapons drunk? This would appear to be a very minor concession on the parts of the Captain and Lieutenant unions. In fact, the head of the Captains union said as much:
  • Virginia Drozd, president of the captains association, said the terms demanded by the city are “standing operating procedure” in other big-city departments.

    “If you were an engineer on a train or a pilot on a plane that crashed, you’d have to submit to drug and alcohol testing. I’m not saying I like it. But, it wasn't so unreasonable that we thought it was a dealbreaker,” she said.

But the hook in the headline makes it appear that this is some endemic problem. You have to dig through twelve paragraphs to find this tidbit:
  • Chicago Police officers are arrested for DUI at a far lower rate than drivers as a whole. Thirteen officers were charged with DUI in 2008 — about one in 1,000 officers — compared to about one in 125 in the general population.
But trust the media to take two supervisor contracts and boil them down to a paragraph or two that deal with an issue that will come up once in a blue moon.

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