Sunday, August 04, 2013

NO MORE COPS: District Runs Out Again; Three Units Assigned to Work Outside of Our District

The additional officers that Alderman Tom Tunney promised will be deployed to handle overnights in our area weren't on duty last night and they cannot get here soon enough.

Our 19th district completely ran out of officers again overnight, leading to hours of long waits for people in need of police services. Even a Chicago Fire Department call for assistance appears to have been delayed by 18 minutes. A sergeant's order for a squadrol to assist at Clark and Cornelia received a 14 minute response time.

Most puzzling of all is this: Three of our overnight police units were assigned to spend hours helping the 14th district.

The CWB team doesn't have a lick of law enforcement training and we have the collective IQ of a golfball. We have to wonder, though, knowing that the 19th district runs out of officers at night nearly every weekend with normal staffing; and knowing that there was a Cubs game yesterday evening that would surely keep police busy all night with drunken antics along Clark Street; and knowing that our neighborhoods have been hit with sprees of gunpoint robberies, resulting in Area North Detectives issuing a community alert just two day earlier; why would we loan out a chunk of our already limited manpower last night? Unless the decision maker believes those issues were all mitigated, of course.

Thank God our usual collection of  robbers didn't show up. They would have had the run of the place.

We understand the concept of helping other districts when they're in a bind. Lord knows we need them sometimes, too. But was last night the night to give up three of our precious few units?

The 19th district dispatcher first warned police supervisors that they were about to run out of officers at 1:37AM and at 2:05AM, it did run out. The district entered Radio Assignment Pending (RAP) status.

It appears that the district remained in a RAP for more than four hours. Over the hours, a river of backlogged calls built up and it was occasionally read off in laundry list fashion, with no officers radioing back their availability to take a call.  When a unit became available, they were quickly assigned to handle the most important call pending.


Cubs fans stroll past Engine 78's quarters on Waveland Avenue. Image: cliftysixcadets
18 Minute Delay In Dispatching Fire Department's Call For Assistance
Fire Department Engine 78, which is based across Waveland Avenue from Wrigley Field's gate K, asked for police assistance after a firefighter was "struck by a vehicle."  Their request for help came in at 1:20AM. It was dispatched 18 minutes later.

The exact nature of the incident is not known to CWB nor was it apparently known to the 911 center, which reminded the assigned officer of an earlier drunk driving call near the firehouse that should be kept in mind as the matter was investigated. A police report was taken for a traffic accident involving an injury. Police determined that the DUI driver reported near Halsted and Grace was not involved.

The "Laundry List"
Once the district runs out of officers, there's not much that can be done. Dispatchers do their best. They occasionally broadcast a list of calls that are waiting for attention. Here's one such list from 5:20 this morning. We have X'ed out exact addresses
Units in the 19th district, suspicious person bothering the door knobs 6XX West Surf. Also that battery in progress Irving Park and Lake Shore Drive with the taxi and the female hitting him, suspicious person 12XX W. Newport, got a couple calls from the Dunkin' Donuts battery in progress over at 32XX N. Clark, battery just occurred 36XX N. Halsted, got a commercial [burglar] alarm 45XX North on Broadway, disturbance 8XX W. Buckingham Place, music disturbance 23XX W. Melrose, got a parker 40XX N. Broadway, and a battery report for a person dragged by a vehicle over at Illinois Masonic.
And list continued to grow. At 5:30AM:
Once again units, suspicious person 6XX West Surf. Battery in progress over at Irving Park and Lake Shore Drive. Suspicious person 12XX W. Newport. Couple calls of battery in progress at the Dunkin' Donuts 32XXX N. Clark. Battery just occurred 36XX N. Halsted Commercial [burglar] alarm 45XX North on Broadway. Disturbance 8XX W. Buckingham Place, music disturbance 23XX W. Melrose, got a call in to the desk of a disturbance people making noise on the porch 22XX W. Addison, and disturbance over at Sheffield and Lincoln. Parker at 40XX N. Broadway. Guy that was dragged by a car is at Illinois Masonic.
When the day shift arrived at 6:00 this morning, the new dispatcher released the night crew's RAP at 6:03AM. And she immediately put in place a new RAP for the incoming shift, which was 100% occupied by the overnight shift's backlog.
I've got a battery in progress that's 50 minutes old…and a suspicious person that's got 45 minutes on it 12XX W. Newport…There's a whole list of 'em...
A Chicago police squadrol in River North. Image: Police Car Archives
A Chinese Fire Drill
The severity of the staffing problem started becoming apparent early on. Around 2:15AM a sergeant asked to have a squadrol, one of the large vehicles that are used to transport arrestees, dispatched to an incident along the Wrigleyville bar strip.

The only available squadrol was at the 19th district station, loading up arrestees from earlier in the night who were to going to be transported to the Belmont and Western lockup facility. Yes, the 19th district station has a brand new lock-up facility, but police brass mothballed it when the 19th and 23rd districts merged last year. Don't get us started on that.

Then, the insanity kicked in. The sergeant, who was obviously dealing with at a challenging situation and needed a squadrol, ordered the squadrol team to unload their prisoners and get over to Clark Street. The squadrol officers, who sounded quite interested in helping fellow officers and following a direct order, pointed out that they can't just dump the prisoners inside the station because, since the lockup is closed, a police officer needs to sit with arrestees in a holding area. The officers who had been sitting with the prisoners went back onto the streets once the transport vehicle arrived.

So, dispatchers had to find a police officer, any police officer, to go to the station and sit with the unloaded prisoners. A unit was located and the squadrol was able to get to the Clark Street flare up 14 minutes after being ordered to go. Thank goodness they only had to drive two blocks to get to the scene.

With the fire department and police sergeants getting response times like those, how long do you think citizens had to wait for help?

15 comments:

  1. Remember there are two meetings at the police station on Addison this week:

    Monday a meeting regarding the Crib

    Wednesday the regular CAPS meeting.

    I hope people will take the time to attend both.

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  2. Well, if the district always runs out of cars on the weekend why did a 19th district supervisor give the OK for 1 Wagon and 2 Beat cars to be sent to the 14th district to help out with some street fair that was letting out ? ? ? I don't see the 14th district helping out the 19th district when they are in a backlog.

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  3. Remember when Rahm said the closings of the lockups and merging of police districts wouldn't be a bad thing, that he was just going to make the police more efficient? How is that working for the citizens? Here is another crime fighting idea Rahm why don't you just cap the number of members in gangs and lay off the rest? That sounds like a great idea about as good as closing stations and reducing police numbers

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  4. Rahm's mantra- Just line friends' pockets, build unnecessary sPoRtZ megaplex (like we don't have enough sports crap in this city), instead of hiring cops put up more speed cameras, screw city workers whether it's union busting or pensions, and say it's "all for the children."

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  5. Anonymous said...
    Well, if the district always runs out of cars on the weekend why did a 19th district supervisor give the OK for 1 Wagon and 2 Beat cars to be sent to the 14th district to help out with some street fair that was letting out ? ? ? I don't see the 14th district helping out the 19th district when they are in a backlog.
    --------
    Thanks for the info on what was happening, or perhaps more accurately, not happening in the 14th district. We greatly appreciate your input and your readership.

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  6. Great clock, minutes, years, decades, CENTURIES!

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  7. Anonymous said...
    ...why did a 19th district supervisor give the OK for 1 Wagon and 2 Beat cars to be sent to the 14th district to help out with some street fair that was letting out ? ? ?

    Very unlikely that he or she did. Those orders had to come from someone higher up the chain. Most likely the office of the person who oversees Area North. It is a long time practice, rob Peter to pay Paul. No pun intended but it surely fits.

    This is not frustrating for the officers,their commander, and the community but obviously very dangerous. How many more commanders will they blame and dump to achieve this administration's goal of depleting the City of first responders? Should we even ask about the teachers? Other City departments?

    I don't care who they put in charge. He or she isn't going to be successful. Could the Hawks win a game let alone the championship with half of their team? These officers are exhausted. They work an ungodly shift night after night and often have court during the day.

    I don't even think a tragic loss of life from this ongoing crime problem will get the current or former administration to acknowledge that they shouldn't have thinned the herd to the extent that they have. The mantra is just get it done. That mentality is costing the tax payers of the City dearly. The City's pay-out for law suits and settlements this year is higher than it ever has been. This administration is never wrong, just ask them.

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  8. Anonymous said...

    This is not frustrating for the officers,their commander, and the community but obviously very dangerous. How many more commanders will they blame and dump to achieve this administration's goal of depleting the City of first responders? Should we even ask about the teachers? Other City departments?

    I don't care who they put in charge. He or she isn't going to be successful. Could the Hawks win a game let alone the championship with half of their team? These officers are exhausted. They work an ungodly shift night after night and often have court during the day.
    -----

    Well said, Anonymous. The first watch (overnight) officers hustle and do their very best under difficult circumstances. The obvious dangers that go with the job are made only worse by the department's atrophy.

    CWB is proud of the officers on the street. We have a special place for the overnight officers who face the Dr. Jekyll to the daytime Mr. Hyde that this neighborhood has developed.

    We extend sincere thanks to each of those officers.

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  9. < Remember when Rahm said the closings of the lockups and merging of police districts wouldn't be a bad thing, that he was just going to make the police more efficient? >

    That and CPD school closings, Rahm is clearly a CEO, not a Mayor. He is a DINO (Democrat in Name Only). He is behaving like RePIGlican.

    As for Tunney's late change in tune, I have several theories:

    1) He had a belly full of Rahm with Wrigley Field and will no longer suck up to him. He looked the other way when Rahm cut police 25% but in return did not get his way with Wrigley, so the honeymoon is over between them.

    2) MSNBC did a slam job on Rahm 2 weeks ago, so it is now officially OK for liberal Dems to bash Rahm.

    3) A member of his staff got threatened or attacked by a thug who will quit, squeal, and possibly spill some beans if Tunney does not get off his ass.

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  10. At some point the voters of Chicago will have to realize they are mostly to blame for the problems because they are the ones that continue to vote the failed liberal clowns into office to continue to rule to line their pockets with cash without any regard for the neighborhoods.

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  11. By liberal do you mean Thomas Jefferson like?

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  12. I think our crime has increased dramatically since the two districts were merged. I used to see the beat officers and now I rarely see anyone patrolling.

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  13. To the people that run this great site...you mentioned "normal staffing". Tell your people that attend upcoming CAPS/community meetings not to believe the commander, XO, or CAPS sergeant/personnel running the meeting. You will get the company line of "normal" staffing. Truth---when the two districts merged, both districts were shorthanded. Two smaller, undermanned districts=one large, undermanned district. Same shortage, same area to cover. When the merge happened, there was approximately 420 officers. Fast-forward almost 18 months. Retirements, promotions, transfers out...that number is about 70-80 people less. You won't hear that from the leaders though. You'll get the old company line how there are plenty of people. Orders from Rammy and his puppet McCarthy. Ask how many of the 70-80 people who have left have been replaced. Zero. The new commander brought in a couple of people when he came (which is expected), but how many people came in? 3 training officers for recruits. The recruits get trained, and are then sent out. Figures lie, and liars figure. Press Tunney, Cappleman, Waugespak. They know. Waugespak really knows. He's been around longer. He doesn't rubberstamp Rammy. He was against the districts closing/merging. Daley's hiring freeze was continued by Rahm. The chickens are coming home to roost. Crime is up, manpower is down, and the tax paying citizens are being cheated. Ask any blue-shirted police officer. You'll get the truth.

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  14. I sit and wonder why Rahm, McCarthy and even Tunney don't really care about crime?

    You know why Rahm and McCarthy don't care: Rahm has a 24/7 armed officers protecting him. McCarthy has a gun and the Alderman like Tunney are authorized to carry a gun.

    That's why they don't care it will never affect them. Well at least I didn't vote for Rahm. I knew he was scumbag.

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  15. The "suspicious person" in the 1200 block of Newport was a white male, mid-30s. How do I know this? Well, it's because he nearly kicked in my front door's glass at 5:15AM (as well as my neighbor's door.)

    What this idiot does not know that had he broken the glass on my door and entered my home, I would have exercised my 2nd amendment right and would have protected my family seeing that the local CPD doesn't seem to have it as a priority to address such matters.

    Looks like another love note will have to be sent to Tunney's office asking him if he only cares to get involved in all-things Cubs related vs the protection of his ward's residents from criminals and public losers.

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