Wednesday, August 07, 2013

OPPORTUNITY: It's Knocking

We're ready. Ready for progress, not persecution. How about you? Tonight's CAPS meeting provides the first real opportunity in a long time for our neighborhood to move forward toward solutions.

We started this little blog a few months ago with zero readers and one goal. We want our neighborhood to be as safe as it used to be, at all hours. Our readership has grown - - - How should we put this? - - - a lot. Our one goal remains unchanged.

At its base, CWB is about our neighborhood. Your neighborhood, your friends' neighborhood, your family's neighborhood.

Ultimately, the citizens of Wrigleyville and Boystown will determine where this neighborhood will go and where it will not.

Tonight's CAPS meeting could start the potentially long and sometimes infuriating process of moving us back to the future. Back to that better neighborhood. That safer neighborhood. The neighborhood that most of us can clearly remember from just a few short years ago.

The CWB crew is a very, very small part of this community. If we were to suggest a measure by which to judge the success of tonight's CAPS meeting, we would go with these.

Data Set Available Here.          Source: City of Chicago
- An agreement between the police department, the alderman's office, and the citizens that there has been, over the course of years, a significant, persistent increase in violent robberies here. Just that. Shhhh. Just that. "You know, looking at these long-term numbers, I can see where you all are coming from. I don't think anyone has really noticed this since we tend to look at shorter term fluctuations. But, yeah. There's definitely something to this. We want to work on a plan with you." Please. No more games. Please?
- A promise to deal with this problem directly, openly, honestly, and with mutual respect as we move toward success.
If we can achieve those two things, the people in the front of the room and those who are in the audience will have smacked the ball out onto Waveland Avenue. It can be done.

Maybe we leave with a homework assignment.
- Create a mutual, measurable goal to be achieved within a certain period of time. Just spitballing, how about a goal of getting the combined annual robbery rate for beats 1923, 1924, and 1925 back to the 2001-2007 average of 160 incidents per year by December 31, 2015.
- A promise from the alderman's office and the police leadership that our district will not lose one more police officer without that officer being replaced immediately. 
The problem we are facing grew and festered under multiple police commanders and some current as well as some former CAPS officers. Our current commander inherited one hell of a mess. We need his expertise and influence to help lead us out. We need our CAPS officers and alderman to to know that we can handle the truth.

Finally, this
While some may be counting the minutes until they can unload venom and anger at the CAPS meeting tonight, we are not. If we go, you will not even know that we're there. We're hoping for a respectful atmosphere. The neighbors need to demonstrate to our police executives and our alderman that it's OK to say that there's a problem. Indeed, they must get to that point before we can move ahead. The sooner all parties can agree on the basic fact that we have a problem, the sooner we will be able to work together and get where we want to be.

That, neighbors, it what CAPS is supposed to be and what it can be again.


  1. Well said, and fantastic writing if I may say so.

    I'm not into spewing venom at our public servants, until those in power continually downplay the severity of the situation. Cooperation is key. But it's important to remember...
    “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass

    1. The key to your statement..."those in power". Sometimes, those "in power" at the district level have their hands tied by the real power....McCarthy and Rahm. The declining manpower can be directly tied to them.

  2. As someone who has spewed enough venom at CAPS meetings to be reclassified as a snake, I must indicate a few things that can not be allowed to happen tonight:

    • No dismissing the situation in the area as a "perceived increase in crime."

    • No attempts to run out the clock as was tried at the post-parade July meeting and the Crib meeting from Monday night. Residents must be given ample time (the lion's share of the meeting) to voice their concerns.

    • Issues can not be allowed to be shouldered off with, "I'll have to get back to you." A resolution or answer must be delivered to several people present within a strictly agreed upon time frame.

    • No vaudeville of ignorance over issues that have been raised for several years at CAPS meetings.

    ...and lastly, I, and several other people, contacted Police Commander Voulgaris after the Monday Crib meeting with concerns over the crime rates and the Alderman's apparent mystification by the information. It was suggested that he be present at tonight's meeting. We received vitriolic replies from Commander Voulgaris that were angry, dismissive, sarcastic and riddled with excuses. That is not acceptable. Perhaps he thought he was intimidating us, but he was wrong, and so I responded. This is what I sent him, and I think it sums up our situation concisely. Tonight we all should expect some concrete proposals from him, not a lecture or slippery attempt to dodge the issues.

    This evening at 8 o'clock a friend of mine returned home after walking his dog to find a "youth" attempting to steal his wife's car. He called 911 and police eventually arrived. Saturday night around 9 pm a neighborhood resident was mugged at 3800 N Lakeshore Drive. In recent days there have been several robberies at the corner of Broadway and Aldine. A man was robbed at gun point near Southport which was the third robbery there in a week. Monday morning I spoke to the manager of the bed and breakfast on Halsted near Cornelia. He told me that he recently looked out his window and saw "a transgendered person taking a dump in our front yard." Two weeks ago I was walking to Treasure Island and saw two "youths" standing on Broadway just north of Cornelia. One of them was urinating right in the middle of the 5:30 on a Sunday afternoon. The owner of my gym recently saw a group of "youths" from The Center On Halsted blocking the sidewalk at noontime, behaving in a loud threatening manner while wearing large strap-on dildos that they were "stroking" at people walking passt with young children. Muggings, robberies, street fights, gunshots reported on Pine Grove, mob activity on Halsted, flagrant drug use, disgusting behavior displayed openly in public...the situation in this neighborhood is worsening rapidly. I have lived in Lakeview for over thirty years, and even going back to those early days, this is the first time I truly feel unsafe. This area has become menacing and the quality of life has degraded.

    I am not judging you by statistics, but I am judging you by what I and my friends and neighbors are experiencing in our neighborhood. It is your job to keep the area safe and orderly. If you can't do that, please resign. Keep in mind that you, the Police Commissioner, the Alderman and the Mayor work for the tax payers of this city and neighborhood. I look forward to hearing what you have to say at the CAPS meeting, and I expect to hear concrete solutions to cleaning up the mess in Lakeview, not a convoluted discussion of statistics.

    Thank you"

    Yes, tonight be respectful, but don't allow yourself or your neighbors to be disrespected.

  3. ^^^^^That's a good neighbor. Thank you Michael.

  4. Sadly my prediction is that there will be a lot of disappointed people later tonight or tomorrow morning when they realize they have once again been ignored by the "leaders" at the CAPS meeting. It will be same "stuff" different day!

  5. I think Rahm, Daley and Burke should have to give up their 24/7 security protection.

  6. Do not allow "disappointment" to cover for "anger".
    We have the right to expect freedom of safe movement throughout our community. To not have thugs stroking dildos at our children. To not hear groups of "youths" screaming how much their "pussies" hurt. To not step onto our small, precious, lawns or patios and step in human shit, used condoms, empty drug bags, and god forbid, used syringes.
    I have had the displeasure of chasing away boys dressed as women giving each other blow-jobs on my front stairs in the early evening light of mid-summer.
    I have been awakened by boys dressed as girls having noisy anal sex beneath my bedroom window.
    I can't go buy a yogurt or a bottle of aspirin anytime after dark or before the morning streets have enough commuters walking to the CTA.
    This is what summers in Lakeview are.
    It needs to stop. People are finally organizing, and we are really angry.
    Any official who feels comfortable enough to not act on our pleas and requests for years and years to return our sense of safety would be best off expecting the national spotlight to shine upon them.
    They are remorseless, condescending, and will soon be humiliated.
    Enough is enough.
    Time to ACT-UP and FIGHT BACK.
    We will boycott corporate sponsors and those donating to any service organization harboring criminals. We will stop spending money at any Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts / Baskin Robbins until their 24 hour Clark and Belmont locations provide security during the overnight hours.
    We must stop spending in our ward, and write corporate headquarters, store and district managers to explain why.
    City Hall does not listen to residents, but they will listen to businesses.
    Be ANGRY. We have every right to be angry.
    Refuse to be dismissed and patronized by these assholes feeding us their bullshit lies.
    Call them out on everything.
    Polite time is done. Over. Finished.
    Think of and share ideas about any ways we can draw attention from the media, local business, national retail, restaurant chains and banks.
    Stop picking up the WINDY CITY TIMES. Call their advertisers. They must start writing pertinent news affecting their readers. Enough op-ed pieces by disgruntled "youth" pissed off at Boys-town residents who disrespect them.
    These leaders are salaried and we pay them. Any of us who fucked up like they do would be fired immediately.
    We need to start handing out PINK SLIPS to these ingrates.
    Too bad they will live off of enormous pensions, that we will continue to pay long after their useless tenure.
    Be ANGRY AND STAY ANGRY until we get our neighborhood, hell, our city back.

    1. Craig Collins...just one person who won't shut up.Aug 7, 2013, 10:19:00 PM

      I really like the way you think, brother.

  7. Ask commander Voulgaris how many times a week beats1933and 1935 are downed on 1st and 3rd watches. For you business owners on Broadway from Addison to Diversey, did you know that you have not just 1 but 2 foot officers assigned to handle problems for the businesse's on Broadway and Diversey. They are supposed to walk up and down the street walking and talking to residents and business owners and letting them know they are out there if they have any problems. They work Tuesday-Saturday 2pm to 10pm. Their primary responsibility is to walk and talk and handle problems BEFORE you have to call 911. Furthermore along with these foot officers there are quality of life cars that are supposed to handle CAPS requests/complaints along with aggressively going after suspicious persons on 1924's beat. Don't let the CAPS officer fool you with numbers, remembers figures lie, and liars figure. Good luck at the meeting. Oh and ask how many officers are assigned to the CAPs office and exactly what they do and what their duty hours are.

  8. Anonymous said...
    The key to your statement..."those in power". Sometimes, those "in power" at the district level have their hands tied by the real power....McCarthy and Rahm. The declining manpower can be directly tied to them.

    Hi Anonymous,

    Understood. What is not acceptable, though, is active misleading of the public regarding an issue that is vital to their well-being.

    That is unacceptable. Any leader who allows innocent people to go about their business thinking everything is hunky dorey or that it's just as safe at night as it is during the day is not a leader. They need to be eliminated or converted.

    We will not tolerate the "it's not me, it's him" and that person's "oooh, no! not me, that's them."

    Can Tunney do it on his own? No. Can he lead the charge? Yes. If he is so honorable and his true passion is his love for this community, he must stand up for what is right. And if he loses the support of Rahm, he can go down on record as having taken a stand. History will be on his side. And so will the people, by the way.

    The image of him crying over a scoreboard while lying about a huge surge in violent crime over the past few years--crime that affects LIVES--sickens us. And it should sicken HIM too.

  9. By the way, it's time to start videotaping anything outside your house/condo/apartment that's illegal or disgusting, and throw it up on youtube, or this site if it can embed videos.

  10. Anonymous said...
    By the way, it's time to start videotaping anything outside your house/condo/apartment that's illegal or disgusting, and throw it up on youtube, or this site if it can embed videos.
    We'll be happy to post videos or share from readers' youtube accounts.

  11. " A promise from the alderman's office and the police leadership that our district will not lose one more police officer without that officer being replaced immediately".
    well i don't want to rain anybody's parade
    but aldercreatures don't have control over something like that.
    "Lost Weekend and the brass have the final say more or less about who works where and when as with manpower these days in depts. chances are if the supernintendo thinks your district isn't bad he will shift cops to the worse districts and things being the way they are, they might just not come back
    SCC has commented on hearing district commanders over the radio calling for ANYBODY to back them up as some districts can do get overwhelmed which is easy to do being so short of staff

  12. Anonymous said...
    " A promise from the alderman's office and the police leadership that our district will not lose one more police officer without that officer being replaced immediately".
    well i don't want to rain anybody's parade
    but aldercreatures don't have control over something like that

    Hi Anonymous,

    First, for the record, we - - -to a person - - -hate parades. Hate them. We lover rain on parade days. Rain on midnight marches? Even better.

    The mistake in the thinking you share is this: The alderman represents US. He alone cannot order more cops here. He CAN take a stand and he CAN stand up and he CAN pound the table and he CAN use whatever soap box he has and he CAN use his time in front of television cameras to pound away on the police manpower issue time and time again instead of crying over the size of a Jumbotron. That's leadership and that is something he CAN do. Might he fall out of favor with Rahm? Yes. But if he is so genuinely concerned about serving this neighborhood and not just going on some ego trip or cashing in on the aldermanic pay and pension gravy train, he CAN and MUST do this.