Wednesday, September 04, 2013

CAPTAIN'S OUTRAGEOUS: CAPS Meeting Notes From Our Readers

Wednesday evening's CAPS meeting for beats 1923, 1925, and 1934 drew about 50 residents to the 19th district police station, readers say.

CWB is withholding information about the most interesting development, which apparently stemmed from resident collaboration during the meeting. We hope to share further details and very good news after police officers have an opportunity to take action. It's amazing what can happen when the public is informed.

Police Captain Mike Ryan led the meeting.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. Here are some early reactions from from our readers:
[Alderman Tom] Tunney and the captain were asked four different times if the district lost police officers since 19 and 23 joined. They evaded the question every time. The captain even said he didn't know how many officers work in the district. Someone asked who we need to contact to get something done. The entire panel sat in silence. Tunney said he told the mayor and the mayor backs our entertainment detail.
• • •
Total confusion about this entertainment detail. Sounds like 8 officers. Still blaming the victims. But looks like they are kicking the can down the road and hoping for winter. 
• • •
It turns out that the Entertainment Detail is not made up of additional police officers. It is a shuffling of officers who would already be working in the district. They're given the Detail instead of doing other duties.
 • • •
The meeting started with a review of recent crime statistics. Someone pointed out that the statistics the police gave for robberies only included robberies committed without weapons. An officer said he generated the report by printing the top 10 crimes of the month, which does not roll all robberies into one category. Long story short, they had to admit that there were more robberies than what their hand-out said and their comparison of more or fewer robberies did not include armed robberies.
• • •
Thought you'd like to know that the police officer used the word alley 4 times tonight.

Four times? That's two mentions apiece for the two robberies that actually took place in alleys last month.

29 comments:

  1. I really don't understand why anyone would continue to attend CAPS meetings or expect any outcome. When both the Alderman and the cops can get away with silence as responses to questions, what's the point?

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  2. Anonymous said...
    I really don't understand why anyone would continue to attend CAPS meetings or expect any outcome. When both the Alderman and the cops can get away with silence as responses to questions, what's the point?

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    CWB is in favor of dismantling the CAPS program as it now exists. Once useful, it is now a disservice to the community. Create a way to issue information such as alerts online. Leave the crime discussion for neighborhood meetings.

    CAPS has become a PR vehicle rather than a crime prevention vehicle.

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  3. Speaking of PR vehicles, here are some of our hero alderman talking about how more police aren't needed, and indeed, police have been hired. "There's nothing to see here! All is well!"
    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130904/downtown/more-police-positions-not-needed-ald-james-balcer-says

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  4. Here are some interesting facts about the 19th District. The entertainment detail that the police and alderman talk about was comprised by removing 1 of the tactical teams, - those guys in plainclothes that concentrate on drugs and gangs and robberies - and reassigning them to work the night hours in uniform on Clark Street. Also, back in the 1970's the 19th District, known as Town Hall, was from Fullerton to Montrose; the river to the lakefront and had 26 police beats. Today's 19th district, Town Hall, goes from Fullerton to Lawrence; the river to the lakefront and has 15 beats. I can only assume that would mean that there are less police officers today than in the 1970s.

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  5. CAPS is and always has been a PR machine. Waste of time. Any old timer will tell you CAPS serves no purpose.

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  6. I really don't understand this "entertainment detail". I thought we had to get some sort of permission or designation to be an "entertainment district" which would entail (hopefully) more officers.
    The "entertainment detail" consists of two officers walking the street and talking to people, and these are NOT two ADDITIONAL officers.
    So what's the fuss about the entertainment detail?
    I'm so confused.

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  7. The one good thing about CAPS meetings is that neighborhood residents have a chance to meet. I've put a neighborhood group together, and several of the people are people I've met at CAPS meetings.

    As far as the entertainment detail goes, I think many people were assuming it would be like what is seen on Rush St., and I think that was what Tunney was alluding to when he said the mayor has promised something but has yet to deliver. The Alderman and the police seemed to be talking about two different things.

    The macing and attempted robbery in front of Ann Sather yesterday morning never was mentioned, and we had no idea that the COH crowd was busy last night as the meeting went on. The official words are still: "alley," "late night," "drunk," "careless." Now no one is buying it and there were various combinations of groans, sighs and derisive laughter whenever those words made an appearance.

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  8. Anonymous said...
    CAPS is and always has been a PR machine. Waste of time. Any old timer will tell you CAPS serves no purpose.
    ---------------
    May be, Anonymous. Personal experiences of some CWBers is that in the "old days," things got fixed after being brought up at CAPS meetings. Admittedly, those things were incredibly minor compared to what we're dealing with now--shrubs blocking street signs, cars going down the street too quickly, etc. The halcyon days.

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  9. Someone said they talked to the commander about that veteran who got beat and robbed at taco bell and the commander confirmed that the police didnt respond for two hours. He said he is looking into why it took two hours.

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  10. Anybody catch it when the police officer said that the three guys who were sitting on their porch and got stuck up by a bunch of thugs with a gun "knew they should've run into their house, but didn't."

    What the fuck? Now I live in a area where I need to get ready to run into the house to escape gunmen?

    How fucking ridiculous. That may be the biggest blame the victim moment of all time.

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  11. Anonymous said...
    Someone said they talked to the commander about that veteran who got beat and robbed at taco bell and the commander confirmed that the police didnt respond for two hours. He said he is looking into why it took two hours.
    ---------------
    Hi Anonymous. We can help the commander out on this one. The reason it took two hours for an officer to show up is that there were no police officers available. The district went into a RAP (backlog of police service calls) at 2:56am and it stayed in a RAP for the rest of the night.

    The veteran's call came in at 2:30. The only unit available was a CAPS unit assigned to patrol Halsted on foot. They said they didn't have a car, but they could walk over if they were approved to leave their post. That didn't happen.

    Officially, the dispatcher assigned the call at 2:58AM (they have to assign high priority calls quickly just to clear them and keep the statistics looking pretty). "Dispatched" does not mean that an officer is going to that call directly. The assigned officer had to deal with one or two other robberies and finally had a chance to get to the hospital at 4:23AM.

    So, there you go. We saved the commander some time.

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  12. Anonymous said...
    I really don't understand this "entertainment detail". I thought we had to get some sort of permission or designation to be an "entertainment district" which would entail (hopefully) more officers.
    The "entertainment detail" consists of two officers walking the street and talking to people, and these are NOT two ADDITIONAL officers.
    So what's the fuss about the entertainment detail?
    I'm so confused.

    -----------

    Hi Anonymous,

    Essentially, the "entertainment detail" is simply a shuffling of resources already in the district.

    --NO NEW OFFICERS are brought in to man the entertainment detail.

    According to comments that we have received on our posts, the newly-formed entertainment detail simply takes a tactical team that had been assigned to missions in Uptown and it puts them, for the most part, on Clark Street instead.

    It's more smoke and mirrors rather than actually getting our service level back to where it was a few years ago.

    If you have a sense of confusion, that's because you are an intelligent, rational person who can apply logic and thought when contemplating issues. Unlike our alderman and police executives who apply muddying of the waters, disinformation, and evasion.

    It's not you. It's them.

    Keep the faith. And thanks for reading and taking part in the conversation at CWB.

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  13. Last night was my first CAPS meeting and I feel like I learned a lot. I learned that most of my neighbors are scared and concerned about the increasing danger in our neighborhood, from people who have lived here for decades to people like me who've only been here a few years. I also learned that when you ask the police and alderman direct questions about whether there are fewer police officers in the district than previous years, they punt (but say they're not) and say meaningless bs like "We're doing all we can with what we have." Um, that didn't answer the direct, simple question. YES or NO? I think it's obvious that it's yes, we have fewer officers, but why are they so loathe to admit it? They have to admit things are getting worse - it's obvious. Why not just admit there's a problem and work together to solve it? I just don't understand why they're so determined to pretend there isn't a problem. That doesn't help them or us.

    I did also catch A LOT of victim blaming, which is utter crap. Saying that people shouldn't remain standing in front of their house when they see other people coming down the street is ridiculous. How about we blame the perpetrators?

    What really chapped my behind was the police and alderman telling us that if we have to go out at night, to go in pairs and not go out alone. I LIVE ALONE. It's not only paternalistic and condescending, but it's simply not feasible for me to get a buddy every time I need to walk over to Walgreens for milk or want to go to get a Redbox movie. That kind of attitude - protect yourselves because it's dangerous out there - is appalling. Your jobs are to FIX the problems of crime and danger in our neighborhood, not tell us how to try and live with the danger and crime.

    I left the meeting feeling insulted, condescended to, and completely disbelieving that we (Lakeview residents, police, and Tunney) are actually in this together. I feel like we're just on our own and they don't care about the problems or working to get them solved.

    Good thing my pepper spray came yesterday. I felt a little better walking down Clark Street home from the meeting. [and btw, I passed 4 police officers on my way home from the meeting, walking from the station down to Clark/Barry. Those 4 officers were standing together in front of Sports Corner talking to each other. Really helpful, guys. Thanks.]

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  14. Sarah, thank you for your thoughtful post. Your feelings are right in line with those of our neighbors.

    You beautifully expressed the biggest obstacle to our ability to move forward on this issue. The alderman and the police simply will not agree that there's something wrong and in need of attention. They act as if we are completely ignorant.

    We're told a local businessman last night essentially said that the neighborhood isn't the fairytale land it used to be and "no one goes home alone."

    How did we get from fairytale and to no one goes home alone in such a short time? By having a police department and politicians lie to us when we brought our concerns to them.

    Maybe it's time for a change.

    Many thanks for reading CWB and for making such a thoughtful contribution to the conversation here.

    Keep the faith. Something will give.

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  15. This city needs a mechanism to recall elected officials and kick them out of office when necessary.

    We get all these promises around election time and then *BAM* you are on your own and there's not much one can do until their election term is up.

    Heck, if an election term is for four years do the math on how many opportunities we get to make a change over a lifetime via the voting booth -- not many. Ten, fifteen maybe?

    We need a method to kick these people out when they are not responsive to the public that empowered them.

    They are suppose to SERVE ALL THE PEOPLE. Not just the corporations that have financed their election campaigns, or their clouted friends, relatives.

    They work for us, we don't work for them.

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  16. There are no new officers coming to 19th district, nor will there be. You all keep complaining to Tunney and the Cmdr. Go over Tunneys head and start complaining to the Mayors office. You pay alot in taxes and you are not getting the service you deserve, Uptown is in the news as much as Pilsen, Englewood, etc. Start using your voices beyond your local neighborhood.

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  17. "How did we get from fairytale and to no one goes home alone in such a short time?"

    Well one thing is obvious from going to these CAPS meetings regularly. There are absolutely no solutions offered. All that's offered is the most basic level of managing the problem like it's some kind of minor, albeit irritating, chronic disease. There is never even the slightest mention of the root cause of the trouble. Why did we go from a safe neighborhood to a menacing area with shocking speed? It seems like that isn't even up for discussion or consideration.

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  18. Michael writes: "Why did we go from a safe neighborhood to a menacing area with shocking speed? It seems like that isn't even up for discussion or consideration."

    Sleight of hand from the Wizard Behind The Curtain and his sidekick McDrunkski from NY. The Wizard will continue to consolidate, desecrate and deplete the police department. They will tell you how well it is working and you will like it and agree.

    Add to the mix the not-for-profit $$$grant$$$ grabbing agencies that have recently flooded the area.

    Do you really think anyone below them in rank or authority is in a position to tell you the truth or how they personally feel about it? Do you really think that anyone below them in rank or authority is not equally as frustrated as you are?

    It all begins and ends with the Wizard. Just follow the yellow brick road.

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  19. "It all begins and ends with the Wizard. Just follow the yellow brick road."

    That asshole needs to take his pilgrims back to NY/NJ and fast.

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  20. Sarah:

    Those 4 officers you saw in front of Sports Corner are the entertainment detail They only work on Clark St, not Halsted where the problems exist. Once again protections for the bars, not the people.

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  21. Just posted the following on the Chicago Mayor's Office FB page. Let's see if it stays up.

    Regardless of the bs we heard in the CAPS meeting, I'm going to make an effort to be heard above the heads of our Alderman and police district. Anyone organizing efforts like this, please get in touch with me (or post here how to get in touch with you) - I want to help and be involved. Thanks.

    -------------
    Hi, I live in East Lakeview and am increasingly concerned for my safety and that of my neighbors. There has been a dramatic uptick in crime in recent months and as much as residents are asking/begging/pleading with Alderman Tunney and the police, at CAPS meetings and in other venues, residents are told that there isn't a crime problem and that we have enough police offers in our districts and beats. That's simply not true and we're scared. Lakeview is now a dangerous neighborhood, and it was not like that before. To now hear that you're planning on a 10% decrease in the police budget for 2014 is terrifying. Mayor, please help us in Lakeview to feel safe in our community again. Please provide us with more police officers to help stop the rampant muggings and attacks on residents in our neighborhood. There is a large and growing crime problem here and we need help to fix it. Please.

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  22. Go, Sarah!

    Also check out this page on CWB.

    http://crimeinboystown.blogspot.com/2013/07/get-involved-reader-offers-to-put-like.html

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  23. It lasted less than 5 minutes. DANG.

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  24. It's a shame that the Captain Ryan is blaming the victims.

    The police cannot enforce any loitering on the public sidewalk.

    If the offenders block the front entry to a business, the agent for the business can sign complaints for a disorderly conduct.

    Disorderly Conduct 8-4-010

    (f) remains in the public way in a manner that blocks access to a commercial establishment, after being asked to clear the entrance by the person in charge of such establishment

    If these criminals sit on the front steps of a business(bar) and don't leave, the owners/bouncers/managers can sign complaints for trespassing. It's only a misdemeanor and the offender will probably by released in 6-8 hrs but if this happens again and again, they will get the message. The police alone cannot lock them up, they need a victim so sign complaints. Make sure to make it abundantly clear that you want to sign complaints.

    If one of these thugs bumps you on the sidewalk, sign complaints for battery. You don't have to be injured. There are two different kinds of battery. one for physical contact, and one for injuries.

    These thugs don't visit the bars/stores. They run back to Center to hide, and then when the police approach them, they claim they are being picked for cross dressing or sexual orientation. I personally witnessed an "advocate" outside the center the other day telling three individuals that the police are picking on them by arresting them (for actual crimes). The so called advocate then told them how to "beat their case" by making a complaint against the arresting officer.

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  25. CBW, you say that a CPD tactical team that worked Uptown was dismantled to serve as "smoke and mirrors" on Halsted. If that's the case, I feel sorry for Uptown residents, who would certainly benefit from another unit of officers dedicated to their gang problems.

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  26. Don't believe anything that is said at a CAPS meeting.... it is all smoke and mirrors!
    The CPD officers(with the exception of the on duty 3rd watch officers that are required to attend that nonsense)that attend the meeting are CAPS officers that are directly working for the Commanders office.
    They are there to sugar coat everything to make the are sound wonderful. The working cops hate going to those meetings because they know it's ALL LIES!
    Here is the truth....when 19 and 23 merged there were over 400 officers. There were Town Hall Meetings held where high ranking CPD brass outright lied and stated that the new 019 will not loose any officers.

    Well fast forward a year and a half and over 100 officers retired and or transferred because of the new hostile work environment. This "DO MORE WITH LESS" attitude that is being perpetuated by the Superintendent and the Mayor is stretching the police department dangerously thin and wearing down the cops! The officers in the 19th District are constantly in a "backlog", which means as soon as they "clear" one job the dispatcher gives then another job. Lunches are denied. Officers are denied days off when they need or want off work due to "Manpower Shortages" Well guess what...that creates a HUGE morale issue!
    The Superintendent was even spreading his lies on T.V. a few days ago stating that... we do not need to higher more officers....our numbers are better than last year. WTF!
    If you want the truth ask a beat copper. They won't sugarcoat it. Be warned...you may not like the answer!

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  27. Anonymous said...
    CBW, you say that a CPD tactical team that worked Uptown was dismantled to serve as "smoke and mirrors" on Halsted. If that's the case, I feel sorry for Uptown residents, who would certainly benefit from another unit of officers dedicated to their gang problems.
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    Agreed. Our understanding is that the information about the unit coming from Uptown was shared by a panelist at this week's CAPS meeting.

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  28. Many Officers have been in Federal Court for enforcing the Municipal Code Disorderly Conduct charge. For years policy was to only make those arrests on signed complaints from a civilian. The Officer could not be the complainant. Supposed it can be enforced now but Federal Court will screw the Officer.

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