Monday, October 21, 2013

A "RAP" FOR LUNCH: Even The Alderman Gets A 1-Hour Response Time

This is a little snapshot of about 90 minutes in the 19th district today. Here you can see very clearly how the district's critically-short manpower affects response times, the subsequent non-reporting of crimes, and a general inability to handle matters in a timely fashion.

Mmmm! Wraps!
Even Alderman Tom Tunney's call about a disturbance outside of the Broadway Youth Center went unassigned for an hour.

Tick by tick:

1:18PM: An apartment manager reports that a man, described as male, Hispanic, carrying a clear backpack and going westbound, just stole packages and mail from a building in 3500 block of Pine Grove. The call is assigned to a car 79 minutes later, at 2:37PM.

1:22PM: Theft at Menard's, 2601 N. Clybourn. Twenty minutes later, the call is upgraded to a theft with battery of the store manager. The call is assigned 74 minutes after the initial dispatch, at 2:36PM. Then, at 2:42PM, Menard's reports that their offender got away. Side note: When the call was assigned, the dispatcher asks the officer to let her know if he needs an assist car "or if they still need the police." Unfortunately for the statistics, Menard's did still need the police in order to file a report. CPD case #HW501721.

1:22PM: Theft at Target in Uptown. The call is assigned 72 minutes later, at 2:34PM.

1:31PM: Dispatcher asks permission to hold the previous three calls for the next shift because there are no units available to handle them. Response: "Hold them. We ain't got nobody."

1:38PM: The 19th district enters Radio Assignment Pending (RAP) status, which means no cars are available to handle calls for service.

1:42PM: A laundry list of pending assignments is read, including this new one: The alderman's office says about five rowdy teens are outside of 615 W. Wellington, home of the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ and the Broadway Youth Center.

1:59PM: An updated list of unassigned calls is read. The alderman's call is now described as "males loitering out front being loud."

2:36PM: Nearly an hour after the alderman's call is first mentioned, it gets assigned to a car. Details: four to five teens being loud, rowdy, and shouting profanities at the passing cars.

3:00PM: Several cars coming on duty are unable to handle the backlog of calls because they are required to sit on "Safe Passage" routes.

3:18PM: The RAP is closed out.

This makes us wonder what kind of response times any newly-formed Block Clubs will receive. Our guess is the clubs will not be pleased.


  1. We've been told for so long that "youths" loitering, being loud, rowdy, and shouting profanities is not against the law that I am genuinely shocked to discover the alderman reporting that behavior to police.

  2. Tooney must have had a different "perception."

  3. Boys and girls, moms and dads, children of all ages...send those letters to the Chairman of the Zoning Appeals Board and include information about the alderman's little phone call.

    312.744.5822 or

    Jonathan Swain, Chairman Zoning Board of appeals
    City Hall
    121 North LaSalle, St. Room 905
    Chicago, IL 60602

    And remember email AND send a hard copy via mail.

  4. I'm telling ya, plant a few security cameras in nearby private property so these events are documented and the identity of the culprits ascertained.

  5. Tom, Tom . . Hello, Tom. Police, Police . . . Hello, Police ??? Even our so called alderperson can't get the police to respond to his call for service at 1:40 PM on a cold Monday afternoon. We see what is like overnight on the weekends, sometimes radio assignments pending for hours on end, but on a Monday afternoon ? Maybe the problem is the lack of Police Officers in the 19th District ? You think ?

  6. Safe Passage: Rahms money wasting pet project. Dump this now and get the Police back to taking calls for service.

  7. Let Tunney handle it himself. He is able to carry a firearm

  8. Rahm is not going to stop Safe Passage. The murder rate makes national news and makes him look bad. It's all about Rahm's public image. It is not about you and me and our neighborhood.

  9. "I'm telling ya, plant a few security cameras in nearby private property so these events are documented and the identity of the culprits ascertained."


    I agree 100% and think that the community groups should consider doing so. But some technical assistance would be needed. I am in a good high-visibility location at an intersection but would need to know what cameras to buy and other equipment and how to run it and how much it would cost. If you think back to the Halsted St. stabbing that was captured on camera, the perp was caught and attention was focused on the problem. Whoever filmed it did a good thing and I would like to see more of it, especially outside the COH where some of the offenders loiter.

  10. Where’s the “Safe Passage Program” to protect us from the Center on Halsted?

  11. I cannot stress this enough that most of these problems are directly related to the consolidation of the 23rd and 19th districts. Chicago is too densely populated to have such geographically large police districts. Eighteen police beats have been reduced to fifteen. Six tactical teams have been reduced to three - of the other three, 1 was transferred out permanently and the other two work as entertainment teams. The district has lost nearly 100 officers since this consolidation. Consolidation is the culprit here people.

    1. So true. 019 is hurting for manpower. This is a district that used to have 6 tact teams to cover the same amount of land, but now reduced to 3. Of the 3 left they are held down on safe passge stuff during the week and the two that work the entertainment detail are stuck during the night hours on foot dealing with drunks and thugs on clark. The day shift and midnight shift is so depleted in 019 it's scary. Terrible smoke and mirrors lesdership in 019.

  12. Harold WashingtonOct 22, 2013, 9:46:00 AM

    Thank God Ed Burke was safe during all this.

  13. Where's my safe passage to walk to and from the Belmont El, or to the grocery store, or just to walk my dog around the block?

  14. 72 minute response times? We are approaching Detroit-level effectiveness.

  15. 8 cars held down for "Safe Passage" for 4 hours, each school day! ....what do u expect?