Saturday, October 05, 2013

REALITY CHECK: "If You Feel Unsafe, Call The Police"

If you've been to any CAPS meetings or possibly corresponded with your alderman or police executives, you may have received a big, warm hug and a pat on the head with some fatherly advice: "Always call police if you feel unsafe."

What would happen if you made such a call this morning? Let's find out.

From the 19th district dispatcher at 4:57AM:
All right. Pending assignments in the 19th district. 
2700 to 2799 Sheffield. 2700 to 2799 Sheffield. Check the well being. [The 911] call taker reports an open [phone] line. They hear men and women yelling. Nothing else. 
Got here battery in progress. Battery in progress here at Belmont and Clark. Clark and Belmont. Got details to follow. Give them to you when they come in. 
Commercial [burglar] alarm at 2575 Clybourn. 2575 Clybourn Got Taco Bell sounding... 
27XX on Magnolia we got loud music from the coach house at that location. 
Also we gonna have a…905 on Belmont. It says here you got a group of men outside arguing. 
Also we gonna have info for the police. 1200 Waveland. 1200 Waveland. Anonymously, the caller reported two male, blacks walking across the intersection. Says here the commander told this person "if you feel unsafe, call the police." Nothing further. 
All right. The tickets are rolling in on this Belmont and Clark…They say now 20 are fighting in the middle of the street 
912 Belmont. Men and transgenders fighting. 
905 Belmont. They're fighting in traffic...[Belmont] is filled between Wilton and Clark Street with the battery in progress [calls].
At 5:01AM, the district entered Radio Assignment Pending status until 6:42AM. There's no word on if anyone ever responded to the person who followed the commander's advice.

Another Friday night. Another third of the district without beat cars on duty. There really can be no logical explanation for district leaders to have "only" one or two beats without cars on slow week days, yet a third of the district goes unmanned on crazy weekends.

The commander can complain that he can't do anything about his staffing problem, that he can't make people work overnights. But he sure as hell can ensure that the people he does have on overnights are working when we need them.

That doesn't happen. We work in an "entertainment district" where, for some reason, a large chunk of the midnight crew is given weekends off.

The red areas on the map are the areas of the district that had no beat cars from late Friday until sunrise today.

This is why "Skeptical Hippo" is so skeptical, commander.