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.

29 comments:

  1. It takes 20-50 minutes for police to arrive in the drunken war zone known as boystown. That leaves a lot of time to be pommeled.

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  2. Where the hell is this bike unit I thought we were getting? They can be a huge help to us working till 5am patrolling Halsted and Belmont and Clark. And is there not 2 tact teams now working the entertainment detail on these streets??

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    Replies
    1. Simple answer, no. Tact teams assigned to entertainment zone north of Clark and Belmont

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  3. The *only* way we will be given more officers is if a resident is shot. I don't think s/he needs to be killed, but I promise, it's the only way anything will improve.

    Start calling Tom Tunney EVERY SINGLE DAY and demand he do a better job advocating for residents' safety.

    Start writing emails to every single news reporter (not news outlet - news reporter) you can think of. Demand news coverage.

    Start TELLING everyone you see on the streets to get their heads out of their asses and to TAKE ACTION.

    For goodness sake - don't challenge the terrorists who are making us afraid to live the lives we work so hard to enjoy. Give them whatever you have.

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    Replies
    1. If one person is shot here, it won't make a difference! Get over yourself. There are bodies piling up all over the west and south sides and yet our mayor just stated this week he won't up the size of the police department. The crimes up here pale in comparison to what goes on Monday to Sunday on the south side

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  4. Where the hell are these two tact teams promised to work entertainment detail? Was there only a car or two covering for whole team or teams?
    Show us you are doing something quit telling us lies.....

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  5. Can they check into all those officers on the medical for months at a time and the officers iod for reasons unknown? I hear there are more officers either on medical or iod then there are out on the streets at night.

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  6. To be fair, while I don't fault the person for calling 911 if he/she felt unsafe, I also don't fault the police for not sending a car over if the only thing that was reported was "two black males crossing an intersection." If they were acting suspicious or running away from someone/something, that would have been something to check on, but especially with a huge fight breaking out, two black guys walking across the street doesn't demand a patrol car.

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  7. You should post the stupid "Skeptical Hippo" handout and type out the message for those of us who weren't at the meetings this week. I personally found it offensive.

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  8. WE need the news to ride around and do a special on the New Wrigleyville lakeview area, Once to be a nice much safer place to live. Now out of control each and Every weekend. To listen to the scanner of job after job but no police cars to answer these jobs. Cutting back and not filling enough police to be here and work here is putting the public at Risk, just living here. Why are we paying these high rents if it's just as bad as the south or west sides of the city?

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  9. Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Can they check into all those officers on the medical for months at a time and the officers iod for reasons unknown? I hear there are more officers either on medical or iod then there are out on the streets at night.

    Saturday, 05 October, 2013

    It is the same ones each and every time. The bosses say they can't do anything. They can't prove they are not sick or prove they didn't get hurt on the job. Unless they are out partying or something showing that they could be here. So the same ones continue to abuse this medical and iod just to be off. Maybe some special on the news could change this. Something needs to be done.
    And Thank you again for this blog. The Truth of what is really going on here, not fake numbers being told of crimes here by the police bosses.

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  10. "The *only* way we will be given more officers is if a resident is shot."----------------------I'm afraid this is probably true. I'm waiting for the flash point - that point, that event where the neighborhood residents FINALLY get fed up enough to do something more significant than rant here and write apparently useless letters. The neighbors need to rise up as a large group, start real protests with lots of people with signs and media coverage in front of the mayor's house or city hall or the bars. There has to be a VISIBLE uprising. What does it take to make that happen? A shooting?? A murder???

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    1. Remember those 5 or 6 people shot in uptown a few weeks ago? Didn't effect manpower one bit. Only way to change things is a different mayor and different police chief

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    2. There are some of us meeting and trying t do something constructive. Its not neighborhood walks, but its looking at things like responsibility of businesses, looking at crime stats for hotspots and talking to business owners. Its a slow process but with winter coming and crime going to fall off, certain businesses will eventually have to explain themselves to the community.

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  11. This blog really needs to stop with the vitriol against the commander for staffing issues, it's getting old. Going after the solutions to crime is a different story all together, the a tragedies are his, he owns them. The staffing he does NOT control. He stripped tact teams to have them focus on Clark street. So he uprooted their lives at a day or two notice and effectively put them all on a watch they didn't volunteer to work on. How much motivation does that give them to do something? He bolstered the amount of officers assigned to midnights at the beginning if the year. The officers who lost their afternoon or day spot almost to a person left the district, net result even less officers assigned to the district. The fact is the commander has tried with what he has been given. He, himself has worked midnight to try and motivate the troops. I've said it before and I'll say it again, until this city sends in recruits to this area which they have not done in a decade this will not get better. Seriously what is the incentive for an officer with 9 years on the job to stay in this district, be forced to work midnights, deal with 75% of the calls, have the worst vacation spots when that same officer could bid to Rogers park or humbolt park and work afternoons or days?

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    Replies
    1. Please re-read this post. Why are weekdays nearly fully staffed and weekends have a third of beat cars down? It makes no sense.

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    2. Because most "normal" people are off on the weekends. Police like to interact with family and friends which means the weekend. Plus, realistically who really wants to take a Tuesday night off from 9pm to 6 am?

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  12. Anonymous said...
    If one person is shot here, it won't make a difference! Get over yourself. There are bodies piling up all over the west and south sides and yet our mayor just stated this week he won't up the size of the police department. The crimes up here pale in comparison to what goes on Monday to Sunday on the south side
    ##############
    Nobody said that it does. It also doesn't compare to what this neighborhood was like five years ago. Here. You can have your straw man back.

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  13. Anonymous said...

    Remember those 5 or 6 people shot in uptown a few weeks ago? Didn't effect manpower one bit. Only way to change things is a different mayor and different police chief

    Saturday, 05 October, 2013

    This was uptown where they have shooting all the time. It wasn't boystown or wrigleyville areas.

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  14. Till they admit they have a crime problem here and it is out of control Nothing extra will be done. We see this now. The same types of crimes are happening here almost every night, more on the weekends. And we still see no police helping prevent it. Till this area is on a news special showing what life is like here after dark on a Friday and Saturday night. Nothing will be done. So thank you mayor and police for all your concern for the public.

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  15. CWB, here is a staffing idea that is done in other big cities. Give the commander or the watch supervisor the right to "buy back" officers. In other words if the watch supervisor sees that a certain Saturday night is short 8 officers, give officers that are scheduled to be off the opportunity to work in their place. Also give officers that worked a different watch the option to work a "power shift" let a afternoon officer who is scheduled to get off at 2 am stay until 5 am at time and a half. Yes this will cost more but hey they already are doing a version of this on the south and west sides, this would be on a much smaller scale and only to keep manpower up to minimum levels

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  16. Reality Check - he told you that when an officer transfers out, he doesn't get replaced. He is going to increase the % of personnel to midnights in 2014, he can't do it until then.

    Perfect Storm for Everyone! A very small % of people enjoy working midnights. Most can't wait until they have enough seniority to get a better shift (supervisors included.) Midnight officers work all night and when they make those arrests everyone cheers about, can end up in trial all day, including their days off. If an officer can't occasionally get a weekend night off to either get some needed rest, enjoy his family and friends, etc., why would he choose to stay in 19 when he can transfer somewhere else and either work a different watch or get days off?

    That commander is caught between a rock and a hard place. He has to change the %'s next year to address the crime but in doing so, he is going to lose more cops who won't be replaced. So the end result is that the entire 24 hr period will be shorter in staff than it is now. I can't think of a more f'd up situation.

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  17. Crime In Boystown said...
    Please re-read this post. Why are weekdays nearly fully staffed and weekends have a third of beat cars down? It makes no sense.

    Saturday, 05 October, 2013
    Patrol officers work four 10-hr days in a row and then have two days off. It's called "RDO" aka Regular Days Off. This means their "weekend" only lands on a Saturday/Sunday every six weeks. Since officers have transferred out, perhaps the RDO groups are screwed up.

    Also, officers can take time off in lieu of getting paid overtime. It's called "time due." They typically use those on weekends to do things like regular workday people enjoy -- go to a relative's wedding, watch their kids in a play or a sporting event, etc.

    Retired CPD

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anonymous, for offering an informed response.

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  18. Anonymous said...

    Crime In Boystown said...
    Please re-read this post. Why are weekdays nearly fully staffed and weekends have a third of beat cars down? It makes no sense.

    Saturday, 05 October, 2013
    Patrol officers work four 10-hr days in a row and then have two days off. It's called "RDO" aka Regular Days Off. This means their "weekend" only lands on a Saturday/Sunday every six weeks. Since officers have transferred out, perhaps the RDO groups are screwed up.

    Also, officers can take time off in lieu of getting paid overtime. It's called "time due." They typically use those on weekends to do things like regular workday people enjoy -- go to a relative's wedding, watch their kids in a play or a sporting event, etc.

    Retired CPD

    Sunday, 06 October, 2013

    We all have kids and this is your job if it's your weekend to work you come to work. This isn't a m-f job if you can't work it then quit. We all miss watching our kids games or even some weddings you can't just take off because you want to go to a game or party We being the police have to miss certain things, but we chose this job.

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    1. Obviously NOT written by a cop. If you were you would know how crazy you sound. The time you are due you are DUE you earned it. If you are a cop you obviously live alone with no family and kids, do us all a favor and request to be put in a straight working day off group that does not include weekends.

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  19. Anonymous said...

    Because most "normal" people are off on the weekends. Police like to interact with family and friends which means the weekend. Plus, realistically who really wants to take a Tuesday night off from 9pm to 6 am?

    Saturday, 05 October, 2013
    Being the police is not normal hours or normal days of the week. Did they not tell you that when you got hired? Sorry your family life suffers, but you wanted to be the police.

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    Replies
    1. No I understand that and I work those strange hours you speak of. You know what they did tell me though when I signed up for the job? When I work overtime I can either get paid for it or bank it for time DUE. Look into that word it means it is owed to me and my right to take it. I will bet this poster is either not the police or if they are is one of the officers who burn medical time or has no time due because they do no work

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  20. Right every officer knows that police work is a 24/7 operation but this is the point being made. Officers in 19 will need more seniority to work shifts other than midnights. If they can transfer to another district to accomplish this, they will. They won't be replaced. Even if they don't have enough seniority to get off midnights but can transfer to a district where the crime on mid nights allows for more lenient use of compensatory time by those officers, they will transfer. The bottom line is getting more personnel assigned to 19 so that a few officers be granted compensatory time on a weekend. It promotes good morale and good police work. This can pertain to any work force.

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