Saturday, February 15, 2014

SNUBBED: Police Superintendent Ignores Tunney's Budget Questions; South Side Alderman Gets Nearly 50 Pages Of Answers

As the Chicago City Council debated the police department's 2014 budget last autumn, two aldermen submitted questions for Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to respond to in writing.

20th ward Alderman Willie B. Cochran's submissions received lengthy responses.

Wrigleyville and Boystown alderman Tom Tunney's questions were never answered.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. Maybe Alderman Tunney's
questions got misplaced in that messy office?
Despite the snub, Tunney voted in favor of the proposed budget anyway.

Those are the facts laid out in the response that a CWB reader received to a Freedom of Information Act request following our January 9th, 2014, post "IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: But No Public Answers."

While "Alderman Tunney's questions were not answered by the Chicago Police Department," according to a letter from an officer in the department's Office of Legal Affairs, alderman Cochran's list of 50 questions received a 43-page response from McCarthy and a separate response from the Office of Management and Budget.

In addition, Cochran submitted nine follow-up questions in writing after McCarthy's in-person budget committee testimony. McCarthy sent a two-page response within 10 days.

Through it all, Tunney's questions about our neighborhood's problems were ignored.

Among the unanswered questions that Tunney posed to McCarthy:
• How many police officers did the 19th District have prior to the merger [of the former 19th and 23rd police districts]? How many police officers do we have today? Please do not include officers assigned to protective details and therefore unavailable to answer calls for service.
• What are the reasons for this drop in manpower?
• Broken down by watches, how many times in 2013 has the 19th District been unable to man all of its beat cars and rapid response cars because it did not have enough officers on duty?
• Although I understand that an officer may refuse to do so for personal safety reasons, on average how many police officers, like 19th District Officer Richard Francis, whose killer was convicted of murder yesterday, ride alone in cars during each watch in 19?
• When will the police department open slots in the 19th District thereby allowing officers from other districts to bid to move to 19 and get our numbers back up?
You can read all of Tunney's unanswered questions on our Google Drive HERE.

In Contrast...
While those questions about police service and the safety of our officers sat unanswered, McCarthy was able to dig up all sorts of minutia for Cochran, including nuggets such as correct email address formatting and the rate of police department applicant disqualification due to failure of psychological testing, broken down by race.

TRIVIA: Asians fail the psych test most frequently (13.59% of the time) followed by American Indians' and Alaska Natives' 11.54% failure rate.

You can see all of Cochran's questions and McCarthy's generous responses HERE.

Submission of questions for written responses is a standard practice. In 2011, 18 aldermen submitted written questions during the police budget process. All received responses.

Issues
So, there are some issues here.
• The police superintendent disrespects our elected representative to the point of not answering important questions about the department's operation in our neighborhood.
• The superintendent's willingness to not answer these questions, in turn, shows a lack of concern and respect for the citizens who work, live, play, and conduct business in our neighborhoods, not to mention the very officers who serve here.
• Presumably, our alderman asked important questions that he needed answered so he could decide how to cast his vote. Nonetheless, when his questions were ignored, he cast his vote in favor of the budget any way.
It seems pretty clear from this that the occasional cries of concern that we hear coming from the 44th ward alderman are theater. The one thing he controls is his vote. Yet, his questions went ignored by the police superintendent and he cast his vote along with 44 other rubber stamps anyway.

At least Lake View residents who live west of our ward have an alderman who isn't afraid to say "no" when it counts.

The reader's Freedom of Information request sought copies of all written questions received by the police department and all of the answers provided to the aldermen's questions during the 2014 budget review process. All of the department's responsive documents are available HERE.
---------------------
---------------------

18 comments:

  1. Questions must be submitted in the form of cinnamon rolls.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Folks, we need a lot more than a phony letter from a phony alderman who is just a puppet to Rahmy. Tunney is a joke to anyone in power, nobody is going to care what he spews since he has no power.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Outrage, outrage, outrage!!!! Are you kidding? This city is like a bad movie. These public officials do and say what they want. You people vote them in, and don't hold them accountable, what do you expect. These are very simple straight forward questions an can be answered with documentation in 5 minutes, but why would they answer them if they don't have to. You lemmings take what they give you. Im leaving this city. It will never change. A police Superintendent refuses to answer questions and thats it. Nothing to see here, move along. And there is no media to support the citizens.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tunney is viewed as a spineless, whiny bitch. His little speech about being up Rickett's but pretty rendered him irrelevant.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I imagine the trivia you highlighted ['Asians fail the psych test most frequently (13.59% of the time) followed by American Indians' and Alaska Natives' 11.54% failure rate'] is statistically meaningless, due to what I assume would be small numbers of applicants from these demographic groups. If only seven Asians applied and one happens to fail, that's a fail rate of 14%. Additional data is necessary to meaningfully interpret the percentages you note.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps you should file a FOIA for that data.

      Delete
  6. It gets warmer next week. The bar owners will be over serving the shit out of everyone and our cops will be stuck in RAP status for hours. Stay in your homes.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I must say that the 23 questions Alderman Tunney posed to Police Superintendent McCarthy were well-thought out and very appropriate. Most have been asked to him by his constituents and by this blog. Either way, I am happy to see that he decided it was important enough to ask the questions. Unfortunately, he didn't find it important enough to demand answers.

    Alderman Tunney, WE THE TAXPAYERS DESERVE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS. You do, too, as our ELECTED official. WE EXPECT AND INSIST UPON ANSWERS and so should you! Remind McCarthy and Mayor Emanuel of this small fact...you are all supposed to representing us. WE, THE PEOPLE! Remember? Government of the people, by the people, for the people. These are not just words.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Get ready for warmer weather,folks. This year should be a doozy. We'll probably experience our first murder in the neighborhood, hundreds of cell phones and wallets will be thugged and taken, and lots of blood will be shed near the Belmont L, along Clark and Halsted, and more businesses and residents will leave the neighborhood. Get ready for more BS to stream out of the worthless monthly CAPS meetings as well!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am surprised we have not yet heard of a candidate who is backed by the Rickett's... I am sure they have someone in mind that they will back financially.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly.

      I know the mayor doesn't give a hoot about the average citizen, so I was hoping someone like Ricketts, with deep pockets and a lot of clout, could demand better police coverage, etc.

      I'm sure Ricketts doesn't want his customers to be robbed. I can't imagine that he wants people to be afraid to come to the area. I hope that his $ and or clout can make some changes in the area...and get us the police coverage that we desperately need.

      Delete
  10. "Remind McCarthy and Mayor Emanuel of this small fact...you are all supposed to representing us."

    There's another small factor they need to realize...WE pay their salaries. They work for US, not the other way around. The best thing that could happen to this city would be for Emanuel to get booted out of office. Although don't be surprised if he bails out and takes a big job back with his buddies the Clintons when the election ramps up. If he could worm his way back into the white House he'd be out of here in a second.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those who call for Emanuel's departure should be careful. We could easily end up with someone much much worse, like a Joe Berrios or a Todd Stroger.

      Delete
    2. Agree! Anyone who runs for Mayor should be viewed with suspicion. It costs TONS of money to run for this office. The ideal candidate is someone like Michael Bloomberg; a self-made guy worth billions, already powerful, and with a history of philanthropy. This would hopefully prevent the candidate from needing to accept money from campaign donors with strings attached.

      Delete
  11. Cochran was CPD officer from 1977-2003, so a bit of professional courtesy? Read through both sets of questions. Cochran asked a lot of data questions and ones wanting racial breakdowns while Tunney's seemed much more focused on our concerns. He also is asking some of the same questions he's asked before (CWB posted), so maybe tried and caught them in a lie, thus no response?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Memorial Day. Beach closed "due to heat". McCarthy did this to himself. After hearing that, I said eff-it, and moved out of state, to a place where those shenanigans (both the 1,000 people on the beach knocking people off their bikes AND the subsequent and simple-minded cover-up from media and city adminstrators) would NOT be tolerated. We're smarter than your simpleton east coast constituents Garry. I know that must be a mind blower for you, but, it's true. We know it, and now you know it. You are nothing to us now. Nothing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great points. Rahm controls the media and the message like the totalitarian dictator he is. He has made it clear to the media that they report his way or they are not given access. These media clowns think they will all be given jobs in the Emanuel White House press corps.

      Delete
  13. McCarthy and Tunney believe they are unbeatable. There will never be safety or more police until they are both gone. End of story.

    ReplyDelete