Sunday, August 31, 2014

NUTS: Cops Depleted, Arsonist Lurks, And On And On

An outdoor police roll call. Or a dog and pony
show. We can't be sure.
(Paulick Report)
After a mild start, the holiday weekend heated up quickly. With another day to go, here are the headlines so far:
  • An arsonist swept through the alleys of Boystown and nearby Lake View Sunday, setting at least three fires, with video capturing him in the act of setting the first blaze. One coach house is expected to be a total loss. No injuries.
  • District was in "RAP" status, meaning officers were not available to handle emergency calls immediately, for nearly four hours early Sunday. At one point, nearly half of the district's beat cars are assigned to take control of post-bar Wrigleyville.
  • Police ranks were so thin, it took 7 minutes for a fire department ambulance to get help when a medical run went bad at the Belmont CTA station.
  • A 1AM photo-op outdoor police roll call at Belmont and Sheffield on Saturday seemed to have no effect on crime in that area. 


12:24AM - Intoxicated man is beaten up and needs assistance. Jewel, 3531 Broadway.

12:25AM - “Send an ambulance for this VERY intoxicated male" at Jewel.

1:31AM - Officer requests an ambulance for “a guy who was in a battery,” 3200 block of Sheffield.

2:44AM - Woman flags down officers after being pepper-sprayed and robbed near Sheffield and School. No report.


12:37AM - Dumpster fire in the alley behind the 700 block of Belmont. The next night, three arson fires would be set in the neighborhood.

1:00AM - Dog and pony show, er, Outdoor Police Roll Call is held at Belmont and Sheffield to project a show of force.

1:19AM - Large fight in the street, 900 block of Belmont. Participants are hitting others with skateboards. Meanwhile, 300 yards away, force continues to be projected as the Outdoor Police Roll Call continues at Belmont and Sheffield.

1:20AM - Woman punched in the face by a man at Halsted and Cornelia. Two calls. Halsted Street “entertainment detail” units are all “projecting force” half a mile away at the Outdoor Police Roll Call.

1:23AM - OK. That’s enough force projection. Outdoor roll call concludes.

1:40AM - Woman has just beaten up her girlfriend 50 yards from the recently-concluded Outdoor Police Roll Call. EMS rolling. Domestic battery case HX408066 filed.

1:40AM - Man calls 911. He’s helping a guy who got beat up by three people behind Jack’s restaurant at Halsted and Belmont.

2:29AM - Officers go to Illinois Masonic to take a battery report from a patient in the E/R. The woman tells officers she got beat up at Halsted and Belmont. Battery case HX408095 filed.

3:08AM - Over at the site of tonight’s Outdoor Police Roll Call, three men have just stolen a woman’s phone and wallet. Witnesses say the offenders escaped in a silver car that had been continuously circling the block. Description of man who stole the goods: black, 5’5” tall, white t-shirt turned inside out, blue cargo shorts with tiny white sailboats on ‘em.

4:36AM - Four doors down from the site of the Outdoor Police Roll Call, a man needs an ambulance after being punched in the face. He’s down and his face is swollen and bleeding. Ambulance takes him to Illinois Masonic.

7:02AM - Lincoln Park man calls 911 to report that he got knocked out and robbed on Lincoln Avenue overnight. Case HX408271

6:40PM - Four people fighting at Halsted and Waveland. They’re moving westbound on Waveland.


12:57AM - Group of women have attacked a man in the 3300 block of Halsted. Man has a gash over his eye.

1:00AM - A half-block away from the gashed man, an Outdoor Police Roll Call begins in the 7-Eleven parking lot, 3401 Halsted.

1:06AM - In and out. Nobody hurt. Outdoor Police Roll Call concludes. Everyone back to work.

1:47AM - CTA has no police units available tonight, so could one of you guys go check on the man down at the Belmont Brown Line platform?

2:00AM - Did we mention that CTA has no officers available tonight? 'cuz a 40-year-old man just got knocked to the ground, kicked in the head several times, and robbed of his wallet at the Paulina Brown Line station. He has a head injury. The thug has his $70. Ambulance takes him to Illinois Masonic. $70...

2:07AM - Big fight outside of Exedus II, 3477 Clark. Within minutes, six of the district’s 15 police beat cars plus the “entertainment team” and private security are working to contain Wrigleyville.

2:10AM - “We need a bunch of cars” on Clark Street.

2:23AM - Wrigleyville Taco Bell security is holding an offender for battery.

2:24AM - Man just got battered outside of Kirkwood Bar.

2:25AM - Sergeant to dispatcher: It’s busy. Only assign calls involving “an immediate threat to property..or someone’s personal safety.” Hold on to everything else.

2:28AM - The district enters Radio Assignments Pending (RAP) status. That means there are no officers available to immediately handle incoming 911 calls. Calls for help will stack up and be assigned as officers become free. Almost half of the district's police beat cars are currently trying to contain Wrigleyville's Clark Street.

2:39AM - Sergeant: Send a car to block northbound traffic on Clark Street heading into Wrigleyville. Dispatcher: Can’t. We don’t have any cars.

2:44AM - Taco Bell is still holding onto that battery offender and “the crowd is getting rowdy.”

2:51AM - Sergeant stumbles into a fight at Newport and Clark. Send him another car.

3:01AM - Fight at Newport and Clark is resolved. Now, an arrest is being made at the same location for a different fight.

3:22AM - Officers discover a fight inside a parking garage in the 3500 block of Clark Street. Battery report filed.

3:34AM - Over on Halsted, officers arrest one for battery near Halsted and Aldine. Case HX409398.

3:42AM - Oh, hey. Sorry about this. The Walgreens at Halsted and Barry has been holding a shoplifter for about 90 minutes. Can anyone help them out?

3:42AM - Ya know what? We still haven’t sent anyone to meet up with the guy who got beat up near Kirkwood Bar over an hour ago.

3:50AM - Large crowd getting rowdy at the Belmont CTA station. Units are pulled from Halsted to handle.

4:11AM - First in a series of arson fires reported. Fire in the alley, 863 Roscoe. The arsonist is caught on surveillance footage.

4:34AM - People fighting in the street at Waveland and Broadway. Two calls.

Clean up begins Sunday morning at the Wellington fire.
4:53AM - Coach house on fire, “fully engulfed,” 1023 Wellington. Luckily, two women who live inside are on vacation.

4:59AM - Truck on fire in the alley, 3240 Kenmore.

5:12AM - Fire Department ambulance crew needs help. Someone is “interfering with patient care” at the Belmont CTA station. Dispatcher: “Do I have any unit at all?” Answer: Silence.

5:19AM - OK. We’re declaring a police emergency for that ambulance crew. They need help. An officer peels over and tries to locate the offender without success.

5:22AM - Two men fighting in the street at Halsted and Newport.

5:52AM - Still need someone to go to that fire on Kenmore from an hour ago.

6:17AM - District’s backlog of calls is resolved. RAP status ends.

6:22AM - In the 3700 block of Kenmore, and officer finds a home with screens removed and windows pulled out. Burglary suspected.

7:05AM - Theft report at the firehouse by Wrigley Field. Firefighter’s helmet went missing in all of this morning’s excitement.
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  1. Rahm is a great Mayor! I bet his is spending the weekend safely guarded in Michigan.

  2. Tom is probably at his place in Michigan, too!

    1. "Chicago has only one state park. It's called Wisconsin". Why do they go to Michigan? Safety reasons?

  3. Not that I'm an eternal optimist, but at least the CTA beatings or the offenders should be recorded by surveillance cameras. They should post that stuff. Absolutely no reason why they can't -- except that Rahm doesn't want crime shown. Doesn't do anyone any good to be sitting on a detectives flash drive somewhere.

  4. Nuts on Clark, indeed.

  5. We've heard this song before. RAP RAP RAP. What's knew? What will change? Nothing. The bars suck the 19 district dry. What do the tact teams do? How late do they work and how many work? Do they help out with the bar crowds? Is everything dropped on the uniform cars? Do they get help?

    1. Have any of you considered another source of information like Second City Cop blogspot? It's much more realistic about your woes. Check it out, maybe it will all sink in and things could actually change for you.

    2. SCC is not much more realistic about the crime woes of Lakeview, Boystown, and Wrigleyville -- because that's not what they focus on.
      SCC is good to open the door of CPD and shed some light on the inner shenanigans of the hidebound, clouted department -- but you have to read through an awful lot of whining along the way.
      CPD is not a terribly effective municipal P.D. as it's beset by cronyism, nepotism, and clout, dedicated at all costs to maintaining the staus quo, and beset by institutional inertia.
      That said, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, we're stuck with the police department that we have, not the one that we want.
      Still, we have some damn good coppers who know how to get the job done. But there's a tremendous burnout rate, too.

    3. Realistic about our woes? Not really. First of all....very right wing. Secondly, Cops can't do no wrong. Well, think again. CPD has lots of good hard working cops. It also has some that are lazy, abusive and could care less about preventing...much less solving crime. Just Sayin.

  6. No wonder there are never many comments posted, pretty apparent that certain bloggers don't post from individuals they don't agree with.

  7. I'm new here, could someone explain what an outdoor roll call entails?

    1. It's a PR stunt that removes patrol officers from the street.
      'Smoke and mirrors,' or a 'dog and pony show' come to mind as an apt description.
      Michelle Smith has done it, James Cappleman, and now Tom Tunney.

    2. It's a PR stunt. The police commander, Voulgaris, gathers a bunch of cops in one location and tells them to go out and do their jobs. It gives everyone the impression that the commander is really concerned about the problems. Then he leaves. The shit hits the fan; the police get overwhelmed because there's not enough of them; the public suffers via higher crime; and the process repeats itself. I've watch a couple of these. To me it is the stupidest thing I have ever seen.

    3. just like during election time when Rahm wants to shack your had on Redline Belmont stop all PR.

    4. I kind of lost some respect for Voulgaris when he did this most recent roll call. He is a good man and I can't believe he did this. Perhaps he was forced into it, or told to do it by Rahmy Rahm. The sad part, of course, is Tunney, who believes a roll call is the "savior" of getting rid of crime in this district. Tunney is proficient (moderately) in sticky buns and should stick to his area of expertise, not being an alderperson responsible for funding, safety, "perceptions," and so on.

  8. Yes the bars do and CPD knows that so they should plan for it and have enough cops. Also if you listen to the scanner the whole CPD never has enough officers. For the life of me I can't figure out why Rahm won't hire cops.

  9. Remember, Alderman Cappleman says we have more than enough police officers, and the job is getting done. Also remember, Alderman Cappleman says he is a social worker, so perhaps he is mistaken about having enough police officers, but he doesn't think so.

  10. I live on the southwest side of Chicago, and I enjoy (very much) the boystown area and bars. However, it seems less safe since I started to visit in college. It was like a little paradise and home away from home.

    Anyway, I think the Mayor wants to hire more cops but does not have the money.

    1. The Mayor has $1.7 billion in his mayoral slush fund known as the TIF fund. Please, they would do it if it was a priority which it isn't.
      Maybe we shouldn't be giving $50 million of tax money for DePaul's new basketball arena (at a site not near Depaul University) that we be off the tax rolls for eternity.

    2. If you have been following here for the past 3 years, he's got plenty of money for his bullshit:

      1) Wall to wall cops along the Mag Mile to impress the tourists
      2) Wifi on the beaches
      3) Magey Daley Park
      4) Refused offers from Quinn for National Guard Troops to supplement his cops

      Others can add to the list.

    3. Your wrong. Plenty of money for his pet projects. Maggie Daley Park, The DePaul Arena, bike lanes and that is just off the top of my head. We just got 10 million from the State of IL for the Safe Passages routes. There is plenty of money it's about priorities. Just thought thought of one more big spending projects the expanded River Front. He's probably Maybe he doesn't have a strategy yet like his former boss.

    4. "Anyway, I think the Mayor wants to hire more cops but does not have the money."

      Oh, well. That makes everything OK then. I guess.

    5. One, I was responding to the varied comments that stated or alluded to, "I wonder why Rahm does not hire more cops."

      Two, I was implicitly stating that if the hire of more police officers is not practical, are there other solutions we can come up with to combat crime?

      The suggestion box should be wide open. I think this blog does an outstanding job with awareness of how severe the issue is. Is there a next step beyond awareness that we can all participate in, resident and visitor alike?

    6. Rahm has the money, buts it's squirreled away in TIF accounts for his rich developer friends / campaign donors.

    7. They are in the process of hiring 500; however, that number is barely a dent in the number that is needed to replenish the numbers set to retire in the next year. The proposal for new hiring died in committee. Sadly, we'll be seeing a rerun of these same stories next year come summer.

    8. First off, not to defend the Mayor , but...

      (1) The mag mile cops are mostly trainees. They are put out there for show, and it's useful not to scare away conventioneers and tourists.

      (2) The beach wifi doesn't cost the city anything.

      (3) Maggie Daley Park is from Park District funds from selling the garage underneath it, and wouldn't go to pay police officers anyway.

      (4) Because we really want to look like LA during the Watts riots.

      Google is useful for facts. You should try it sometime.

  11. Do you have any other information on the Lincoln Ave robbery? Like what block it was? Just curious as I live on Lincoln and that's a bit concerning.

    1. No exact address. We'll update when we get the info.

  12. Lets raise money. Add a $1 or more surcharge to every drink served in bars and restaurants with the proceeds going exclusively to fund additional police and address police pension issues.

  13. But the city DOES have enough $ to hire more police. They are sitting on a mountain of T.I.F. funds, at least $500 mil, possibly more? Surely some readers of this blog can inform us. This could be another reason (in addition to ballooning pension liabilities) for the outmigration from Illinois and Chicago area continues, reading about the "blue state diaspora" in the NYTimes. Note that the state of Indiana has paid its pension liability all these years so their economy is healthy. NW Indiana is booming.

    According to this article by Ben Joravsky of the Reader, the mayor is sitting on $1.7 BILLION, not million of T.I.F. funds (Tax Increment Financing districts).

    1. Yes and basically no transparency and the Mayor can hand it out the way he wants basically mob like payoffs. Like when they gave the CME 25 Million or so. Like they needed it.

    2. Outdoor roll call - i feel so safe