Sunday, September 28, 2014

SHORT STAFFED: District Runs Out Of Cops 4 Times This Weekend; "Manipulated In A Way I Despise The Most"

Image: Smart Tan
Two guys were peeking into Boystown yards early Saturday morning. A cop was dispatched an hour later.

A drunk reportedly climbed behind the wheel of a car around the same time. A cop was dispatched 70 minutes later.

Welcome to the world of RAPs and the incredible effort to deny that they have an impact on police service.

Frequent CWB readers are probably familiar with the term RAP. It stands for "Radio Assignments Pending,"  an official term used by the Chicago Police Department and their dispatchers to designate periods of time when police districts have no cars available to handle incoming 911 calls.

When all officers are tied up on assignments, districts go "into a RAP" and new calls for help stack up and wait for an officer to become available.

So far this weekend, our district has been in RAP status at least four times for periods lasting from just over an hour to more than three hours.

Robbed By 3 Men? See Ya In 20 Minutes (Maybe)

Even people who reported serious crimes to 911 had to wait. Like the man who said three guys "snatched" him into a car and stole his phone and wallet near Grace and Southport Saturday morning.

No officers were available to help the man, a fact that was made perfectly clear by the 19th district's police dispatcher when a police unit finally became available 18 minutes later, at 5:03AM.

Dispatcher: "I gotta send you on this robbery, 'cause this person is blowing up 911 [with calls for help]."

If that guy had to wait 18 minutes for cops to start heading his way, how long do you think less serious calls sat around that morning? Let's take a look:

On The Waiting List

5:14AM — A police unit asks if they can take their lunch break. Dispatcher: "I'm going to have to deny you that because you have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 pending assignments and, um, you know, you're in a RAP." Officers are not allowed to take lunch breaks when their district is in a RAP.

6:00AM — A unit becomes available. "Let's go with that DUI driver for me. [The call] has an hour on it. Hopefully they made it safe wherever they were going." Clark & Lawrence.

6:02AM - "An hour and 10 minutes ago, there were two guys…looking inside a white vehicle. Caller thought they might be trying to break in."

6:03AM - "An hour ago, in the 900 block of Roscoe, there were two [men] walking back and forth looking into yards. Can you take care of that one for me?"

"Manipulated In A Way I Despise The Most"

Our alderman, "shoveling" a lot of something.
Interesting story for ya. We reported last month on a man who was beaten and robbed while the district was in a RAP. Cops eventually met the guy in a hospital room, where he had been taken by ambulance.

A reader saw that story and called Alderman Tom Tunney's office:
…They didn't have any information for me, but are looking into it and said they will call me back. I let them know that I needed to know exactly what they are doing about the delayed response.
[Later]…They just called me back and told me that their report says that it took the officer 20min before he got to the victim to take a report and that this wasn't a RAP issue.
That's a classic, Tom. Technically, the officer did "take 20 minutes to get to the victim." The alderman failed to mention, of course, that the call sat around for 40+ minutes waiting for that officer to become available.

The reader:
Tom Tunney’s office just tried to manipulate me in a way that I despise the most; they told me the truth, but not the whole truth. 
I just called them back with this information and I could tell they are in “PR mode”. They are "reaching out to the captain for more information (again) and will be listening to the police scan from that morning". I could tell there was no accountability but I’m reasonable; I don’t expect them to take ownership of something they don’t know anything about. However:
1. How can you possible not know about a beating and robbery just two blocks away from your office? I expect the Alderman’s office to be in the know regarding all of the crime in the area.
2. I felt that from the beginning, I was being treated like I don’t understand how the police force functions, the process in which they take calls… and ultimately I feel like I’m treated as if I’m incredibly misinformed about this recent RAP issue.
3. So far the answers have been scripted rebuttals.
It feels like each time they reach out to the police, it’s so they can learn how they can explain the situation to me, and make it sound like its business as usual. It’s not addressing the issue, or even admitting there is an issue.
Do yourself a favor. Contact the alderman's office Monday morning and see how he explains away all of long waits for service we told you about above. It should be interesting.  (773) 525-6034. Or stop by 3223 N. Sheffield. Or email 'em.

You may want to ask why he isn't speaking up loudly and publicly about the 22% reduction in police manpower our district has suffered. Another Lakeview alderman has and he hasn't been struck by lightning or anything.

Remember, our alderman is the guy who the Sun-Times said was literally reduced to tears over the square footage of  Wrigley Field's new Jumbotron. But when real people are being hurt physically and financially, it's Smoke Screen City.

Oh. And if you need to listen to "the police scan," just let us know. We have an enormous archive.
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29 comments:

  1. I wonder if Prince Tunney has any clue as to what an incompetent joke of a moron he is as an alderman? He couldn't lead a one car parade let alone a neighborhood. Just looked at his Facebook and he's all proud of bringing paid meter parking back on Sundays so it would increase business (wtf is with that line of reasoning!). I don't know how this clown can show his face in the community and proclaim himself as a politician. If he had any courage or brains, he'd resign and let someone with some knowledge take over and go back to making his cinnamon buns.

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    1. Even the sticky buns are an epic fail these days. I've heard reports from friends who went to his decaying restaurant empire to partake of said sticky buns, and learned that the buns are very dry, no longer moist, literally impenetrable by ... knife or fork. Such a shame.

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  2. Looks like Tunney is shoveling the shit from the recent moron robber to hide any evidence of a crime to keep with his message that all is good.

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  3. Vote him out. And while we're at it, let's shovel Rahm out of office too.

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  4. I am reading (thanks CIBT, keep up the great work) so much about beatings, robberies and RAPS that I am starting to grow numb to it and an accepting it as the new norm. Maybe apathy is what the politicos are hoping for.

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    1. NO. We cannot allow ourselves to become apathetic. We must stick with it and mobilize as election time approaches and call Tunney out on his lack of leadership. Hold him accountable. Ask the burning questions. Demand answers. We must not let him weasel himself into another term. Sadly, too many people in Ward 44 will vote for him on the basis of a single factor: that he is a gay. This is NOT a qualifying trait that is required to lead Ward 44. Hold him accountable for his poor track record. Look for more on this in the coming months. There will be a concerted and effective effort put forth to educate the community on how little he has really done, and there WILL be at least two solid viable challengers for the post of alderman.

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  5. This is a bit off topic, but the following is an account of a shameful double cross that Tunney perpetrated against a number of property owners in East Lakeview. It involved the institution of the Special Service Area #8 (SSA#8) by the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce with the approval of the city council, for the period 2001 through 2010. Special Service Areas are scattered throughout the city's business districts. The business property owners receive a line item tax surcharge on their second installment tax bills. The money is used by the chamber of commerce to maintain and beautify the area - street and sidewalk cleaning - snow removal - flower planters - street banners - etc. In this case, mainly along Broadway, Clark, Diversey, and part of Halsted. Because of the carelessness of an entry level worker in the offices of S.B. Friedman & Company, the consulting firm hired by the chamber of commerce to help formulate the SSA#8, the residential property owners that had absolutely no business component to their property - they were rental, single family, and condo buildings - were mistakenly included in the SSA formulation. When the error became known, S.B. Friedman at it's own expense and with agreement of Maureen Martino, executive director of the chamber of commerce, engaged the Bell, Boyd &Loyd law firm to file suit against the city asking the court to disconnect the properties from the SSA. However, during discovery, the city and Tunney agreed to the disconnection but later reversed that decision. Tunney, instead of sticking up for his constituents, sided with his downtown masters. His office later claimed to have no knowledge of what was going on. Martino, likewise caved, and the Friedman Co, having already spent thousands in legal fees dropped the suit. There was some discussion among the owners to file a civil rights suit because of their unequal treatment - they had a tax surcharge, but other similar residential buildings in the area did not. Fear of retribution from the city quashed the idea. The result? Over the ten year period, the owners were forced to pay tens of thousands of extra dollars in real estate taxes that presumably were passed on, in part, to their tenants. In 2011 when the SSA#8 was reconstituted for another ten years, the owners discovered that the city bureaucrats had removed the surcharge from their tax bills. That was certainly nice of them - don't you think?

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  6. What stupid officers tried to take a lunch when it was so busy and when it was so short ??

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    1. They call them Dogs. Same ones even on busy nights try to take a lunch when no one else is getting a lunch.

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    2. Relax tough guy, some people go all night job to job and don't get a lunch. Forgive them for wanting 30 minutes of themselves.

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    3. Try shoveling that crap, running from job to job for five or six hours and you are going to want your lunch, a chance to clean up, use a good bathroom, calm down, try to remind yourself that you are a human being. So who is the one who is stupid?

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    4. I want to see what you would say if you didn't get a lunch at your job. Probably be crying that your work rights were violated because you couldn't eat. The problem is not the officer wanting lunch. The problem is the shortage in police officers.

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    5. They should be ashamed of themselves, asking for a unpaid lunch or a break to use the wash room. These Dogs act like labor laws apply to them! Sarcasm off.

      Keep blaming the police officer that works the street for the problems that the Mayor and Alderman that YOU voted in created.

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  7. I don't live in the area, but I wondering if all of this outrage will change anything. Apathy is a politician's best friend in some cases. I think it's a huge problem in Chicago in general. Are there any viable candidates to challenge Tunney? Who? Why aren't people calling him out more often and not just here? Why isn't this stuff on the nightly news? It's unbelievable that people are just accepting of this.

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  8. Can an alderman be impeached?

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  9. I am so tired of having to adjust my life to try to be safe around the thugs. Thanks for staying on top of this. No apathy here.

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  10. There aren't enough police in the city. The Mayor needs to fire McCarthy and hire 700 to 1000 police. Find the money and do it. He deserves some of the blowback on the issue of crime.

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  11. Hello, I’m the reader that called Tunney’s office. I’m sorry I didn’t do a follow-up post; it’s just that they never called me back. They also never responded to my additional phone calls. To be clear, I was never disrespectful, hateful or rude with his staff. I think they just didn’t want to answer my questions. Why? Here’s my theory:

    1. Acknowledgement of this situation would mean that there is a serious problem.

    2. If there is a problem - there’s blame, someone would need to take responsibility. They won’t take responsibility and I feel this office is lacking the backbone to even point a finger.

    3. They don’t care. Sometimes people do what they do because it’s a calling. Then there are those that do what they do because it’s just a job – and when you are in a position that demands things like (com)passion, relationship building skills and a dedication to do everything you possibly can to keep your community safe… you’re going to really suck at your job.

    … And things will keep getting worse for Lakeview.

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    1. They never call back!

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  12. Someone should ask the 19 commander how many police officers were given the weekend off? I hear it's a lot and it happens all the time. what time to the working ones go home? sounds like around 5:00AM.

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    1. What time do they start? How do you know? If it is so important to you why are you anonymous?

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    2. Cops don't get the "weekend off." When officers earn overtime (time away from family) they can choose to get paid or accrue that time "on the books." Which allows them to take time off at a later date. If there was enough officers there wouldn't be an issue would there? I'm also sure that the district commander in most cases limits this time off.

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  13. Come winter things will slow down a bit and people will forget. Summer will come everyone will be happy and then start complaining until winter comes. That's what politicians count on. You'll notice talk of a drop in crime after there's a cold spell. In the dead of winter all the numbers will be crunched and you'll see the decrease. See? There's no problem with police shortage. There's no problem with robberies. Carry on.

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  14. Just read in the Sun Times that thre is a community alert for a south side neighborhood because 3 or 4 people have been held up by an armed robber.

    Where is our community alert??

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    1. Community Alerts are issued by the detective's division, not the districts, with an assist from news affairs.

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  15. Off Topic, but how should we abbreviate the name of this blog? In the past few days I've seen CIB, CIBT, and others. I usually refer to it as CWB, but do you have a preference?

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    1. We use CWB. Thank you for asking.

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    2. and this has been going on for how long ???

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  16. This a follow-up to my post regarding the SSA#8 matter above from 9/28. Anyone who owns strictly residential property in Lakeview - or anywhere in the city - be it a rental building, single family, or condo that has no commercial business attached to it and is zoned residential should examine all their current and previous real estate tax bills. If there is an "SSA" labeled line item with a dollar amount listed anywhere on the bill, a follow-up inquiry with the city should be done to find out why its there. Some outraged owners told me that they were unaware of the SSA#8 surcharge because they never noticed it on the bill and were paying for years. Martino claimed she notified all of the affected property owners of their pending inclusion within the SSA#8 geographical boundaries. Not true. In end the
    city Law Department in 2005 maintained that a property could not be disconnected (from SSA#8) if it benefited "however slight" from being included. "However slight" was not defined in their Answer to the suit. If a commercial building a block away wants snow removal, flower pots, holiday decorations, what have you, out in front, the owner can pay tax money to the East Lakeview Chamber of Commerce for that (which has an operating budget of about $600,000/yr.) - not the rest of us on a side street.

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