Wednesday, September 16, 2015

TOO MANY HOOPS: Crime Reporting Site Says Police HQ, Wrigley Field, And Your House Aren't In Chicago

UPDATE 9:19PM:  The web site is now utilizing a street prediction function.

Addresses within the city are now accepted and police reports may be filed online.

Our original report follows.

The Chicago Police Department online crime reporting site does not recognize addresses as being in the CPD's jurisdiction, including 1060 W. Addison, the address of Wrigley Field.

Chicago police executives are bragging about an 8% reduction in crime this year (even though murders and other difficult-to-hide crimes have increased).

But part of the crime "reduction" is almost certainly the result of the hurdles that citizens must jump to simply report an incident.

CWB Chicago has now learned that the Chicago Police Department web site that is supposed to allow citizens to file police reports online doesn't work, adding yet another layer of frustration.

John Hancock Center is not in Chicago, according to the police site.
Tipped off by a reader who tried to file a package theft report online this week, CWB editors decided to give it a try. Every time we tried to submit a report, the site told us that the address we entered is not in the CPD's jurisdiction. We should try calling to file a report over the phone, the site said.

We tried to report criminal damage at 1060 W. Addison. According to the CPD site, that address—the location of Wrigley Field—is not in their jurisdiction.

We tried to report a bicycle theft from outside of the John Hancock Center at 875 N. Michigan Avenue. That's not in CPD territory, either, the site says.

Chicago police headquarters? It's "not" in Chicago, either.
We even tried to report criminal trespassing to a vehicle in the Chicago Police Department headquarters parking lot at 3510 S. Michigan. But, you guessed it, the Chicago Police Department headquarters is apparently not in the Chicago Police Department's jurisdiction.

When the department re-introduced its reporting site last winter, it reassured the public that web-based reporting would be just as good as filing with an officer in person.
The police department pledges that online property crime reporting and anonymous tips are not destined for an electronic black hole. Officials said they will be followed up.
Considering that the department can't get the front side of the site to function, why should we believe that the backside is working as promised?

More Of The Same

The online crime reporting failure is the newest roadblock that lies between citizens and accurate crime statistics—but it's hardly the first.

Chicago Police Department policies prohibit the dispatch of police officers to crimes unless someone is injured or an offender is still on-scene. That often means that citizens must sit on hold until an officer becomes available to take their report over the phone.

Chicago has also reduced the number of cops on patrol by double-digits, decreasing the number of cops who are available to handle calls that do get dispatched.

And, as CWB Chicago reported in February, Chicago had a secret "confidential" classification that prevented some crimes from appearing in the online database that is used by major media outlets to compile statistics.

A Freedom Of Information request for a list of cases that went missing due to the "confidential" classification has been ignored by the Chicago Police Department for nearly seven months.
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  1. You will love this CWB. Just like the actual CPD reporting system that the cops use, sometimes the address is not recognized because you did not put in "Avenue" or "Street" or "Boulevard". The city doesn't want anything to be easy to use and simple to operate.

    1. Thought of that. That's why we used "Ave" in one, "Avenue" in another and no descriptor in the third. We tried to make it work. :)

    2. Av is the recognized abbreviation for Avenue. Everything is 2-letters like state abbreviations.

    3. If "Av" is the correct abbreviation, perhaps they should offer a formatting example? Who is going to guess that "Av" is the abbreviation for avenue

  2. Sorry, spoke too soon. I see you have the correct address for CPD HQ. Maybe it's not recognized because the only crime there is the waste of overtime money that is spent with little results instead of hiring more police to do the job.

  3. Did anyone see the Channel 7 report last evening, 9/15, with Tom Tunney standing in front of a few police officers addressing the media on the crime spree hitting Lakeview? He said that everyone should watch their belongings --- and also their drinks! It was pathetic and he was smirking and smiling through it all. Tell that to all those women mugged and beaten in his ward! It was a fake sideshow that reveals how he couldn't care less.

  4. At least it was a great photo opportunity for Tunney. The last one he had was about a week ago cutting a ribbon on some hot dog joint. What a great part time job. Our tax dollars at work.

    1. To the tune of $110K a year. Tunneys is spineless, useless, clueless, and ineffective. Dear God in Heaven, someone intelligent and knowledgeable please run for this office next time, and mount a hell of a campaign way in advance.

    2. $110,000 X 50 Alderfools....and let's not forget about all the extra money they get for their office, staff, expenses, etc. Sickening amount of money for a "broke" city to have to pay when a rubber stamp would do.

  5. This happened to me last year when I tried to report a theft online (I live near Diversey & Sheffield); I finally had to call to make the report over the phone. The dispatcher took down my phone number incorrectly which lead to a patrol officer showing up at my doorstep at 6AM asking why I had filed a "false report" (since the detective assigned to the case was unable to contact me). Go figure.

  6. You can't make this stuff up. Maybe if your address is not in Chicago according to CPD website, you don't have to pay city taxes? Good timing to avoid the increase and get a rebate for all those years past.

    1. Excellent point! If your property isn't recognized as being in the City by its own police department, then no city property taxes would be due.
      On the plus side further, the Cook County Sheriff's police and Illinois state Police should be patrolling the city.

    Smoke and mirrors

    1. While I'm grateful anytime the increase in crime gets more coverage, that clip is a joke - the outdoor roll call? That idea was laughable when Michelle Smith did it in her ward not too long ago and it's even more of a joke now. I'm sure the thugs are shaking seeing a whopping six officers lined up for that. Plus that idiot Tunny advising people to be "street smart.....and watch your drink." I don't even know where to begin with that. What a moron & the reporter at the end mentioning residents should use "common sense when out....and report anything out of the ordinary." Hell, they don't need us to report it, take a camera around the neighborhood every night & you'll have no problem seeing the thugs & jackals waiting to prey on people.

  8. Will this city that works not recognize us on line when it comes time to file taxes? Just another way for McJersey to cook the books so his keeper looks good.

  9. This is a story that Pam Zekman or Carol Marrine would probably cover.
    Maybe even the two guys from Chicago Magazine who wrote the crime piece last year.

    1. I was thinking the same thing....

  10. Remember - No report, No crime.

  11. Did he hand out cinnamon rolls and coffee to the 4 people that showed up?

  12. fwiw I just filed an online police report (stolen bikes) and had no problems using my address in Roscoe Village. Though I had a prior account for this portal, as I've filed online a couple times, so maybe that helped the system recognize me? Keep up the good work CWB.

    1. That's cute that you can create an account online to file crime reports in Chicago.

      Does it have a rewards club or membership card too?

    2. They email you a coupon code for VIP squad car dispatch on your next home invasion 911 call.

    3. ... and today I received the below email saying I had to call it in (can't submit report online) - likely since I claimed a $1000 loss in my online report; limit I think is $500 to submit online - though no mention of that in below explanation. ugh

      "We are unable to complete your report at this time. The incident that you have described is considered a burglary (from garage) report and can be completed via telephone by calling (312) 746-6000.

      Thank you,

      Online Officer
      Chicago Police Department"

  13. Want to have some fun with Clearmap? For the time period of 08/28 - 09/10, run a ½ mile radius search for the following crimes:

    Homicide 1st & 2nd degree
    Involuntary Manslaughter
    Criminal Sexual Assault
    Aggravated Assault
    Aggravated Battery
    Simple Assault
    Simple Battery

    Number of crimes returned this morning:

    47 - 1438 W. 63rd St. - Englewood Police Station
    76 - 850 W. Belmont - 19th District
    83 - 3223 N. Sheffield - 44th Ward Office

    Good times.

    Oh, and I ran numbers out of curiosity, not comparing the neighborhoods. Don’t get your panties in a bunch.