Monday, February 29, 2016

Losing More Cops, Neighborhood Force Hits All-Time Low

"Thank you to the many residents writing and calling both my office and the Mayor’s Office for the promised increase in officers to the 19th District. We continue to push Chicago Police Department leadership for an update on those incoming officers, and will share updates as they are received."            - Ald. Tom Tunney, February 24 
No need to wait, dear readers. Today, we're giving you the information that Tom does not want you to have.

Newly-acquired Chicago Police Department staffing reports show that manpower in the 19th district dropped to its lowest level ever last month, with only 331 cops working the streets here. The same area was served by 468 officers just four years ago.

The continuing atrophy of police resources in the sprawling district comes despite assurances from local aldermen that the 19th district would get more cops in exchange for their votes in favor of Chicago’s record-breaking property tax hike last fall.

After casting his vote for the $589 million tax increase last October, local alderman Tom Tunney said, "I have been assured that 35 additional police officers will be assigned to the 19th District in 2016, including 25 in the first quarter and another ten during the rest of the year."

Uptown alderman James Cappleman echoed Tunney, adding that he would "be in constant communication with the 19th district commander and [former Chicago Police] Supt. McCarthy to make sure they fulfill their commitment."

Eight officers were allowed to transfer into Town Hall during November and another 15 transferred in during December, but their arrivals were offset by retirements, officers who transferred out, and “detailing”—the term used when an officer is technically assigned to a district, but actually reports to work somewhere else.

Last month, sixty of the 19th district’s police officers were “detailed out” to work elsewhere, department records show.

A Time Of Need

There's no doubt that residents of our district—which stretches from Fullerton to Lawrence and from the Chicago River to Lake Michigan—need our police force back.

Overall crime is up 22% so far this year, with robberies, burglaries, and criminal damage to property reports all soaring 100% or more, according to city data.

Neighbors grilled Tunney about the status of the additional officers during a community policing meeting in early February, according to DNAInfo:
Tunney told them... there would be 10 additional officers in the first quarter, with 30 total coming in 2016 — five fewer than originally promised.
Tunney
When neighbors asked for clarification, Tunney stood firm.
"I'm telling you what I committed to," he said. "I don't know where your information is coming from."
Tunney eventually conceded after one person read from Tunney's own newsletter announcing the deal.
"I might be wrong — I'm not saying that — but I'm saying the vacancies are fluid," he said. "What I want to be held accountable for when we go into the budget vote is to make sure we've got that 30-plus, 35. To know the mayor committed to what he committed to us, Ald. [James] Cappleman and I, for the 19th."
After the meeting, [Tunney aide Chris] Jessup clarified that Tunney had misspoke and that his office was still expecting the 25 officers this quarter and 35 total.
To the surprise of few, it’s looking very much like we’ve been sold a $589 million bill of goods.

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43 comments:

  1. How do you know when a politician is lying?... He opens his mouth.

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  2. Now is that number the actual true amount of Officers working IN the district? Or is this the number only assigned to the district but also detailed out, on long term leave, medicinal etc?

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    1. And so you know slower districts often send their tact teams to faster districts, especially when they work overtime. Even less resources for you guys. Not to mention details for bike detail and summer beach details

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    2. Good catch here / good comment.
      I'd bet a bucket full of money that there's nowhere NEAR 331 beat cops & supervisors etc actually working in the 019.
      Anybody want to take that....Bueller?....Anyone?...

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    3. According to CPD's Research & Development office, 331 officers are assigned to actually work here in the 19th district. 60 more are detailed out.

      The reader who handles many of our Freedom of Information requests, including over a dozen requests for manpower stats since 2013, has always asked for the same information: "The number of sworn officers of all ranks who were assigned to the 19th district on or about [DATE]."

      Starting last September, the responses that the reader received showed a mysterious spike in manpower. After a number of phone calls and reviews of previous manpower documentation, we learned that every department response before September had NOT included officers who were "detailed out."

      In September, the department--responding to the exact same FOIA request verbiage--began adding detailed officers to the totals that they provided.

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    4. (....impressed..) Wow, thank you for that very fast and very detailed response CWB.
      And this is not to create discord or add to the workload - but my point about the 331, sadly, had to do with the definition of 'assigned'. As we've seen 'Assigned' here doesn't really mean they work beats or patrols or respond to calls in the district.
      But at least we can use the number as a consistent measuring stick.

      On a different topic, would it be possible to put a big red arrow on the "Police Officers Assigned' histogram - pointing to the month where Tommy T promised the 35 additional officers? Maybe put that pic of TT on the arrow.
      I'm not saying I mistrust the guy. It's just that I don't believe him at all.

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    5. Brilliant minds think alike. We will eventually be adding an indicator of where the promise was made. We are awaiting "detailed out" numbers from CPD for the months between August and January so we can fill the missing months on our graph.

      The chart is a consistent measure, showing only the number of assigned officers who were actually supposed to work here in the district.

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  3. Obviously many complaints are not being dealt with on the local level. Maybe some people need to write or call Senators, Congressmen, Department of Justice etc and make these complaints of understaffed police Dept and the overall feeling of fear and the city being unsafe

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  4. So can I just promise I'll pay more property taxes and then pay less and just never make up the rest without punishment? No I can't, so why are Tunney and Rham allowed to do this? I want some people impeached or my taxes back.

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  5. Tunney is the worst.

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  6. I predict that Rahm will no longer be Mayor by the end of summer. All of his pandering to criminals has resulted in them turning against him. The Aldermen and State's Attorney and other politicians will need to distance themselves from him to get re-elected. The cops hate his guts. His own aides are getting out fast like rats on a sinking ship. More accurate details will emerge regarding his son's mugging. Fraud indictments for felony financial crimes are being investigated. A new Mayor may be able to increase police manpower in our district. Tunney is an impotent, whining liar and cannot do a thing about it one way or the other...so quoting him is a useless exercise.

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  7. I have asked Tunney's office to provide a definitive # of officers that will be staffed in our district as of March 31. Falling short of this goal by even a single officer should be the last straw for our alderman, who was never held accountable for his false statement that the original merging of districts 19 and 23 would not result in officer losses.

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    1. Merging is always about efficiencies, i.e. doing more with less. City Hall spoke of saving money by closing buildings thereby lowering the operating expenses. Well the old 19th district station (Belmont/Western) is still open and prisoners are still transported to that lock-up. The citizens of those districts got played for fools. YES your district's police staffing levels have been reduced big time. Same story with the 13th & 12th district mergers, except the City does not use the old 13th district building. Talk about woefully understaffed districts. Beat cars are routinely "downed" meaning that those cars are not manned. The neighboring beat cars have to cover that area as a result. The problem is compounded by the fact that the mergers increased the size of the beats so response times increase as well. Good luck having an officer respond to your call for service during peak traffic times. The mergers must be undone, all beats SHOULD be manned, and the City must significantly increase the number of officers patrolling in beat cars. Residents of the affected districts need to keep pressuring the City for this.

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  8. We have quite the negotiator working on our behalf. He accepts empty toothless promises and will "share" updates when and if they come as follow up. LOL. How about constant pressure you jag off.

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  9. I am so tired of seeing this lying alderthing's puss mugshot in the media - and every time it is about his lies and deceit with regard to increased police staffing. He needs to go. Do NOT re-elect him next time around! Meantime what can we do to make our ward safer? I fear the crime numbers for spring and summer this year will be epic and at levels previously unimaginable. Dear God, help us all.

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  10. Perhaps he is trying very hard but there is nothing to give. These may simply be the initial tremors of a terminally ill city. We know there is a piper to pay and that tax raise is the first wave of the squeeze to come.

    Remember, even at current understaffed levels of city services the municipality runs a deficit. Prepare for more taxes and more service cuts. If you do not want to weather the storm which may take down the city, get out now.

    Hollow bitching will get you nowhere. The situation is not going to change save some sort of unforeseen windfall.

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    1. I don't consider holding my alderman responsible for doing what he promised to be hollow or bitching. The man said he made a deal in exchange for his vote to take my money. He's wearing this jacket until results are seen.

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    2. @ Anonymous 1:50PM - Nope, I hold him accountable, and here's why. He KNEW going into that budget vote that not one single additional officer would be given over or assigned to District 019. HE KNEW IT. He only needed something to tie in to his vote for support of Tiny Dancer Rahm's massive scandalously obscene budget. What a pair ... Tunney and Tiny. Oh, for some fresh faces in the governmental makeup of this city!

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  11. Magnificent TunneyPic CWB.
    Award winner, that!
    Now I'll need to go clean the coffee out of my keyboard.

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    1. It's one of our favorites, too. It perfectly captures the look we've received on several occasions.

      Sorry about your keyboard.

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    2. I agree. That photo is perfect. What a tool.

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  12. OK everybody - watch for this one ---
    1) Police staffing levels will decline this year to about 310 / 315
    2) Then just in time for election campaigning....
    3) Staffing levels will increase to about current levels (+20 or 25)
    Presto----- "Increased Resources" Promise Kept

    See. That half-a-billion in property tax increases. Got what we paid for, right?

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  13. Now in his last e-mail blast, we have to deal with a garbage tax imposed on us, voted by the city council that will impose a fee of $9.00 plus a month for garbage pick up and will be added to our water and sewer tax bill. Next will be the tax added every month to the air we breath........... Tom, here is a good one for the council - how about a tax on the air we put in the tires of our bicycles . . . . Hum ? Think about it.

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  14. It's not chicago anymore. . . . It's Gotham city

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  15. Oh, how about cutting the city council from 50 part time do nothings to 25 part time do nothings. How many millions will we save ? ? ?

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    1. Exactly! And "part time do nothings" is a good description of all of them. It is obscene that they get paid all this money, not to mention benefits & pensions for life after "working" for the city.

      I say we can even do better. Get rid of all of them and replace them with a $12 rubber stamp. All they ever do is vote in favor of whatever the mayor wants (been this way for YEARS) so why even have any Alderfools? They do not represent the people of Chicago, they represent enriching themselves & their cronies. I hate them all.

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  16. Are folks interested in using the hashtag #RecallTunney?

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  17. It's his happy face!

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  18. Yeah but those cinnamon rolls though...

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    1. Fuck the cinnamon rolls. This alderpuss has ridden on the coattails of his sticky buns and being "openly gay" for long enough. We want action. We want leadership. We want someone with a spine and a brain and some cajones to do what is necessary to lead ward 44 and stave off this crime element.

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  19. Don't vote for Kim Fox. She's preckwinkle's puppet.

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  20. Seems to me that Lakeview residents need to start taking their security in their own hands. Even an increase of 10-20 cops isn't going to deter all of these criminals which have found Lakeview to full of easy targets.

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  21. You gotta protect the neighborhoods that make the money and pay the bills.

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    1. "You gotta protect the neighborhoods that make the money and pay the bills."

      You would think that, right? But it seems to be the exact opposite. They keep taking away our police & send them to the gang infested areas where people refuse to cooperate with the police.

      I bought a condo here, pay taxes, feel I'm a contributing member of the neighborhood....but I ask myself....how much longer am I gonna last here? I already stopped going out in our neighborhood's "entertainment districts." I stopped doing that years ago because I feared for my safety. I go elsewhere to spend my hard earned money, where there is less of a chance of being jumped and beaten for my phone & wallet.

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  22. We'll get more police when someone is mugged outside Ann Sathers.

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    1. Tried that. Didn't work.

      http://www.cwbchicago.com/2013/09/confirmed-daylight-robbery-attempt.html

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  23. The cops can't do anything but show up and take a report in any case. Unless they actually witness a crime in progress, they are neutered. The ACLU-drafted/Rahm-accepted rules of engagement for the CPD means veteran street smart officers can no longer stop and frisk suspicious characters without fear of suspension, dismissal or worse. The dramatic drop in gun seizures and spiraling rise in shootings is a direct result of turning police operations over to the ACLU.

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    1. You are spot on! Any copper that still is proactive is an absolute moron. Good look explaining your reasonable suspicion in federal court. Unless there is someone on scene willing to sign complaints, I didn't see anything. Even suspected crimes in progress, I don't see anything. Imagine in the ghetto someone breaks into a garage and you see them pulling items out, stop them, can't find the homeowner or they refuse to sign complaints but you cuffed this person, arrested them or worse, they fight/flee and you have to use force but can't arrest because of no complaints. That is what's called up shit's creek with no paddle. No thank you, I'll just keep rolling.


      There is even talk of revamping our use of force to not engage to arrest combative subjects. If their identify is known, do a case report and seek a warrant. What if they are never like "okay, I'm ready to go peacefully now?" Our department orders literally outline termination for acts of cowardice but we are in a position where we have to be cowards...or blind. I choose being blind.

      Sorry public. Realize that we are people. We have worked hard to get where we are, many of us have family and other obligations. We already risk our lives, which we are fine with. We draw the line at certain financial ruin, jail time, termination and character assassination of we can avoid it. I don't see how we can be any other way and you would see the same thing if you patrol where we do and see the world for what it is.

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    2. Sad but true. If I see a group of suspicious characters, I will turn around and run.

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    3. What a nightmare, we are on our own and criminals around the city know it. Blood in the water and the sharks are circling. Its going to get a lot worse as the criminals learn more and more how to get away with their crimes in this new era.

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    4. Anyone contributing to the ACLU is an idiot. Their actions protect muggers and gangs more than the victims of crime throughout this city. That said, the police need to get rid of the 1% giving the 99% decent honest cops a bad image.

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    5. Can you specify with the 1% of bad cops? As in, where the percent came from and what makes them bad? I'm not saying no bad cops exist. However, i will say there is always three sides to every story: his side, here side and the truth. "Bad cops" don't just beat, shoot, yell at people for zero reason. You may argue that they are excessive but you do so from safety. Personally, I don't Monday morning QB cops or soldiers because I live both lives and have been in situations where there is no good response. As I've learned from NCO schools "the worst decision a leader could make is no decision at all." Sometimes, there is simply no magically good outcome and decision. This is real life. If you have fought a man high on PCP on a rooftop all alone or have seen a patty wagon's door nearly kicked off the hinges by a high subject, please tell me how you were not excessive and tell me how you never thought of shooting said persons to save your own life. Until then, I don't buy your 1%. I blame criminals for confronting Police and innocent persons and forcing them to protect themselves.

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  24. Did anyone here also hear that the districts gang team has been sent to the west side and told they are not coming back? A team of officers solely dedicated to dealing with our gang problem gets moved and the community doesn't get a say so? How's that for a bad return on investment as far as a tax increase goes?

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