Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wrigleyville, Belmont To Get Tax-Funded Security Patrols

Emergency personnel on the scene of a double-shooting at Belmont and Sheffield last summer. | CWB Chicago reader
Local tax dollars will be used to provide private security patrols for Wrigleyville and the high-crime Belmont Avenue corridor between Halsted and Racine according to a Request For Proposals issued by the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce.

Funds will also go toward establishing a "private security and chamber office" at the high-crime intersection of Belmont and Sheffield.

44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney announced the proposal in a newsletter to constituents on Thursday afternoon, just 25 hours before the filing deadline.

The tax dollars will be drawn from "Special Service Area 17," a long-operating special tax area that the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce is overseeing for the first time in 2017.

Request for Proposals

The LVECC says it is seeking a state-licensed security contractor "to keep patrons and area residents safe" and it expects successful bidders to "identify 'hot spots' and [to] staff accordingly" with peak operations running from mid-March through October.

Notably, the deadline for bids is tomorrow at 5 p.m.

Walsh Security, a firm operated by Chicago police officer Thomas Walsh, currently provides security services to the the Northalsted Business Alliance, which represents many establishments along Boystown's Halsted bar strip.

Walsh Security is also under contract to provide armed guards to the Center on Halsted and a neighboring Whole Foods.

Officer Walsh works in the 19th District's community policing office and he routinely leads the conversation at neighborhood CAPS meetings.

SSA 17 includes Sheffield Avenue from Diversey to Irving Park; Clark Street from Fletcher to Byron; and Belmont Avenue from Halsted to Racine.

Time For A Change

SSA funds are supposed to be used to spruce up streetscapes, enhance security, and boost business along specific corridors.

SSA 17's funds were previously managed by the embarrassingly-run Central Lakeview Merchants Association, which renamed itself "Chicago View" and poured its efforts into (of all things) a print magazine.

For two recent years, "Chicago View" felt that SSA funds would be well-spent by tying undecorated Christmas trees to lamp poles around the area.

When neighbors express concern that tax dollars were being used for the ill-conceived holiday idea, then-SSA 17 Executive Director Gus Isacson told DNAInfo Chicago, "What do they care where the money comes from?"

Tunney stripped SSA 17's operations away from Chicago View in November after cries of poor service and misplaced priorities became too loud for the city to ignore.

"The city wanted to revisit, frankly, how they spend taxpayer money," Tunney aide Chris Jessup told DNAInfo at the time.
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52 comments:

  1. There is no accountability for private police forces-- They have the power to use deadly force and make arrests. Yet, the public and public entities have no practical access to information about their behavior, eluding the ability to hold anyone accountable.

    As security expert Bruce Schneier pointed out to the Huffington Post, “Many of the laws that protect us from police abuse do not apply to the private sector. Constitutional safeguards that regulate police conduct, interrogation and evidence collection do not apply to private individuals. Information that is illegal for the government to collect about you can be collected by commercial data brokers, then purchased by the police... If you’re detained by a private security guard, you don’t have nearly as many rights.”

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    Replies
    1. Good, I'm hoping they bust a few heads and send a message the game is over.

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    2. You're either a criminal or a moron.

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    3. It's sad that some people believe the accountability of the police or security is the issue. How about the accountability of certain segments of society?

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    4. Private security guards do not have the authority to detain people unless you're trespassing on private property, which is, of course, illegal.

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    5. Private security guards do not have the authority to detain people unless you're trespassing on private property, which is, of course, illegal.
      ------------
      You are 100% incorrect.

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    6. "As security expert Bruce Schneier pointed out to the Huffington Post"

      Thanks, Progressives. The grown-ups will take it from here.

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    7. The Security Officers-Public Safety Officers NOT Security Guard so will have the full support of the resident and CPD, if they are using the ones that Patrol Broadway ,Halsted and Clark then that will be a Good thing going they are very good at Thier job, professional and take No bullshit..

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    8. Based on the responses further below, these private police forces are not so fierce after all. Too bad, I was hoping for a squad of mercenaries like the A-team, taking out the villains and breaking all the rules.

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    9. 1) You're quoting HuffPo
      2) Police accountability is not the reason why we're now getting shootings and belmont and sheffield
      3) Private security does not have a power to interrogate or arrest people

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    10. he owns a private security company as a city police officer? ethics violation?...something about not being involved with city funds/contracts.`

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  2. I do not care if criminals lose their rights.

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  3. Hhmm tax dollars for a private firm or to hire more real Police? Where are you citizens of 019? Typing away won't get your point across.

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  4. Pardon me, but this is f'cking CLASSIC Chicago ass-backwardness. Anybody of normal mentality - you couldn't make it up if you tried.
    ------------------
    What's the problem? Crime.
    What's the usual solution? Police.
    What's the Chicago solution? A convoluted, bizarr-o-tax program to hire (mainly) police, who due to their status as private security guards will not have police powers, and who will not have access to police communication or other infrastructure, all at a total cost undoubtedly in excess of hiring ACTUAL police. Jeezus!
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    Tunney, you are nothing but a bell end for promoting this. Shock, I know.
    What an ass-backwards city in an ass-backwards state. Anybody unclear about reasons for the population loss?

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    1. Off duty police officers retain their "police powers" even while acting as private security officers.
      Such as being armed and to make an on-view arrest of a criminal offender.

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    2. Private security officers possess the same powers of arrest as any private citizen who witness a crime.

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    3. Not sure I'm comfortable with the idea of 019th district officer Tom Walsh running private security operations in the 019th.
      Appears to be a huge conflict of interest and shady as sh#t.

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    4. Clearly the solution should involve more police in the area, and not lining the private, less accountable contractors' pockets.
      This is so symptomatic of how these technocrats work - don't solve the problem, just paper over it with some convoluted program. Rahm and Tunney need to be voted out as soon as possible.

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    5. All for the private security. The police are not proactive in our current climate so no other solution unless they actually start doing their intended jobs instead of just responding to calls.

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    6. Let's be VERY VERY clear here whoever (Walsh Security / Tunney ) is posting above.
      Officers acting as private security guards do NOT have the same power as when on duty. Not at all. They have exactly the same power as any other citizen. And yes that includes being armed and enacting a 'citizen arrest' -- only where they have actually witnessed a crime.
      A private security guard may NOT detain a suspect while investigating a crime. They may not search that suspect. They are not to use official police communication equipment or channels. They cannot wear gear identifying them as 'Police'. We can go on and on here.
      There is no such thing as 'Private Police'. Period. End of sentence.
      Maybe @11:42 has it exactly right. Shady as sh#t. Maybe not.
      But 'ass-backwards' - that's certain. Classic Chicago.

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    7. The Police are sworn to be the Police 24/7 so yes they DO have Police power when off duty and working security. Please look into things and get facts straight

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    8. They also get their asses kicked when being nosy and/or butting into business that is none of theirs, especially in bars. I've seen it happen.

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    9. @8:02 PM
      I've noticed your reply is quite precisely worded. Interesting. Misleading too.
      So....let me ask you some very simple questions. Can a police officer, acting as paid private security -
      Wear clothing that identifies them as 'police' during their duty as a security guard?
      Arrest a suspect when they've not witnessed the crime?
      Demand ID from a suspect who's not observed committing a crime?
      Detain someone for questioning who's not observed committing a crime?
      Search that person?
      Use police communication equipment or internal communication channels?
      Or even do such things as run stop signs or go over the speed limit pursuing a suspect not actually observed by that 'officer' committing a crime?
      Here's a hint --- the answer is NO.
      Facts straight. Bullshit dismissed.

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    10. Walsh security got in trouble for that a few years back. The guards where off duty wear CPD gear. They act as only security and in no way can they identify themselves as CPD

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  5. Are these the same worthless security guards we see on the CTA... the ones with the scary looking dogs?

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  6. Wait ... What????!!? A CPD employee operates a private security firm, all in the same district?? Isn't that a conflict of interest?? Oh, my bad, this is Chicago (and I'm sure he's buddy-buddy with Tommy Tunney) so that makes it OK, right? What. The. Actual. Fuck. Is. Going. On. Here???!???!?!?

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  7. rules and ethics don't apply to officer tom, I'm sure tom tunney has already made the deal behind closed doors with him so he can be a millionaire cop and tax payers are so clueless to allow it, including last 3 district commanders, and every sergeant of his who has never referred this to internal affairs or inspector general. he makes more as a security company owner than as a police officer, nice huh

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  8. Will these patrols be during the overnight hours when most of the violent crime had been taking place? 2am to 4am is the shootem up special.

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  9. SSAs are G-d's way of saying, "Local government has failed." Property taxes are supposed to pay for police, fire, street and sidewalk maintenance, bike racks, etc. -- all things that promoters of SSAs cite as they seek to pick the pockets of property owners and (through the resulting higher rents) their tenants.

    In Roscoe Village we've shot down three attempts to pass SSAs. Residents and business owners united each time to overwhelmingly kill the attempt. Mostly, all they had to do was let the facts speak for themselves. SSAs are a terrible waste brought on by greedy individuals/entities wanting to spend other people's money to which they're not entitled. Unlike Tunney, Ald. Scott Waguespack listens to his constituents.

    As with other city services, we already pay taxes for professional law enforcement. That an SSA is looking to purchase "private security" is evidence that the political structure has failed to provide adequate police protection. Of course, was all 19th District readers of CWB know, we are not receiving adequate protection, underscoring the failure of our politicians and police command: Rahm, Tunney, Eddie Johnson, et al.

    It is one more reason why, after very careful consideration, both my wife and I obtained our State of Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses. It is inexcusable that our individual and collective safety should be compromised because city officials have failed to hire enough police officers or to effectively combat the lawlessness of gangbangers, thereby causing the Chicago Police Department to strip officers out of the 19th District and redeploy them on the south and west sides.

    Rahm has failed the citizens of Chicago.

    BTW, my wife and I took our lessons from this group: http://chicagosfinestccl.com/. All the instructors are Chicago Police Officers who are full-time firearm instructors at the Chicago Police Academy. They are a GREAT group of men and women. We wanted to learn from the people who know the law forward and back.

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  10. So Chicago is further moving off the books, this will not turn out well.

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  11. What about Belmont to the lake and the entire Broadway strip?

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  12. Tom Walsh couldn't find a bad guy in a phone booth. Hasn't been on the street except for kissing ass to get what he wants He's a goof

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  13. Lots of bars/rr for sale and I am sure most investors are passing because of the crime. They are about 7 years to late. The problem is way out of control.

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  14. Somehow I get the feeling that this security service will limit it's patrols to Belmont, Clark, Sheffield; and the smaller streets will be unprotected.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe if they use bikes, they can hit those side streets... bike patrol , what a concept ...

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  15. Rahm's bitch Tommy couldn't get them to staff 019 properly, so we have to hire our own. And to think, Tommy has to sign off on it.... sad.

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  16. I've seen Walsh drunk on Halsted a few times. Likes to hang out at Stu Zurin's tacky little fish place. Incredible ... the cronyism in this tragic little 'hood just blows the mind. I've lived here 14 years and thank god I can finally get out of here next month. Good luck, y'all!

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  17. Generally I would think hiring private security (ie off-duty cops) is idiotic compared to, you know, hiring more CPD cops. That being said, given the PC idiocy we've inherited from the outgoing administration, private security might actually make some sense - compared to CPD, they won't be encumbered by the spun narratives of late.

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  18. We pay taxes to the city of Chicago for Police. So now we can pay a special tax so someone connected will furnish pretend police. Why pay taxes to the city if they can't or won't provide real Police to do the job? Time to move far, far away out of this city and state.

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  19. I think the private security idea is the best terrible idea out there. We are not getting real cops so anything is better than nothing. The conflict of interest is pretty real. Imagine refusal to work overtime by Cops- then they get hours working as security guards....really?

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  20. Don't Walshs guy already do Halsted, Clark, and the Center on Halsted. A real success story there. Not 1 off duty CPD guy either. How many of his people have been arrested.

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  21. Someone should let the Inspector General know about this cop who is making money off private businesses in the area he works. This sounds like an ethics violation.

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    Replies
    1. I think people should realize the businesses on Halsted are a big problem and Center on Halsted.

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  22. My firm can service that area.Please put me in touch with the Alder person.

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  23. "Walsh"? Where does that name ring a Bell? Hmmmm, "Walsh" ,"Walsh" ,"Walsh" .....

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  24. When I worked that district we were supported by the citizens, well more then they are now at least. Nowadays every time a cop has someone pulled over you have dozens of aspiring activists video taping him and a Dept. itching to find some reason to suspend him. Theres nothing more pathetic then a bunch of drunken , babbling Wrigley'ites coming to the rescue of some street rat with 15 sheets of prior arrests.
    You Liberals made your bed, now sleep in it. Im so damn glad Im out of this BS game you have no idea. And now you want to hire the clouted Walsh family to come to your rescue?
    Methinks your drinking to much and smoking to much weed in Wrigleville. But hey, at least the Cubs won one.

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  25. I retired from the Chicago Police Department, and was assigned for 20 years to the Mass Transit Unit, 701 and 702. The Belmont station and Wilson station were consistently the worst stations on the entire North side of the System. However the reasons were different: Wilson, was a transient area with one of the last transient hellhole hotels on the North Side, that being the Wilson Men's Club, literally across the street from the station. There were also for many years day labor recruitment right under the station. Alcohol was consumed in front of the station and fights erupted, the area was in chaos. Belmont was entirely different, because here individuals came to the area specifically to prey upon the Gay Community and Straight residents. It has been that way for the last twenty years, and if anyone doubts me, simply review the home addresses of the arrested offenders and the home addresses of the victims! That is the academic evidence and reality. (Since retiring I teach Criminal Justice and a Community College.) The security of that area is NOT a Private Security Task, but should be a Police task addressed by deployment of Chicago Police. Prior to his retirement, there was an officer who controlled the area, but he alone could not work all 24 hrs. The Reality, to put it bluntly rests on the Alderman's inability to carry his weight with Rahm. Your alderman SOLD YOU OUT! I don't know if it was because he is naive, or incompetent. He supports everything Rahm asks for, and he gets nothing in return! And his Gay Sycophants in the Community Relations Office, are there only to stay off the street until their promotions and now to profit from this venture into Conflict of Interest. The use of Police Computers to enhance a private business venture, in this case to evaluate and analyze crime raises some very touch issues. Meanwhile overtaxed residents and visitors to what is becoming the Main Nightclub area in the City will continue to be beaten, robbed and sexually assaulted by an Protected Class of Criminals. The Alderman's inability to stand up to the Mayor is going to result in someone being killed or severely injured. When bad acts have No Consequences, the bad conduct will continue.

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    Replies
    1. Well stated and sums up our problem well. Tunney must go.

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    2. Could not agree more!

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  26. If we are to get private security - I vote we get that black security officer who used to work at The Whole Foods. Dude looked like Blade! My kids and I thought he was the coolest!

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    Replies
    1. He was having sex with the transsexual women and attacked a
      Women. He harassed many people who came thru and bought drugs from them. Sorry to break your hopefully heart.

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  27. http://www.lakevieweast.com/news/lakeview-plans-for-extra-security-funded-by-special-service-area-17/

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