Sunday, June 04, 2017

Private Patrols: Promoted As "Off-Duty Cops," The Truth Is Much Different

The guy on the right looks like a cop, but he's not. He patrols for Walsh Security. | Facebook

This is Part One of a three-part report on the relationship between policing and private security patrols in Wrigleyville and Boystown. See Part Two HERE.  See Sidebar HERE.  See Part Three Here.

When business and community groups decide to hire private security patrols, they consistently suggest that the guards will be of off-duty police officers.

Yet an extensive investigation by CWBChicago has found that off-duty cops rarely work private patrols on the North Side. And that’s the relatively good news.

We found patrols staffed by a convicted felon, security officers who try to appear to be Chicago cops, and guards who aren’t even licensed by the state.

Patchwork Of Patrols

The North Side’s Lakeview neighborhood is probably scoured by more private patrols than any other part of the city.

A patchwork of at least six patrols covers a small area of the neighborhood near Wrigley Field: Southport Community Alliance; the Chicago Cubs’ Safe At Home Patrol; the Barry Ashland Racine Roscoe (BARR) patrol; two taxpayer-subsidized groups; and the Northalsted Business Alliance (NBA) all have their hands in the mix.

The Southport group is funding patrols by American Heritage Protective Services of southwest suburban Alsip. A member of the Alliance claims that all of its patrols come from American Heritage's law enforcement division and all of its guards are off-duty or retired police. We have not been able to independently verify those claims.

Patrols in the BARR district have been conducted by, among others, an off-duty Phoenix police officer. For the unfamiliar, Phoenix is a village of 1,900 people in southern Cook County.

The Cubs have not stated publicly who it has hired to patrol the streets near Wrigley Field. But, they have said that the guards are "off-duty police officers."

Yet no group has had its hand in privately patrolling the public way longer than Northalsted, which spent $75,000 for private security on its streets in 2015 alone.

The vast majority of that money went to Walsh Security, a venture owned and operated by 19th District Police Officer Thomas J. Walsh. Walsh's firm has been patrolling Boystown’s bar strip ever since.

Like other private security sponsors, Northalsted publicly states that their private patrol is comprised of off-duty police officers.

Our investigation found the facts to be much different.

Our team checked the backgrounds of fourteen men who worked for Walsh Security on Northalsted over the past two years. 

With the exception of Walsh, none of them is a Chicago Police officer, according to city records. And three of them have regulatory concerns.

A Felon On Patrol

Two summers ago, we reported that Walsh’s Northalsted patrol staff included a convicted felon whose permit to work as a security guard in the state had been revoked years earlier. 

He lost his license after being convicted of posing as a cop in suburban Kane County. Related charges of armed robbery and armed violence were dropped in exchange for the man’s plea deal, according to a report on his defense attorney’s website.

Walsh Security was said to be “reviewing its hiring process” after our report, according to the Northalsted Business Alliance’s then-executive director.

But, the convicted felon is once again patrolling Northalsted for Walsh after receiving a probationary permit from the state.

Licensing Issues

While it’s now legal for the man to patrol, hiring a convicted felon to protect the neighborhood is certainly different from hiring off-duty cops, as promoted.

And our investigation has found that other men working for Walsh Security do not possess state-mandated licenses.

Two of the fourteen men that we identified as Walsh Security workers are not licensed to work as security guards in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

None of the fourteen men is a Chicago police officer.

Not A Cop

Also troubling is this: Some Walsh security workers have a practice of dressing like cops when, in fact, they are not.


Yes, that's Dennis Rodman. No, that's not a Chicago cop. | Facebook
Wearing symbols commonly associated with the police department is against state law and violates a Chicago Police Department special order:
"...any person who wears or displays an article or insignia such as a checkerboard pattern hatband, Chicago flag shoulder patch, etc., is in violation of [state law] if it can reasonably be inferred that in wearing or displaying such articles or insignia he is falsely representing himself to be a Chicago police officer."
Nonetheless, Walsh Security workers—who frequently wear police-like tactical vests and whose badges closely resemble Chicago Police Department stars—have been seen sporting checkerboard designs on radios and in their vest pockets. One Walsh agent has been seen wearing a checkerboard winter hat. None of the men involved is a Chicago cop.

A security firm that hires a convicted police impersonator and then deploys guards who further blur the line by using Chicago police symbols such as checkerboard hats only seems to be asking for trouble. 

But that's only the beginning. CWB's series of reports continues on Monday.

Walsh declined to comment for this report. The Northalsted Business Alliance did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
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73 comments:

  1. Yeah, I remember the one with the saggy pants with his ass exposed thing going on and thought how easy it would be for someone to snatch that gun out of his holster that was at his knees. And if it hit the ground...

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    1. Do we know he worked for this walsh guy?

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    2. 3 weeks ago one his guys choked a kid out on clark and Cornelia. Complete conflict of interest that a LT has a private security item in his own district . If anyone dials 911 on any of them how can a patrolman do anything when his boss owns the company.

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    3. None of the reporting seems to address why these patrols are needed. Just YouTube search fights in boys town. I

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    4. "None of the reporting seems to address why these patrols are needed. Just YouTube search fights in boys town."

      Really? None of our reporting addresses that? None of it in four years? Really? You seem a little biased here.

      See, "THESE" patrols are NOT needed. There are plenty of other companies that can do the job right if the present company doesn't want to.

      Delete
  2. I have many many photograohs of these police impersonators who portray and even tell drunken kids they are official Chicago police officers and search and ask for identification on public way which is huge civil rights violations as they are regular joe citizens with no legal authority wearing Chicago police gear and real authorized Chicago police who patrol are afraid to take action because officer tom Walsh of the commander caps office will threaten to ruin their jobs

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    1. Lets educate you shall we? A Licensed security person acting under authority of his PERC card HAS the right (called reasonable suspicion) to detain someone (Terry V Ohio) and to identify that person. Meaning they CAN ask you for ID. Should you refuse to produce that ID you CAN be arrested for Obstruction. Asking someone SUSPECTED of a crime for ID is NOT a "huge violation of civil rights". You stand on a public street trying to enter a bar. You are asked for ID. I dont recall you BITCHING about THAT which exactly mirrors the above narrative. With regards to "official looking" insignias on Non Police Persons, you can report that to the IDPFR since they,not the chicago police department,regulate security persons. You MAY want to clarify what you mean by "chicago police gear" as well. I worked some of the worst areas in Chicago, (The projects) and never saw a need to "look like a chicago police officer" by wearing a star patch or a chicago flag on my uniform. It was later ruled (Luckmann) that simply wearing a Chicago Flag on a uniform without other insignias does NOT qualify as impersonating a police officer. KNOW the law before you mewl...Thanks!

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    2. The Madman had better go back to school. He is grossly uninformed. The only "authority" a PERC card gives you is the ability to lawfully work as a security guard. Nothing else. Terry v. Ohio relates to police officers conducting stops, not security guards. Oh, screw it. Why even bother. Read, man. Read.

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  3. How typical and methodical of CWB to post nothing but slander and negativity.. why not post about all the positive things about Walsh security has done for the community if it wasn't for Walsh to Curity the community be a lot more dangerous on the weekends as the city of Chicago a.k.a. CPD does not have enough manpower on the street to serve and protect there for the private security patrols are greatly needed , I may not know all the individual officers of all security but I certainly can tell you firsthand they protect me I made a big difference in this community

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    1. Coherent sentences. We've heard of them.

      CPD doesn't have enough manpower - that's not saying anything. That's like saying water's wet.

      Does anyone else find it weird that private "security" who acts like cops run by a cop to patrol an area of a district that the cop works in seem... odd? In the private sector we would call that a conflict of interest, but this is Chicago...

      Delete
    2. Are you kidding me, CWB is doing what the newspapers all seem incapable of, giving us the facts. If the Newspapers went back to fact based journalism they would probably save their constant decline but instead they are intent on ramming PC edited opinion, not so subtly disguised as news, down our throats.
      I am grateful for all the work that CWB does. Thank you CWB

      Delete
    3. THE TRUTH is you're as logic-challenged as a garden slug.
      Good god man, learn to read.

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    4. @TRUTH, Walsh, is that you???

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    5. Walsh, stop posting and get back to work please.

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    6. Walsh himself must have written that post. It's a huge conflict of interest for the 019th bar liaison to run security for the bar districts. And hiring guards masquerading as cops is disreputable.
      It's a scam.

      Delete
  4. The guy in the pic w Dennis Rodman has been saying he's a cop for years. He's often belligerently drunk in the hood and problem causing in bars. I know that he has been asked to leave bars for getting involved in incidents that have nothing to do w him posing as an officer

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    1. Also have seen him thrown out, in fights and always suggesting he is CPD. Justin Schneider on social media

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    2. Met him last summer for pride. Said they work with not for.... Bit confused on this add? 🤔🤔🤔

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    3. His social media posts paint a picture of someone who might be construed as a "boi toi" type, hanging out with a bunch of his pretty friends on a yacht, etc...does not strike me as a "serious" type of person, just sayin'...

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    4. I know him personally and he has never told me he is a cop. He gets paid to work security, everyone needs to make a living people. He is not dressing up and pretending, he is out there working. Its not the safest thing to be out there, and as security even less safe!!

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    5. Wearing checkerboard CPD hats when you are not a police officer IS pretending. Cry us a river over these brave young souls marching the beaches of Halsted Street. Clean this mess up.

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  5. Walsh pays these people nothing, then pockets the rest. Its the Chicago way.

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  6. Walsh lives and works in Lakeview but Security is incorporated in burbs to end around conflict guidelines. Look it up

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    1. I completely agree. I have met him before and he has always stated that he work with and not for.

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    2. "I completely agree. I have met him before and he has always stated that he work with and not for."

      A normal, non-misleading statement of one's occupation would be "I work for Walsh Security" or "I'm with Northalsted security." NOT "I work with the police."

      Hey, we work with the police, too. But we don't dress up like one and sport a CPD hat while telling people that we work"with" them.

      Delete
    3. @ Crime in boys town,
      Am I missing sometging here? I dont see any CPD hat on this guys head? Seems like you need to get a life.

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    4. Seems like you need to get a CLUE. CWB can't make this any fucking clearer.

      Delete
  7. https://www-nbcchicago-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Passenger-Rescues-Woman-Hit-by-CTA-Red-Line-Train-378325541.html?amp=y&amp_js_v=0.1

    Saw him on the news a few years ago... Seems like a good guy to have working in the area to me. I see nothing that says Chicago Police???

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  8. Tom Walsh is a great Police Officer honest and loyal, his many Security Officers that ihave met are awesome . I lived on North Halsted for the past 12 years and nothing but good has cone out of they Halsted Security Officers being around, i ribbed and gun point a friend called 911 as the thugs that robbed me stoled my phone, i took CPD 35 mins to respond but took the Halsted Security 5 mins and they caught the guy /detained him and handed him over to CPD for the arrest. If it wasnt for the Halsted Security guys quick and proffesional actions this scum bag thug would had gotten away.... we need more Halsted Security and more Cops thatcare and do thier job like Tom Walsh.... Stop with the B------t making people look bad and start posting the postive good things that they do.... until a crime is commited or a actual legit complaint is filed with legit victom move on CWB !!!


    FYI several of the 50+ Security Officers are off duty Pollice from various agencies etc so get your facts straight...... if there was No. Halsted Security we been in big trouble....... the THUGS are trying to take over Boystown and the surrounding areas we need these guys as well as CPD !!! Maybe CWB should go on patrol with them one night and see what they really do and how much a differnce they make instead of creating drama !!!!

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    1. Thanks for the info Mr Walsh. Only in Chicago.

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    2. So the report says that the story being told (i.e. that the security guards are "Off-duty Chicago Cops") is not actually what's happening in practice. Would we rather have non-cop security patrols as opposed to nothing? Well sure we would. Would we also rather they just tell the truth up-front? Again, well sure we would. But transparency doesn't seem to be a thing we get outside of CWB reporting. From the (actually transparent) CPD reporting it also sounds like there's a whole lot of conflict of interest and perhaps not nearly the level of competence or professionalism associated with the Walsh or other patrol crews.

      On another note I'm glad to hear that your single experience with the Walsh Security has been positive.

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    3. Our story is not about whether or not Mr. Walsh is a nice guy.

      Also, there are alternatives to Northalsted's current security operation that would actually improve service:

      1) Walsh Security could improve its services, weeding out police impersonator(s) and unlicensed workers.

      2) Northalsted could hire a different security service that will provide professional workers who meet standards that the community deserves.

      Delete
  9. I also remember when these "we down wit you bro" sukuurity guards supposedly paid for by North Halsted Business Association who also promoted - morning - Wood's "Threesome Brunch Combo" while Sidetrack's drinks suddenly went from $6.00 to $6.50 overnight. I saw him ring up $6.00 on the fancy computer screen then throw 50 cents in a bucket on the side. Happened at the "Cherry Bar" and the "Main Bar". I called them out both times for correct change and they got no tip for that either. North End was pulling similar shit about the same time.

    When are you people going to learn to quit being duped by what should be your own people in their capitalistic pig quest for the almighty $ ?

    And you're all worried about Trump. The irony. My Lord!

    And Sidetrack didn't even have a "charity" event, GoFundMe nor even mention of Cher's expense to attend her former druggie husband Greg Allman's funeral recently. Not even a party.

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    Replies
    1. Ok.....so when did they start issuing permits for crack.....
      Suggest you return yours.

      Delete
  10. North Halsted Business Alliance corrupt af

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  11. This whole Walsh operation has seemed shady as fuck for years. *Huge* conflicts of interest. Probably some ethical violations there somewhere. But, oh wait, my bad, this is Illinois, so it's ok.

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  12. You should send your articles to the Inspector General. There is nefarious and unethical activity between these security people, including the owners, and the North Halsted people. It all smells like....well you know.

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  13. If only the writers of this horrific excuse for a blog put the time they spend "reporting news" into doing something that actually makes the neighborhood a safer place...

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    1. So you believe that hiring a felon to patrol the street and having people pretend to be cops makes us safer? Interesting take.

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    2. You're doing a lot for the community CWB.... Saving lives one blog at a time lol, find a new hobby...

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    3. This guy must be a really disgruntled Walsh RentaCop... In my experience, these guys are often CPD rejects, who failed the psych exam.

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    4. HA! If that's what you think you clearly could use some more experience!

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    5. Don't be mad, bro. Just put on your fake badge, look in the mirror, click your heals together and repeat after me: "I am a real cop, I am a real cop, I am a real cop..."

      Now get busy keeping us safe, make a citizen's arrest or something... Don't forget your pepper spray.

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    6. I pray that the ones talking shit on here get themselves into a horrific conflict in BoysTown and be lucky enough to have the NHS guys come to your aide, because CPD will be no where around when seconds count, meanwhile while you are waiting 30 mins later after calling 911 for CPD to arrive you can thank the NHS guys for helping you when NO one else did just as I had them do for me, you arrogant asses.

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    7. Concealed Carry. No one is coming to my aid but me. Not even you rascally Walsh RentaCops.

      Keep wishing harm on people tho. Like I said, these guys are CPD rejects. Mostly due to psych issues, like Ol' Anonymous here - getting worked up in a blog comment section.

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    8. I don't know this Walsh guy but he seems to have a good name in the community (outside of this blog lol) I think that it is fascinating to read how much emphasis is put on some kid impersonating a cop for a security company 5 years ago. Fortune 500 banks haven't taken precautions to protect our identity and 30 people on here (probably one anonymous blogger) are making a fuss about an uneducated kid believing he had the power to do something he couldn't- impersonate a cop ? Think it is a little odd that people are trying to make a story about an unconfirmed incident from 5 years ago. I used to think this blog provided good clean information but this is obviously a slander campaign by some security companies that are paying you guys to write this. Freelance bloggers come pretty cheap these days I guess haha

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    9. I don't know what story you read, but it clearly wasn't the one we posted. Thanks for writing in. Will you be on patrol again this weekend?

      Delete
  14. As a Property Tax paying Citizen of the Ward, I pay for and expect to be protected by Genuine on-duty Chicago Police Officers, not rent a Coppers! The arrogance and Gall of Tom and Rahm is out of control, and they both MUST go!

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    1. Thats the best part about it. You pay stupid amounts of tax amd Rahm sends all your police to other areas. Then instead of putting pressure on Rahm , these local organizations hire rent a cops from a connected COP to patrol the area that you are already paying for police with your tax dollars. This is a brilliant scam is t it ?

      Delete
  15. As long as security people are respectful of the gay community, I say more power to them!

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    1. ...and you win!!!! Congratulations!!!!
      The stupidest comment ever on CWB. It was a tough contest, but you did it! Wow!
      - Forget if the 'security people' do anything worthwhile.
      - Forget if they follow the law.
      - Forget if they detain criminals.
      - Forget if they make any difference at all...
      So long as they're respectful of PART of the community, they get your support?
      Dear god. Please do not chew gum and attempt to cross the street. Well...on the other hand...maybe try it...often.

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    2. You have been thoroughly brainwashed by the creators of identity politics.

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    3. @ Anonymous June 5 11:28 AM .... "gay" is not the defining rationale for anything. It's also the primary reason this nitwit spineless Tunney keeps getting re-elected. Think about that.

      =Sincerely, Disgrunted Gay Male Taxpaying Constituent who, like you, doesn't get jack shit out of Tunney

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    4. Dude! The "community" is the very reason security detail IS needed.

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  16. CPD can not handle what occurs on Halsted every weekend by themselves. If they could, there would not be a security detail. For those bashing Walsh security, I encourage you to walk down Halsted and count the amount of CPD officers you see and compare it to the amount of security officers. They wouldn't be there if they weren't needed.

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  17. I'm reading these posts out here and I have to say as a Walsh security officer that we deal with a lot of crap on these streets for your community we put up threats and acts of violence daily. I am licensed and have been since 2005 I've worked in project housing and government security as far as impersonating a police officer that's not our goal I've actually stopped an armed robbery two summers ago alone got the person's money and credit cards back and detained for CPD so I take offense if you think you can do better get licensed and join us. If not You have no argument

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    1. Guess what? Pretending to be a police officer is illegal. Hiring a felon to patrol the streets when we're told they're hiring off-duty cops is information the public should have. Oh, and it appears that licensing is optional for the Walsh operation.

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    2. FAKE NEWS!!! And I'm sure they have a link to Russia too! 😂😂😂

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    3. This reminds me of the UAL incident with Chicago Aviation Police, essentially pretending to be real cops with "Police" embroidery on their uniforms. One of the so-called cops had just returned from a brutality suspension, is actually the one for physical harm to the passenger, and has now been fired.

      Delete
  18. I might have more confidence in the rent-a-cop thing if their "officers" wouldn't hang out at the Roscoe/Halsted 7-11 parking lot doing the "shuck and jive knuckle-bump" with known thugs!

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    1. Unfortunately that's not what's going on, I will say this there has to be a dialogue with everyone who comes to BOYSTOWN and security has to actually Converse with everyone and on top of that these so called thugs are actually gay, queer, Lesbian,and transgender so you may want to start LOOKING in the mirror.

      Delete
  19. I have used Jerry Security for several events. They actually only hire law enforcement officers. These boards want to take the cheapest way out a d get 2nd rate security police impersonators who don't know the laws. They often have poor people skills and tend to not know how to deescalate a situation. This can't be taught in a 20 hr security class.

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  20. So, some quick and dirty math works out like this:

    Being generous, say 30% of the $75,000 goes for administrative fees. That leaves $52,500. Also, lets assume that we're talking about protection strictly on Thursday thru Sunday evenings. Four days a week/thirty nine weeks a year, again assuming there are thirteen weeks of the year where no extra security is needed. That means there are 156 working days to be paid out of that $52,500 budget. Or $336.54 per working day. How valuable is $336.54? A bartender on Halsted makes that on an average Thursday night. If the added security is only on duty for six hours, that means there is a budget of $56.09 per hour. How many quality security people who are willing to step into a potential violent situation can you buy for $56.09? Of course there could be some accounting/tax tricks that make this a profitable business, but from a quick and dirty cost/benefit analysis, there doesn't seem to be much point. Could there be something else going on to make this a financially viable project?

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  21. Off-Duty Officers and Off-Duty CPD are two separate things. Many are officers in other departments (Evanston PD, Corrections, for example). To selectively say one and not point out the other is biased on your part.

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    1. Not biased. Walsh declined to comment for our reports, which is his right. We have dozens of questions that we'd like to ask. Several relate to the qualifications and regular employment of his workers.

      That aside, it is illegal for anyone--licensed law enforcement or not--to wear Chicago police identifiers while on private patrol. It is also a violation of CPD rules for a Chicago Police Officer to wear his uniform or identifiers while on private patrol.

      Delete
    2. it is illegal for anyone--licensed law enforcement or not--to wear Chicago police identifiers while on private patrol. Do you have or can you quote exactly the LAW that covers this statement?

      Delete
    3. (225 ILCS 447/25-30)
      Sec. 25-30. Uniforms.
      (a) No licensee under this Act or any employee of a licensed agency shall wear or display a badge, shoulder patch or other identification that contains the words "law" or "enforcement". No license holder or employee of a licensed agency shall imply in any manner that the person is an employee or agent of a governmental entity, display a badge or identification card, emblem, or uniform using the words "police", "sheriff", "highway patrol", "trooper", "law enforcement" or any similar term.

      Delete
  22. All the facts presented and great reporting & investigation for probably hundreds of hours of reading, requesting documents & investigation journalsim & published this week by CWB, and this will all pass by resulting in no formal action because the new district commander,community policing sergeant & watch commander lieutenant will do nothing because they are all afraid of tom's clout. Not only should tom's security business be exposed like he has, why not his very well paid immediate supervisors & big district commander be investigated too for turning their heads to this for last decade? Are they this clueless and naive or are they afraid of ruining there huge salaries wearing white shirts, apparently not having any power to remove tom's cushy desk inside spot where hes been planted like a statue for more than half his career

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  23. Walsh Security has done some wonderful things in the community . I have and will still continue to refer busuiness to them.

    ReplyDelete