Public Safety

Chicago’s Financial Reckoning Day Has Arrived

Chicago readers of Survival And Prosperity were warned that the City of Chicago’s poor financial health would result in a sustained hunt for much more revenue (new and higher fees/fines/taxes) for the foreseeable future.

The warnings were constant, and issued over the last couple of years.

So the following headlines on the websites of the two major local papers should not have come as a surprise to the courageous Chicagoans who’ve continued to read this blog on a regular basis despite the steady barrage of depressing news coming out of the “Windy City” lately.

“Emanuel to seek $500 million property tax hike”
Chicago Sun-Times website, September 2, 2015

“Emanuel set to call for largest property tax hike in modern Chicago history”
Chicago Tribune website, September 3, 2015

By the looks of things, Chicago’s financial reckoning day has arrived.

Time to pay the taxman.

Hal Dardick and Bill Ruthhart reported on the Tribune website this morning:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is set to call for the largest property tax increase in modern Chicago history to raise enough money to make a major pension payment for police and firefighters next year, the mayor’s City Council floor leader and a City Hall source told the Chicago Tribune late Wednesday.

The mayor also plans to push a new garbage collection tax, a new per-ride fee on taxis and ride-hailing services such as Uber and a new tax on electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman broke all this down brilliantly last night. The City Hall Reporter wrote:

Sources said the 2016 budget that Emanuel will present to the City Council on Sept. 22 will include a $450 million property tax increase for police and fire pensions the mayor once hoped to shore up with revenues from an elusive Chicago casino.

In addition, Emanuel will ask aldermen to adopt a separate levy of $50 million to bankroll school construction and pay off old projects…

Emanuel has offered to raise property taxes by an additional $170 million for the schools, but only if teachers accept the equivalent of a 7 percent pay cut and the state reimburses CPS for “normal” pension costs…

Together, the increases for both the city and CPS have the potential to raise the annual property tax bill for the owner of a home valued at $250,000 by nearly $700.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Home valued at $250,000 by nearly $700.”

Holy crap. That’s some pretty serious coin.


PSA from Alderman Al Czervik, Chicago City Council
YouTube Video

Keep in mind this hit to Chicago property owners doesn’t account for that other recent property tax hike I wrote about on August 27:

There are so many new and increased fees, fines, and taxes being proposed and implemented around the Chicagoland area these days, it’s hard to keep track of all of them. But here’s one Chicago tax hike that’s just been approved that’s making local headlines. Juan Perez, Jr., reported on the Chicago Tribune website last night:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s school board on Wednesday unanimously approved a budget that relies heavily on borrowed money and the hope of a nearly $500 million bailout from a stalemated Springfield, with the specter of disruptive cuts in January if that help fails to materialize.

The $5.7 billion spending plan contains another property tax hike — an estimated $19-a-year increase for the owner of a $250,000 home — as well as teacher and staff layoffs. The Chicago Board of Education also prepared to go to Wall Street to issue $1 billion in bonds and agreed to spend $475,000 so an accounting firm can monitor a cash flow problem so acute that Chicago Public Schools mulled skipping a massive teacher pension payment at the end of June…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So there it is. And if Chicagoans think this major tax increase is some sort of one-off, well, I know of a certain bridge for sale out east. Like I’ve been warning all along, emphasizing it as recent as August 21:

New/higher fees, fines, and taxes, coupled with reduced government services

I also added in that post:

Chicago readers of this blog- what are you planning to do about the crisis? Or, what are you already doing? Maybe you don’t think a crisis exists? Please share your thoughts or experiences in the “Comments” section of this post, as I’d really like to talk more about this going forward.

Not much of a response was received (save for Mihail- thanks buddy). Anyone care to chime in now? Vent a little perhaps? Keep it civil, of course.

One more thing. With the cat out of the bag concerning the property tax hike and renewed attention on Chicago’s fiscal issues, I wonder what the impact will be on Chicago’s housing market (which had some positive momentum) going forward?

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Dardick, Hal and Ruthhart, Bill. “Emanuel set to call for largest property tax hike in modern Chicago history.” Chicago Tribune. 3 Sep. 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-rahm-emanuel-property-tax-hike-met-0903-20150902-story.html). 3 Sep. 2015.

Spielman, Fran. “Emanuel to seek $500 million property tax hike.” Chicago Sun-Times. 2 Sep. 2015. (http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/928338/emanuel-seek-500-million-property-tax-hike). 3 Sep. 2015.

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Illinois Police Officer Shot And Killed, Manhunt Continues

Northeastern Illinois readers of this blog- be advised that three male suspects (2 white, 1 black) are still being sought Tuesday evening after a Fox Lake police lieutenant was shot and killed earlier in the day. Ruth Fuller and Becky Schlikerman reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website:

A community mourned Tuesday while a massive manhunt continued into the evening in far north suburban Fox Lake for three suspects in the fatal shooting of Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, 52.

He was gunned down about 8 a.m. Tuesday after telling dispatch that he was pursuing three suspects. His service weapon was taken…

Frank S. Abderholden, Dan Hinkel, and Dan Moran added on the Chicago Tribune website tonight:

His colleagues responded and found him shot in a marshy area near U.S. Highway 12, a main road through town, authorities said. His gun was found near him, said Lake County Undersheriff Raymond Rose. Gliniewicz died at the scene, Rose said.

The offenders should be treated as armed and dangerous, Rose said. He said police were working with “limited descriptions” of the suspects…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Too bad better descriptions of the suspects aren’t available.

From what I gathered watching the local TV news tonight, the focus of the ongoing search is that “marshy area.”

Here’s hoping Fox Lake-area residents have good security measures in place around their homes.

And something tells me a number of firearm owners will be sleeping better tonight than certain other neighbors.

Stay safe…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Fuller, Beth and Schlikerman, Becky. “Massive manhunt continues after Fox Lake officer slain.” Chicago Sun-Times. 1 Sep. 2015. (http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/924109/police-officer-killed-fox-lake-police-hunt-armed-men). 1 Sep. 2015

Abderholden, Frank S., Hinkel, Dan and Moran, Dan. “Slain Fox Lake police officer identified as veteran cop, father of four.” Chicago Tribune. 1 Sep. 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-county-news-sun/news/ct-fox-lake-school-lockdown-20150901-story.html). 1 Sep. 2015.

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Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 Crime, Firearms, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Quote For The Week

“I am too pissed off tonight to be diplomatic about what’s going on and I’m not going to stick my head in the sand about it. I said last December that war had been declared on the American police officer led by some high profile people- one of them coming out of the White House, one coming out of the United States Department of Justice. And it’s open season right now. There’s no doubt about it…

And I’m tired of hearing people calling these black “activists.” They’re not activists. This is black slime and it needs to be eradicated from the American society and American culture…

I need every law-abiding person in the United States of America to stand up and start pushing back against this slime, this filth, that’s disparaging the American law enforcement officer within these communities. When these ugly people come out and start this, and start talking this stuff on social media, to push back against it, and demand- demand- people that belong to these organizations to get out of their town. There’s no room for it. Look, the American police officer is holding these communities together. And we need the support of the people that we defend everyday in order to get that done.”

-Milwaukee County (Wisconsin) Sheriff David Clarke, Jr., reacting to the killing of Harris County (Texas) deputy Darren Goforth on the Fox News TV show Justice with Judge Jeanine last Saturday


YouTube Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Paladin Press 45% Off Everything Sale Ends Tuesday Noon ET

Boulder, Colorado-based publisher and affiliate marketing partner Paladin Press (blogged about here) is having a 45% Off Everything Sale until tomorrow at noon Eastern Time. From their website (down the left sidebar):

Paladin Celebrates Its 45th Anniversary By Offering 45% Off Everything
Use Code PALADIN45 At Checkout.
Now Thru August 25, 2015, At Noon ET.

Cannot Be Combined With Any Other Offer
Not Available To Wholesalers

Congratulations Paladin!

FYI, I took advantage of this huge sale and placed my own order at lunchtime today. A two-book set that would have cost me $62 with shipping came out to only $36.35 with shipping after that generous discount was applied.

Interested in saving some big bucks? Head on over to Paladin Press ASAP (remember, the sale ends tomorrow at noon Eastern Time). If you buy anything, don’t forget to use that code at checkout.

Please note I receive a commission on every item purchased via the above link.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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My Thoughts On Chicago’s Financial Crisis

I know I’ve been blogging a lot about Chicago/Cook County/Illinois lately. Which should come as no surprise to regular Survival And Prosperity readers considering I’ve talked about how I was born on the West Side, was raised around that area, and lived on the Northwest Side until I moved to the northwest suburbs two years ago.

Both the Chicagoland area and Illinois have been on my mind a lot recently. I fear we’re on the verge of some major upheaval stemming from decades of fiscal mismanagement by policymakers from both sides of the political aisle (some might think this blog only targets Democrats- over the years I’ve demonstrated everyone’s “fair game”). And by verge, I mean in the coming weeks. Focusing on Chicago today, what might kick it off (regular observers have witnessed the crisis growing for some time now)? I suspect the following. From the Chicago Tribune website back on July 31:

At a news conference this week, the mayor would not rule out a politically unpopular property tax hike, saying he’ll wait to show his hand until September, when he rolls out “a full budget with all parts in there.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A good portion of the coming pain is going to be felt by the Chicago taxpayer. What kind of “pain” am I talking about? That which I’ve been blogging about for a couple of years now- new/higher fees, fines, and taxes, coupled with reduced government services. Last night’s post about potential revenue generators Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council are mulling over (hat tip Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times) should give Chicagoans a better picture of what’s headed their way (a property tax hike and garbage collection fee look likely). Concerning cutbacks in government services, I think that’s already begun. For example, the manpower shortage in the Chicago Police Department (hat tip Second City Cop) that’s existed for some years now. Down the road, I predict the average Chicago taxpayer will find it increasingly difficult to afford living in the city, let alone doing it safely as local government struggles to provide effective, efficient services to constituents.

Now, it’s bad enough Chicago/Cook County/Illinois are in real financial trouble. But then there’s the legitimate concern of a slowing economy/recession being right around the corner, never mind that coming financial crash I started blogging about back on Memorial Day Weekend 2007.

So what’s a Chicago taxpayer to do? This former Chicago resident picked up and left the city limits in 2013. Concerned about future tax and public safety liabilities, my girlfriend and I reluctantly departed our “suburb in the city” and moved into a house in a not-too-far away authentic suburb. Granted, we’ll still be on the hook for county and state problems, but it’s what makes sense for us in the short-term.

As much as I blast Chicago on Survival And Prosperity (“tough love”), I’m not convinced the city’s going to go “belly-up.” I think there’s a good chance it could be run by something similar to the Emergency Financial Control Board in New York City from 1975 until 1986 (talked about here back in April), but even a setback like that won’t be the end of the “City By The Lake,” just like it wasn’t for the “Big Apple.” I do predict city life is going to get real hairy once the “balloon goes up,” but I think that will be the case in a lot of urban areas nationwide.

That’s my two cents on Chicago’s financial crisis- for now. Chicago readers of this blog- what are you planning to do about the crisis? Or, what are you already doing? Maybe you don’t think a crisis exists? Please share your thoughts or experiences in the “Comments” section of this post, as I’d really like to talk more about this going forward.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

Source:

Dardick, Hal. “Emanuel needs $754M more to make ends meet.” Chicago Tribune. 31 July 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-rahm-emanuel-chicago-budget-shortfall-met-0801-20150731-story.html). 21 Aug. 2015.

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The Survival Podcast’s Jack Spirko On Nationwide Riots

If you’ve been following the news the last couple of days, you’re probably aware of the renewed tension in Ferguson, Missouri, on the first anniversary of the riot there. Back when I started this blog in 2010, I suspected civil strife would pick up due to worsening financial conditions and other developments.

Regrettably, I think Ferguson is just the tip of the iceberg.

I’m not the only one who sees more civil disturbance on the way. Modern survivalist and host of The Survival Podcast Jack Spirko has been issuing warnings as of late. And I’ve been listening attentively. Back on May 20 I blogged:

Speaking of The Survival Podcast, I was listening to a different episode (number 1566, “What the Baltimore Riots Say about our Future”) some time back and took note of some advice host Jack Spirko shared with listeners. He warned on April 28:

You know those trendy areas in downtown that everybody thinks are great places to live as a hipster, because you can walk to the donut shop and the coffee shop? Sooner or later in most of our big cities those are going to be burned to the ground. Don’t live there. Don’t live there. One more time, don’t live there. Get out of the urbanized areas. I don’t care how you do it, just do it. You’re better off anyway…

Spirko added later in the podcast:

I wish I had better news for you. I wish I could tell you that this is an isolated incident. But here’s what I believe. The potential for this type of a riot exists in every major city in America. And it actually would be relatively easy to set them off like fires. It really would. I think the right people, with the right messaging, the right agitation, the right insiders, could cause a riot like this in any city with a population over 500,000 in America today. And quite a few smaller venues too. I really do. That should scare the shit out of you. But the response should scare you even more. It’s not going to be pretty. That’s why you need to be prepared…

Spriko wasn’t about to leave listeners “hanging” on this topic, so on July 29 he released episode 1614, “The Danger Of Nationwide Riots.” From that show:

So here’s what I think you need to do for your own protection. Number one, you need to be at some level of in touch with your local law enforcement. Sheriff’s department, local PD, whatever. You need people that will tell you what they know if things are starting to go sideways. And they will know when they start to go sideways long before a TV says so. You need to be paying attention to chatter with a police scanner or a scanner app or something like that in your general community on an ongoing basis. Just once in a while. Couple times a day just checking in to see what’s going on. Some local PDs have like online now where you can go online and see all the police activity…

The closer you live to a city, the more you need to have a plan to eventually say, “As much as I want to stay and defend my home, it’s not worth it, I’m leaving.” And I know the survivalist mentality is strong in our community. And I will stay here, I will pick up my guns, I will do no harm to anybody, but if you come here and take what I have, I will lay you flat out. I know that is in you, because it’s in me. I mean, that’s how I feel. And in many instances, it’s the course I would take. You can do whatever you want until you mess with me or my neighbors and then it’s on bitches. But you have to think about the result. If your home’s burnt to the ground, that’s what insurance is for… And I would rather rebuild my life with fire insurance, than I would want to try to rebuild my life from behind the bars of a penitentiary, which is a place you may end up if you take that stance. There may come a time when you have to, where you have no choice… I mean what you need is a neighborhood banded together. You’ve seen the signs after hurricanes and stuff- 20, 30 friggin’ rednecks with guns. “You loot, we shoot.” Usually that is enough to defer and cause avoidance. But the closer you live, the less likely that is to be. So the closer you are in, the more you need to have a plan to bug out, which you should have anyway because hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, they are also reasons you might have to bug out. Illnesses, pandemic… There’s times getting out of the way make sense.

You also have to have a good, solid bug-in plan. The bug-in plan is the most important plan you need for this. For most of us, we do not live in the streets where these types of things actually happen. The spillover into suburbs, etcetera will be limited. And it will be more like one-off type things. It will not be wholescale rioting. The safest course of action for most people is going to be for a month or more to hunker down, live off of what you have, go out as little as possible, coordinate with your neighbors, coordinate with what’s left of local law enforcement, and wait this thing out if it happens. It’s going to be the most sane, rational thing that you can do. It going to be the only way no matter how good your intentions are you’re not going to be part of one of the groups pouring gasoline on the fire. So the bug-in plan is important, which means all your basic preps- food, water, energy, medical, health, etcetera. It means if you live in a city that is particularly vulnerable to this and you work where they will be a problem, or you’d have to cross the problem to get to work, this is the time now to start talking to your boss about and say, “Hey look, if something did go sideways in this town, don’t you think it would make sense if we had ways for our people to work remotely, so that the company’s operations can continue, but nobody’s life had to be at risk.”

You need to be tied in to your neighbors. You need to have agreements with your neighbors… There’s some neighbors you really can’t go deep with them about this, but you just need to know them. What’s their name? What’s their spouse’s name? When do they work? When do they come home? What are they like? So when this stuff starts to go sideways, instead of telling them it may go sideways, it’s going sideways right now, let’s work together to protect our neighborhood. You need to be part of your neighborhood, part of your community. Whether it’s a rural one or an urban dense one, doesn’t matter. You need to know as many people’s names as possible.

You need to be trained in self-defense and you need to be armed. In spite of what I said about the fact that you could get into a situation where if you defend yourself you could be prosecuted, there’s a point at which that goes out the window. When you legitimately feel that your life or the life of a loved one is being threatened, and lethal force is the only alternative, the time to use it is two-and-a-half seconds ago. But you can’t go back two-and-a-half seconds so the time is now…

But overall what you need is a plan… I don’t know anything about you individually, okay? So in the end, you have to say to yourself, “Self, this is something that could happen. If it did, near me, what would we do, and when would we act.” In other words, when would we say, “Okay, nobody is going to school or work.” What would be the level of danger that we would have a clearly-defined border, and once that occurred, how long could we be okay? How long would we be alright?… If we did leave where would we go? What would be our basic rules of engagement? When would we act? Who would I contact first in the neighborhood? What would I say? You just need to mentally run the scenario in your head. Not to the point where you start to fear from it or have apprehension from it. Just to the point where if it does occur, it’s not like, “Holy shit, what do I do now?” like you’ve never thought about it before. See, that’s the big thing I want to leave you with today… What matters is that you’ve mentally drilled into yourself that there’s something I can do and these are the things that I would do. That’s what makes you able to adapt and survive.

Whew. Wise words from Spirko on dealing with a disturbing event that I predict Americans will be experiencing more frequently in the coming years.

You can listen to episode 1614 in its entirety here, and episode 1566 here, on the The Survival Podcast website.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Chicago-Area Expressway Shootings Jump

I thought there was an uptick in the number of local expressway shootings lately. Frank Main reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website yesterday:

Expressway shootings have become a major problem. They not only threaten the lives of motorists, but they have also caused frequent traffic jams as police shut down the expressways to investigate them.

In 2010, there were six shootings on Chicago-area expressways.

Last year, there were 18.

And so far this year, there have been 25

In the past two years, one person was killed and 23 people were wounded in the shootings, according to the Illinois State Police.

Most of the shootings don’t appear to stem from road rage, said Sgt. Clare Pfotenhauer, a spokeswoman for the state police. Usually, they involve gang conflicts, she said.

A law enforcement source said gang members follow their targets onto the Dan Ryan and Eisenhower expressways because they believe it’s easier to get away from police on the expressways than on neighborhood streets…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’ve logged a lot of hours on the Eisenhower over the years. Back in the late nineties, I was heading east on I-290 into the city when I noticed my girlfriend at the time was staring out the front passenger window at other vehicles. Just then what appeared to be a car full of gangbangers pulled up alongside of us. By the look on their faces, they weren’t too happy being stared at by some far west suburban white girl. Nothing came of the incident. However, living off the West Side at this time, I knew better than to stare at other vehicles and their occupants on certain stretches of Chicagoland roadway lest they consider “popping a cap in my ass” (a couple of years earlier while driving on I-43 in downtown Milwaukee I already had a handgun flashed at me), and gladly shared such concerns with this young lady later that day.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Main, Frank. “As Chicago expressway shootings soar, state police crack down.” Chicago Sun-Times. 9 Aug. 2015. (http://chicago.suntimes.com/lynn-sweet-politics/7/71/864981/trumps-blood-feud-deviants-think-hes-wrong). 10 Aug. 2015.

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Monday, August 10th, 2015 Crime, Public Safety, Transportation, Vehicles No Comments

Chicago Police ‘Stop-And-Frisks’ To Plummet After ACLU Agreement?

“Pro active policing is now dead in Chicago. Put on the blinders boys and girls and just handle your calls. No more stops on the street or hand wavers. Give Chicago the police department they deserve.”

-Comment on the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop, August 8, 2015

ABC7 News (Chicago) reported on its website Friday night that the Chicago Police Department has reached “an agreement with the ACLU over so-called ‘stop-and-frisks.’” From the piece:

In March, a report from the ACLU of Illinois found Chicago police officers disproportionately targeted blacks and other racial minorities in hundreds of thousands of stop, question and frisk encounters. The ACLU accused the Chicago Police Department’s policy of feeding racial profiling and threatened a lawsuit.

The agreement avoids litigation and will lead to a change in CPD procedures, including more record-keeping, police officer training, and public disclosure on traffic stops…

The city and department have agreed to collect additional data about investigatory stops. That includes officers’ names and badge numbers, the race, ethnicity and gender of the person stopped, the reason for the stop, the location, date and time of the stop and other details.

That information will be given to the ACLU and Former U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys, who will oversee the agreement’s implementation and release a public report twice a year. Judge Keys will be able to look at where the stops are occurring and who is making them, down to the individual officer

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Will Chicago be heading down the same path as New York City as a result of this new “stop-and-frisk” agreement with the ACLU? Consider the following from the CBS2 News (New York City) website back on March 4:

New guidelines for the stop, question and frisk policing method were released to NYPD officers this week, and the patrol union said the guidelines will make the officers’ jobs more difficult.

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association is not happy.

“It’s confusing police officers where it’s coming to a point where we’re going to have to travel with legal counsel to articulate what we’re supposed to do,” said PBA President Patrick Lynch.

The new policy said in order to conduct a stop, an officer “must have individualized, reasonable suspicion that the person stopped has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a felony or penal law misdemeanor.”

A “mere suspicion or a hunch” is not enough for a stop, the memo said.

A conclusion that someone is acting suspiciously based on “furtive movements,” or a person’s mere presence in a “high-crime area,” is not enough to warrant a stop by an officer under the new guidelines. Stops and frisks were permitted for such reasons alone in the past, according to published reports.

The guidelines also forbid stops by an officer based on a generalized description of a suspect – such as one that includes only a race and an age range.

“A person may not be stopped merely because he or she matches a generalized description of a crime suspect, such as an 18- to 25-year-old black male; if physical description is the only factor relied on by the officer, it must be more specific than that to form a sufficient basis for a stop,” the guidelines said.

The guidelines further said that a frisk is not always automatically acceptable whenever an officer stops someone.

“The officer must have an independent basis to reasonably suspect that a person who has been stopped is armed and dangerous in order to frisk that person,” the guidelines said.

Officers will also have to write a narrative explaining what justified the stop, question and frisk…

On June 5, Kerry Burke, Larry McShane, and Rocco Parascandola reported on the Daily News (New York) website:

A dramatic drop in stop-and-frisk encounters has emboldened criminals and made cops more reluctant to take proactive police action, even as murders and shootings are on the rise in the city.

The frightening message — echoed by police supervisors and union leaders — comes as stop-and-frisk encounters are on pace to plunge by 42% this year, with 20,000 fewer street stops.

There were 11,652 stops across the city through June 3 — projecting to roughly 28,000 for the year, records obtained by the Daily News show. As the number of stops fell, the number of murders spiked 19.5% during the first five months of the year, the number of people shot is up 9.2% and the number of shooting incidents jumped 9%.

“What you’re seeing now are the perps carrying their guns because they’re not afraid to carry them,” said Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association. “We’ve created an atmosphere where we’ve handcuffed the police. We are sitting back, taking a less proactive approach.”

Mullins said the city’s criminal element has been operating without fear while cops have been somewhat neutered in the last two years — and he wasn’t the only one to raise the issue…

City cops, citing increased scrutiny from the NYPD’s inspector general, the state attorney general and City Hall, say the cutback on stops is about self-preservation.

“Everyone is afraid to make stops,” said one Brooklyn police supervisor. “No one wants to get jammed up. They’re telling us the stops have to be quality stops. But if you make a stop, and you think it’s a good one, and the guy has nothing on him, is that a good stop?”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Time will tell if the “Windy City” goes the way of the “Big Apple” concerning “stop-and-frisks.”

If it does, Chicago blog readers shouldn’t be surprised if there’s also a corresponding jump in crime.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“CPD agrees to ‘stop-and-frisk’ reforms, avoids ACLU lawsuit.” ABC7 News. 7 Aug. 2015. (http://abc7chicago.com/news/cpd-agrees-to-stop-and-frisk-reforms-avoids-aclu-lawsuit/909740/). 8 Aug. 2015.

“PBA: New Stop-And-Frisk Guidelines Will Confuse Officers, Make Jobs Harder.” CBS2 News. 4 Mar. 2015. (http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/03/04/pba-new-stop-and-frisk-guidelines-will-confuse-officers-make-jobs-harder/). 8 Aug. 2015.

Burke, Kerry, McShane, Larry, and Rocco Parascandola. “EXCLUSIVE: Huge drop in stop-and-frisk as NYC crime increases raises fear that cops are reluctant to confront criminals.” Daily News. 5 June 2015. (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/exclusive-big-fall-stop-and-frisk-criminals-bolder-article-1.2247406). 8 Aug. 2015.

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Sunday, August 9th, 2015 Crime, Government, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

IEMA: Parents Should Include Emergency Preparedness In Back-To-School Plans

The following is some helpful emergency preparedness advice for parents (not just in Illinois) with kids in school. From an Illinois Emergency Management Agency press release on the Illinois Government News Network website last Friday:

Parents Encouraged to Include Emergency Preparedness in Back-to-School Plans
August is School and Campus Preparedness Month in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – As parents prepare to send their children back to school or college, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies throughout Illinois are encouraging them to include emergency preparedness in their back-to-school plans.

“Disasters can happen anytime of the day, even when children are in school or daycare,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “Take a few minutes to find out how your child’s school will handle emergencies and talk to your child about how your family will communicate after a disaster.”

Joseph offered several back-to-school planning tips for parents of school-aged children, including:

• Know your child’s school or day care emergency plan.
• Find out where children will be taken in the event of an evacuation during school hours.
• Ensure your current emergency contact information is on file at your child’s school.
• Pre-authorize a friend or relative to pick up your children in an emergency and make sure the school knows who that designated person is.
• Teach children with cell phones about ‘Text First, Talk Later.’ Short, simple text messages, such as “R U OK?” and “I’m OK,” are more likely to get through than a phone call if phone service is disrupted following an emergency. As phone congestion eases, you can follow up with a phone call to relay more information. Many college campuses offer email and text messages to alert students of potential dangers, such as severe weather and other threats. Encourage your college student to sign-up for such alerts. Some colleges also provide alert messages for parents so they also are aware of potential dangers on campus. In addition, make sure your student knows the emergency plans for their dorm or apartment building.

Additional preparedness information is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Chicago Requires $754 Million In New Revenue, Cuts To Balance Books

For a couple of years now, regular readers of Survival And Prosperity have witnessed me blog about higher fees/fines/taxes and reduced government services as Chicago’s financial reckoning day draws closer.

I fear the pace of all this is about to pick up.

Hal Dardick reported on the Chicago Tribune website late Friday afternoon:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel must come up with at least $754 million in new revenue and budget cuts to balance the city’s books, according to preliminary 2016 budget estimates the administration released Friday.

A little less than half — $328 million — would cover increased payments to the police and fire pension funds that Emanuel and aldermen did not account for in this year’s budget. That number could be even higher if the mayor doesn’t get the pension relief he’s seeking from Springfield.

In addition, City Hall must figure out how to close a projected $426 million hole in next year’s budget, an annual financial analysis showed. The shortfall comes as Emanuel has been borrowing at high interest rates to keep the city afloat.

Unlike previous years, Emanuel is not taking a property tax increase off the table. At a news conference this week, the mayor would not rule out a politically unpopular property tax hike, saying he’ll wait to show his hand until September, when he rolls out “a full budget with all parts in there.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Chicago property owners are probably hoping for an endless summer- considering what could be in store for them next month.

A significant property tax hike in and of itself might not be enough to make Chicagoans think about moving out of the city. However, sustained pressure on household finances from all applicable fees, fines, and taxes could do it, particularly if government services (public safety comes to mind here) steadily erode.

You can read the entire piece on the Tribune website here (registration required).

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Quote For The Week

Regular readers know I’ve been listening to podcasts of Tom Gresham’s GUNTALK, “the only nationally syndicated radio talk show about firearms, shooting and gun rights,” for several years now (named “Resource Of The Week” back on July 15, 2011). Gresham welcomed new listeners to the show in the first hour of his July 19, 2015, broadcast, saying:

If you’re brand new here, let me just tell you- welcome. This is GUNTALK. I’m Tom Gresham. We talk about guns and shooting. We’re the good guys. We’re the good gals. We’re the ones you don’t actually hear a lot about in the news. We’re the 100 million people who own guns and don’t commit crimes with them. We’re also the 5 percent of the adult population- newest numbers in- 5 percent of the adult population in the U.S. that has a carry permit. That seems pretty high, going up. We’re looking at 12, 13 million people that have carry permits. And of course in some states you don’t have to have a permit at all to carry a self-protection firearm so you can take care of yourself and your family, your loved ones, your children, your wife, your husband, your parents. As in my case, maybe even your grandchildren. Lots of people have analyzed this. A lot of people have looked at it realistically and made the leap- and it is that- to say, “I get it. Every story I see, every report I read, every newscast I see, I realize that there are bad people everywhere.” “It is foolish”- this is the thinking- “It is foolish.” And it’s hard to get there- I give you props- everybody who has gotten there. It is hard to get there to say “it is foolish for me to continue to pretend this is not the case.” There’s a, I don’t know, maybe a psychological pathology involved here. Completely understandable, it’s a human thing, I guess you’d call it human nature. People don’t want to feel- people don’t like being afraid, I mean truly afraid. They like to go to movies and all that, we go to scary movies. But they don’t want to be truly afraid. And so one of the ways people don’t worry about things are- try to make sure they’re not afraid- they simply pretend that there is no threat. That there is no risk. They literally don’t want to think about it. They want to stick their fingers in their ears and say, “Na na na na na na na, I can’t hear you. I don’t want to think that there are bad people out there who could hurt me. That will take my children and rape them, and then kill them, and cut them up, and throw them in the lake. That’s horrible. I don’t want to the think about that. So therefore, I choose not to think about that. If I buy into that, if I say, ‘Wow, maybe nobody really can take care of us.’ Maybe the police really mostly write reports about things that already happened and they don’t stop the crime from happening- which we know is mostly the truth. If I acknowledge that, if I accept that as reality- this is the process going on in their heads without them actually knowing what’s going on- if I accept that then I accept that I am not completely and utterly safe all the time. I’m not in this lovely, warm bubble that I like to live in. So I like my bubble. And the way I can maintain this imaginary bubble of safety is I simply do not acknowledge there’s a real threat out there. And the way I do that is I reject everyone who has chosen to take care of herself or himself. I must make fun of you. I must demonize you. I must denigrate you. I must marginalize you. Because if I can say ‘you’re a kook,’ ‘you’re a nut,’ ‘you’re a screwball,’ then it’s easy for me to reject the kind of thinking that says, ‘You better take care of yourself.’”

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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Authorizes National Guard To Carry Weapons On Duty

I try to spend as much time as I can at my family’s place in Wisconsin. And it’s my opinion that these days, Illinois could learn a thing or two from its neighbor to the north, particularly as it concerns combatting terrorists- both foreign and domestic. From a press release issued today from Wisconsin’s Office of the Governor:

Madison – Governor Scott Walker today issued Executive Order #168 allowing Wisconsin National Guard members to carry weapons while on duty.

“Safety must be our top priority, especially in light of the horrific attack in Chattanooga,” Governor Walker said. “Allowing our National Guard members to carry weapons while on duty gives them the tools they need to serve and protect our citizens, as well as themselves. I am also directing Adjutant General Donald Dunbar to evaluate longer-term plans to ensure the safety of our service members.”

A copy of Governor Walker’s Executive Order is attached.

I’ve read similar directives have been issued in Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.

As for Illinois?

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 Military, Public Safety, Terrorism 2 Comments

Chicago-Area Military Training Being Conducted In Tinley Park

Tinley Park is one of the Chicago-area locations where that ongoing military training exercise I first blogged about on July 13 is taking place. Dennis Robaugh reported on the Tinley Park Patch website Sunday:

For three nights beginning Monday, July 20, the Department of Defense and regional law enforcement agencies will use the grounds and buildings of Tinley Park’s shuttered mental health center at 183rd Street and Harlem Avenue to conduct urban-training exercises.

The choppers, including the famed Black Hawks, will use the village’s helipad off 183rd Street, too. Operations, which will include explosions, are expected to end by 11 p.m. each night…

Robaugh added that similar exercises were held in the south suburb in April and July of 2013.

For more information, head on over to the Patch website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 Military, Public Safety, Training No Comments

64 Shot, 10 Killed In Chicago Over Fourth Of July Weekend

It was another violent Independence Day weekend in the city of Chicago. Peter Nickeas reported on the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

Shootings over the long Fourth of July weekend left 10 people dead and 54 others wounded.

Among those killed was a 7-year-old boy shot in the chest during an attack aimed at his father, according to police…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The Chicago Sun-Times added this morning on their website:

Police said Sunday the bullet that fatally wounded 7-year-old Amari Brown on the Fourth of July was meant for his father…

The boy’s father, Antonio Brown, is a ranking gang member with 45 previous arrests and was not cooperating with police as of Sunday afternoon as they tried to find his son’s killer, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Sunday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported…

According to a Chicago Crime Commission publication from 2012, there are an estimated 70 to 100 gangs in the Chicago metropolitan area with a membership of between 68,000 to over 150,000.

Nickeas added later on his piece:

Shootings last year, over an 84-hour period, left 82 people shot, 16 fatally…

While some may try to tout this “improvement” from 2014, this year’s carnage is still staggering, particularly as Chicago has strict gun “control” laws on its books.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Nickeas, Peter. “10 killed, 54 wounded in gun violence over Fourth of July weekend in Chicago.” Chicago Tribune. 6 July 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-violence-20150706-story.html). 6 July 2015.

“Nine dead, 53 injured in Fourth of July weekend shootings.” Chicago Sun-Times. 6 July 2015. (http://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/7/71/742607/police-3-dead-3-wounded-holiday-weekend-shootings-since-thursday-evening). 6 July 2015.

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CHIEF Supply Offering Free Shipping For 3 Hours Thursday Night

Tonight I received an e-mail from affiliate marketing partner CHIEF Supply (reviewed here). According to the Charlotte, North Carolina-based vendor of public safety equipment and apparel:

3 Hours Only

Free Shipping

Use Promo Code 3HRSHIP In Cart

Some brands excluded

Click on the banner ad below and see what CHIEF Supply has to offer. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product (be sure to use that promo code!), I receive a commission from the sale.


CHIEF

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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