Second City Cop

Wildings Around Chicago’s Navy Pier, Downtown July 4?

I fear if there’s one night this year where wildings- also referred to as “flash mobs” and “mob attacks”- are likely to occur, it’s tomorrow, Friday, July 4.

And the location? Around Navy Pier and downtown Chicago.

From the Chicago Tribune website this afternoon:

Fireworks enthusiasts and lovers of Independence Day pomp and circumstance, plan to head to Navy Pier early on Friday if you want a good spot for watching the pyrotechnics over the lake…

And with July 4 falling on a Friday with sunny skies and mild temperatures predicted, officials are preparing for huge crowds that will likely fill the pier to capacity long before the 15-minute exhibition starts at 9:30 p.m., according to Navy Pier spokesman Nick Shields…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Wildings have already taken place in the downtown area this year, as I noted last month.

If the criminal activity does in fact occur, don’t be surprised if the Chicago news media ignores it. Or no video of it exists out in cyberspace- as those with even half a brain would have been preoccupied trying to steer clear of the feral youngsters.

Your best bet for any info would be Second City Cop later in the day Saturday- if SCC is blogging over the long holiday weekend.

Here’s hoping for a peaceful, quiet night. On the Fourth of July, no less.

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

Source:

“125,000 expected at Navy Pier for fireworks.” Chicago Tribune. 3 July 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-125000-expected-at-navy-pier-for-fireworks-20140703,0,6815249.story). 3 July 2014.

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Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 Crime, Mainstream Media, Public Safety No Comments

Chicago Weekend: 5 Killed, 21 Others Wounded By Gunfire

I’m back from my “summer vacation.”

And it’s nice to see the latest gun “control” measures really making an impact on the violence in Chicago.

Michael Lansu, the Homicide Watch Chicago Editor (yes, that is indeed his title) for the Chicago Sun-Times, reported the following on the paper’s website this morning:

At least seven people were shot to death last week throughout Chicago.

Five of the murders happened over the weekend, when 21 other people were shot and wounded. All the weekend slayings happened on the South Side…

It’s not only the bloody weekends that have continued since I took a break, but the wildings as well. Carol Marin reported on the Sun-Times website last Friday (hat tip Second City Cop blog):

I called 911.

It was rush hour on Tuesday on Lake Shore Drive.

I’d just rounded the curve, northbound, by Oak Street Beach and noticed a heavy presence of Chicago Police officers on bikes and in cars. And, if I’m not mistaken, on ATVs.

The beach was throbbing with people on this warm summer day.

Then, all of a sudden, I saw a pack of young people racing into traffic.

Against the backdrop of flashing CPD blue lights by the North Avenue Beach house, I’d estimate 20 to 30 young men and women were running through the North Avenue/La Salle exit.

Remember, this was rush hour.

Traffic was slower than normal but moving. Motorists on the Drive are not prepared for a wilding of young people weaving on foot in between their vehicles.

But there they were…

Yes, there they were. As I suspected they might be while I was away.

Seeing that the first day of summer was this past Saturday, Chicagoans might want to brace themselves for a long one when it comes to criminal activity.

You can read Marin’s entire piece on the Sun-Times website here.

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

Source:

Lansu, Michael. “WEEK IN REVIEW: Seven shot death throughout Chicago.” Chicago Sun-Times. 23 June 2014. (http://homicides.suntimes.com/2014/06/23/week-in-review-seven-shot-death-throughout-chicago/). 23 June 2014.

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Monday, June 23rd, 2014 Crime, Firearms, Government, Gun Rights No Comments

Wildings Return To Downtown Chicago

I’ve been following and blogging about flash mobs/mob attacks/wildings in the downtown Chicago area since January 2011. And here are two things I’ve noticed:

1. The Chicago mainstream media generally seems to ignore these incidents.

2. The growing number of trolls on the comment area of the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop keep asking for video evidence of the criminal activity.

Now I can’t speak for others, but if I find myself in a situation where feral kids are acting up nearby, I’ll be too busy watching after myself/loved ones to worry about shooting some stupid video.

Besides, I own a simple flip phone.

But getting back on track, after a long day my I turned on the 9 o’clock news on FOX 32 and caught a segment about the City of Chicago preparing for summertime wilding. In the piece, the Chicago Police Department acknowledged the wilding from last weekend that Second City Cop/commenters have been talking about (suck it, trolls). Craig Wall reported on the FOX 32 website tonight:

Summer has come to mean more than just scores of shoppers and visitors on Michigan Avenue. It now also brings plenty of extra police officers to discourage would be troublemakers.

Friday night police arrested one man for unknown reasons, but the bigger concern is the mobs of young people who have been terrorizing visitors on warm summer weekends, and giving this vital tourist destination a bad reputation for safety…

Last weekend police sources said there were problems in and around Michigan Avenue, a mob of young people overran the McDonalds at State and Chicago, stealing food orders from patrons and running out.

And in an unrelated incident, a woman who confronted a thug got her car window smashed out. Police hope a very visible police presence will discourage any problems and make visitors feel secure…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

FOX 32 News Chicago
“CPD Out In Full Force To Deter Crime, Violence”
FOX 32 Video

Planning to visit downtown Chicago soon? It’s still generally safe, I hear. Just be careful and aware of one’s surroundings at all time while in the area, particularly on nice weekend nights.

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

Source:

Wall, Craig. “CPD Out In Full Force To Deter Crime, Violence.” FOX 32. 6 Jun . 2014. (http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/25716966/cpd-out-in-full-force-to-deter-crime-violence). 6 Jun. 2014.

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Chicago Magazine Releases Second Part Of Special Report On City Manipulating Crime Statistics

Back on April 8, I blogged about claims the City of Chicago is manipulating crime statistics. At one point in that post I wrote:

David Bernstein and Noah Isackson wrote on Chicago magazine’s website yesterday:

Chicago conducted a 12-month examination of the Chicago Police Department’s crime statistics going back several years, poring through public and internal police records and interviewing crime victims, criminologists, and police sources of various ranks. We identified 10 people, including Groves, who were beaten, burned, suffocated, or shot to death in 2013 and whose cases were reclassified as death investigations, downgraded to more minor crimes, or even closed as noncriminal incidents—all for illogical or, at best, unclear reasons.

This troubling practice goes far beyond murders, documents and interviews reveal. Chicago found dozens of other crimes, including serious felonies such as robberies, burglaries, and assaults, that were misclassified, downgraded to wrist-slap offenses, or made to vanish altogether. (We’ll examine those next month in part 2 of this special report.)

Many officers of different ranks and from different parts of the city recounted instances in which they were asked or pressured by their superiors to reclassify their incident reports or in which their reports were changed by some invisible hand. One detective refers to the “magic ink”: the power to make a case disappear. Says another: “The rank and file don’t agree with what’s going on. The powers that be are making the changes.”

Granted, a few dozen crimes constitute a tiny percentage of the more than 300,000 reported in Chicago last year. But sources describe a practice that has become widespread at the same time that top police brass have become fixated on demonstrating improvement in Chicago’s woeful crime statistics

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Two words come to mind here about these claims:

Truly disturbing.

I noted later:

Remember, Chicago isn’t due to release the second part of its special report until next month.

Well, next month has arrived, and part two has just been released on the Chicago magazine website here (hat tip Second City Cop).

I won’t get the chance to read the piece until this evening, but from what I’ve heard, it’s pretty damning.

(Editor’s note: Read it. It’s damning.)

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

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Reports: Chicago Manipulating Crime Statistics

“Downgrade and reclassify.”

It’s something I’ve heard leveled against the City of Chicago with increasing regularity since I started this blog in 2010.

I really became aware of it from reading the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop.

From a July 24, 2013, post:

Again, here is where CompStat really shines. Reclassify the crimes from “Strong Arm Robbery” to “Theft from Person” and –tada!!!– Instant drop in violent crime. You don’t think they’re doing it? How about those juveniles that got caught the other day? The one had another smart phone and was charged with “Theft of Lost/Mislaid Property” probably because no one could identify who committed the actual robbery. Or the lack of police that is emboldening the robbers? If someone has to wait an hour for a police report, they might as well head home and do it over the phone….or not do it at all. –Tada!!!— another drop in crime!

Downgrade and reclassify? That’s just tin-foil hat talk, right?

Apparently not.

David Bernstein and Noah Isackson wrote on Chicago magazine’s website yesterday:

Chicago conducted a 12-month examination of the Chicago Police Department’s crime statistics going back several years, poring through public and internal police records and interviewing crime victims, criminologists, and police sources of various ranks. We identified 10 people, including Groves, who were beaten, burned, suffocated, or shot to death in 2013 and whose cases were reclassified as death investigations, downgraded to more minor crimes, or even closed as noncriminal incidents—all for illogical or, at best, unclear reasons.

This troubling practice goes far beyond murders, documents and interviews reveal. Chicago found dozens of other crimes, including serious felonies such as robberies, burglaries, and assaults, that were misclassified, downgraded to wrist-slap offenses, or made to vanish altogether. (We’ll examine those next month in part 2 of this special report.)

Many officers of different ranks and from different parts of the city recounted instances in which they were asked or pressured by their superiors to reclassify their incident reports or in which their reports were changed by some invisible hand. One detective refers to the “magic ink”: the power to make a case disappear. Says another: “The rank and file don’t agree with what’s going on. The powers that be are making the changes.”

Granted, a few dozen crimes constitute a tiny percentage of the more than 300,000 reported in Chicago last year. But sources describe a practice that has become widespread at the same time that top police brass have become fixated on demonstrating improvement in Chicago’s woeful crime statistics

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Two words come to mind here about these claims:

Truly disturbing.

The alleged manipulation of crime statistics goes beyond downgrading, reclassifying, and fudging.

Frank Main and Stefano Esposito reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website yesterday:

About one-quarter of victims of aggravated assault and battery failed to get counted in Chicago Police statistics for 2012, according to a city Office of the Inspector General report released Monday.

That’s because police didn’t count each person in a crime involving multiple victims as a separate offense, the inspector general’s office said.

The audit reviewed a sample of 383 assault-related incident reports out of a total of 83,480 for 2012.

Because of the findings, Chicago Police officials have agreed to review every aggravated assault and battery in 2012 and 2013 — and count each victim…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Remember, Chicago isn’t due to release the second part of its special report until next month.

If I were certain Chicago Police Department brass, I’d be seriously concerned about my job right now, as this developing situation looks to be a major blow to what credibility the City still has left with residents and others.

I know one thing. From now on, every time a City official brings up crime statistics, eyes will be rolling… long after heads may have due to this debacle.

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

Sources:

Bernstein, David and Isackson, Noah. “The Truth About Chicago’s Crime Rates.” Chicago. 7 Apr. 2014. (http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/May-2014/Chicago-crime-rates/). 8 Apr. 2014.

Esposito, Stefano and Main, Frank. “Chicago Police underreported number of 2012 aggravated assault and battery, audit finds.” Chicago Sun-Times. 7 Apr. 2014. (Chicago Police underreported number of 2012 aggravated assault and battery, audit finds). 8 Apr. 2014.

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Gun ‘Control’ Forced On Boston, Chicago Cops?

I think Survival And Prosperity readers might find the following two firearm-related stories as they concern local law enforcement interesting. From the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop this morning:

There is (or soon will be) not a single person in the State of Illinois who has to register a firearm anymore.

Unless you’re a Chicago Police Officer.

Read the linked order here, right on page two:

H. Sworn members will register all duty and nonduty firearms with the Department

“Register all… nonduty firearms with the Department”

Sorry, but I can’t see many rank-and-file Chicago police officers registering their personally-owned firearms.

I wonder who came up with this idea, and if they actually expect sworn CPD members to comply with the order.

Regardless, as regular Survival And Prosperity readers already know, gun registration often leads to confiscation.

Then there’s this out of the East Coast. Antonio Planas reported on the Boston Herald website yesterday:

Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh is shooting down the plan to arm some Boston patrol officers with military-style rifles – setting up a potential showdown with the department which has backed the controversial measure, citing a need for high-powered weapons in light of school shootings and the marathon bombings.

“Mayor-elect Walsh is opposed to the AR-15 rifles,” his spokeswoman Kathryn Norton said in a short statement yesterday. “Unless otherwise convinced by the Boston Police Department, he does not think they are necessary.”

Walsh would have to approve a budget for 33 AR-15 rifles at a cost of $2,500 each. Police were in the planning phases of acquiring the rifles to put in the cruisers of two specially trained beat cops in each of the city’s 11 districts…

Other local elected representatives oppose BPD patrol officers having access to AR-15s. From the website of Boston’s FOX affiliate Sunday:

City Councilor Charles Yancey is not for the plan and said active-shooter incidents are better left to specialized SWAT team units and the use of assault rifles actually put the public in more danger.

“I don’t believe arming them with assault weapons is going to make them any safer,” he said.

I haven’t heard/read anywhere as to exactly why the Boston mayor-elect is opposed to a limited number of AR-15 rifles going out on patrol.

Has he drunk the “scary black rifle” Kool-Aid being offered up by anti-gun/gun “control” types?

Perhaps he’s ignorant of the 1997 North Hollywood shootout and body armor, and the 2008 Mumbai (India) massacre, where patrol officers armed with semi-automatic rifles could have tipped the scales in favor of the good guys. I’ll never forget those scenes of Mumbai police officers armed with Lee Enfield bolt-action rifles seeking cover as bursts of automatic rifle fire came their way.

Or maybe Mayor-elect Walsh is more shrewd than he’s letting on, having concluded a Kalashnikov can do the same (if not better) job as the AR-15 for a fraction of price. Got to be frugal when it comes to utilizing taxpayer money these days, right?

In all seriousness, I’m guessing it’s probably only a matter of time before Boston experiences an incident where their patrol officers are outgunned at the onset of contact with the bad guys and where SWAT is too late to help. If Boston’s mayor-elect doesn’t want BPD patrols to have access to AR-15s in such a situation, so be it. Just be prepared for the consequences when such an event takes place and police officers and innocent Bostonians are wounded/killed.

By the way, using the excuse “no one could have ever seen this happening” probably won’t cut it.

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

Sources:

SCC. “Once Again, Second Class Citizens.” Second City Cop. 30 Dec. 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/12/once-again-second-class-citizens.html). 30 Dec. 2013.

Planas, Antonio. “Walsh shoots down rifle plan.” Boston Herald. 29 Dec. 2013. (http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_politics/2013/12/walsh_shoots_down_rifle_plan). 30 Dec. 2013.

“Walsh comes out opposing rifle plan for Boston police officers.” FOX 25. 29 Dec. 2013. (http://www.myfoxboston.com/category/233063/about-us). 30 Dec. 2013.

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Monday, December 30th, 2013 Crime, Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Public Safety No Comments

In Chicago, ‘Crime Is Down’ Is Still Being Touted

I see the City of Chicago is still pushing that “crime is down” line pretty hard these days.

Frank Main reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website last night:

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said he will focus on the city’s continuing drop in overall crime when he addresses a City Council budget hearing Thursday…

McCarthy said he plans to tell aldermen that every major category of crime — including murder — is down this year. He’ll also point out that overall crime has fallen consistently over decades. Through Oct. 29, this year’s robbery, burglary and motor vehicle theft totals, for example, were the lowest in the city since 1966.

Not only is crime supposedly down in the “Windy City,” but the Chicago Police Department doesn’t need additional manpower according to Superintendent McCarthy. Main added:

He said the latest crime statistics show that the police department is able to reduce crime without hiring more cops.

“We will work with what we are given,” said McCarthy, who became superintendent in early 2011 after Emanuel took office. “We’ve got enough police. We have more police officers per capita than any large city in the country.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Enter the folks over at the insightful Chicago police blog Second City Cop, and something they wrote earlier this month. SCC blogged on October 16:

Perception is part of the key to people “feeling safe.” The other part is actually being safe, having a visible patrol presence, being seen making arrests, performing traffic stops, and interacting with the public. That isn’t happening in most “safe” neighborhoods because the manpower has been stripped (or retired without replacement) from those areas.

Add in a massive reclassification of crime, increased response times to discourage reporting of crime, making the 3-1-1 (Alternate Response) a nightmare to navigate through and you have all the makings of betraying trust with the community when they can see the uptick in crimes with their own eyes and they no longer believe your numbers.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Before I exited the city in May, I myself witnessed CPD manpower being stripped from my police district (16th), heard stories about this “massive reclassification of crime”- “downgrade and reclassify”- from Chicago police officers, and read about/personally experienced the “nightmare” in interacting with the Chicago Police Department (procedural, not personnel).

The American author and humorist Mark Twain once said:

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

That could very well be the case here.

As for that “we’ve got enough police” statement, it’s no secret that the Chicago Police Department has been burning through massive amounts of funds budgeted for police overtime. John Byrne, Hal Dardick, and Bob Secter reported last week on the Chicago Tribune website:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2014 budget more than doubles the amount initially set aside for police overtime this year, reflecting the increasingly high financial cost of trying to tamp down gun violence on city streets.

The new spending blueprint anticipates $71 million in overtime for police next year, compared with the $32 million the mayor budgeted for 2013 — an estimate the city rapidly blew past in response to a wave of murders and shootings that drew unflattering national attention.

At what point does it make more sense to just hire additional police officers to address the ongoing manpower shortage? You see, having adequate overtime funds to pay cops to continue the “surge” in troubled areas of the city still doesn’t address the problem of manpower being stripped from the “safe” neighborhoods and criminals taking advantage of this situation- unless the City staffs these districts with the new hires. However, the Chicago Tribune reported just this Monday that:

The city plans to hire only enough new officers to keep the size of the force steady at about 12,500 officers.

But as I blogged back on October 26, 2012, the number of police officers in Chicago fell by about 1,000 in the prior six years.

Prior to Rahm becoming mayor, the previously budgeted strength of the Chicago Police Department was 13,500.

“We’ve got enough police.” That’s certainly debatable. Meanwhile, the “safe” neighborhoods remain juicy targets for criminal activity, and a number of Chicagoans will continue to not feel “safe,” despite what the “official” statistics may show.

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

Sources:

Main, Frank. “Top cop touts good news: Every major category of crime down this year.” Chicago Sun-Times. 30 Oct. 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/23441171-418/top-cop-touts-good-news-every-major-category-of-crime-down-this-year.html). 31 Oct. 2013.

SCC. “Crime Stats Are Not to be Believed.” Second City Cop. 16 Oct. 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/10/crime-stats-are-not-to-be-believed.html). 31 Oct. 2013.

Byrne, John, Dardick, Hal, and Secter, Bob. “Emanuel to spend big on police OT in 2014.” Chicago Tribune. 23 Oct. 2013. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-10-23/news/ct-met-rahm-emanuel-budget-1024-20131024_1_police-ot-police-overtime-police-budget). 31 Oct. 2013.

Dardick, Hal and Ruthhart, Bill. “Proposed cigarette tax, police overtime draw council queries.” Chicago Tribune. 28 Oct. 2013. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-10-28/news/ct-met-emanuel-budget-1029-20131029_1_proposed-cigarette-tax-gun-violence-budget-director-alexandra-holt). 31 Oct. 2013.

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Thursday, October 31st, 2013 Crime, Government, Public Safety, Security, Self-Defense No Comments

Policing In Chicago

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know I’ve been covering public safety issues in the city of Chicago for some time now (since 2010). Living on the Northwest Side for the past several years helped provide inspiration and insight. Now, I just got finished reading the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop, and one post from this morning’s offerings paints a pretty good picture (in my opinion) of what’s happened to policing in Chicago in the last couple of years. SCC wrote as part of a discussion on crime statistics:

Perception is part of the key to people “feeling safe.” The other part is actually being safe, having a visible patrol presence, being seen making arrests, performing traffic stops, and interacting with the public. That isn’t happening in most “safe” neighborhoods because the manpower has been stripped (or retired without replacement) from those areas.

Add in a massive reclassification of crime, increased response times to discourage reporting of crime, making the 3-1-1 (Alternate Response) a nightmare to navigate through and you have all the makings of betraying trust with the community when they can see the uptick in crimes with their own eyes and they no longer believe your numbers.

Mind you, the rank-and-file of the Chicago Police Department aren’t the culprits here. If there’s any blamethrowing to be done, the buck stops with CPD brass and City Hall, where a continuing manpower shortage in the department takes its toll on public safety, while taxpayer money continues to be spent on questionable projects.

If the present course continues, and “close encounters of the criminal kind” keep increasing among Chicagoans, I predict a number of aldermen will get their butts tossed to the curb.

The city’s coming “financial reckoning day” should take care of many, if not all, of these remaining local politicians. Including the “Rahmfather” himself, if he hasn’t already left for “greener pastures.”

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

Source:

SCC. “Crime Stats Are Not to be Believed.” Second City Cop. 16 Oct. 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/10/crime-stats-are-not-to-be-believed.html). 16 Oct. 2013.

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Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 Crime, Fiscal Policy, Government, Public Safety, Spending No Comments

More Justification For Postponing Illinois Concealed-Carry?

Yesterday morning on this blog, I asked if concealed-carry in Illinois might not be postponed if Governor Pat Quinn sends the Illinois State Police to Chicago to assist in their battle against gun-related violence. I blogged:

Illinois State Police? Hmm. I wonder if Illinois state troopers being sent to assist the City of Chicago and Chicago Police Department wouldn’t push back the rolling out of concealed-carry in Illinois due to “unforeseen emergency circumstances”? You know, administrative support being all tied-up and such for this event? Considering the financial state the “Land of Lincoln” is in, I doubt the Illinois State Police is well-funded to begin with.

My suspicions about the Illinois State Police being in bad financial shape were confirmed by the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop yesterday. SCC blogged Sunday:

Help will arrive – just as soon as [Illinois State Police Director Hiram] Grau gets the State Police Academy up and running and filled with eager troopers ready to battle crime! Wait, you mean no one told Quinn the State Academy was about as bare as ours had been? That the State Police stopped hiring around the time we did five years ago due to “budgetary constraints” and now they are as short as any police force around the State?

Even more of a reason to get them involved in Chicago’s business and tell anyone who will listen the implementation of concealed-carry in the state has been shelved until further notice?

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

Source:

SCC. “Help is Coming.” Second City Cop. 22 Sep. 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/09/help-is-coming.html). 23 Sep. 2013.

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Burglaries Less Than A Block From Chicago Homes Of Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel?

When living in Chicago these days, burglaries come with the territory.

But at a time when the city’s leaders are telling anyone who will listen that “crime is down,” how many Chicagoans are aware of two burglaries- one confirmed and one alleged- that recently took place less than a block from homes belonging to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and President Barack Obama?

Evelyn Holmes reported on Chicago’s ABC 7 News website yesterday:

Chicago police have issued an alert after seven September burglaries in the South Side Hyde Park neighborhood…

Investigators say the most recent happened on September 12 in the 800 block of 52nd Street.

The crimes began on September 6 in the 5200 block of South Drexel.

After that, there were a half dozen reported break-ins along several Hyde Park blocks, including the 5100 block of South University, less than a block from President Obama’s South Side home.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

And then there’s this from the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop. From a September 1 post entitled “Robbery By Rahm’s House”:

And there was a robbery Sat morning on the corner by Rahms house. Report done but hush hush. No notification to CPIC or news affairs. Didnt want the bad press. Rahms wheels are falling off. And a half block from his house.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

If I were still living in Chicago, I wouldn’t find that “crime is down” claim very reassuring. Especially when you consider the following from “SCC” about the burglary by the Emanuel household:

There must have been about….what….a dozen cops parked within 500 feet of the robbery on progress? Yet it still occurred.

As for the Obama residence, from Chicago’s CBS 2 website back on June 18, 2012:

Even when the president isn’t in town, his block is closed off to all traffic – vehicular and pedestrian – except for persons who also reside on his block. The police presence and security of his home and surrounding location – even though he is hardly ever there – is 24/7.

Yet a burglary still took place less than a block away.

Reminds me of a part from the Steven Spielberg film 1941:

GENERAL STILWELL: Sergeant, I want you to set up a perimeter around the block.
SERGEANT: Yes, sir! What’s the objective, sir!
GENERAL STILWELL: Hold the block! You can hold one block can’t you?

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

Sources:

Holmes, Evelyn. “Hyde Park burglaries prompt community alert.” ABC 7 News. 16 Sep. 2013. (http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local/chicago_news&id=9249275). 17 Sep. 2013.

SCC. “Robbery By Rahm’s House.” Second City Cop. 1 Sep. 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/09/robbery-by-rahms-house.html). 17 Sep. 2013.

Paulson, Scott. “Opinion: Obama Visits Bring Hefty Price Tag.” CBS 2. 18 June 2012. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/06/18/obama-visits-bring-hefty-price-tag/). 17 Sep. 2013.

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Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 Crime, Government, Public Safety No Comments

Chicago Sauganash Attack: ‘Those Kinds Of Things Just Don’t Happen Around Here’

An off-duty Chicago Police Department police officer was almost raped Thursday afternoon close to where I used to live on Chicago’s Northwest Side.

From the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

An off-duty police officer jogging on a path near Sauganash Park and the LaBagh Woods on the Northwest Side was attacked by a man who tried to rip her clothes off.

The officer fought back and yelled, and the attacker took off running. The assault happened about 2:50 p.m. Thursday near Bryn Mawr and Lowell avenues in the Sauganash neighborhood.

The local news media interviewed a couple of Sauganash residents, and one woman said something along the lines of:

Those kinds of things just don’t happen around here.

Regrettably, they do- as demonstrated by yesterday’s incident.

I can see where such violence might have been rare in the past, but with the Chicago Police Department hamstrung by a continuing manpower shortage, and area police districts like the 16th particularly short-handed, the situation nowadays is ripe for exploitation by local and cross-town criminals.

I was reading Second City Cop this morning and stumbled on the following comment in a post about the attempted rape:

Anonymous said…

Why is it that so many white officers who reside on the north/northwest side of Chicago believe that because they reside in that area(s) that these kinds of crimes don’t/won’t occur?

From personal experience, the same can be said of a number of area residents, regardless of color.

I know one thing. If I still lived in the area, I’d take a deep, hard look at the options available to me as it concerns personal safety.

By the way, a different comment on that Second City Cop post claims the off-duty officer that was assaulted is on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “body guard detail.”

Hit a little too close to home, Mr. Mayor?

Now you know how a number of Sauganash residents probably feel today.

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

Sources:

“Off-duty police officer attacked while jogging.” Chicago Tribune. 30 Aug. 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-offduty-officer-attacked-during-afternoon-jog-20130830,0,3164656.story). 30 Aug. 2013.

SCC. “Off-Duty Attacked.” Second City Cop. 30 Aug. 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/08/off-duty-attacked.html). 30 Aug. 2013.

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Friday, August 30th, 2013 Crime, Main Street, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Chicago, Illinois, And Their Gang Problem

While there’s no shortage of Chicagoland politicians these days denouncing what they see as a gun problem here, the truth is, Chicago- and Illinois for that matter- has a major gang problem.

I blogged back on March 19:

Consider the following from the website of Chicago Crime Commission, an independent, non-partisan, civic watchdog organization of business leaders dedicated to educating the public about the dangers of organized criminal activity, especially organized crime and street gangs. Talking about their recent publication, The Gang Book 2012, a comprehensive compilation of data and information concerning street gangs in the Chicagoland area, the Commission said:

There are an estimated 70 to 100 gangs in the Chicago metropolitan area with a membership of between 68,000 to over 150,000.

“Over 150,000”

Back on March 2, 2011, I blogged about DEA and local law enforcement estimates of there being over 100,000 gang members and 75 to 100 street gangs in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Like I said in the intro of this post- gang violence is not just a Chicago-area problem. U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) pointed out in a phone interview with the Chicago Sun-Times that appeared on their website on March 15, 2013:

Illinois is number one per capita in gang membership for population. We have more gang members in our state, it is a long-term economic threat to our future.

Apparently, Chicago now has a higher rate of gang membership per capita than Los Angeles. The state of Illinois has a higher rate of gang membership (8-11 gang members per 1,000 population) than California (5-7 gang members per 1,000 population).

But getting back to the Illinois senator. Earlier this week, a press release from his office noted:

In July, Senator Kirk‘s initiative to curb gang violence was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee as part of the Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill.

If enacted, the legislation would provide $19.5 million for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and its law enforcement agencies with directives to locate, arrest, prosecute and convict members of “Gangs of National Significance.”

As part of that effort, $7.52 million in new funding would be directed toward the U.S. Marshals Service to operate anti-gang investigate units to increase law enforcement’s ability to identify, locate and arrest violent gang fugitives, and increase the Marshals Services’ anti-gang training and operations. The U.S. Marshals Service Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force is based in Illinois, with a variety of local law enforcement agencies participating. The DuPage County Sheriff currently has two deputies detailed to the task force.

An additional $12 million would be provided to the Violent Gang and Gun Crime Reduction Grant Program, which is also known as Project Safe Neighborhoods. This effort would more than double the current funding for the anti-gang effort spearheaded by local United States Attorneys…

The legislation would also direct $100 million in additional funding to the ATF, so that the agency can employ 160 more agents and enhance enforcement of firearms laws.

Federal funds to fight the gang problem? I can’t see too many people having a beef with that.

But regarding the ATF, the August 19 press release also said:

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today called on the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to appoint a Chicago-based anti-gang coordinator for Illinois.

“A Chicago-based anti-gang coordinator for Illinois”

Hmm. Reading the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop yesterday, I get the impression rank-and-file Chicago Police Department officers might not be so hot on adding another chief to the mix as things stand right now. SCC wrote:

And his push for “federal….coordinator(s)” reeks of touchy-feely left-wing nonsense solutions.

What’s that old saying?

“Too many chiefs, and not enough Indians”

I wonder if that isn’t the situation here with the CPD and their lingering manpower shortage.

You can read the entire press release from Senator Kirk’s office here.

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

Source:

SCC. “Senator Kirk is So Street!” Second City Cop. 20 Aug. 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/08/senator-kirk-is-so-street.html). 21 Aug 2013.

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Chicagoans: Should They Stay Or Should They Go?

These days, there are times living out here in the northwest suburbs of Chicago that I feel like Henry Hill (played by actor Ray Liotta) at the end of the 1990 film Goodfellas.

No, not that part about Henry living the rest of his life as a “schnook.”

Rather, where previously I could step out my door adjacent to a major city artery and things were generally hopping, this suburban subdivision I now live in can be pretty dull at times (which isn’t entirely a bad thing).

Thank god the Italian food around here isn’t nearly as bad as what the other Hill encountered.

Grazie a Dio.

However, I was just reminded this morning of one of the big reasons why my girlfriend and I moved out of the city of Chicago while reading the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop. “016 Up For Grabs” discussed 5 people getting shot in less than 2 days in the Chicago Police Department’s 16th District, something that kind of hit home considering I used to live in that same district.

Now, it’s not like crime never happened in 016 before. It’s the big city, and the 80 percent of good, law-abiding people are packed shoulder-to-shoulder with the 10 percent of human refuse and remaining 10 percent who play by the rules because they’re forced to. I can recall walking into a convenience store down the street from me just minutes after it had been robbed, having a “welcome to the new home” plant stolen from my building’s entryway shortly after it had been delivered, and finding a big metal Coleman cooler stolen from my underground parking garage space- all within weeks after moving in to my old Northwest Side neighborhood, one of the “nicer” ones in the city.

Funny thing about that cooler. It used to store bottles of antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, engine oil, and more- none of which was taken even though it was inside the cooler. But plenty of which splashed around and/or leaked in that container.

Something tells me those bastards got pretty ill later drinking from those beer bottles/cans because they were too lazy to clean out that cooler before using it.

Karma’s a bitch. Or here’s hoping, right?

Still, armed with “intel” from Second City Cop and other alternative media with a local focus (Chicago mainstream media was hit-or-miss on reporting criminal activity in my neighborhood), Chicago-related research/blog material, and my own local observations, I realized that the 16th District had not only become “grittier” as it concerned crime, but it was occurring at a time when police protection in my area was significantly-reduced from when I first moved in.

Coupled with the City of Chicago’s financial woes that are finally coming home to roost? Chicagoans don’t need to be brain surgeons to figure this one out. Like I’ve been saying for some time now, more fees/fines/taxes and less government services seem to be on the horizon.

I suspect less police protection will be part of that equation, unless Chicago taxpayers pony up more of their hard-earned cash to at least keep the “thin blue line” intact.

And boy is it thin these days.

But I suspect increased revenues will be directed at Chicago’s public employee pension crisis and City Hall’s pet projects (where’s my park, dang it) before it’s steered over to the CPD and public safety.

In other words, Chicagoans had better be prepared to keep hearing “crime is down” for a long time.

In the meantime, City Hall still can’t comprehend that losing Downtown to all the wilding will see the City’s bottom line hit hard as word gets out.

Judging by recent MSM coverage nationwide about such criminal activity here, the word’s already out.

I wonder how hard it is to fudge tourism numbers?

While I would have preferred to have stayed in Chicago, and in particular, our old or the adjacent neighborhood in the CPD’s 16th District, considering what I see is in store for the area and our particular circumstances, my girlfriend and I made the right decision to move when and where we did.

Then again, that might not be the “correct” decision for other Chicagoans. Consider this. We didn’t have much invested in our old location. We didn’t own it (could have, but we steered clear of buying anything until home prices came back down to earth somewhat), we weren’t required to live within the city limits as required by a municipal job, we don’t have kids in the local schools, family and friends didn’t live down the street, the list goes on. So it wasn’t all too painful for us to just pick up and leave when our latest lease ran out.

The same can’t be said for others, and I respect that.

At least I, for one, have given you enough notice of what to expect down the road.

Prepare accordingly.

Is the “Second City” going to get worse? Could get “Third World” when all is said and done, and the ongoing financial storm finally blows completely through.

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

Source:

SCC. “016 Up For Grabs.” Second City Cop. 13 Aug. 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/08/016-up-for-grabs.html). 13 Aug. 2013.

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Chicago ‘National Poster Child For Financial Distress’?

Whew. After spending a good deal of the day Saturday at a birthday party for one of my girlfriend’s sisters, I was pretty sore the next morning when I hobbled down my driveway to retrieve the Sunday paper. After a little breakfast, I busted out the “Business” section of the Chicago Tribune and read the following in the weekly finance/investing column by Gail MarksJarvis. She wrote:

Chicago is receiving the type of notoriety no city would want. And its reputation is undermining investments individuals have made in the city’s municipal bonds.

Chicago has become a national poster child for financial distress in the aftermath of the Detroit bankruptcy, as bond analysts have been warning investors about cities and states that could be financially risky in the future.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Whoa! My reaction was similar to comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s when an audience member approached him and asked if he would be interested in hearing a story about a beaver biting off a man’s nipple:

“Okay, you’ve got my undivided attention.”

Now, it’s not like MarksJarvis is one of those financial “journalists” who see America- especially Obama’s America- through rose-colored glasses and dare not scratch the surface of an economic portrait constructed by a government which has a history of tinkering with the reporting that not surprisingly ends up looking more positive. Unlike these Pollyannas- I have no beef with MarksJarvis and read her column when I get the time (along with Tribune real estate reporter Mary Umberger).

MarksJarvis continued:

“Between Chicago’s appalling murder rate, blubbery unfunded pensions and ratings downgrades, don’t touch this credit with a 10 foot pole,” Marilyn Cohen, chief executive of Envision Capital, wrote in a report to clients this week.

The Los Angeles-based bond manager warned individuals not to be lured by the extra yield they can earn by taking chances on risky cities and states.

“Illinois, Chicago and Puerto Rico are on the bottom of the barrel,” she said. “The Chicago murder rate is a symptom of the city unable to grapple with its problems or its pension debacle. The unions have a stranglehold on the city and state and no one has been willing to raise revenue or do what needs to be done.”

Cohen is just one of many analysts waiving red flags over Chicago municipal bonds since Detroit filed for bankruptcy and made investors aware that large U.S. cities may become so troubled that individuals can lose money in general obligation bonds they assumed were rock solid.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Funny. From what I’ve heard/read, Cohen might want to look at tossing her home state of California into that barrel as well.

Regardless, a no-holds-barred assessment of Chicago and Illinois as it relates to their bonds.

“Don’t touch this credit with a 10 foot pole.”

Ouch!

Oh well. It’s money we’re talking about here.

“No time for love, Dr. Jones.”

Now, after Detroit filed for bankruptcy last month, a number of people rushed to Chicago’s defense against claims the “Windy City” might be/is on the path of becoming the next “Motor City.” From my Sunday paper:

Bond analysts note that if the city can’t control crime and residents move out, Chicago eventually could face the urban flight issue that left Detroit with the need to spend more on safety while the number of homeowners paying taxes was in decline.

“Chicago eventually could face the urban flight issue.”

It’s an issue already on the table. Not only has it happened before (I once worked with a suburban firefighter whose family made the difficult choice of leaving Chicago’s deteriorating West Side in the late 60s-early 70s for the northwest suburban “boonies” at that time), but the argument can be made that’s it’s starting again, as I type away on my keyboard here in my new home office (in progress) in the northwest suburbs and knowing of other ex-city dwellers who’ve departed what they feel has become “Rahmabad” (as I just heard Chicago being referred to this weekend) while making their presence known on alternative media sites like Second City Cop and others.

While not a flood, there’s a trickle.

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

Source:

MarksJarvis, Gail. “MarksJarvis: Chicago gives investors another reason to rethink municipal bonds.” Chicago Tribune. 4 Aug. 2013. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-08-04/business/ct-biz-0804-gail-bonds–20130804_1_municipal-bonds-municipal-market-advisors-matt-fabian). 4 Aug. 2013.

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City Of Chicago 2012 Audit Shows Debt Continues To Grow

I’ve been wondering when information regarding the latest City of Chicago audit would be released.

And wouldn’t you know it, it happened on a Friday evening.

That bad, huh?

Not really. Just continuing a worsening trend when it comes to the City’s long-term debt.

Thankfully, Chicago Sun-Times City Hall Reporter Fran Spielman picked up on the audit’s release and broke it down for readers when, as far as I can tell, no other Chicago mainstream media outlet is discussing it. Spielman wrote Friday night:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed the books on 2012 with $33.4 million in unallocated cash on hand — down from $167 million the year before — while adding to the mountain of debt piled on Chicago taxpayers, year-end audits show.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Spielman was all over the 2011 audit release too, and reported back on July 22, 2012:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed the books on 2011 with $310 million in cash on hand, $167 million more than the year before.

$310 million cash cushion in 2011 (or is $167 million?- will try to clarify with Ms. Spielman) down to $33.4 million in 2012. Not the best news.

(Editor’s note: Ms. Spielman confirmed with me that the cash cushion in 2011 turned out to be that $167 million figure. So, $167 million all the way down to $33.4 million= still not good).

Regarding the “mountain of debt,” the Sun-Times reporter wrote last year that the City amassed an additional $465 million in debt according to the 2011 audit, bringing the City of Chicago’s total long-term debt to just over $27 billion, or $10,000 for every one of the city’s nearly 2.7 million residents.

In Friday night’s piece, Spielman pointed out:

The new round of borrowing brings Chicago’s total long-term debt to nearly $29 billion. That’s $10,780 for every one of the city’s nearly 2.69 million residents. More than a decade ago, the debt load was $9.6 billion or $3,338 per resident.

Around $2 billion more in additional long-term debt- or $780 more per Chicagoan- in just one year.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Hall have found themselves in a difficult situation once more, one that I’ve been warning about for some time now. Spielman added:

By July 31, Emanuel must release a preliminary city budget. It’s almost certain to include another massive deficit — strengthening the city’s case in contract talks with city unions — that will have to be closed with more layoffs, service cuts and new revenues.

What’s that I’ve been saying? Expect new/higher taxes and fees, and less government services, as the financial crisis marches on.

Hat tip to Second City Cop for picking up on the Sun-Times article, and a nice job by Fran Spielman for staying on top of these revealing audits.

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

Sources:

Spielman, Fran. “2011 audit shows Chicago has more cash and growing debt load.” Chicago Sun-Times. 22 July 2012. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/13895641-418/2011-audit-shows-chicago-has-more-cash-and-growing-debt-load.html). 29 July 2013.

Spielman, Fran. “City of Chicago’s cash cushion plummets, debt triples, arrests drop, water use rises.” Chicago Sun-Times. 26 July 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/21552920-761/city-by-the-numbers-cash-cushion-plummets-debt-triples-arrests-drop-water-use-rises.html). 29 July 2013.

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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