I will be using this website for firearms training information for the time being.

Duke's Blotter will always be available at this site for future reference and who knows, maybe I'll start using it again for news.
Where the TRUTH starts. Public Pension Reform. Law Enforcement News. Officer Down News. Collective Bargaining. Corruption. - See more at: http://www.dukesblotter.com/#sthash.gzOejJCT.dpuf
Where the TRUTH starts. Public Pension Reform. Law Enforcement News. Officer Down News. Collective Bargaining. Corruption. - See more at: http://www.dukesblotter.com/#sthash.gzOejJCT.dpuf

Officer Down

Monday, November 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Marines!!!!!!!


While some Koschman cops await fate, many get big pensions

--If Daley's nephew had been the victim, they would have moved mountains to make an arrest and get a convictions. Instead, they lifted the mountain and buried everything to do with this case under it.
I am all for the "old school" way, but when someone dies there is a limit to what lengths you can go to help someone out.--

-Chicago Sun-Times-

Sun, 11/09/2014

Nine months after a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, not a single cop has been disciplined for letting Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko get away for nearly 10 years with killing David Koschman.

And many of them can’t be punished because they no longer work for the city.

Dan K. Webb, the court-appointed special prosecutor who won Vanecko’s conviction in January, identified 53 police personnel involved in two botched investigations of Koschman’s death.

Both investigations — the first in 2004 and the second, prompted by Chicago Sun-Times reporting, in 2011 — ended with no charges filed.

Vanecko was finally charged in December 2012, when a grand jury led by Webb indicted him.

 RELATED: Complete coverage of the killing of David Koschman.

After Webb wrapped up his investigation, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration asked City Hall Inspector General Joseph Ferguson to determine whether any police officers should be disciplined for their roles in the Koschman case. Police Supt. Garry McCarthy is awaiting Ferguson’s recommendations.

But only 21 of the cops and other police officials identified by Webb remain on the city payroll, still subject to possible disciplinary action. Their salaries total more than $2.2 million a year.

Twenty-eight others have retired and are collecting pensions totaling $2.6 million a year. Another has died, one is on disability, and two others have left the department.

Here’s a look at the Koschman cops:


◆ Patrol Officer Edwin Tremore — responded after Koschman was punched. Pay: $80,724.

◆ Sgt. Patrick Moyer — signed Tremore’s report. Retired June 2013. Pension: $69,907.

◆ Cmdr. William O’Donnell — boss of cops on Rush Street. Retired March 2008. Pension: $98,843.

◆ Cmdr. Michael Chasen — top cop in Area 3 detective division, which investigated Koschman’s death. Retired July 2008. Pension: $130,468.

◆ Lt. Richard Rybicki — supervised case. Retired July 2006. Pension: $88,688.

◆ Det. Rita O’Leary — the first detective on the case. Retired August 2014. Pension: $69,059.

◆ Det. Robert W. Clemens — Rita O’Leary’s partner. Retired September 2012. Pension: $74,756.

◆ Sgt. Robert O’Leary — supervised O’Leary and Clemens. Retired March 2011. Pension: $84,884.

◆ Cmdr. James Gibson — approved several case reports as a sergeant. Retired August 2013. Pension: $90,940.

◆ Det. Andrew Sobolewski — listed as “primary detective” but never worked on case. Died in July 2012.

◆ Det. Edward Day — listed Sobolewski as being assigned the case. Retired April 2006. Pension: $73,373.

◆ Sgt. Gillian McLaughlin — another case supervisor. Retired in October 2010. Pension: $86,438.

◆ Patrol Officer Tracie Sheehan — oversaw transfer of Koschman’s body to the Cook County morgue. Pay: $78,012.

◆ Det. Thomas Skelly — assigned to the case before it was reclassified a homicide. Pay: $87,372.

◆ Det. Kenneth Webb — opened case to which Skelly was assigned. Retired June 2012. Pension: $76,994.

◆ Det. Ronald E. Yawger — lead detective in the homicide case. Retired August 2007. Pension: $77,443. Now an investigator for Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Pay: $81,264.

◆ Det. Anthony Giralamo — Yawger’s partner. Retired January 2007. Pension: $37,632.

◆ Det. Edward J. Louis — interviewed a Koschman friend, but his notes are missing. Retired April 2010. Pension: $77,931.

◆ Det. Anthony A. Villardita — Louis’ partner. Retired April 2010. Pension: $75,378.

◆ Det. Charles A. Redman — assisting detective. Retired April 2010. Pension: $77,931.

◆ Det. Patrick Flynn Jr. — with Yawger oversaw Vanecko’s police lineup. Retired September 2004. Pension: $73,168. Now a security officer for city’s aviation department. Pay: $60,648.

◆ Det. John Griffin — took Vanecko lineup photos. Retired February 2006. Pension: $74,985.

◆ Evidence Technician Willard Streff — took lineup photos of Vanecko’s friends. Retired April 2014. Pension: $69,746.

◆ Supt. Phil Cline — city’s top cop when Koschman was punched. Retired August 2007. Pension: $162,972. Now heads not-for-profit Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. Pay: $115,707 in 2012.

◆ Thomas Epach — former Cook County prosecutor who was Cline’s assistant. Retired. Pension: $42,414.

◆ Dep. Supt. Hiram Grau — detective bureau supervisor. Retired June 2008. Pension: $133,194. Now heads Illinois State Police. Pay: $132,566.

◆ Chief of Detectives James Molloy — detectives’ day-to-day supervisor. Retired June 2007. Pension: $141,629

◆ Deputy Chief of Detectives Richard Kobel — Molloy’s deputy. Retired June 2005. Pension $123,153.

◆ Officer Matthew Sandoval — handled media request for case files. Pay: $78,012.


◆ Supt. Jody Weis — ordered reinvestigation of Koschman case after Sun-Times requested files. Quit in 2011.

◆ General Counsel Debra Kirby — alerted Weis about Sun-Times request. Retired January 2014. Pension: $122,352.

◆ Chief of Staff Michael G. Masters — discussed case with Weis and Kirby. Now heads Cook County Emergency Management Agency. Pay: $160,000.

◆ Legal Officer James McCarthy — got copy of Sun-Times request. Now a sergeant. Pay: $102,564.

◆ Legal Officer Terrence J. Collins — got copy of Sun-Times request. Pay: $93,708.

◆ Sgt. Melinda Polan Linas — helped oversee handling of Sun-Times request. Pay: $99,444.

◆ Officer Rory O’Brien — handled Sun-Times request. Pay: $78,012.

◆ Deputy Supt. Steven Peterson — convened meeting on re-investigation. Retired August 2011. Pension: $142,438.

◆ Assistant General Counsel William Bazarek — attended meeting. Pay: $129,096.

◆ Chief of Detectives Thomas Byrne — attended meeting. Retired June 2013. Pension: $115,879.

◆ Deputy Chief of Detectives Constantine “Dean” Andrews — attended meeting and reassigned case to new set of detectives. Now deputy chief of patrol. Pay: $162,012.

◆ Cmdr. Gary Yamashiroya — attended meeting. Opposed Andrews’ decision to take case out of his jurisdiction. Pay: $154,932.

◆ Lt. Denis P. Walsh — couldn’t find original Koschman case file. 2014 salary: $122,718. 2013 overtime: $32,248.

◆ Cmdr. Joseph Salemme — attended meeting. Took over case from Yamashiroya’s detectives. Pay: $154,932.

◆ Sgt. Sam J. Cirone — supervised re-investigation. 2014 salary: $105,864. 2013 overtime: $37,085.

◆ Det. James Gilger — lead detective on re-investigation. 2014 salary: $93,192. 2013 overtime: $60,687.

◆ Det. Nicholas Spanos — Gilger’s partner. 2014 salary: $87,732. 2013 overtime: $44,598.

◆ Det. Emiliano Leal — assisted Gilger. 2014 salary: $90,540. 2013 overtime: $3,102.

◆ Sgt. Thomas Mills — signed Gilger’s reports. Pay: $105,864.

◆ Lt. Maureen Biggane — coordinated response to Sun-Times with Mayor Daley’s staff. Pay: $119,076.

◆ Deputy Supt. Ernest Brown — briefed reporters on case. Retired December 2011. Pension $127,148. Now police chief in suburban Darien.

◆ Internal Affairs Det. Richard Downs — investigated missing files Walsh later found. 2014 salary: $93,192. 2013 overtime: $11,652.

◆ Sgt. Thomas Flaherty — Walsh’s former partner, who said he was present when files were found. 2014 salary: $105,864.

◆ Det. Nicholas Rossi — explained police record-keeping procedures to special prosecutor. Now on disability leave. Pay: $63,936.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The most dangerous block in Chicago

--I know it sounds impossible but I do believe people can start taking back these blocks and neighborhoods by partnering with the police and making these places undesirable for gang bangers and drug dealers.
All day street activities, all night campouts, lot's of street lights. It will take time and determination but I think they could make progress.--

-Chicago Sun-Times-

Fri, 10/31/2014
Frank Main

They call it “O Block.”

It’s a notorious stretch of South Side real estate known for violence.

On maps, it’s the 6400 block of South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. But it’s just O Block to people there and in frequent references to the street in the blood-drenched lyrics of Chief Keef and other Chicago rappers.

The sprawling Parkway Gardens low-income apartment complex sits on one side of the street. A string of businesses including an Auto Zone, a food mart and the Chicago Crusader newspaper lines the other.

Young men in hoodies and low-riding jeans gather in the courtyards here, staring down strangers. Mothers hurry past, holding tight to little hands as they shuttle between the neighborhood school and the safety of their apartments. Security cameras posted nearly everywhere here see it all.

Gang members gave O Block the name. The O was for 20-year-old Odee Perry, a gang member gunned down just around the corner on a summer’s night in 2011. His killer? A female gang assassin, police sources say. She later was shot to death not far from here.

Perry was one of 19 people shot on O Block between June 2011 and June 2014. That makes it the most dangerous block in Chicago in terms of shootings in that three-year period, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found.

Two of the victims were killed.

None of the shootings has resulted in criminal charges.

And none of the weapons has been recovered.

The number of people shot would have been even higher, the police say, if not for one shooter’s bad aim. Gerald Preacely, 22, is accused of shooting at a group of people standing outdoors on O Block on June 3 — then firing at two police officers who saw him do it. Somehow, no one was hit. Preacely — already on parole for illegal possession of a gun — is now charged with attempted murder.


Despite the violence, things are actually better now around O Block than they’ve been, the police and politicians say. They point to figures that show most of the shootings on O Block the past three years happened in the first two years of that span and that no one has been shot to death in two years.

Shootings are also down in the general area. O Block sits in the midst of the Chicago Police Department’s Beat 312, which stretches east from the Dan Ryan Expressway past Cottage Grove, roughly between 63rd and 65th streets. Since 2012, the number of shootings in Beat 312 is down by 59 percent through September, the police say.

In an effort to curb the violence, more officers have been assigned to patrol the area on foot and in cars, focusing on an “impact zone,” drawn up in February 2013, of five square blocks with O Block near the middle. Ten veteran officers patrol the zone, along with additional officers fresh out of the police academy.

“There is progress being made in the beat and the whole district,” says Robert Tracy, chief of crime-control strategy for police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

Ald. Willie Cochran (20th), a former police sergeant whose ward includes O Block, says the police have sent a message to gangs that the shooting must stop.

“The gangbangers have listened,” says Cochran, whose 26 years as a cop included time patrolling O Block and the surrounding area. “They have cooperated.”

But the shootings, while down, haven’t stopped.

A little past 9 in the morning on Oct. 23, young kids from the neighborhood were safe in their classrooms at Dulles elementary school, a block north. But on O Block, yellow police tape marked the scene of another shooting.

It had been going on all night long, according to people at the Parkway Gardens apartments, where popular rapper Chief Keef used to hang out.

Then, at 9:20 a.m., a 22-year-old man was shot in the face inside the Parkway Super Market at 6435 S. King Dr. across from Parkway Gardens. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

James Rufus is a butcher at the Parkway Super Market. Things will have to improve a lot more before he feels safe. On April 14, Rufus’ 23-year-old nephew was shot on O Block. A man in a hooded sweatshirt followed him out of the supermarket, pulled a gun and shot him in the head outside Parkway Gardens.

The nephew survived but was left paralyzed. He got out of the hospital in September and now needs a wheelchair to get around.

Rufus says he thinks a gang member from Woodlawn, east of King Drive, shot his nephew, mistaking him for a rival.

“It could be better, much better, around here,” says Rufus. “I see more kids during school hours than after school. They’re just hanging out. Things still need to change.”


When Michelle Obama was a baby, her family lived on O Block, in Parkway Gardens, the complex of 35 buildings that stretches from 63rd to 66th along King Drive. She wasn’t even 2 when her parents moved the family from Parkway Gardens to a home on Euclid Avenue closer to the lake in 1965.

Her childhood memories of the apartment complex where she once lived are of “a wonderful, small apartment building,” the first lady told Time magazine in 2009. “But now when I pass it, it’s — I was, like, God, I never saw that apartment in the way that I’m seeing it now.”

Over the years, Parkway Gardens became a haven for gangs. These days, the police say, the Black Disciples control both sides of King Drive and Parkway Gardens, and the rival Gangster Disciples claim the neighborhood of single-family homes to the east.

The gangs fuel their antagonism online in 140-character bursts on Twitter and in rap songs uploaded to YouTube. Often, it carries over into real life.

That’s what gives the area its other name: “Wiiic City” — for Wild, Insane, Crazy.

“You can catch a shooting in the rain, the snow or the sun,” says one cop who works the block. “The GDs won’t go in to the McDonald’s or the drive-through because that’s BD. It’s all about territory.”

The dismantling of a nearby Chicago Housing Authority high-rise complex also figures into the calculus of crime on the block. Randolph Towers — 144 apartments spread across 16 buildings in the 6200 block of South Calumet — had been the hub of operations for the Black Disciples until it was razed in 2007 as part of the CHA’s Plan for Transformation, the police say.

Many of those gang members moved about three blocks away, to the low-rise Parkway Gardens apartments, which are privately managed and cater to low-income tenants.

Ever since, there’s been friction between BDs and GDs outside the complex.


Around O Block, people fear the gangs.

“It’s rough,” one woman says. “A lot of shootings happen.”

A woman who’s lived in Parkway Gardens for a quarter century says: “It was nicer back then, flowers planted in the beds, the grass kept up, less violence in and around the complex. You have to watch yourself more these days.”

Another, the mother of a young daughter, says that when she wants the girl to be able to play outdoors, she takes her to a park on the Southwest Side because of the frequent gunfire outside her apartment in Parkway Gardens.

Yet another young mom, Stacey Griffin, echoes that: “I have to watch my back, always watching over your shoulder. The police do be around, but, I mean, crime still goes on. I rush my son in to the house because you never know what’s going to happen. I don’t allow my son to play in the playground, either. I would take him to a far-out, better neighborhood to let him play.”

A young man offers a warning to anyone unfamiliar with the area: “It’s dangerous out here. If you ain’t from here, don’t come here, please don’t. It’s real, it’s hectic.”

In “52 Bars (Part 4),” Chicago rapper Lil Durk lamented the violence and gave a nod to Sheroid Liggins, a reputed gang member shot and killed in February 2012 when he walked out of a store on O Block: “Askin’ why they took Sheroid. Gave an inch they took a yard.”

In the winter of 2011, the Rev. Corey Brooks became famous as the pastor on the roof when he camped out for months on top of a boarded-up motel nearby, in the 6600 block of South King Drive, to draw national attention to the rampant gunfire in the neighborhood. Brooks says things aren’t as bad today. But gang factions continue to battle there, he says, with homemade rap videos posted online often fueling the violence.

Gang members from the Parkway Gardens side of King Drive still risk getting shot if they cross Vernon Avenue two blocks to the east or venture north past 63rd, says Brooks, who raised more than $450,000 with his rooftop campaign, bought and demolished the motel and plans to build a community center in its place.

“You have kids on both sides who are fenced in because of their conflicts with each other,” he says of O Block.

He points to Parkway Gardens and says the difference between the mid-1960s, when the first lady’s family lived there, and today is drastic.

“The environment was family-focused,” he says. “People were working. When you eliminate all those things from a community — men not in the household and education failing — it will be a drastic difference than what the first lady of the United States and her family experienced.”


Tracy, the police crime-control strategy chief, says O Block remains one of his major challenges.
“We have to stay ahead of it,” he says of the violence there.

The police have tried to do that by pouring officers into the “impact zone” around Parkway Gardens. They’re also putting to use strategies, suggested by a Yale sociologist who’s studied crime in Chicago, that aim to identify potential troublemakers and stop them from shooting.

They’ve done a “gang audit” to identify gang members in the area. Now, after a shooting, police officials say they can use this list to go to gang members and make it clear they’re watching them and won’t tolerate retaliation.

Also, they say they are monitoring social media for threats between gang members.

And they are now targeting gang members deemed likely, on the basis of the circles they travel in, to commit violent acts — or to become a victim of violence — by warning them they’re at risk and ietting them know they’re being watched.

These tactics, based on the research of Yale sociologist Andrew Papachristos, have been effective elsewhere around the city, the police say.

In the 20 months before the police drew up the five-square-block impact zone that includes O Block and started putting extra officers on patrol, there were 32 shootings. In the first 20 months after, there were 10 shootings — a sign, the police say, of progress.

Officers in marked and unmarked cars regularly can be seen driving along O Block and through the Parkway Gardens complex. On several afternoons in recent weeks, an officer was parked the entire time in a marked squad car in the complex on side streets off King Drive, and private security guards could be seen walking through the courtyards.

“They put in new security and removed people who weren’t supposed to be living there,” says Ald. Cochran, who says he pushed for a change at Parkway Gardens that saw Related Companies take over the complex’s management in late 2012.

Before that, Cochran says, “You had a lot of people who were not on the lease in places where guns, drugs and gang members were being harbored.”

Related has put in a $350,000 artificial turf field at Dulles elementary school, adjacent to Parkway Gardens, hoping to give kids and teens a place to play.

“The presence and quick response of officers has deterred crime recently,” the alderman says.

“We have not solved it 100 percent. But there has been a host of actions that have been taken.”


On a recent afternoon, dozens of young men lingered in the courtyards at Parkway Gardens. “Maybe you shouldn’t be here anymore,” one warned.

Yvonne Gayden has felt the violence — and says it still hangs over O Block and Parkway Gardens. Her son, Edward Riley, 20, was shot to death as he walked with his girlfriend on O Block on Oct. 19, 2011. The two gunmen also shot and wounded a 15-year-old boy.

Riley had attended Dulles elementary when the family lived in the neighborhood, near 63rd and Eberhart. Later, they moved north to 53rd and Wallace, but Parkway Gardens was his world, his mother says.

Gayden says her son was a “kindhearted young man,” despite having a rap sheet with arrests for drug possession and gambling and having been convicted for possessing a handgun with a defaced serial number.

“He was no angel,” she says. “But I will not blame my son for hanging out at Parkway with his friends. He grew up with those guys.”

Still, she says she warned him about going there.

“That place is a death trap,” she says.

Contributing: Art Golab

Traffic stops top cause of death for law enforcement officers

--This is why I hate whenever I hear the word >ROUTINE< associated with any aspect of police work.
The word should be stricken from the vocabulary when discussing police work, or fire fighting for that matter. There is no such thing as a routine call in either profession.
A police officer should NEVER approach any situation, especially a traffic stop, as routine. And, the media should never use the word to describe the actions of any first responder.
For all you young cops out there, get the word out of your vocabulary! Never use it in a report, and never, ever use it in court testimony. Don't develop patrol routines, coffee routines, or any other routine that could allow someone the opportunity to plan and do you harm.--

-Joplin Globe-

By ANDRA BRYAN STEFANONI astefanoni@joplinglobe.com
Posted: Saturday, November 8, 2014 5:19 pm

Matthew Chism became the 97th law enforcement officer in the country to die in the line of duty this year when he was shot following a traffic stop last week.

He also is just the latest in a long line of officers from the Four-State Area who died during traffic stops.

Early on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 2, Chism, a Cedar County deputy, attempted to pull over a vehicle in El Dorado Springs. The driver allegedly refused to stop and at one point a passenger, William Collins, 28, jumped out at an intersection and ran. Chism, 25, gave chase on foot, leading to an altercation in which both men were fatally shot.

It is not an isolated case; traffic stops have become the leading cause of death for police officers, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in Washington.

From 2000 through 2009, 118 officers were killed conducting traffic stops, compared with 82 handling domestic-violence complaints and 74 during disturbance calls.

"It gives you cold chills," said Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland. "(Chism) got up and kissed his wife goodbye that day, looked at his baby, went to work like any other day. And look.
"The problem is, it will be a big news deal today. Then tomorrow, that wife and that baby are by themselves. The public won’t care anymore, they’ll move on."

Copeland said he puts a notice on his department bulletin board every time an officer anywhere is killed in the line of duty and it stays there as a reminder for a while.

"It's way too often," he said. "Every 53 hours."

"There’s more and more getting killed in their cars — a bogus call, the officer shows up, a sniper shoots. You can’t defend against that."

But law enforcement agencies at all levels are striving to lower the numbers through stepped-up training, tools and awareness.

The FBI Academy’s one-week Law Enforcement Training for Safety and Survival program is designed to give participants "the skills and mindset required to identify and handle critical situations in high-risk environments," such as traffic stops. The National Crime Information Center — accessed by more than 92,000 agencies — also added a Violent Persons File in 2012 that officers can use during a routine traffic stop to determine if a person in the vehicle that has been stopped has a violent criminal history or previously threatened law enforcement.

'Seen it all'

Mark Lomax, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association, is retired from the Pennsylvania State Police Department after 27 years. His son is a Maryland state trooper. He said he has seen it all.

“Over the course of my career, I lost a lot of friends — not only within the state police but other police agencies,” Lomax said. “The dangers are not only with the bad guy, the criminal, but we lose more police officers in the U.S. through car accidents and vehicle stops.”

“Of course, that’s the police officer’s office — a patrol car — the majority of their time.”

Lomax advocates a training program, “Below 100,” started in 2010 after a dinner table conversation by Capt. Travis Yates of the Tulsa (Oklahoma) Police Department and colleagues following a spate of officer deaths.

Led by a team of core trainers, with support from outside partners and sponsors, its goal is simple: To reduce line-of-duty deaths, including those from traffic stops, to fewer than 100 per year — a number not seen nationally since 1944. To do so, they analyzed commonalities in officer deaths and then created and implemented five basic tenets. Among them: Wear a seat belt, wear a bullet-proof vest, and watch speed.

"The fourth is 'WIN, or What's Important Now?' — meaning you can’t be giving out a citation to someone and looking down at text messaging. Focus on what you’re doing. Make sure you’re visible, how traffic is moving, what's going on in the car."

"The fifth is 'Remember: Complacency kills.' When you do things over and over again, you tend to get complacent," he said. "You're running radar at a certain location every day for years. You pull someone over, write a ticket, the next time you will do it without thinking. The individual in the car could have just robbed a store, or be on "America's Most Wanted." You always have to assume that."

The Below 100 program, he said, "has been taught to tens of thousands of police officers."
In some states, such as California and Ohio, it’s mandatory to go through the training.

"You can’t really measure how many lives that program has saved, but anecdotal stories come back that show it does save lives," said Lomax.

Below 100 officials believe they're getting closer to their goal: Today, the average is 150 officers killed per year. In 1974 — the all-time high year for officer deaths — 278 were killed in the line of duty.

Numerous other officers of various local city, county and state departments also have died during traffic stops, including:

• Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Russell W. Harper, 45, who was shot and killed in 1987 after he pulled over a pick-up truck near Springfield for a traffic violation. The driver of the truck emerged and fired several rounds at Harper through the patrol car's windshield. Harper was killed by the gunfire and the shooter left the scene. He was later caught and eventually executed.

• In 1985, Missouri Highway Patrol troopers Jimmy Linegar and Allen Hines were conducting a spot check near Branson when Linegar unknowingly stopped a man who just been indicted by a federal grand jury for involvement in a Neo-Nazi group accused of murder. The man shot Linegar with a machine pistol as Linegar approached the van to ask more questions. Hines was wounded by gunfire and the shooter fled. He was later captured and sentenced to life without parole.

• In 1996, Barry County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Castetter was shot and killed after responding to a suspicious vehicle call. The operator of the vehicle had just assaulted his girlfriend and was awaiting her return to her home. As Deputy Castetter pulled up, the suspect opened the door to his patrol car and shot him in the head. The killer remains on death row.

• In Joplin, in 1967, Patrolman Robert Clifton was shot and killed when he and another officer stopped a vehicle for a routine inspection. The vehicle was occupied by five people who had robbed and beaten a grocery store operator in Bowie, Texas. When the two officers ordered the occupants to get out of the car the driver pulled a gun and killed Clifton. The other officer returned fire, killing the gunman.

There are more stories, including Miami, Oklahoma, police officer Jack Dunaway, killed during a traffic stop in 1934, and Ottawa County Sheriff's Deputy John Lawrence, killed during a stop in 1951.

'Routine calls'

In addition to line-of-duty deaths at traffic stops, Copeland, who has been in law enforcement for 34 years, has known fellow officers killed “on routine calls,” he said.

“When I worked for the Joplin PD, we had three shot all in one incident, years ago, in Joplin,” said Copeland, who was working that night.

“It was a normal call they responded to at Howard Johnson Motel. A man who had been shot in the leg and was the supposed victim,” he said. “Two detectives and a uniformed officer responded, and it was just a routine deal. But the guy ran down the hallway, then turned around and just started firing.”

“When you think you’re dealing with a victim, you drop your guard a little bit.”

Copeland said he believes that today, when officers are on call, "they're sometimes damned if they do, damned if they don't," when it comes to taking precautions with a proactive stance.

"The public is quick to judge us," he said. "They're quick to analyze our actions."

"Over the years, the typical complaint we get is from somebody 18 or 20 who got stopped, about how the officer treated them like a criminal. In reality, the officer didn’t. They are trying to protect themselves and others," Copeland said.

Copeland also noted that while officers are trained in law enforcement academies for every possible scenario, and continue to have training throughout their careers, “when somebody wants to shoot you, they’re going to shoot you.

“So many officers get ambushed and sniped. That’s something they didn’t have as much 34 years ago when I began,” he said.

During a eulogy for Chism at his funeral service last week in Stockton, his brother recalled the deputy's level of professionalism and attention to detail when he joined him on a ride-along over the summer. Before the deputy would allow his brother in his truck, he insisted he put on a bulletproof vest.

"He said, 'That's what you do,'" Joshua Chism recalled.

"He was always talking about procedure, what you do if this happens, what you do if that happens, how you would handle this situation or that situation — situations that as a normal person were terrifying for me to think about."

“I was amazed as Matthew’s level of professionalism, duty, honor and commitment to his career, to his job, to his safety, to my safety, to your safety,” he said.

Said Copeland: "I would hate to be starting out in law enforcement today the way it is now. I’ve been blessed, still look forward to going to work every day. But it’s tough, today. Much tougher. You are up against so much more."

Saturday, November 8, 2014

What would Rauner pension plan look like?

--This is what everyone forgets. In the late 80's and 90's many big, private corporations stole their employees pension funds and put them into 401k type programs. All those people lost their money in 2008. We now have formerly retired senior citizens trying to return the work force because they no longer have a retiement fund to live on.
What is so fair about that, that we should force it onto our public employees?

-Illinois Policy-

November 07, 2014

This article was written by Matt Porter and featured on WCIA on November 7, 2014.

With a Republican headed to the governor’s office, the state could see shifts in several policies including state pensions. Governor-elect Bruce Rauner was very public against the current pension reform before the Illinois Supreme Court, calling it unconstitutional and, during the campaign, he laid out his own plan for state pensions.

“Freeze the current pension system, protect all the benefits that have been honestly accrued and paid into,” Rauner said in an interview with WCIA-3 before the election, “but create a second pension plan for future work that’s much more flexible and more affordable, more of a defined contribution plan, 401K style plan.”

The Illinois Policy Institute’s senior tax and budget analyst, Ben VanMetre, said Rauner’s plan has merit.

“This is good change for Illinois. This is exactly the direction we need to head into because it takes politicians out of the retirement business and it gives government workers control of their own retirements,” VanMetre said.

The conservative research group said switching plans could cut the pension debt liability in half. VanMetre said the state university system already allows professors to opt into a similar plan. He said the defined 401K-type plan would be easier on budget-making.

“Under a defined contribution plan, it’s a fixed,” VanMetre said. “Say it’s a seven percent match, it’s seven percent of payroll every year going forward and it’s a known cost for the state which makes it very easy to budget for retirement costs.”

Most private sector jobs already use defined plans and several states have adopted them as well.
“This is where states are headed, and this is where Illinois needs to head too,” VanMetre said.
AFSCME 31, the union for state workers, said on its website, 401K plans can be deceptive and risky since they depend on investments in the stock market. While several states have adopted 401K-style plans, at least one state, West Virginia, has reversed its course on defined benefit plans.

Friday, November 7, 2014

19 charged after year-long drug investigation in Aurora

--Sound like some good police work--

Nov 07, 2014 3:11 PM CST

AURORA, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Nineteen people face federal and state charges following a yearlong drug investigation by federal authorities and police in west suburban Aurora.

“Operation Blue Flame,” which began in the fall of 2013, led to the arrest Tuesday of 14 people charged with distributing heroin and cocaine, according to Aurora police. Five others wanted on drug charges remain at-large.

The investigation led to the seizure of 47 grams of heroin, with an estimated street value of $5,600; and 256 grams of cocaine, valued at about $25,600, a statement from police said.

Authorities conducted more than 40 separate undercover drug purchases near parks and churches.

Two of the defendants have been charged under federal statutes, while the other 17 face state charges, police said.

Karlid Lash, 45, of the 1300 block of Howell Place in Montgomery; and Eric D. Coachman, 45, of the 700 block of Concord Street in Aurora, face federal charges of delivery of a controlled substance, police said. Lash is being held without bond at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, while Coachman remains at large.

Police said the following defendants face felony state charges of delivery of a controlled substance:

-- Tyree O. Pryor, 35, of the 700 block of South Route 31 in Oswego. His bond was set at $300,000.

-- Michael A. Turner, Sr., 42, of the 1000 block of Grand Boulevard in Aurora. His bond was set at $200,000.

-- Kenya Pittman, 43, of the 300 block of Old Indian Trail in Aurora. Bond set at $200,000.

-- Jaquel K. Owens, 29, of the 100 block of North Kendall Street in Aurora. Bond set at $300,000.

-- Shelly Vickers, 40, of the 600 block of Palace Street in Aurora. Her bond was set at $150,000.

--Steven L. Simmons, 40, of the 100 block of South View Street in Aurora. His bond was set at $200,000.

-- Lafande C. Hicks, 48, of the 1200 block of Monomoy Street in Aurora. Bond set at $250,000.

--Darrius T. Darden, of the 600 block of Four Seasons Boulevard in Aurora. His bond was set at $150,000.

-- Andrea S. Welter, 41, of the 500 block of Montgomery Road in Aurora. Her bond was set at $100,000.

-- Andre T. Hill, 29, is charged with two counts. Bond set at $150,000.

-- Michael James, 39, of the 800 block of East New York Street in Aurora. His bond was set at $200,000.

-- Wendall C. Thompson, 48, of the 200 block of South Fourth Street in Aurora. His bond was set at $70,000.

In addition, 42-year-old Latasia A. Laurant is charged with six felony counts of unlawful use of a building for allowing drug sales to take place at her apartment while she was present, police said. Her bond was set at $70,000.

All are being held at the Kane County Correctional Center.

Four other Aurora men charged with delivery of a controlled substance remain at large, police said.

Authorities have identified the suspects as Kelly C. Stephens, 42, of the 400 block of North Avenue; Marcus J. Hill, 29, of the 100 block of LaSalle Street; Lawrence J. Rayford, 37, of the 100 block of North Calhoun Street; and Christopher M. Fenley, 40, of the 1100 block of Cumberland Avenue.

Anyone with information about them is asked to contact the Aurora Police Special Operations Investigators at (630) 256-5600.

9 rookie cops lose jobs over drunken graduation party

--What more can you say except-STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!!!!!!!!
These guys probably didn't deserve the job anyways. We have all celebrated, but this was going to a whole new level.--

-New York Post-

By Phillip Messing
November 7, 2014 | 1:03pm

Nine rookie cops were fired for drunkenly “running wild” — some of them flashing their badges, back-talking bosses and grabbing a woman’s butt — after a Port Authority Police Academy graduation ceremony, sources said Friday.

Dozens of newbie officers flocked to Texas Arizona Bar and Grill in Hoboken after the ceremony at Dunn Sport Center in Elizabeth on Aug. 22, Port Authority police sources told The Post.

But the celebration quickly turned into a booze-soaked mess, when some officers hopped behind the bar and began pouring their own beers in uniform, the sources said.

But when a bartender asked them to calm down, some of the cocky rookies flashed their badges and explained they were allowed to act like jerks because they were cops, the source said.

The bartender called Hoboken police but the officers were so out of control, they had to summon Port Authority cops to the scene, a source said.

Even then, the rowdy revelers ignored their bosses and acted “drunkenly defiant,” according to the Port Authority sources.

“They were running wild … They brought shame and disrespect to the department,” a source said.

They also grabbed a woman “inappropriately” and trashed the bar bathroom, the sources said.
Not long after, investigators demanded some of the officers hand over their cell phones — some of which had been used to record the post-graduation shenanigans.

Nine of the officers, some of them women, have since been fired.

Half a dozen more — including a lieutenant who was also drunk — face disciplinary action.
The investigation was headed by the Police Integrity Unit of the Port Authority Inspector General.

-Additional reporting by Natalie O’Neill

Back and ready to roll

Yes, I am back, AGAIN!!!!!!

As I said before, October was just crazy and tiring. I am now recharged and ready to hit the ground running.

The elections are over and now we all have to sit and wait to see how this new group will do with our taxes, quality of life and most importantly, our public pensions.

I promise you, I will be watching closely and keeping you up to date on any moves they attempt to make.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Still here - Sorry

October is a crazy month for me this year.

I have the Pumpkin Fest and the Statesville Haunted Prison that I am running the security at.

It has taken up a majority of my time so I will be doing the best I can.

In the mean time, stay safe out there.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Ashton police chief dies at 52

--Not being reported as a Line of Duty death at this time but the loss of a fellow officer is tragic no matter
the circumstances.
Thoughts and prayers to Chief Farringer's family and to the Ashton Police Department.
God's Speed Sir--


Authorities find him unresponsive in car north of Amboy

Published: Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 10:03 p.m. CDT
Updated: Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 11:20 p.m. CDT

BY CHRISTI WARREN cwarren@saukvalley.com 800-798-4085, ext. 5521

AMBOY – Ashton Police Chief Darrell Farringer died Thursday evening, the Lee County Sheriff's Department announced in a news release.

At 5 p.m., officers responded to a call about a car that had gone off the road north of Amboy in the area of U.S. routes 52 and 30.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found Farringer, 52, unresponsive in his car. He was taken to KSB Hospital where he was then pronounced dead. The car had minimal damage, and Farringer was wearing a seat belt. That, among other things, led authorities to believe Farringer veered into a cornfield as a result of a medical issue, Lee County Sheriff John Varga said.

Lee County Coroner Jesse Partington said an autopsy is being scheduled for today.

Farringer had been chief of police in Ashton since September 2012.

That appointment followed a 20-year career in the Marines and 10 years spent working as a detective in Georgia for the Savannah Police Department, according to an article published in the Ashton Gazette.

After graduating from Amboy High School in 1980, he worked his way up to the level of gunnery sergeant and served in America, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand before being selected to work as a Marines recruiter in Alabama, then Australia, and Hawaii, the article said.

Farringer was very involved in the Ashton community. Over the past year, he had been trying to put together an anti-heroin program for use in all Lee County schools, to combat what he saw as a worrisome increase in usage, especially among teens and young adults.

“Kids don’t realize what can happen,” he said in an August interview with Sauk Valley Media. “Even after one usage, they can get addicted. ... We know we have a problem, but we’ve all got to be part of the solution.”

"Without a doubt, it’s extremely tragic," Sheriff Varga said of Farringer's death. "It is certainly a loss for not only the folks in Ashton, but also for all of Lee County. It’s a sad day all around.

When the phone call came in – it’s just been – I’m still trying to process everything. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

Lee County State's Attorney Anna Sacco-Miller had been working with Farringer on the anti-heroin program.

"He was a very nice man," Sacco-MIller said. "He was easy to work with, and really committed to the community – especially when it came to the Ashton-Franklin schools and the kids there. The community will miss him."

Scott Peters in custody, McHenry County manhunt ends

--They took this scumbag into custody while I was the Haunted Prison so I couldn't comment then.
Great job by all the departments involved.
I did have a chance to meet the doctor that treated the female officer last night. 15 doctors and nurses from the hospital showed up at the Prison. I gave him my heartfelt thanks for taking care of a sister in blue.--

-ABC7 Chicago-

Thursday, October 16, 2014 07:00PM

A 15-hour search for Scott Peters, accused of shooting two McHenry County sheriff's deputies, ended with his arrest in a wooded area near Crystal Lake. Peters allegedly opened fire on officers responding to a domestic violence call at his home in northwest suburban Holiday Hills.

It was a few minutes before 6 p.m. Thursday when police received a couple of phone calls about a suspicious man walking down the street. Moments later, an unarmed Peters was taken into custody about six miles away from his home.

It ended one of the biggest manhunts in McHenry County history.

Seen from a distance, Peters is taken into custody after the 15-hour manhunt. The 52-year-old was seen by Crystal Lake residents coming out of a wooded area and walking down a road.

"Our deputies approached him, took him into custody without incident," said McHenry County Sheriff.

The ordeal that brought out more than 250 police officers began at 1 a.m. Thursday . Three sheriff deputies were called to Peter's home for a possible domestic incident. As they approached the front door, Peter's, who is a military veteran, began to fire through the door.

A female deputy was shot in the leg, a male deputy shot in the leg and abdomen. While the third deputy came to their aid, Peters escaped and the manhunt began, his Holiday Hills subdivision was put on lockdown.

"I was sleeping and all of a sudden my bedroom door swung open, I thought it was my dad messing with me," said neighbor Brittany Thompson. "He said, 'police officer.' It was four men dressed in a SWAT team. He was asking me, 'Is there anyone else in your room?'"

Besides checking homes, trunks of cars were given a close inspection. Ground, air and grid searches were done all day. Peters managed to stay out of sight until he was spotted, unarmed, about six miles from his home.

Fred Bock lives in the area where Peters was caught. Bock is his friend and believes Peters may have been headed to Bock's home.

"My heart breaks for him because he experienced a lot of really bad things in his life," Bock said.

"Everything turned out fine, they did a great job," neighbor Leroy Beltz said.

Peters faces multiple charges, including attempted murder counts. He will appear in court Friday.

As for the sheriff's deputies, both had surgery Thursday. It will be a long road, but both are expected to fully recover.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

WANTED: Scott B Peters (McHenry County Sheriff's Department)

Scott B. Peters, 52, is being sought by police. Peters is white, with blonde hair and blue eyes. He is 5-foot-10, and about 200 pounds.
Anyone with information should call 815-338-2144 but a news release urged that no one should attempt to confront Peters.

Suspected gunman identified after 2 sheriff's deputies shot in McHenry County

-Chicago Tribune-

Police have identified a man who allegedly shot two McHenry County sheriff's deputies responding to a domestic dispute Thursday morning in Holiday Hills in the far Northwest Suburbs.

Scott B. Peters, 52, is being sought by police, McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren said. Peters is white, with blonde hair and blue eyes. He is 5-foot-10, and about 200 pounds, Nygren told reporters.

"At this time we do not know where the offender is,'' Nygren said. "It's an evolving situation.''

Peters was in the military and is likely armed with a rifle, said Nygren. He is wanted for two counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm.

Shortly after 1 a.m. officers responded to 1313 W. Northeast Shore Drive, on the report of a domestic incident. When three officers got there, two deputies were shot and wounded by the suspect, Nygren said.

Peters was shooting through the door as deputies approached and then he opened the door and kept shooting, Nygren said. He hit a female officer in the leg and Nygren said she is in good condition. The male officer was shot in the leg and abdomen, and is in "serious" condition, in the intensive care unit, he said.

Peters' wife and daughter were in the home but were taken away and are safe, Nygren said.

A third officer, who was uninjured, returned fire, but Nygren said it was not known if he hit the suspect.

Anyone with information should call 815-338-2144 but a news release urged that no one should attempt to confront Peters.

One deputy, a seven-year veteran, was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville in critical condition. He was later stabilized, Deputy Sheriff Andrew Thomas said.

The deputy underwent successful surgery and is in the Intensive Care Unit at Condell, officials said.

The other deputy, a 12-year veteran, was taken to Centegra Hospital in McHenry. Her condition was also stabilized.

The call to 911 came from outside the home, and the man's wife and daughter have been taken away by police, according to Sheriff's Deputy Aimee Knop. "Two people from the residence were able to safely get out," she said.

Area schools went on lockdown with the alleged shooter’s whereabouts unknown. Schools in Wauconda Community Unit School District 118 were put on “precautionary lock downs due to the ongoing police matter in Holiday Hills,” according to a post online by Superintendent Daniel Coles.

The superintendent said morning kindergarten, early childhood and early education students would have to be picked up by parents. Afternoon classes for those groups of students were canceled, Coles said.

Brian Agrella, who lives nearby, said his car was stopped by police as he headed to work Thursday morning.

"There's police cars up and down on both sides of the street," Agrella said. "I've never seen this anywhere."

Agrella, 43, said he woke to the sound of four loud "pops."

Agrella saw SWAT team officers stationed on the corner of his block.

"It's scary because where it happened, I walk my dog everyday," he said.

Nancy Bulava, 53, who lives about 2 1/2 blocks from the shooting, was awake at 1:45 a.m. because she could not sleep and heard what she thought was gunfire.

“I heard a pop-pop, pop-pop,’’ Bulava said. “I thought it was somebody duck hunting.’’
She woke up her husband up and they talked about it, but he went back to bed and she started getting ready for work.

But as soon as she tried to leave home, she saw many police officers, vehicles and what appeared to be SWAT team members near her home. Many wore helmets and were wearing “army attire,’’ Bulava said.

“There were wall-to-wall SWAT cars and police cars. It was like a movie,’’’ Bulava said.
As she drove out of her subdivision about 5:30 a.m., she pulled over and checked the Internet on her cell phone and realized two officers had been shot.

She called her boss and said she wasn't coming in, but then police would not allow her back into the subdivision.

"It was horrible,’’ Bulava said. “I was scared to death.’’

Other neighbors, including a man trying to get his wife to surgery, were stopped as well, Bulava said.

Finally, she was able to park her car and walk to her home.

Bulava said her son, who is 19, and her husband and neighbors were not allowed to leave their homes. “Some were escorted out of their homes,’’ she said.

Tribune reporters Rosemary Regina Sobol and Dan Hinkel contributed.

In Illinois, Substitute Teaching For One Day Reaped Nearly $1 Million in Taxpayer-Funded Pension Money

--None of this should surprise anyone. 
Governor Bumblin' Stumblin' Quinn signed this bill on the orders of Mike Madigan and it was done quickly so "loopholes" like this could get pushed through for their cronies.
Until we get rid of pretty much everyone in Springfield we are just going to see the same things happen again and again and the tax payer is going to get stuck paying the bill.--

Adam Andrzejewski Contributor
10/14/2014 @ 7:26AM


In 2011, the Chicago Tribune exposed a pair of Illinois teacher union lobbyists, Stephen Preckwinkle and David Piccioli, who substitute taught for one day and stood to collect nearly $1 million in state teacher retirement pensions from a severely underfunded system. The five Illinois pension systems have a $100 billion liability and the teachers fund may run out of money as early as 2029. Newspaper editorials, elected officials, the governor and citizens cried foul. Legislation was quickly passed to stop the abuse.

When Gov. Pat Quinn signed the pension “reform” legislation into law on January 5, 2012, he said. “The pension abuses unearthed were flagrant. They needed to be stopped immediately and prevented from ever happening in the future.”

Mission accomplished, or so it seemed.

Even though all Illinois citizens were led to believe that the pension abusers had been stopped, within twenty-four months after the “reform” legislation passed, the union lobbyists retired and received their lifetime Illinois state teacher pensions.

Even in Illinois, how this could have happened? The governor and the entire statewide media and political class took credit for stopping these abuses in late 2011 through January 2012.

A couple of weeks ago, we spotted Preckwinkle and Piccioli within a long list of 30 state retirees from the Illinois Federation of Teachers (private sector teachers union). Sure enough, in 2014, Piccioli is receiving $30,564 and Preckwinkle $37,416 pensions (click here for their life expectancy pension payouts of nearly $1 million each). The experience was a bit overwhelming, even for our seasoned team of forensic investigators.

In order to understand this massive pension “reform misunderstanding,” we questioned the Public Relations Spokesman for the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) David Urbanek, who explained:

“Mr. Preckwinkle and Mr. Piccioli received a TRS pension following the enactment of House Bill 3813 because House Bill 3813, now Public Act 97-0651, did not stop them from collecting a TRS pension.” read entire email response


The legislature had passed – and the governor had signed – reform legislation stopping the abuse. Newspapers, elected officials and the governor all pounded their chests. The political elites told all the rest of us that a gross injustice had been reversed.

But the injustice was not reversed, just modified on a go forward basis.

Sadly, these cases represent a systematic problem. The Washington Times recently ran a story based on data collected at OpenTheBooks.com exposing 40 private sector union leaders from the National Education Association, Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers who cleaned out $5,000,000 a year in Illinois teacher pensions.

Data at OpenTheBooks.com shows that twenty-four of those union employees have already collected more than $1 million in retirement pensions. Because the union is a private sector employer, taxpayers have no say in the active salaries awarded to the union employees, but guarantee funding for the lifetime pension payouts.

Rank and file teachers in Illinois, many of whom are union members, should be outraged that their union leadership is draining pension dollars from their underfunded retirement plan.
Sadly, pension abuses and shortfalls aren’t unique to Illinois. States across America should heed this cautionary tale. All too often the union call for “a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work” is leveraged for a lifetime of largess.

Notice: Adam Andrzejewski is the founder of OpenTheBooks.com a project of American Transparency 501(c)3.

BREAKING NEWS: Two sheriff's deputies shot in Holiday Hills

**UPDATE** 10:15am
This is the latest update I have received from the McHenry County Sheriff's Dept.

 Today, Oct 16 at about 130 AM Sheriff's deputies responded to the 1300 block of N East Shore Drive in Holiday Hills. While responding to check the well being of the residents, two responding Deputies were shot.

Both deputies were transported for medical attention. A 7 year veteran, male deputy was transported to Advocate Condell. He is in critical, but stable condition undergoing surgery at this time. A 12 year veteran, female deputy was transported to Centergra McHenry and is in stable condition.

Two occupants of the residence were able to safely get out of the residence.

The Sheriff's Office is working with affected area residents on evacaution and making sure they are safe. We are receiving assistance during this ongoing investgiation from local police departments and the Illinois State Police.

As more information is available, it will be shared with the media and the community.


--All news outlets are reporting on this ongoing incident.
From initial reports it sounds as if this was a setup as the deputies were ambushed upon arrival at a well being check.
Both deputies are reported to be in good condition but I have heard that one of them may be in pretty bad shape. Hope that information is wrong.
Will update as situation evolves.--

-MyFox Chicago-
Posted: Oct 16, 2014 5:46 AM CST Updated: Oct 16, 2014 7:06 AM CST

HOLIDAY HILLS, Ill. (Sun Times Media Wire) -

Two McHenry County Sheriff's deputies were shot early Thursday when responding to a domestic dispute near northwest suburban Holiday Hills.

Authorities responded about 1:30 a.m. to a call of two deputies shot in the 1300 block of W. Northeast Shore Dr. in unincorporated McHenry County, McHenry County Sheriff's Lt. James Wagner said.

A male officer — a seven-year veteran of the McHenry County Sheriff's office — was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, while a female deputy, a 12-year veteran, was taken to Centegra Hospital - McHenry, authorities said. Both officers' conditions had stabilized.

The deputies were initially responding to a call of a domestic dispute, Deputy Aimee Knop said to reporters at the scene. Someone from outside the house was concerned for the people inside and called police.

As of 5:45 a.m., two people who were inside the residence escaped safely, but the shooter was not in custody, authorities said. It was not immediately known whether the suspect was on the loose or still in the house.

People in the area were encouraged to remain in their homes as authorities were evacuating residences in the vicinity, Wagner said. A reverse-911 call had been given to homes that were affected.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


--Received this from Bensenville PD. Thought it was worth passing along to everyone.--

The following are excerpts from Lisa Madigan, Attorney General for Illinois



Attorney General’s Office Reports of Possible Email Scams Tied to Ebola Outbreak
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today alerted Illinois residents of several possible email scams tied to the Ebola outbreak.

Madigan’s office has received emails titled “People being quarantined” that purport to be an “Ebola Pandemic Update” and include a link to view a so-called “civilian crisis protocol.” The email may contain links that could infect a user’s computer. Another email offered a “surplus personal protection kit” for $29 that alleges to provide infection defense specifically for members of emergency response teams and law enforcement agencies.

Madigan urges Illinoisans to be on the lookout for these types of unsolicited or suspicious emails. Consumers who receive such emails should delete them immediately. Do not open or click on any links in the email.

“We suspect these emails are the handiwork of scammers seeking to take advantage of people’s understandable fear and anxiety surrounding this international public health risk,” Madigan said.

“It’s extremely important that you delete these messages and instead consult legitimate resources for more information about prevention measures underway.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is posting regular updates regarding the federal government’s response to the outbreak, including tips on how to minimize the risk of infection, and the Illinois Department of Public Health recently announced its protocol in the event of a suspected Ebola case in Illinois.

Beware of Charitable Scams

Tied to Ebola Attorney General Madigan also urged Illinois residents to exercise caution when donating to charitable aid efforts tied to the Ebola outbreak. Con artists may seek to exploit the crisis for their own personal profit.

For full details, view this message on the web.

100 N Church Rd, Bensenville, IL 60106

10 secrets cops know that most people don't

--A little light hearted but very true facts--

-Police One-

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

It’s become abundantly clear in the past few weeks that the press and the public have very little real understanding of police work. And something we’ve learned over the years is that during times of stress and tension, a good chuckle is extremely effective medicine.

So, here are some things most people don’t know but cops do. Add your observations in the comments area below.

1. Most cops understand why tickets are necessary, but don’t particularly like writing them. Well, unless they happen to stop “the guy who pays their wages” and then writing a ticket isn’t so bad.

2. The vast majority cops have never shot anyone, but most cops can recite a detailed list of people who are/were deserving of being shot because they posed a deadly threat. This means that most cops have successfully defused a potentially deadly confrontation using only words and less-lethal weapons.

3. Most cops wonder if they have something better to do until the person asks in that whiny voice, “Don’t you have anything better to do?” It is then — and only then — the cop knows the answer to that question is, “No. This is good as it gets.”

4. Most cops know the driver they just stopped had more that “two beers” and can estimate with reasonable accuracy how many beers a driver did, in fact, have.

5. Most cops like donuts, but so does everybody. They are deliberately made to taste really, really good so people will want to eat them. Please pass me another donut.

6. Most cops wonder why so many members of the community choose to pick up a mobile phone and record them while the officers are rolling in the dirt with an assailant rather than offering to help the officer.

7. Most cops don’t know the color of the people they stop before the traffic stop takes place. This is especially true when those people are driving cars with tinted windows at night.

8. Most cops know that if you fix that muffler / tail light / other mechanical issue for which they’ve stopped you, the cops will stop stopping you.

9. Most cops know it is impossible stop a squad car fast enough when the drunk in the back seat says, “Stop! I think I’ve got to puke.”

10. Most cops know that the national media do not pursue the truth, they pursue a story. Their story and the truth are too often a little like fraternal twins. They are related, but cops can’t explain why they don’t look anything alike.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Suburb Trains Cops To Protect Local Officials

--Not sure if this really BGA worthy but I find it interesting none the less.--

-Better Government Association-

Decision by Elk Grove Village to send police to “dignitary” protection training follows threats, harassment against local municipal officials over the years.
By the BGA
October 5, 2014 5:45 PM

Based on its crime statistics, Elk Grove Village is a relatively safe community.

But it appears being a public official in the northwest suburb carries a degree of risk.

We recently learned the municipality has spent nearly $25,000 on "dignitary" protection training for their police officers since 2012, primarily to keep elected and appointed village officials safe in the wake of threats and harassment over the years.

The money covered travel, lodging and any fees associated with the classes.

In June an Elk Grove Village police commander attended a "protective service training" course in Maryland at a cost to taxpayers of just over $1,900, records show.

In spring, a commander underwent a similar training class in Florida, with a tab of around $4,400 for two weeks.

A year earlier, a sergeant and an officer went to California for an "advanced threat assessment & management" course at a combined cost of almost $9,000.

In July 2012, four officers went to Georgia for training at a total cost of $3,354.40.

There were other local training sessions, too.

This doesn’t mean Elk Grove Village’s mayor, Craig Johnson, or any of the trustees have regular drivers and bodyguards, we’re told by village officials. Rather, the cops are being trained to provide protection if and when specific threats emerge – "as needed," Johnson said – as well as to root out and prevent threats to village officials.

And from what we’re told, there indeed have been troubles over the years.

The young daughter of one elected leader in town picked up the family’s house phone in the 1990s and was told she would be killed because she was the daughter of the village official, George Knickerbocker, Elk Grove Village’s municipal attorney, told us in a letter. "A Federal Protective Order was issued . . . against the caller. To date, there have been numerous other threats and disturbing matters against the Mayor and the Trustees, as well as Village Staff, which can be documented if requested. Moreover, there are many documented incidents of violence against elected officials throughout the country in recent years."

"As a result, approximately three years ago, the Village Board unanimously decided to put certain security measures in place, including training of many police officers in the area of protective service. In making the unanimous decision, the Board considered not only the above threats and concerns, but in addition, were cognizant of recent tragedies throughout the country involving elected officials and other state and local employees."

Knickerbocker elaborated later, emphasizing that threats and harassment aren’t an everyday occurrence. But, he added, "I think there’s a comfort level knowing there are people trained" to deal with problems as they occur – for government officials, and even visiting dignitaries.

Fred Hayes, president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, said it’s not unusual for towns to send officers through dignitary protection training, but it’s less common for that training to be geared toward security for officials in small or mid-sized municipalities.

The key, Hayes said, is making sure communities really need it and aren’t simply playing to the vanity of local politicians – which he said he encountered years back when, as police chief in Joliet, he rebuffed an attempt by the then-mayor of the far southwest suburb to create "an escort protection detail." The Joliet mayor had met with then-Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley about something and, seeing Daley’s impressive bodyguard entourage, decided he, too, deserved a security detail, Hayes said.

"Luckily we were able to convince him otherwise," Hayes said.

Bryan Hillis is president and principal consultant at Indiana-based Alexander Global Strategies, which trains cops and others on protecting dignitaries. His group did classroom and field training for Elk Grove Village officers earlier this year, records show.

"In the law enforcement community I’ve seen the training increase," Hillis said. In other words, in his experience more municipalities are training their cops in dignitary protection – either because threats are increasing and local police want to know how to better deal with them, or because agencies want "to be one step ahead of potential threats," Hillis said.

We’ve scrutinized taxpayer-funded security details over the years because of the expense, and because some politicians have used bodyguards as chauffeurs and coat holders.

We once documented how an employee tasked with providing security for Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas picked up her dry cleaning, and shuttled her to and from workout sessions.

We haven’t heard of similar issues in Elk Grove Village, and Johnson said nobody’s picking up take-out for government officials or anything like that. He said this is about public safety for public servants.

"There has been a persistent pattern of threats for the past 15, 16 years," Johnson said. "Calls, letters, in person threats, we’ve had them all. Emails."

Many of the security concerns over the years have involved people upset over some action – or perceived lack of action – by the village government, officials said.

At least one potentially serious threat directed at Johnson in recent years ended in an arrest of someone angry over an aspect of the O’Hare Airport expansion fight, officials said. Elk Grove Village was one of several suburbs that fought the construction of new runways at the Chicago-owned airport.

This column – a new regular feature called The Public Eye, appearing on the Chicago Sun-Times’ political portal Early & Often – was written and reported by the Better Government Association’s Robert Herguth, who can be reached at rherguth@bettergov.org or (312) 821-9030.

Feds Warn of ISIS-Inspired Threat Against Police, Reporters in US

--Because we don't have enough to worry about already.--

-NBC News-

Federal officials have warned that ISIS-inspired terrorists may be weighing “lone wolf” attacks against police, government officials and “media figures” inside the U.S.

According to a Joint Intelligence bulletin from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security sent to U.S. law enforcement officials, an ISIS spokesman recorded an audio message that urged lone offenders in Western countries to attack “soldiers, patrons, and troops … their police, security and intelligence members.” Attackers did not need to “ask for anyone’s advice” prior to striking, said the message, because such actions are legitimate.

An English language translation of the message, which was attributed to ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, was posted on a jihadi forum in late September.

Also in September, according to the bulletin, an ISIS supporter posted a document in an ISIS-dominated web forum advocating “open source jihad” and “lone wolf operations” by U.S. Muslims against “a list of potential targets, including military, law enforcement, FBI personnel, government officials and media figures.”

The bulletin said officials were not aware of any specific, credible threat against U.S. targets by home-grown extremists inside the U.S. or overseas, but warned law enforcement and FBI personnel to consider “additional precautions” when conducting interviews.

The bulletin also said that ISIS supporters could conduct attacks against U.S. targets overseas with little warning. “[B]ecause of the individualized nature of the radicalization to violence process,” said the bulletin, “it is difficult to assess triggers that will contribute to HVEs (homegrown violent extremists) attempting acts of violence.

A former U.S. official called the warning "quite standard."

Said the official, "Once a terror organization urges such action -- regardless of whether any adherents might take action -- terrorism officials need to get the word out to increase state and local officials', as well as reporters', awareness. In the case of ISIS, given their skilled use of social media, these threats to inspire 'lone wolves' produce a bit more urgency for intelligence and law enforcement officials."

Concerns of Police Survivors Healing Hearts

-Police Magazine-

Concerns of Police Survivors is celebrating 30 years of helping to heal those who have suffered the loss of a loved one in the line of duty.

October 13, 2014

Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) welcomes with open arms those who have suffered the tragedy of a loved one or coworker dying in the line of duty. The organization offers support through specific programs tailored to meet the needs of everyone from children to in-laws to fellow officers as well as staying connected with informal phone calls and e-mails year-round.

C.O.P.S. programs for survivors include the National Police Survivors' Conference held each May during National Police Week; scholarships; peer-support at the national, state, and local levels; "C.O.P.S. Kids" counseling reimbursement program; the "C.O.P.S. Kids" Summer Camp; "C.O.P.S. Teens" Outward Bound experience for young adults; special retreats for spouses, parents, siblings, adult children, in-laws, and co-workers; trial and parole support; and other assistance programs.

By all accounts this network of people who understand what it is to experience this trauma make a positive impact on survivors' lives. But it can take some convincing to get survivors to attend the free retreats and other programs C.O.P.S. provides. No one wants to need to join this club, but it's wonderful to have when it's needed.

Siblings and Coworkers

Zoe Stahl waited six years after the death of her brother to attend a Concerns of Police Survivors siblings retreat. She didn't think she was ready until then. Now she regrets not having done it sooner.

"I felt like after six years of living with a certain level of depression and anxiety, it was lifted that weekend," she says. "They were able to give me my life back, to find that happiness within myself. It opened the door for me to be a better wife and a better mom, just by being a happier person."

Zoe's brother, Officer Andrew Esparza of the Irving (Texas) Police Department, was 26 when he died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident while responding to assist another officer. It was raining and his car hydroplaned and hit a lightpost. Esparza's death devastated his family. At the time, Zoe was engaged to Andrew's partner and close friend, Brian Stahl.

Now, after attending C.O.P.S. retreats, both Zoe and Brian can't say enough about how much the organization's support has helped them. "I think people need to understand, it's not going to just affect one aspect of your life. It's going to benefit everything that you do, because it's going to heal you," says Zoe. "It took our marriage to a different level."

And although he was originally a reluctant participant, Zoe's husband has benefited not just in his marriage and home life, but also by sharing his experience with fellow officers at a C.O.P.S. coworkers retreat. "When you sit with 100 cops and 90 are crying, I never expected to see that or be OK with it, but I was," says Brian. "It was such a nice release, a way to deal with and talk about everything that we go through. I realized there are at least 100 other guys going through what I am working the streets."

Brian has now talked to officers at the Irving Police Department about how much the C.O.P.S. retreats have helped him, and at least one officer who also knew Esparza will be attending the next coworkers retreat with him. "I would definitely encourage any survivor to at least give it a try," he says. "The bond you form is nothing like it: instant and comforting. And the retreat itself is fun. You get to be active and interact with people. It's really great."

Zoe and Brian are both thankful for the ways C.O.P.S. has improved their lives. The couple recently attended another siblings retreat and Zoe plans to help give back by attending a future Police Week in Washington D.C. as a C.O.P.S. volunteer.

Children of All Ages

Jim Deckert was 13 when his father died in the line of duty in 1957, long before Concerns of Police Survivors existed. He heard about C.O.P.S. when his father was added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall in 2011. When asked if he'd ever been to a survivor retreat for adult children, he said, "No. I don’t think of myself as an adult child. I'm 71."

He didn't think he would benefit from attending a program after so many years, but it changed not only his life, but the life of his entire family.

Deckert's father, Eugene James Deckert, was an officer with the Teaneck (N.J.) Police Department for 30 years. He was getting ready to retire when he died of a heart attack at the age of 51 after an exceedingly strenuous shift. Deckert's family had just moved 50 miles away, and this distance made getting support from his dad's department and even their friends difficult.

"It was my brother and I and my mom. And we didn't talk about my father. That was my mother's way of coping," says Deckert. "I look back on it now and it's really sad when I see these families coping with all this support [from C.O.P.S.]. It's uplifting, but I feel like I missed out on something."

After sharing his story with other survivors at an adult children retreat in 2012, Deckert finally got to complete his grieving process and start to heal. He also felt that sharing his experience helped other adult children attending the retreat recognize how lucky they are to have such a network of support.

"I've just come away with this feeling of family," Deckert says. "I can contact these people any time and they understand. It helped me just by relating my story, which has been under the surface for all these years."

Once Deckert started talking about his dad at the retreat, all of his wonderful memories of the man started coming back, and he started to share stories he hadn't told since he was a boy. Now he and his family feel like Deckert's father is a part of their lives, even so many years after his death.

"I think everybody in this situation who doesn't take advantage of what C.O.P.S. has to offer is making a mistake because it's very healing," Deckert says. "This organization is filling this void that these people shouldn't have to fall into. That's where my family was. Now every year on my dad's end of watch we get a card from them," says Deckert. "It's pretty great. Nobody forgets. That's the whole thing, that nobody forgot."

Funding the Cause

Concerns of Police Survivors is a nonprofit, and there is no cost for people to attend its programs. Therefore, C.O.P.S. relies on fundraising efforts and donations from individuals and corporations to provide their services to survivors. Over the years, Streamlight has contributed more than $1 million to support C.O.P.S. programs and activities. In recognition of this and of employees' volunteer work, Streamlight was recently inducted into the C.O.P.S. Hall of Fame as a major corporate sponsor.

"Streamlight began sponsoring C.O.P.S. 15 years ago out of a deep commitment to the law enforcement community," says Ray Sharrah, president and chief executive officer of Streamlight. "Supporting C.O.P.S. is a real win/win for all concerned—the corporations that get involved, survivors, the law enforcement community, and the public they serve," says Sharrah. "It is truly a meaningful and enriching relationship for Streamlight."

For more information about Concerns of Police Survivors and its programs visit www.nationalcops.org.

Attorney General Filings Summarized: Illinois is Screwed (and Nuts) – WP Original

 --The actual court docket for this case is located >>HERE<<
This case should be pretty cut and dry, but we all know how things work in Illinois.
Personally, I think the best way to solve our pension "crisis" is to do a comprehensive study of what the polidiots in Springfield did with the pension money they stole and hold them responsible for their actions and start seizing their property and finances and putting it back where it belongs.--

-Wired Points-

Posted October 13, 2014 1:06 am by WirePoints with 1 comment
By: Mark Glennon*

To grasp the real scope of the Illinois pension catastrophe, think hard about what the state said about itself in court this month, which has gone all but unreported. The governor and others in Springfield may want to talk to the attorney general to get their story straight.

Take the facts asserted by Illinois’ Attorney General in the pension litigation, add a few more facts that aren’t disputed, and it’s clear as day that those entire dialog in Illinois about pension reform is just plain nuts. This is great context to step back and review where the pension debate in Illinois truly stands.

First, some background and a summary of what the A.G.’s court documents say on their face. In a series of court filings this month, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan laid out the facts on behalf of the state to support the “police powers” argument in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of SB1, the reform bill for the state’s own pensions. That’s the legal theory that the state’s financial crisis is so dire that the constitutional prohibition of pension cuts should be disregarded. Raising taxes or cutting services instead of cutting pensions would be so harmful that we should forget what the constitution says expressly — that’s the concept.

The state’s court documents incorporate the work of several economists hired as witnesses who have been reviewing the state’s predicament. Those economists are excellent ones, I was told earlier, and it indeed appears from the A.G.’s filings that they have done a great job with what they were told to do.

The state used their work to make, generally speaking, most of the same points that financial realists and pension critics have been saying all along: that Illinois is uncompetitive because of high taxes; pension costs have meant slashed services for the needy; and increasing taxes or cutting services instead of implementing SB1 would worsen the flight of employers from the state and devastate the poor.

The state’s economists get specific. Raising taxes instead of making the pension cuts under SB1 would require an additional $1.3 billion from taxpayers every year. That would reduce economic activity in Illinois by 1.1% and cost the state 64,000 jobs.

Now, keeping in mind that SB1 would reduce the unfunded liabilities of just four of the state’s pensions by $20 billion (the state’s own number), lets put the state’s argument in perspective and see what it really means.

The state’s case and its economists’ analyses do not yet incorporate the recent addition to the unfunded liability of $50 billion resulting from the Kanerva decision. That decision by the Illinois Supreme Court said healthcare benefits are part of the constitutional pension protection. Previously, they were assumed to be discretionary. And Kanerva applies to the other 670 local pensions beyond the state pensions the A.G. is arguing about. That’s another $15 – $20 billion. So, regardless of what happens to SB1, the financial hit from Kanerva alone exceeds the dire consequences outlined by the state by over 300%.

The state did not have its economists consider the burden of the state’s 670 other pubic pensions. That’s nuts, because the same taxpayers and employers are on the hook for those (though the distribution of the burden may vary). As Chicago’s CFO recently said, it’s the “layering effect” of local pensions that are in at least as bad shape as the state’s pensions that makes Chicago “unique” among big cities with pension problems. The ten pensions for Chicago alone had a total unfunded liability of $37 billion as of the end of 2012, and much higher now. Smaller municipalities have the same issue. Suburban and downstate police and fire pensions are short another $8 billion or so, plus another $5 billion for IMRF, a statewide pension.

The state used only its official numbers to make its case, which grossly understate the scope of the problem. As dozens of articles on this site have shown, the state’s official numbers are garbage, yet the A.G used those official numbers in it’s filings. According to Moody’s, the state’s pension deficit was $187 billion at last count, not $97 billion according to the official number used by the A.G. Those 670 other public pensions likewise are far worse off than advertised.

These conclusions should be clear so far:

The dire consequences the state says will result if SB1 is struck down are certain to occur, in spades, irrespective of what happens to SB1.

Political leaders in Springfield should talk to their Attorney General to get their story straight. Plenty of them continue to claim Illinois’ crisis is overblown. Illinois’ “comeback” is a central theme of Governor Quinn, who said in this year’s State of the State speech, “We turned the corner, and Illinois is making a comeback.” Senate President John Cullerton, who is behind the “I like Illinois” campaign, continues to claim our problems are mostly a PR issue. Will somebody please ask Lisa Madigan to square all that with her sworn court filings? And will Governor Quinn please talk to the state’s own economists about the effect of the tax increased he has pledged to pass in the lame duck session this Fall?

The debate now consuming the state over “what happens if SB1 is struck down” has little point. It’s a false narrative that Illinois has been suckered into believing. When SB1 is struck down polls will blame the consequences on the courts. Expect our press to go along with that narrative, even though worse consequences are certain despite the courts.

Returning to the express content of the A.G.’s filings, several more things are notable:

The economists went to some length documenting why budget cuts instead of pension cuts would be especially hard on Illinois’ most vulnerable. Even respecting the flight of employers from Illinois, they point out, no doubt correctly, that it’s not the big corporate headquarters with well paid executives that are most subject to flight. Instead, it’s the manufacturers and transportation companies providing living wage jobs with that are most at risk.

It’s about time that point got some attention. The pension debate is usually framed in class warfare terms – it’s the rich folks trying to cut pensions versus the working stiffs trying to protect them. Hogwash. The group hurt most is the working class in the private sector, and their plight has gone unheard.

Among the reasons why pension liabilities have skyrocketed over the years, according to the economists, is that the state’s actuaries were surprised that people are living longer than they expected. No, really. Our article earlier about some municipal pensions using 50-year old mortality data got national attention, and we’ll be trying to get more details about what the economists were referring to about the state pensions.

Which leads to the final point that’s nuts in itself and emblematic of much of what’s wrong in Illinois. Despite three requests to the Attorney General’s office, I wasn’t given copies of the actual reports prepared by the state’s economists. Instead, they sent just the three main pleadings that summarize those reports. (Those three main pleadings are linked here, here and here.)

Those economists’ reports should be readily available to the public and the media should be all over them.

The state’s own hired economists have documented why the pension crisis is so bad that it trumps the written words of the constitution, yet nobody reports on what those economists said even as pols brag about a comeback?

Neither the A.G. nor some other agency sees fit to post the reports?

The only alternative is to go to the court in Springfield and request a copy. That, too, is crazy. I have been accessing court-filed documents outside Illinois for years by internet.

Memo to the A.G.’s office: We taxpayers paid for those economists’ reports and we want to see them. Please post them or email them.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Illinois pension reform law challenges to be argued next month

 --I don't see how the state has a case here.
The pension reforms that were put into place not only violate the state's Constitution but also does absolutely nothing to fix the problems facing the systems.
I would like to see this happen.......The state legislature is finally told that they screwed everything up and they being penalized by having to give up part of their pay and benefits to help make up the missing money.
Pipe dream? Absolutely, but we can dream........--


CHICAGO Wed Oct 8, 2014 9:11pm EDT

(Reuters) - Challenges to Illinois' pension reform law remained on track for a ruling by yearend after a judge on Wednesday ordered both sides back in court next month to argue their cases.
Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz, who is overseeing five consolidated lawsuits filed by labor unions and others, set Nov. 20 for arguments for and against the constitutionality of the law passed by the Illinois legislature last December.

Public labor union coalition We Are One Illinois and other parties have been seeking an expedited ruling in the wake of a July 3 Illinois Supreme Court decision in an unrelated case that determined health care for retired state workers is a pension benefit protected by a provision in the state constitution.

The same provision, which prohibits the impairment or diminishment of retirement benefits for public workers, is the focus of the lawsuits against the state's pension reform law. The new law, which is currently on hold, reduces and suspends cost-of-living increases for pensions, raises retirement ages and limits the salaries on which pensions are based.

In documents filed with the court on Friday, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan argued that the high court's July 3 ruling only dealt with retiree health care subsidies being part of the contractual relationship Illinois has with members of the state's public pension systems.
"The court did not address whether such benefits are immune from the state's exercise of its police powers. That issue was not before the court," Madigan's court filing noted.

In its defense of the pension reform law, Illinois is leaning heavily on its so-called police powers trumping the constitutional provision against reducing public employee retirement benefits.

Those powers include the state's ability to properly fund education, healthcare and public safety.

Those sectors would experience substantial cuts if the state's already large pension burden grows, Madigan said in the filings.

"It is beyond reasonable dispute that all contractual benefits, including all benefits conferred by contracts with the government, are subject to the state's police-powers authority to enact laws necessary to protect the public welfare," the state claimed in the filings.

Illinois has the worst-funded retirement system among states and its $100 billion unfunded pension liability has pounded its credit ratings to the lowest level among states.

The union coalition said the July ruling by the state supreme court, which will ultimately decide the pension reform dispute, "confirms the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution is absolute and without exception."

"We are hopeful for a swift resolution in the plaintiffs' favor, so that we can work with legislators willing to develop a fair and legal solution to our state's challenges together," the coalition said in a statement.