Tuesday, March 31, 2009
March 31, 2009
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Chicago taxpayers have been "very good to public employees," Mayor Daley said Tuesday, advising police officers preparing to embarrass him by picketing when the International Olympic Committee comes to town this week to enter "the real world."
"I just dedicated a brand new police station. No other city is building police stations….We spend an enormous amount of money. We're buying new police cars now. We have no apologies to make to any public employee," Daley said.
"The taxpayers have been very, very good to public employees….Your neighbor-he or she is out of a job. Their son and daughter graduated from college [and] cannot get a job…This is a very tough economic time and public employees have to understand that. This is the real world."
Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue said he knows of nobody who "lives more in the real world" than police officers do.
"Of all public city employees, police are the most mindful of tough economic times. We deal with it day- in-and-day-out. When times are tough, crime rises. When times are tough, there are more domestic disputes. When times are tough, we're there to respond," Donahue said.
"If the mayor's concern is that we're not being realistic, instead of taking things off the table, put things on the table we can discuss and negotiate in fairness."
The Chicago Sun-Times reported March 22 that Daley has pulled off the table an offer to raise the salaries of Chicago Police officers by 16.1 percent over five years because of nosediving tax revenues.
The decision to withdraw a contract offer the FOP deemed inadequate to begin with further depressed police morale that was already so low, the union took a no-confidence vote in Weis, citing everything from manpower and vehicle shortages to low morale and a lack of management support.
The mayor's response to the no-confidence vote further infuriated union leaders. Daley defended the career FBI agent he handpicked to be Chicago's $310,000-a-year police superintendent.
"He's done a tremendous job. He's a very good, honest superintendent. He has a difficult job. All superintendents have. He had great experience, great judgement," the mayor said.
"When you're an outsider, people look at you as an outsider. He understands that."
Thursday's 11 a.m. protest by off-duty police officers coincides with the arrival of IOC members conducting their final site visit in Chicago. But, Donahue said the union's goal is not to turn Daley's Olympic dream into a nightmare.
"The timing of the informational picketing is based on the timing of their actions--so the mayor and the superintendent and the City Council get the message that there's a level of frustration over their actions," Donahue said.
This is a copy of a flyer I will be send to as many police departments as possible. I will be send it to the attention of the union rep. I can get the FOP departments but if you folks can help with ICOPS, MAP and Teamsters department addresses I would appreciate it.
Thanks for your support.
Monday, March 30, 2009 | 10:41 PM
March 30, 2009 (WLS) -- Two brothers who had been the subject of an Amber Alert have been found dead. Police say their father killed them, then himself.
Nine-year-old Duncan and 7-year-old Jack were the focus of an Amber Alert issued earlier this month. The three-week-old search ended in tragedy about 100 miles south of Chicago.
Michael Connolly, 40, failed to return the boys to their mother - his ex-wife - on Sunday, March 8. Initially, investigators thought Connolly might be in the Chicago area where his relatives live in southwest suburban Oak Lawn.
But authorities say they found bodies matching the descriptions of the two missing Leroy, Illinois, brothers and cancelled the Amber Alert.
Authorities say the children's bodies were found Sunday inside a car registered to Michael Connolly. Police happened upon the 1991 Dodge Dynasty after receiving a call about a suspicious vehicle in a secluded area. At around 6 p.m. Sunday, investigators examined the vehicle and found two deceased boys in the back seat area. The body of a man matching Michael Connolly's description was found about 60 feet west of the car. Autopsies have been scheduled.
The sheriff has not said if there were any obvious signs of trauma or if a weapon was recovered.
On the day that the boys disappeared, there was a restraining order in place against Michael Connolly because authorities say he continued to harass his ex-wife. The two had divorced in 2007 after 13 years of marriage.
On Monday night, signs of grief could be seen in two Illinois communities where the boys once lived.
The brothers had been missing since March 8 when their father failed to return them following a court-ordered visit.
The mother says the justice system failed her. She says it failed her because she tried to warn the judge that with unsupervised visits, something like this could happen.
But the judge did grant those visits with the boys' father, Michael Connolly.
Two towns -- one near Chicago, one downstate -- are overcome with emotion.
Children grieved children on Monday night in Algonquin, where Duncan and Jack Connolly lived until their parents got divorced.
"Our hearts are broken for Amy and the kids. It's punished everybody in the neighborhood. We're just so sad," said Jim Jerardi, neighbor.
Downstate in LeRoy, where their mother moved them, there were similar signs of grief at what was called "a coming together for Duncan and Jack."
"I said they're dead aren't they? And he said yes," said, Bernice Lemaich, the suspect's grandmother.
Lemaich, 98, says she learned early Monday morning what her family had dreaded for weeks -- that the brothers, missing since March 8, were indeed dead.
"Emotions were high and the desire was strong, all in hopes of bringing Jack and Duncan home to their mom, Amy," said Mike Emery, McLean County Sheriff's Department.
"It's so shocking, we're in such a state of shock," said Joyce Connolly, the suspect's aunt.
Connolly's family said on Monday night that they agree with Amy Lichetenberg, the boys' mother, who released a statement through a friend saying that the justice system failed her.
"My heart is broken. There are no words to express my pain. No parent should ever have to bury their babies," said Brandi Tuley, spokesperson for Lichetenberg.
"I think he just went berzerk. I think for the last two years he's just not been there mentally," said Joyce Connolly.
Connolly, aunt of Michael Connolly, says her opinion is the judge did make a mistake in allowing unsupervised visits.
Investigators called this case a murder-suicide on Monday, but there was much more they did not reveal, including how the boys were killed.
(Copyright ©2009 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
Sunday, March 29, 2009
March 29, 2009
[ ], President
Dear President [ ],
I am a recently retired / disabled police officer from the City of Northlake. The purpose for writing to you is not a union specific issue; it is to seek your support in getting a law changed that is unfair to the men and women you represent. The pension laws in Illinois as they relate to police officers that are injured and must go off on disability are unfair and confusing. They are so confusing that not even the Illinois courts can agree on various definitions in the sections pertaining to “act of duty”. The outcome of my current endeavor will have no impact on my situation. My goal is prevent this from occurring over and over as has been the case.
The background on my case is this; in October 2007 I was injured while on duty. I was getting into the backseat of unmarked police vehicle to return to patrol duties after completing an assignment at the police station. The vehicle ran over my left foot and I suffered what has been classified as a “crush injury”. No bones were broken but enough damage was done to my foot that it was a career ending injury. After my 12 months of P.E.D.A. I applied for a “duty-related disability” with our pension. During all of this time I was treated very well by my department and their workman’s compensation carrier. I complied with every request by either workman’s’ compensation or the pension board to date. All the doctors I have seen all agree that I will never return to full duty police work. My pension hearing was held on February 20, 2009. Being that I have been a long time union representative for the FOP with my department and I consider myself to be pretty well educated in labor relations I did not bring a lawyer with me to the hearing. I actually thought this was a pretty cut and dry issue. I got hurt at work, while on duty, I cannot return to work therefore duty-related disability. Was I ever caught by surprise. I was granted a “non-duty related disability” because the board determined I was not injured while performing an “Act of Duty” as defined in 40 ILCS 5/5-113. I will be appealing this through the court system.
After learning what I have from this experience, and reading numerous court decisions I have come to the conclusion that a change is needed. The pension law for police officers needs to be changed so that what happened to me and many others does not happen again. Issues need to be defined and elaborated on so that pension board decisions are not automatically locked into litigation as it seems they currently are. The whole “act of duty” aspect of the statutes needs to be settled by the legislators of the state because the courts cannot even come to an agreement and every case is decided differently no matter what the outcome is.
I realize the pension is not an issue that unions get involved in but seeing that this is an issue that pertains to the livelihood and families of your members you can see why I am seeking your support in educating police officers and working to get this law fixed.
I have started out by generating an online petition at:
I have also sent letters to Gov. Quinn, Rep. Saviano, and Sens. Millner and Cronin. I chose Sen. Millner because of his extensive law enforcement background and he may understand the issues a little easier and hopefully assist in educating other legislators.
It is my goal to get this law changed so that police officers no longer will have to litigate their way to what is rightfully theirs. I am seeking your support in getting the message out to as many police officers, family members, politicians, and any person that supports the police. I would like to be able to submit a petition to Springfield with thousands of signatures from Illinois police officers and supporters. I believe the major law enforcement unions would agree that supporting this endeavor would say volumes to their membership. I anticipate as this issue gains support and steam there will be news coverage following its progress at least that is my intention. This endeavor will have no effect on the outcome of my case and I am ok with that. Regardless of how my case is decided this is an issue that needs to be brought to everyone’s attention and it needs to be fixed to protect our police officers and their families.
I am looking forward to hearing from you and hopefully gaining your support, insight, or advice on this issue. I am available at anytime to answer any questions you may have. Thank you for taking the time to hear about this matter.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
March 28, 2009
By Fran Spielman, Sun-Times News Group
Chicago police officers who were denied taking compensatory time off could be in line for damages at a time when the city is strapped for cash, thanks to a federal court ruling this week.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that the police department no longer can cite manpower shortages to indefinitely deny requests from officers who want to use comp time that was awarded in lieu of overtime pay.
Federal law requires the city to grant comp time requests that are made with sufficient notice, even if it means calling in other officers on their days off to fill the void. The law applies to time earned beyond 11 overtime hours in a four-week period.
The appeals court found that a federal judge made a "misstep" by granting an injunction to have the city change its comp-time policy. Instead, the appeals court sent the case back to the judge to determine an appropriate alternative remedy that may include cash damages.
The ruling comes at a time when nosediving revenue tied to the prolonged recession threatens to poke a $200 million hole in the city's 2009 budget. The budget crunch is so severe that the city's negotiating team last week pulled off the table an offer to raise the salaries of police officers by 16.1 percent over five years.
Fraternal Order of Police president Mark Donahue believes that cash damages can and should be substantial.
"Our members have been harmed by not being able to use their comp time because it's at the discretion of the commander to approve or deny," Donahue said. "There are a myriad of reasons they give. None are acceptable to a member refused the ability to use comp time to attend a family wedding, even though the request was put in months in advance."
A spokeswoman for the city law department said cash damages are "simply one of the options" identified by the appeals court. She argued that the "bulk of comp time" earned by police does not fall under the federal law's umbrella.
"Initially, there were thousands of officers identified as plaintiffs in this lawsuit," the spokeswoman said in an e-mail to the Chicago Sun-Times. "As the case progressed, it became clear that the majority of plaintiffs had not accumulated ... comp time and were not appropriate parties to this case. To the extent that any damages are awarded, they would only be awarded to the smaller group of officers."
Friday, March 27, 2009
March 27, 2009
TRENTON, N.J. -- A 14-year-old New Jersey girl has been accused of child pornography after posting nearly 30 explicit nude pictures of herself on MySpace.com -- charges that could force her to register as a sex offender if convicted.
The case comes as prosecutors nationwide pursue child pornography cases resulting from kids sending nude photos to one another over cell phones and e-mail.
"We consider this case a wake-up call to parents," Passaic County sheriff's spokesman Bill Maer said. The girl posted the photos because "she wanted her boyfriend to see them," he said.
If convicted, she would be forced to register with the state as a sex offender. She also could face up to 17 years in jail, though such a stiff sentence is unlikely.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
March 26, 2009
Springfield, IL 62706
Illinois pension laws as they pertain to police officers are extremely ambiguous and can even be considered unfair. I am writing to you to seek your support, input, and assistance in having these laws changed so that they are much more clear and fair to our public servants. I am a recently retired / disabled police officer for the City of Northlake. The current or future outcome of my situation is not of consequence here, it is however my catalyst for action. I learned a hard lesson that will hopefully be fixed in court. My attempt here is to prevent this from happening to other hard working police officers in the future.
The laws themselves are clear in setting up pension boards, payments, what a police officer is, etc. The confusion arises when it comes to officers that are injured on duty. The definitions of “line of duty” and “act of duty” are very convoluted and have been debated in numerous court cases in all branches of the states’ court system. I could list all the laws or list all kinds of court cases supporting this issue but my intent is not to make this matter more confusing. I was injured on duty in October of 2007. My left foot was run over while I was entering one of our unmarked squad cars while returning to patrol duties (this occurred behind our police station). I was treated very well by the city and their workman’s compensation carrier. I applied for a Duty-Related Disability when it became apparent that I would be unable to return to police work.
I was granted a Non-Duty Related Disability because my injury did not occur while performing an act of duty. I will be appealing this decision through the Administrative Review process. An act of duty under the current law means that I had to be doing something of significant risk other than saving the life of another police officer. Saving another police officer’s life is not even considered an act of significant risk and is not an act of duty? It is written in black and white in 40 ILCS 5/5-113.
The whole matter of the “act of duty” has been litigated in numerous court cases which add even more confusion to the law. Several court cases can be read to see that even the courts are confused on this issue. I will provide a few for your reference.
• Jones v. Board of Trustees of the Police Pension Fund of the City of Bloomington, Ill.App.3d , 2008 WL 4277492 (4th Dist. 2008)
• Sarkis v. City of Des Plaines, 378 Ill.App.3d 833 (1st Dist. 2008)
• Fedorski v. Board of Trustees of Aurora Police Pension Fund, 375 Ill.App.3d 371 (2nd Dist. 2007)
• Harroun v. Addison Police Pension Board, 372 lll.App.3d 260 (2nd Dist. 2007)
As you will see by reviewing these cases, regardless of the decision reached by the courts, the definitions and situations are still confusing. I have begun an online petition in an attempt to gather what will hopefully be enough signatures to show that this in an important issue to people.
The petition can be found online at http://www.gopetition.com/manage.php.
It is my hope that after reviewing this information you will agree that this is an important issue and will support our efforts. I am available at any time to answer any questions or provide any needed information. Thank you for taking the time to read about this issue.
--You go girl!!, Who knows, maybe my future inspiration--
March 26, 2009
By DAVID POLLARD email@example.com
The two candidates running for mayor in Bellwood are very familiar with each other.
The incumbent, Frank Pasquale, has been the mayor since 2001, and in a sense his opponent works for him. Jeanette Johnson has been a Bellwood police officer since 1990.
Both work out of the same building but Pasquale is part of the Bellwood First Party. Running with him are Lena Moreland for clerk, and Ronald Nightengale, Annie Delgado and Michael J. Ciavattone for trustee.
Johnson is part of The Heart of Bellwood Party, with Lorette Cherry running for clerk, Nathaniel Booker, David Ireland and Mamie "Punkin" May vying for the trustee positions.
While Pasquale has placed a high priority on new developments such as the Melrose Park/Bellwood Metra station and opening a new computer resource center, Johnson believes it's just a "smokescreen."
"Where are the plans and how far have they gone to really look at them and assess who is really benefiting?" she said. "There are vacant lots and buildings in our community where construction has started and stopped."
If elected she'd focus on trying to stabilize the businesses already in the village.
"We need to look at how the businesses in our town are being treated," she said.
"Stabilizing those (businesses) that are here and support them and when that gets going it would be a lure for others to come to our community," she said.
She says it's even more difficult to get information from the village. If elected she would make sure residents knew where the village stood financially.
"There are some things in our community that need to be addressed, but are not being addressed properly," she said. "Only being able to see your tax bill and not the budget of the community really concerns me."
"There is no transparency," she said. "If you are taking all these tax dollars out of our pocket, what are you doing with it? There are a lot of people in our town agreeing blindly with the present administration."
She said her current job makes her the perfect person to be mayor.
"As a natural servant, as a mom and professionally being a police officer, I'm not one to run away from responsibility," she said. "I step up and take a stand for the people that are not being treated fairly and I know the services in Bellwood could be better and I'm going to do whatever I can within my power to make it happen."
If elected she would work to adjust where the village's tax dollars are allocated.
"Memorial Park District gets more of our taxes than our Bellwood Public Library," she said.
She said the park district is important, but the library should get more funding.
"There's more importance now seeing that our school district is at a low level of performance," she said.
She said her main priority is the youth of the village and if elected she would put a DARE officer back in the schools and build positive relationships between the youth and police.
"My desire now is to serve the community," she said. "Instead of complaining about what is going on I thought I'd stand up and make a difference."
After being invited by Pioneer Press for an interview Pasquale chose not to participate.
--Sorry guys, but this ought to make your lives interesting for awhile ;-)--
March 26, 2009
By MARK LAWTON firstname.lastname@example.org
Contrary to rumors, the manager of Club VIP in Franklin Park said there will be no nudity allowed at the reformatted bar tentatively scheduled to open on April 1.
Tony Caruso, soon-to-be manager of Club VIP, 10235 Grand Ave., said the establishment will offer a "fantasy sports bar" concept.
"Customers will be able to eat, drink and watch (50-inch) TV," Caruso said. "The only difference is we would have women in bikinis."
He adds that, "there is no nudity allowed and guys are not allowed to touch the women."
Customers, however, can watch women dance on one of three stages.
The bar's concept has inspired the village government to tighten up its liquor ordinance as connected to sexually explicit business.
"It's pre-emptive," said Village President Dan Pritchett, adding that the amended ordinance applies to all established business, not just Club VIP.
"Their advertising leaves us a little suspicious," Pritchett said. "Girls in bathing suits? What kind of bathing suits. Little pasties?"
He adds, "It's just such a sensitive area. It's got the library right next door, the dollar store and Jewel. It's really our biggest retail area in town."
On March 16, village trustees voted to prohibit the performance or simulated performance of various sexual acts, showing of sexually explicit images and displaying one's rear, genitals or breast in a business with a liquor license. The two-page ordinance uses explicit terms and reads a bit like an anatomy textbook.
Caruso said women working in the club will dress the same as women in certain public areas.
"It (will be) no different than if you went to Oak Street Beach or the Franklin Park public pool," Caruso said.
March 26, 2009
By MARK LAWTON email@example.com
When residents in the West Mannheim Residential Area experience crime, they frequently don't call the police. Instead they call Catalina Alverado.
Alverado, who heads the neighborhood homeowners association, Villa Alegre, then calls the police.
"Sometimes they live where the gangs are," Alverado said. They think that if they call, (the police) are going to say the called. Another reason is that some people don't speak English."
That method doesn't work real well. First, it delays information getting to the police. Second, Alverado thinks her neighbors are only calling the police about major problems.
"I think they don't call every time they have a problem," Alverado said.
Having Alverado and her husband making so many calls also caused misperceptions in the police department, said Franklin Park Police Chief Tom Wolfe.
"The little boy who cried wolf," Wolfe said. "It gave the perception that there are only two people in the area who complain about anything. It's not true."
On Saturday, March 14, Franklin Park Police Chief Tom Wolfe met with residents.
"I wanted to dispel any rumors that we tell violators who called us," Wolfe said.
As for the language barrier, Wolfe said the police department has Spanish-speaking officers on duty.
"If people call the station, we will get interpretation," Wolfe said. "We also have access to an interpretation line."
March 26, 2009 (PLANO, Texas) -- A police officer was put on desk duty after pulling over an NFL player rushing to see his dying mother-in-law in the hospital and holding him in the hospital parking lot as she died.
Dallas police officer Robert Powell stopped Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats' SUV outside Baylor Regional Medical Center during the early hours of March 18 after Moats rolled through a red light. Moats and his family had gotten a call saying his mother-in-law was dying.
Video from a dashboard camera inside the officer's vehicle, obtained by Dallas-Fort Worth station WFAA-TV, revealed an intense exchange in which the officer threatened to jail Moats.
He ordered Moats' wife, Tamishia Moats, to get back in the SUV, but she ignored him and rushed inside the hospital to see her mother, Jonetta Collinsworth, 45, and was by her side when she died a short time later. She had breast cancer.
"Get in there," said Powell, yelling at 27-year-old Tamishia Moats, as she exited the car. "Let me see your hands!"
"Excuse me, my mom is dying," Tamishia Moats said. "Do you understand?"
Moats explained that he waited until there was no traffic before proceeding through the red light and that his mother-in-law was dying, right then.
Moats couldn't find his insurance paperwork, and was desperate to leave.
"Listen, if I can't verify you have insurance...," Officer Powell said. "My mother-in-law is dying," Moats interrupted.
As they argued, the officer got irritated. "Shut your mouth," the officer said. "You can either settle down and cooperate or I can just take you to jail for running a red light."
By the time the 26-year-old NFL player received a ticket and a lecture from Powell, 25, at least 13 minutes had passed.
When he and Collinsworth's father entered the hospital, they learned Collinsworth was dead, The Dallas Morning News reported in Thursday's editions.
The Moatses, who are black, said they can't help but think that race might have played a part in how Powell, who is white, treated them.
"I think he should lose his job," said Ryan Moats, a Dallas native.
Powell was placed on disptach duty pending an investigation. The ticket issued to Moats was dismissed, Lt. Andy Harvey told WFAA-TV.
"There were some things that were said that were disturbing, to say the least," he told the Dallas Morning News.
Powell told police officials he believed he was doing his job, said Dallas Police Assistant Chief Floyd Simpson.
(Copyright ©2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Please sign the petition and pass it on to your friends and family. The more signatures we get the easier it will be to get the right thing done.
Online petition - Change Illinois Pension Code for Police Officers
The new address will be www.dukesblotter.com
No one will be lost and the blog will remain fully operational during the transition.
10-8: Life on the Line
- Sponsored by Blauer
with Charles Remsberg
Editor's Note: In part one of this exclusive two-part report by PoliceOne Senior Contributor Charles Remsberg, we examine five typical flight patterns of offenders running from police. On Wednesday, March 25th, Remsberg returns to reveal five of the unexpected tricks suspects are using today to defeat officers within a containment area, including how they bluff their way past the very officers who are searching for them.
How do suspects fleeing on foot defeat pursuing officers? Jack Schonely knows exactly how. Hovering over the mean streets of Los Angeles at the controls of an LAPD helicopter, he watches lawbreakers running from cops nearly on a nightly basis.
During more than a decade of this eye-in-the-sky observation, he has tracked the behavior patterns of quarry and hunters alike across hundreds of chases. And from contacts with officers from multiple agencies who attend his popular classes in pursuit tactics he has confirmed that what he sees on the West Coast is duplicated across the country.
“Every mistake I see officers making, I’ve made myself many times,” says Schonely, who spent more than 17 years in ground patrol and K-9 handling before taking to the air. “Suspects are thinking about every tool we have and how to outwit us. Their tactics have evolved, and in many cases officers haven’t kept up.”
In exclusive interviews with PoliceOne recently, Schonely, author of the book Apprehending Fleeing Suspects, identified 10 ploys suspects are currently using to evade capture in foot pursuits. Here, he explains five common patterns of flight that suspects use in defeating pursuing officers.
“Not every chase fits the prevailing patterns. There are no guarantees,” he says. “But on the whole, the more you understand these tendencies, the better your chances of catching the suspect you’re after—and staying safe in the process.”
1. Running straight through. “Suspects have learned from experience that when they stop and hide during a foot chase, they often end up getting sniffed out by K-9,” Schonely says. “They don’t like being bitten, so increasingly the hard-core types who’ve been around are trying to outrun the establishment of a containment perimeter.”
When a suspect disappears from sight, officers often seal off only one block and concentrate on the area where they last saw him. “This is the number one error of cops,” Schonely says. “They get tunnel vision in the heat of battle.
“The suspect wants you to focus on a place that isn’t really in play any more. Meanwhile, he may run straight through several blocks. It takes only 10 to 20 seconds to cross a block. By the time you ask for a one-block containment, he may already be in the second block. He may even run straight through a house, and officers coming along behind get tied up thinking they’ve now got a barricade situation with the suspect still inside.
“If a suspect is able to cross one street undetected, his chances of getting away go way up. So broaden the net. In reality, a five-block containment may not be too much for a very desperate suspect. And if you’ve got the manpower, position some units in the middle of blocks and watch for him, not just at corners.”
2. Taking the easy way. Some years ago, a study from Canada suggested that suspects are driven by predictable subconscious instincts in making left- or right-hand turns during a chase. Schonely doesn’t buy it.
“Particularly if the suspect is out of his own neighborhood and has no definite destination in mind, his path of flight will follow primarily the path of least resistance,” he says. “He makes decisions on the fly that most often have to do with the obstacles he encounters.
“If he comes to where he has a fence with razor wire on the right, a yard with a pitbull straight ahead, and a low fence on the left, the probability is he’ll go left—unless, of course, his girlfriend’s house is off to the right. Then he might take on the razor wire.”
He recalls a foot chase he witnessed in Florida during a chopper ride-along. Ground officers were after an auto thief who’d bailed at the end of a rural road. West of the abandoned car was a canal, north was a swamp, and east was a narrow, dirt ATV path. “The officers were searching everywhere but east,” Schonely says, “yet that was the easiest escape route. And as it turned out, the suspect had run right along it.
“Suspects tend to avoid things that take time and effort. They generally don’t run very far up hill, for example. They’ll go down hills or parallel them. They want to go fast, to put as much distance between you and themselves as possible.”
3. Doubling back. “Just because a suspect was running in one direction the last time you saw him doesn’t mean he’ll continue that way once he’s out of your sight,” Schonely says. “When you radio that he was eastbound when you lost him, all the resources tend to get concentrated to the east and the possibility of him U-turning back west gets forgotten.”
Double-backs are easy in darkness or in complex settings with ready opportunities for concealment. “It can be as simple as running all the way around a house and sneaking back across a street when the coast is clear. Some suspects may even hop back into a car they’ve bailed out of. Or worse, they hop into the patrol car you’ve left to chase them!”
Bottom line: Don’t forget your ‘6.’ Schonely remembers one nighttime search for an “most wanted” armed felon that concentrated at the end of a large park where the suspect was last seen. An air unit eventually spotted him—as far at the opposite end as he could get. He’d doubled back right past his pursuers, his movement hidden completely by darkness and underbrush.
4. Running until confronted. A suspect may be racing to escape, but suddenly he perceives that he’s about to be confronted by law enforcement—he hears sirens nearby, sees lights bouncing off a building, or hears rotor blades overhead—and now he hides, even though he hadn’t planned to.
“This can be the most dangerous scenario for you,” Schonely warns, “because he’s likely to hide close to where you are. He can sit in the bushes and watch you. It happens more often than cops are ever aware of.”
He tells a chilling story about a suspect who fled on foot and quickly disappeared into an urban neighborhood after exchanging shots with officers at the end of a vehicle pursuit. A two-officer unit pulled up for perimeter surveillance. One officer, a rookie, started to get out to move to cover, but his partner ordered him back in the car where it was warmer.
To their surprise, gunfire erupted again when a K-9 team located the suspect—hiding under a van just a few feet away from them. He was killed with a shotgun blast to the face. Flying debris, including some of his teeth, hit the unit with the officers inside.
“He’d apparently dived under the van when he saw them pull up,” Schonely says. “He watched them for a long time, and they never knew he was there.
“It’s not safe to sit in your patrol car while a search is going on. At night, the ambient light from your computer will light you up as an easy target. A suspect in flight can perceive you as a problem and you won’t even know it. If he’s armed, you’re definitely at risk.
“Get out and grab cover. If you’re not in the pursuit itself, your job is observance and deterrence.”
5. Moving within containment. “Officers often think that once a perimeter is set, especially if air support is overhead, that the suspect is going to stay pinned down if he’s within the containment zone. That’s a myth that causes complacency and encourages officers to let their guard down,” Schonely states.
“Many suspects have learned how to move inside the perimeter, and they do. They exploit what’s called ‘the back side of orbit.’ In other words, they wait until they cannot see the airship, let’s say, because it is out of view behind trees or buildings. They know that if they can’t see the helicopter, it can’t see them either. Then they move.
“Small increments add up. I’ve known suspects who’ve traveled a block or more by moving just 10 feet at a time. It may take them an hour, but even with night vision, air power, K-9, and infrared equipment deployed, they manage to move without detection. If they try a full-out run, they’ll be seen. But if they’re patient, they can probe for points of vulnerability gradually and beat our assets.
“The message is: Stay alert, stay diligent. No subject should be considered ‘pinned down’ until he’s in custody.”
10-8: Life on the Line
- Sponsored by Blauer
with Charles Remsberg
Editor's Note: In part two of this exclusive two-part report, PoliceOne Senior Contributor Charles Remsberg continues with expert tactical observations from pilot and trainer Jack Schonely, who has witnessed hundreds of foot pursuits from the unique perspective of an LAPD helicopter. In part one, Schonely explored five typical flight patterns of offenders running from police. Here, he reveals five of the unexpected tricks suspects are using today to defeat officers within a containment area.
“You need to be suspicious of everyone you encounter inside a perimeter, and especially of everyone trying to come out,” Schonely advises. These are the principal suspect maneuvers to stay alert for:
1. Hiding in residences. “Of course if a suspect knows someone living near where you last saw him, he may hole up there,” Schonely says. “Otherwise he may knock randomly on doors until someone answers and then force or con his way inside. If he’s just robbed some place, he may offer money for refuge. Many these days are crawling into houses through doggie doors.
“Residents who’re intruded on may be too scared to call 911, but if you’re conducting a door-to-door search or are led to a residence by K-9 and you’re observant, their nervousness, evasiveness, or body language may clue you that something’s wrong. A consent search may then tell you more. A footprint on a closet wall, for example, may suggest that you should check out the attic.
“Suspects prefer hiding in residences to hiding in bushes, provided they can get in without being seen. They feel more secure there, and so many more concealment opportunities are inside .”
2. Blending in. Creative suspects may hide in plain sight. “Cops sometimes assume the bad guy they’re after is going to hide in the deepest, darkest corner, but he may be right in front of you, trying to look like he belongs there,” Schonely says.
He tells of one suspect who picked up a hose and stood watering a yard to look like a neighborhood homeowner while searching officers rushed right past him. Another stripped off his clothes and sat on them in a hotel Jacuzzi while a search team obliviously passed him by twice.
“Inside a containment zone, everyone should be considered in play,” Schonely says. “If you see some guy pulling weeds in a yard, approach him in a friendly manner and ask him the address of the property. If he’s the suspect trying to blend in, he won’t likely be able to answer that question.”
3. Changing appearance. Schonely likes to ask officers he trains, “If you were to go into a strange area for 10 minutes and were able to break the law if necessary, could you come out looking different?” Of course they say yes—and then realize how very easy it is for a fleeing suspect to change appearance, a trend that has “increased dramatically nationwide” in recent years, Schonely says.
“It can be as simple as discarding an outer shirt or as complex as seeming to change sex,” he points out. He recalls one offender who broke into a condo within a contained area during a daylight pursuit, brutalized the young female occupant, and cut off her hair. Before going back on the street, he donned her clothes and taped her hair to his head. “Ultimately, it didn’t work. He looked too funny,” Schonely says. “But the point is, he tried, and at night he might have gotten away with it.
“Don’t make judgments based only on appearance. Clothing, hair, facial hair can all be changed easily. Even if the suspect doesn’t change anything, the description you got in the first place may be wrong. If it’s based on some officer chasing a suspect in the dark from 30 yards behind and seeing mostly the back of his head, it’s not likely to be very reliable. Race, height, weight can all be misjudged.
“It’s easy to dismiss people you think you’re not looking for. That’s why you need to check out everyone. Suspects are willing to roll the dice and hope the cops they encounter are going to be too naïve or too lazy to investigate them closely.”
4. Boldly confronting. The ballsiest ploy, Schonely says, is for suspects to directly and deliberately engage officers who are hunting for them.
When he was a young patrol officer, he and a partner were sitting surveillance on the perimeter of an area where a fleeing suspect had disappeared about dawn one morning. They saw a young man (his clothing did not match the description they’d been given) come around the corner of a house and talk briefly to a man inside at the front door. The young man then walked away, turned back to wave, and called out, “See you later, Dad!”
As he left the property, he strolled to the patrol car and chatted a bit with the two officers, asking, among other things, why they were there. “Well, I’ve gotta get to work,” he said presently, and ambled off. “We didn’t think twice about the contact,” Schonely says.
Not long after, searching officers found a sweatshirt and cap discarded under a car at the rear of the house. Questioned about the conversation at the door, the homeowner said he had no idea who the young man was. “He asked me if he could come in and use my phone, and I told him to get the hell off my property,” he explained.
Of course, the stranger turned out to be the wanted suspect. “We got taken to the cleaners,” Schonely admits. “I learned a great deal that day.
“I know dozens of cases where something like this has happened. In one case, the hunt was for a cop killer, where you’d expect everyone to be hyper-vigilant. There was a 10-block perimeter and hundreds of officers involved. But this guy ran to his girlfriend’s house in the containment zone, showered, changed clothes, and then escaped through the perimeter by talking in a friendly way with a couple of officers.
“That took some guts,” Schonely concedes. “But it was a brilliant move on his part. A subject who comes up and asks, ‘What’s going on, officer?’ like a normal citizen throws some cops off because it’s not how they expect a suspect to act.
“Yet this gambit is easy to defeat if you talk to everyone with a suspicious mind-set. Ask them, ‘Where are you going? Where are you coming from? Why are you in this area?’ In short: Be a good cop.”
A variation of direct confrontation sometimes occurs if a suspect has a cell phone with him, Schonely says. “He may call 911 and report something urgent to create a diversion or he may report a sighting of himself outside the perimeter, in hopes the police will leave and he’ll be clear to escape.
“This is becoming very common. Any call from a cell phone near or related to a search should be report as such, if the dispatcher can so identify it.”
5. Exiting in vehicles. Just as you should stop and question all pedestrians attempting to leave a containment zone, so should you investigate all vehicles trying to drive out. “If you evaluate a car based only on the driver, you may let the bad guy get away,” Schonely says. “We’ve had mothers hide sons in their trunk. We’ve had an elderly woman who found a suspect hiding in her trashcan. He sweet-talked her into driving him through the perimeter, hidden under a blanket in the backseat.
“It’s not uncommon for suspects to called friends to drive to a spot where they can run out and jump in the car. It’s important to stay alert for vehicles that start and stop down a block or circle a block repeatedly or sit blacked out in front of a closed business across from a perimeter.
“Again, the secret of success is universal suspicion and consistent contact with people who are out and about in the area you’re monitoring.”
Schonely avidly reinforces another good practice to keep in mind, once your suspect is in custody. If they’re approached with some basic rapport-building, “a certain percentage of bad guys will talk to you,” he says. “Pick their brains to see what you can learn about their tactics and what they hear on the street. The more you can understand about suspect behavior and mind-set, the better you’ll be at outsmarting them.”
SACRAMENTO, Calif. --
Investigators are trying to piece together exactly how the deadliest day in Oakland Police Department history played out.
Those investigators aren't revealing much, but experts said it's clear they want to determine how and why four police officers either died or become gravely injured in a shootout with 26-year old parolee Lovelle Mixon.
"Obviously, things did go wrong when you have four fallen heroes," said Robert Stresak, spokesman for the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.
The state commission set basic statewide guidelines for proper SWAT training and safety three years ago; the agency stressed it would not speculate or pass judgment about Saturday's shooting without knowing all the facts.
However, Stresak noted, "Based on the tragedy, it is fair and reasonable to look at the entire situation and say, 'Is there something that could have done better?'"
Lt. Dave Peletta, Sacramento's SWAT commander, added that investigators are likely looking at two main issues: Investigators will likely focus on the officers' actions during the initial traffic stop that led to two officers being killed. They will also focus on the actions of the SWAT officers who engaged in a shootout at an apartment where the suspect was found hiding.
And though he said it is too early to know if those officers followed the proper training guidelines, he said the results of the investigation will have effects for law enforcement agencies not only in California but also nationwide.
"I can almost guarantee you will see changes of some sorts in training," Peletta said.
RECORDS UNSEALED | Accused of helping man on trial for mob bombing
March 25, 2009
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter
Federal authorities are investigating several Cicero police officers for allegedly trying to thwart FBI agents running surveillance on an Outfit associate and high-ranking member of the Outlaws motorcycle gang who ran a pawn shop in town, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
Cicero police allegedly ran car license plates, pulled over cars they suspected were driven by federal agents and tried to find hidden surveillance cameras around the business of Mark Polchan, according to recently unsealed court records. Polchan is awaiting trial on charges he bombed a business for the Outfit.
Cicero officers and Polchan also are accused by prosecutors of engaging in sexual acts with prostitutes in Polchan's business, called Goldberg's, which was under video and audio surveillance by federal authorities. Prosecutors brought the matter up to counter Polchan's claim that he is a good family man.
The Cicero police officers under investigation are not named in the court documents.
In one secretly recorded conversation between Polchan and one of the officers in 2007, the officer is quoting telling him, "Alright, I got good news. We ran all the f - - - - - - plates on all the f - - - - - - cars over here. They all came back to f - - - - - - people," meaning not federal agents.
At a court hearing sealed to the public, Assistant U.S. Attorney Markus Funk called the police running the license plates to see if they were federal agents "extraordinary," according to a transcript. Prosecutors had no comment Tuesday.
Cicero Town spokesman Dan Proft said the police superintendent was unaware of the allegations against his officers. The town will review them and likely refer them to the police department's internal affairs division, Proft said.
FBI agents interviewed three Cicero police officers in late summer or early autumn last year to question them because they had known Polchan for years, Proft said, but agents told the police superintendent they were not targets. Polchan apparently has deep ties with the Cicero Police Department, where his father was an officer.
Federal authorities have said more people will be charged in the Polchan case.
Prosecutors have alleged Polchan rang a burglary ring out of his shop and did frequent business with the Outfit, including overseeing a 2003 bombing of a Berwyn business that ran afoul of the mob.
Polchan's attorney could not be reached for comment. The documents came to light as Polchan appeals a judge's decision to have him held without bond.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
By Paul Meincke
March 23, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Three Chicago Police officers charged in connection with an alleged beating at a Chicago bar more than two years ago went on trial on Monday.
Four men claim they were the helpless victims of an unprovoked attack by the police officers.
Police Sergeant Jeff Planey, Officer Paul Powers and Officer Greg Barnes have plead not guilty to aggravated battery charges.
The case against the three officers is based in large part on a multi-camera surveillance system that was in use in the bar the night of the incident. But the cameras did not see everything. In fact, critical moments that led to charges being filed were outside of the view of the cameras. As a result, the outcome of the trial will rest in large part on the credibility of the witnesses.
Ten days before Christmas 2006 in a West Loop bar, four men were playing pool in the early morning hours. At the same time, a group of off-duty Chicago police officers were gathered in another section of the bar.
Security cameras in the bar show the two groups coming together in a confrontation. The four men say at least three officers assaulted them for no reason.
Officer Paul Powers and fellow Officer Gregory Barnes were indicted on charges of felony aggravated battery. Sergeant Jeffrey Planey was charged with official misconduct and obstruction of justice.
In opening statements on Monday, prosecutors said the three cops manhandled, punched and kicked the four men for no good reason, and that when bar employees and patrons called police, Sgt Planey waved them off, saying the situation was under control.
Defense lawyers say the four men provoked the confrontation and that they had earlier mocked Officer Powers because he had been seen in the bar shedding some tears. Powers' father had recently passed away.
The officers' attorneys say the four men were the aggressors and that at least two of them - brothers - exaggerated their injuries, changed their stories and quickly filed a civil suit because money is their motive.
Despite the fact that the 35 minute surveillance tape is key evidence, it does not have sound nor does it specifically show the parts of the confrontation that led to charges being filed.
It is a bench trial before Judge Thomas Gaynor who is using the occasion as judge and jury to stop the tape and analyze it to ask a lot of questions. The witnesses in the case will be through probably on Wednesday and after that the judge will be making his decision.
The three officers have been on administrative duty since the charges were first filed.
(Copyright ©2009 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
FAMILY SECRETS | Marcello will take stand vs. U.S. marshal charged with leaking to Outfit
March 24, 2009
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter
For months, Michael Marcello passed along key information about a top mob snitch during his 2003 prison visits to his half-brother, James "Little Jimmy" Marcello -- the Chicago Outfit's top boss.
The details about the key witness, mob killer Nicholas Calabrese, were allegedly coming from the man assigned to protect Calabrese from the mobsters who wanted him dead -- deputy U.S. Marshal John Ambrose.
Now, in a stunning reversal, Michael Marcello, once his imprisoned half-brother's eyes and ears on the street, will testify against Ambrose next month, a prosecution filing shows.
Ambrose is charged with leaking important information about Nick Calabrese to the Outfit. Marcello could provide key testimony about how the information allegedly made its way from Ambrose to Ambrose's friend with Outfit connections to reputed mobster John "Pudgy" Matassa to Michael Marcello to James Marcello. Matassa has not been charged in the case.
Michael Marcello pleaded guilty in the Family Secrets case in June 2007, admitting he ran an illegal video-poker business.
He didn't agree to cooperate then and got 8½ years in prison.
It's unclear what prompted the turnaround. Prosecutors would not comment, and an attorney for Marcello did not return a message. Such cooperation often results in less prison time.
Prosecutors secretly recorded Michael Marcello's conversations when he visited James Marcello in prison.
The Marcellos were intent on finding out what Nick Calabrese had revealed about James Marcello's involvement in the 1986 killings of mobsters Anthony and Michael Spilotro.
James Marcello drove the Spilotros to a Bensenville area home, where the two men believed they were going to get promotions in the mob, according to testimony in the Family Secrets case. Instead, several mobsters, including Nick Calabrese, pounced on them and beat them to death.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Jonathon Monken: Army captain finished in top 1 percent of his class at West Point
By Jeff Long | Tribune reporter
March 23, 2009
Gov. Pat Quinn on Sunday appointed a 29-year-old war veteran who finished in the top 1 percent of his West Point class to direct the Illinois State Police.
"I will work tirelessly," Jonathon Monken said. "My ultimate goal is to serve with distinction."
During a news conference Sunday afternoon at the Thompson Center, Quinn praised the former U.S. Army captain's leadership on the battlefield. Monken led more than 100 tank combat missions in Iraq without losing soldiers or equipment, Quinn said. He also has served in Kosovo and as a recruiter for the Illinois National Guard.
The increasing role of the state police as the local liaison to the federal Department of Homeland Security makes Monken's military experience even more important, Quinn said.
Monken said not having a law-enforcement background should not affect his credibility within the state police ranks. He has not yet decided whether to wear a state police uniform.
The governor disputed suggestions that former state police Director Larry Trent, who resigned Friday, had been ousted from the post. Trent was appointed by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2003.
Born in Arizona, Monken moved with his family to St. Charles in 1986. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 2002.
Meanwhile, Quinn defended his proposed tax increase, calling himself the "repairman" for the state's financial problems.
The governor's comment came as Democratic state Sen. Terry Link of Waukegan said he would support legislative efforts to streamline all levels of government—including the consolidation of school districts—as a method of achieving savings for taxpayers before backing Quinn's income-tax hike.
Link, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership team, said he doesn't believe some of the proposals for cost savings Quinn has outlined will satisfy a public being asked to pay more.
"We've got to look at ways that we can help people save money, directly and indirectly, and if we could do things like consolidation of schools, do other things that are going to save people money, we've got to do that so when they put their hand in their pocket, there's money there," Link said on WGN-AM 720.
Tribune reporter Rick Pearson contributed.
March 18, 2009
By RONNIE WACHTER firstname.lastname@example.org
When police investigate a burglary there are generally few clues to share with neighboring departments. But when an officer does find something usable, there a few channels by which his department can share its information.
Crimes like burglary happen daily in every city in America, some committed by the same thieves in different jurisdictions.
Police officials said it is difficult to identify when a string of burglaries in one community could be connected to burglaries elsewhere: The crime usually happens so fast that few clues are left behind, and there are so many each department must cover it makes spotting a pattern difficult.
"One agency may have more information than another, or they may have pieces of information," said Penny Mateck, spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff's Police Department. "It just gets down to good old-fashioned police work, in terms of mutual aid."
"Old-fashioned" may be a key term: Chicago-area police agencies said they have no computerized database for sharing clues found in burglaries.
Departments realize through detectives speaking to each other that one crew could be breaking into houses, cars or businesses in multiple jurisdictions.
"They may have had multiple, similar incidents in the same area in a fairly short period of time," Mateck said. "There's usually information-sharing between the agencies."
And the 20th-century system is still sufficient in an era where clues could be shared and matched much faster, said state Sen. John Millner, R-28th. The former police chief of Elmhurst and current member of the state's Public Safety Committee said detectives at most local departments take part in monthly meetings where they share questions and leads with each other.
"Overall, there is an infrastructure in place that allows for good communication between agencies," Millner said.
Though he added that it is not perfect.
"There are certain departments that for whatever reason don't participate in these detective meetings," he said. "I'm not saying it's wrong, but it can create difficulties."
Difficulties that must be worked around until a better idea emerges, Millner said. He doubted that a multi-jurisdictional task force devoted to burglaries could be formed, and if anyone wished to create a computerized database for burglary leads they should not look to the state for money.
"Number one, we have no funding," he said. "We're in almost a doomsday scenario. If there were, it would be years from now."
Sunday, March 22, 2009
overtime when an angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of
fiddling around on this one."
And the Lord said, "Have you read the spec on this order?
A police officer has to be able to run five miles through alleys in the
dark, scale walls, enter homes the health inspector wouldn't touch, and
not wrinkle his uniform.
"He has to be able to sit in an undercover car all day on a stakeout,
cover a homicide scene that night, canvass the neighborhood for
witnesses, and testify in court the next day.
"He has to be in top physical condition at all times, running on black
coffee and half-eaten meals. And he has to have six pairs of hands."
The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands... no
"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord, "it's
the three pairs of eyes an officer has to have."
"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.
The Lord nodded. One pair that sees through a bulge in a pocket before
he asks, "May I see what's in there, sir?" (When he already knows and
wishes he'd taken that accounting job.) "Another pair here in the side
of his head for his partners' safety. And another pair of eyes here in
front that can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say, 'You'll
be all right ma'am, when he knows it isn't so."
"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve, "rest and work on this
"I can't," said the Lord, "I already have a model that can talk a 250
pound drunk into a patrol car without incident and feed a family of five
on a civil service paycheck."
The angel circled the model of the police officer very slowly, "Can it
think?" she asked.
"You bet," said the Lord. "It can tell you the elements of a hundred
crimes; recite Miranda warnings in its sleep; detain, investigate,
search, and arrest a gang member on the street in less time than it
takes five learned judges to debate the legality of the stop... and
still it keeps its sense of humor.
This officer also has phenomenal personal control. He can deal with
crime scenes painted in hell, coax a confession from a child abuser,
comfort a murder victim's family, and then read in the daily paper how
law enforcement isn't sensitive to the rights of criminal suspects."
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the
police officer. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told you that you
were trying to put too much into this model."
"That's not a leak," said the lord, "it's a tear."
"What's the tear for?" asked the angel.
"It's for bottled-up emotions, for fallen comrades, for commitment to
that funny piece of cloth called the American flag, for justice."
"You're a genius," said the angel.
The Lord looked somber. "I didn't put it there," he said
--This is a classic example of why I have always said for 20 years "There is no such thing as routine, normal or regular-- I am in no way Monday morning quarterbacking but I think all police departments attempt to minimize the danger we are in at ALL times while doing our jobs and then something like this happens during the "routine".
My heart and prayers go out to the families of these fallen heroes.
OAKLAND, Calif. --
A police officer was battling for his life and three more were dead after a parolee with an "extensive criminal history" opened fire at a routine traffic stop and hours later gunned down members of a SWAT team searching for him.....
Friday, March 20, 2009
--Nice job guys--
A Chicago resident led Northlake police through three towns during a high-speed chase last week.
Owen Pearson, 47, of 4110 S. Ellis in Chicago was charged with reckless driving, aggravated fleeing and eluding and aggravated possession of stolen motor vehicle.
At 10:14 a.m. March 12, police saw a man attempting to break into a vehicle in the Home Depot parking lot, 37 W. North Ave., with a screwdriver, Det. Chris Mowinski said.
"He saw the officer, runs to his vehicle, gets in and drives away," Mowinski said.
The officer checked the plate and found out it belonged to a car reported stolen in Chicago. The police officer gave chase, following the man east on North Avenue.
At the intersection of North and First Avenue in Melrose Park, the driver struck a black Ford, but continued. Melrose Park police joined the chase, which reached speeds of 82 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone.
The car turned south on Oak Park Avenue and then turned again onto Pleasant Avenue in Oak Park, where police managed to stop it.
Pearson had a preliminary hearing at Maywood District Court March 17.
Melrose Park is the third Proviso Township community to install surveillance cameras on streets and in public buildings.
The Village Board approved an agreement March 9 with Lombard-based Current Technologies to install cameras in the police station, Village Hall, the senior center, the Public Works building, the football stadium and along 25th Avenue.
The proposal calls for 50 cameras to be installed, but Police Chief Sam Pitassi said the actual number of cameras the village decides to install might be less than what was proposed.
Bellwood contracted with the company in 2005 and Maywood will install its cameras next month.
Company president Steven Daugherty said the goal is to complete the first phase of Melrose Park's installation by the end of July.
The second phase includes the villagewide installation of cameras and an in-car communications system for the Police Department's fleet of squad cars, allowing officers to access the video from their vehicles.
After the first phase, an officer or shift commander will be able to monitor the cameras from within the station, Pitassi said.
Both phases of the project are estimated to cost $2.2 million, with the first phase costing $500,000, according to the project proposal. The project will be funded by the Metro TIF Fund, said Melrose Park Finance Director Lou Panico.
Pitassi said the cameras will "bolster" the officers' job. In the police station, cameras will be installed in all holding areas, entrances and hallways.
Pitassi said the cameras will protect the department from "false lawsuits.""Now we're going to be able to monitor everyone in the cells. If anyone claims something happens to them, it will be taped," Pitassi said.
Berekeley, Broadview, Hillside, Maywood, Melrose Park
(from the Chicago Sun Times)
Aldermen crafting plan, but police union opposed: ‘They’re not helping us’
Private security guards patrolling three Far South Side commercial strips would be empowered to write tickets -- for everything from parking and moving violations to loitering, littering and graffiti -- under a groundbreaking plan that faces strong resistance from rank-and-file Chicago Police officers.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Doctors amputated the Wauconda officer's right foot to keep bone cancer from spreading
When doctors amputated his right foot to keep bone cancer from spreading, Eric Schultz was determined not to give up his job as a police officer.
He had wanted to be a cop since he was a kid but, facing a career-ending illness, he kept asking himself a question that seemed almost unthinkable.
"What would I do if I couldn't be a police officer?" Schultz said.
Thanks to the surgery, help from his fellow officers and his own unflinching determination, the 24-year-old rookie officer never had to find out. With his cancer in remission after last year's operation, he has returned to a beat in Wauconda. His prosthetic foot hasn't slowed him, Deputy Police Chief Patrick Yost said.
"I never really doubted that he'd be back," Yost said. "He was one of these young men who really have a desire to do things. I thought that if there was any way to do it, he's going to do it."
The Wauconda Police Department has 26 officers who serve a town of about 12,000 residents. The last homicide was in 2006. Most of the calls are for burglaries, traffic incidents and domestic disturbances.
Schultz was an athletic kid who played high school basketball and youth hockey. By December 2006, fresh out of Northern Illinois University, he was hired by his hometown police department.
Living a dream, he said, he couldn't believe he was being paid "to drive a souped-up car and pull people over. I was having the time of my life."
The young officer was still growing into the job when he sprained an ankle jumping over a fence in May 2007. The nagging injury wouldn't heal, so three months after the injury doctors ordered an MRI. An expert at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago told him he had a tumor in his ankle.
"It was a shock," Schultz said. "I was always into working out. I didn't smoke or drink. I was healthy. How could this happen?"
Doctors told him they could remove his heel, but he would never walk as well as the latest prostheses would allow.
So Schultz agreed to have the foot amputated. The surgery was performed on Valentine's Day 2008.
Others in the department donated sick time and vacation days to help Schultz get through the eight months of chemotherapy and rehab he needed to return to the job.
"It was definitely difficult to know that he was going through something personally traumatic," Yost said.
By the summer Schultz had returned to a desk job. He finally made it back to the street as an officer in September.
That wouldn't have happened if the department had had any doubts about whether he was up to the challenge, Yost said.
"Just to see his strength gave us strength," said his father, Rick. "He was bound and determined to beat this and keep working."
The support of his family during his recovery was important, but Schultz sometimes sensed a sympathy from them that made him uncomfortable.
That feeling might explain why he liked being with other police officers and was eager to return to the beat.
"They didn't treat me any different," Schultz said. "It was like I didn't have cancer."
The streets will eat you alive, Vladimir Thompson told an 11-year-old boy in the office of Maywood Youth Mentoring Program.
"You ever hear the streets burp?" Thompson asked. He waited for the boy to shake his head before continuing, "That's because it don't get full. It'll eat and it'll eat and it'll eat and it'll never get full."...
Major crime increased in Northlake in 2008 by 10.7 percent, according to figures supplied by the Northlake Police Department to the Illinois State Police.
Most of the increase was in property crimes, specifically burglary, theft and vehicle theft.
There was a burglary crew that worked Northlake in 2008, Police Chief Dennis Koletsos said.
"Whenever that happens, you're going to see a spike in the numbers," Koletsos said. "You can have a couple junkies run through your town and do five or six burglaries, and in a week's time it will really affect your percentages."
Though vehicle thefts increased, Koletsos said the number in 2007 -- nine -- was abnormally low.
"We usually have around 17," Koletsos said.
Arrests for major crimes also increased in 2008, particularly burglary and theft.
"We have a couple more officers working the street," Koletsos said. "We have a very good detective division that does a good job of following up and arresting offenders."
--Smaller fleet of vehicles with only liability coverage, should be cheaper.--
A down economy has at least one benefit to the city of Northlake: lower liability insurance premiums.
For the fiscal year, which started March 14, the city will pay 1.8 percent, or $2,832, less to Mesirow Insurance Services. Total premium will be $165,528.
The decrease is largely due to a smaller fleet of city vehicles -- down from 60 to 56 -- and a slight decrease in the value of village real estate.
"Our track record is pretty good as well," said Mayor Jeff Sherwin. "We're not making claims against our liability insurance."
-- Staff Writer Mark Lawton
When Bob Moffatt, 81, was a patrolman in Northlake, all of the officers had second jobs to pay their bills.
Like the other 10 or so officers in the part-time police department, he had a day job, in his case delivering stoves from a warehouse to retailers. In the evening he would drive to the station -- then near the National Tea Company at North Avenue and Wolf Road -- and strap on his badge and a .36-caliber revolver.
A lot has changed in the Northlake Police Department during the past half-century. Moffatt paid a visit to the station Monday. He hasn't been there since the early 1970s, and he began his career there in the mid-1950s.
Moffatt, who now lives in Aurora, stopped back in, "just to see the old town, see if I know anybody," he said.
He recalls setting speed traps on North Avenue. A vehicle would run over a tube, then another tube, and that would register the speed. Later the department went high-tech and got radar.
While the town had a good amount of industry in the 1950s, it was essentially a quiet place with a small budget for public safety -- so small that Moffatt once pawned one of the department's squad cars.
"The Methodist church on Roy was burning," Moffatt said. "The squad car was too close to the church and caught on fire. The car laid in back of the police station for a long time."
Moffatt took the car home, fixed it and painted it.
"I wanted the city to pay the bill and they said no," Moffatt said. "So I pawned it."
Not all of Moffatt's memories revolve around the department. In the early 1950s Moffatt lived on Armitage Avenue. One day an airplane made an emergency landing near his house.
"It was a little Piper Cub," Moffatt said. "It didn't have enough fuel, I guess. The motor sputtered out and it landed only a few feet from our house. It just rolled through the weeds."
March 18, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis has received an unflattering performance review from members of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Nearly 200 officers gave Weis a no-confidence vote at their union meeting Tuesday night...
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Law Enforcement Technology
Saturday, March 14, 2009
This is something that everyone should be concerned about. In my case, I was getting into a patrol car to go out on patrol and was run over by the car. Things happen and they can happen to anyone at anytime as I learned the hard way.
If you are on the the job, you need to be aware of your contract and its benefits, as a unit you must stick together and fight for every benefit you have and need. You must also know the pension laws as they relate to you. I cannot stress this enough, especially to the young people that are coming on now and do not realize the importance of these things.
You MUST know your rights, read the grievance procedures in your contacts. Know your Bill of Rights, they are linked here in the Important Info area. You are not just subject to a "do as I say" environment. Protect yourselves and protect your family's future.
So, let me know what you think about the petition. It's time we start looking out for each other and ourselves.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Melrose Park, Bellwood, Maywood, Broadview:
Elmwood Park, River Grove:
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Overall crime in Franklin Park was down in 2008.
The village reported to Illinois State Police that its index crimes (murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault/battery, burglary, theft, vehicle theft and arson) have dropped 11.3 percent from 2007.
Police Chief Tom Wolfe, who has headed the department since 2006, credits the decrease partially to directing police to problem areas.
"We monitor this on a daily basis," Wolf said. "We try to direct resources to those areas and solve the problem."
Perhaps most impressive is the decrease in theft, which has gone down from 408 incidents in 2007 to 356 in 2008.
"We have a good working relationship with the theft prevention personnel in retail stores," Wolfe said. "They're quick to report occurrence and we're quick to catch people."
That quickness, Wolfe said, has given Franklin Park a reputation among thieves: It's not a good place for stealing.
The police department has also engaged in public education, suggesting residents not leave items such as GPS units and radar detectors in plain sight in their vehicles.
"It's an easy thing to steal, it's hard to trace and it's quick to pawn," Wolfe said. "It makes it hard to find those unless we catch someone in the act."
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
- H.R. 18 (Bartlett, R-MD), the "Powder Crack Cocaine Penalty Equalization Act," would eliminate the disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine offenses by changing the applicable amounts for powder cocaine to those currently applicable to crack cocaine;
- TOP PRIORITY H.R. 235 (Berman, D-CA), the "Social Security Fairness Act," would repeal both the "Windfall Elimination Provision" and the "Government Pension Offset" in current Social Security law;
- H.R. 248 (Green, D-TX), the "Law Enforcement Officers Flag Memorial Act," would provide the families of deceased law enforcement officers with a flag that has been flown over the U.S. Capitol;
- TOP PRIORITY H.R. 413 (Kildee, D-MI), the "Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act," would recognize the right of law enforcement and other public safety officers to bargain collectively with their employers;
- H.R. 583 (Lee, D-CA), the "Community Partners Next Door Act," would establish a housing program that would provide a fifty percent (50%) discount for teachers, teacher assistants, administrators, and public safety officers purchasing certain eligible asset properties for use as their primary residence, including a $100 downpayment on any related insured mortgage, and a higher Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan limit for such purchases in high cost areas;
- H.R. 673 (Filner, D CA), the "Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act," would provide 6 (c) benefits to approximately 30,000 Federal law enforcement officers who currently do not have them;
- H.R. 675 (Filner, D-CA), legislation which would grant statutory arrest authority to law enforcement officers employed by the U.S. Department of Defense;
- H.R. 1006 (Stupak, D-MI), the "Secondary Metal Theft Prevention Act," would require secondary metal recycling agents to keep records of their transactions in order to deter individuals and enterprises engaged in the theft and interstate sale of stolen secondary metal;
- S. 132 (Feinstein, D-CA), the "Gang Abatement and Prevention Act," is a comprehensive, national approach to the problem of gang violence which would establish a High Intensity Interstate Gang Activity Area (HIIGAA) program to facilitate greater cooperation between local, State and Federal law enforcement in identifying, targeting, and eliminating violent gangs in areas where gang activity is particularly prevalent and define new offenses which will enable law enforcement to fight gangs and gang-related activity more effectively;
- S. 167 (Kohl, D-WI), the "COPS Improvement Act," would establish the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) as a distinct entity within the U.S. Department of Justice and reauthorize the law enforcement officer hiring program, as well as reauthorizes funds for technology grants and community prosecutors;
- S. 256 (Feinstein, D-CA), the "Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act," will strengthen Federal law by improving the self-certification process for retail sales of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine;
- S. 258 (Feinstein, D-CA), the "Saving Kids from Dangerous Drugs Act," would increase penalties on those who tailor market illegal drugs to entice children to purchase them;
- TOP PRIORITY S. 484 (Feinstein, D-CA), the "Social Security Fairness Act," would repeal both the "Windfall Elimination Provision" and the "Government Pension Offset" in current Social Security law;
- Legislation to provide Federal law enforcement officers with a rebuttable presumption that a causal connection exists between their occupation and heart, lung, and hypertension disorders;
- Legislation which would protect the personal information of law enforcement officers and their families from public access;
- Legislation to exempt retired law enforcement officers from all Federal, State, and local taxes on their retirement income, regardless of their place of residence; and
- Legislation entitled the "Federal Law Enforcement Protection Act" to address the concerns of the more than 70,000 Federal uniformed law enforcement officers.
- H.R. 1221 (Brady, R-TX), the "Public Servant Retirement Protection Act," would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and replace it with a more equitable, individualized calculation of Social Security benefits;
- S. 490 (Hutchison, R-TX), the "Public Servant Retirement Protection Act," would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and replace it with a more equitable, individualized calculation of Social Security benefits;
- Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Formula Program ($2 billion);
- Edward Byrne Competetive Grant Program ($225 million);
- Assistance to Tribal Law Enforcement ($225 million);
- Assistance for Rural Law Enforcement to Combat Drug-Related Crime ($125 million);
- Assistance for Law Enforcement along the Southern Border and in High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (30 million);
- Grants for Victim Compensation and Assistance ($100 million); and
- Grants for Internet Crimes Against Children Initiatives ($50 million).
"Without Federally supervised private ballot elections democracy would not exist. The United States is the world's model for democratic government,"Canterbury said. "If passed into law this bill would set a dangerous precedent for our nation, and send a dangerous message for the rest of the world that the democratic system can be put aside in the service of selfish interests."
The legislation as proposed would replace the current process of secret ballots with a "card check" system that would rob employees of their privacy, power, and voice in deciding who should represent and defend their rights. Under this process, the identity of workers who signed—or refused to sign—union organizing cards would be known to the union organizers as well as to the worker's employer and co-workers, leaving these individuals vulnerable to threats and intimidation from union leaders, management, or both. The most common method for determining whether or not employees want a union to represent them is a private ballot election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB provides detailed procedures that ensure a fair election, free of fraud, where employees may cast their vote confidentially without pressure or coercion from unions, employers, or fellow employees.
"The only way to guarantee worker protection from coercion and intimidation is through the continued use of a Federally supervised private ballot election so that personal decisions about whether to join a union remain just that—private,"Canterbury stated. "There is no justification that exists which allows for the erosion of our nation's democratic principles."
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