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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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

LABOR NEWS: Ricci v DeStafano (New Haven Firefighters Case)

--This is the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Could impact future hiring and promoting practices.--
Duke

SYLLABUS
OCTOBER TERM, 2008
RICCI V. DESTEFANO


SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

RICCI et al. v. DeSTEFANO et al.

certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the second circuit

No. 07–1428. Argued April 22, 2009—Decided June 29, 2009

New Haven, Conn. (City), uses objective examinations to identify those firefighters best qualified for promotion. When the results of such an exam to fill vacant lieutenant and captain positions showed that white candidates had outperformed minority candidates, a rancorous public debate ensued. Confronted with arguments both for and against certifying the test results—and threats of a lawsuit either way—the City threw out the results based on the statistical racial disparity. Petitioners, white and Hispanic firefighters who passed the exams but were denied a chance at promotions by the City’s refusal to certify the test results, sued the City and respondent officials, alleging that discarding the test results discriminated against them based on their race in violation of, inter alia, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The defendants responded that had they certified the test results, they could have faced Title VII liability for adopting a practice having a disparate impact on minority firefighters. The District Court granted summary judgment for the defendants, and the Second Circuit affirmed.

Held: The City’s action in discarding the tests violated Title VII. Pp. 16–34.

(a) Title VII prohibits intentional acts of employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, 42 U. S. C. §2000e–2(a)(1) (disparate treatment), as well as policies or practices that are not intended to discriminate but in fact have a disproportionately adverse effect on minorities, §2000e–2(k)(1)(A)(i) (disparate impact). Once a plaintiff has established a prima facie case of disparate impact, the employer may defend by demonstrating that its policy or practice is “job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.” Ibid. If the employer meets that burden, the plaintiff may still succeed by showing that the employer refuses to adopt an available alternative practice that has less disparate impact and serves the employer’s legitimate needs. §§2000e–2(k)(1)(A)(ii) and (C). Pp. 17–19.

(b) Under Title VII, before an employer can engage in intentional discrimination for the asserted purpose of avoiding or remedying an unintentional, disparate impact, the employer must have a strong basis in evidence to believe it will be subject to disparate-impact liability if it fails to take the race-conscious, discriminatory action. The Court’s analysis begins with the premise that the City’s actions would violate Title VII’s disparate-treatment prohibition absent some valid defense. All the evidence demonstrates that the City rejected the test results because the higher scoring candidates were white. Without some other justification, this express, race-based decisionmaking is prohibited. The question, therefore, is whether the purpose to avoid disparate-impact liability excuses what otherwise would be prohibited disparate-treatment discrimination. The Court has considered cases similar to the present litigation, but in the context of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. Such cases can provide helpful guidance in this statutory context. See Watson v. Fort Worth Bank & Trust, 487 U. S. 977, 993. In those cases, the Court held that certain government actions to remedy past racial discrimination—actions that are themselves based on race—are constitutional only where there is a “strong basis in evidence” that the remedial actions were necessary. Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co., 488 U. S. 469, 500; see also Wygant v. Jackson Bd. of Ed., 476 U. S. 267, 277. In announcing the strong-basis-in-evidence standard, the Wygant plurality recognized the tension between eliminating segregation and discrimination on the one hand and doing away with all governmentally imposed discrimination based on race on the other. 476 U. S., at 277. It reasoned that “[e]videntiary support for the conclusion that remedial action is warranted becomes crucial when the remedial program is challenged in court by nonminority employees.” Ibid. The same interests are at work in the interplay between Title VII’s disparate-treatment and disparate-impact provisions. Applying the strong-basis-in-evidence standard to Title VII gives effect to both provisions, allowing violations of one in the name of compliance with the other only in certain, narrow circumstances. It also allows the disparate-impact prohibition to work in a manner that is consistent with other Title VII provisions, including the prohibition on adjusting employment-related test scores based on race, see §2000e–2(l), and the section that expressly protects bona fide promotional exams, see §2000e–2(h). Thus, the Court adopts the strong-basis-in-evidence standard as a matter of statutory construction in order to resolve any conflict between Title VII’s disparate-treatment and disparate-impact provisions. Pp. 19–26.

(c) The City’s race-based rejection of the test results cannot satisfy the strong-basis-in-evidence standard. Pp. 26–34.

(i) The racial adverse impact in this litigation was significant, and petitioners do not dispute that the City was faced with a prima facie case of disparate-impact liability. The problem for respondents is that such a prima facie case—essentially, a threshold showing of a significant statistical disparity, Connecticut v. Teal, 457 U. S. 440, 446, and nothing more—is far from a strong basis in evidence that the City would have been liable under Title VII had it certified the test results. That is because the City could be liable for disparate-impact discrimination only if the exams at issue were not job related and consistent with business necessity, or if there existed an equally valid, less discriminatory alternative that served the City’s needs but that the City refused to adopt. §§2000e–2(k)(1)(A), (C). Based on the record the parties developed through discovery, there is no substantial basis in evidence that the test was deficient in either respect. Pp. 26–28.

(ii) The City’s assertions that the exams at issue were not job related and consistent with business necessity are blatantly contradicted by the record, which demonstrates the detailed steps taken to develop and administer the tests and the painstaking analyses of the questions asked to assure their relevance to the captain and lieutenant positions. The testimony also shows that complaints that certain examination questions were contradictory or did not specifically apply to firefighting practices in the City were fully addressed, and that the City turned a blind eye to evidence supporting the exams’ validity. Pp. 28–29.

(iii) Respondents also lack a strong basis in evidence showing an equally valid, less discriminatory testing alternative that the City, by certifying the test results, would necessarily have refused to adopt. Respondents’ three arguments to the contrary all fail. First, respondents refer to testimony that a different composite-score calculation would have allowed the City to consider black candidates for then-open positions, but they have produced no evidence to show that the candidate weighting actually used was indeed arbitrary, or that the different weighting would be an equally valid way to determine whether candidates are qualified for promotions. Second, respondents argue that the City could have adopted a different interpretation of its charter provision limiting promotions to the highest scoring applicants, and that the interpretation would have produced less discriminatory results; but respondents’ approach would have violated Title VII’s prohibition of race-based adjustment of test results, §2000e–2(l). Third, testimony asserting that the use of an assessment center to evaluate candidates’ behavior in typical job tasks would have had less adverse impact than written exams does not aid respondents, as it is contradicted by other statements in the record indicating that the City could not have used assessment centers for the exams at issue. Especially when it is noted that the strong-basis-in-evidence standard applies to this case, respondents cannot create a genuine issue of fact based on a few stray (and contradictory) statements in the record. Pp. 29–33.

(iv) Fear of litigation alone cannot justify the City’s reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions. Discarding the test results was impermissible under Title VII, and summary judgment is appropriate for petitioners on their disparate-treatment claim. If, after it certifies the test results, the City faces a disparate-impact suit, then in light of today’s holding the City can avoid disparate-impact liability based on the strong basis in evidence that, had it not certified the results, it would have been subject to disparate-treatment liability. Pp. 33–34.

530 F. 3d 87, reversed and remanded.

Kennedy, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C.J., and Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, JJ., joined. Scalia, J., filed a concurring opinion. Alito, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which Scalia and Thomas, JJ., joined. Ginsburg, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Stevens, Souter, and Breyer, JJ., joined.

Together with No. 08–328, Ricci et al. v. DeStefano et al., also on certiorari to the same court.

NEWS: NW Side man calls police to report his drugs were stolen

--This guy gets my vote--
Duke


June 30, 2009

BY ROSEMARY SOBOL Staff Reporter

A man who was bound with duct tape and beaten during a home invasion early Tuesday in the Logan Square neighborhood on the Northwest Side complained to police that the attackers took his drugs.

About 2 a.m., the victim, a 30-year-old man who lives in the 2400 block of West McLean Avenue, was in his bedroom when he heard a loud noise, according to Shakespeare District police Capt. Marc Buslik.

“He was met by three unknown males who demanded drugs and money,’’ the captain said.

The attackers began striking him on the head with what appeared to be a nightstick and a Taser was also used on him. They tied him up with duct tape and a pillowcase was placed over his head, he said.

“They told him to count to 666, otherwise they would kill him,’’ Buslik said.

The three fled through the front door and drove away in a white Monte Carlo after taking $1,200 and a “couple of ounces of cannabis’’ worth about $2,000, Buslik said.

“He called police to say they stole his drugs,’’ according to the captain, who said the man, whom he declined to identify, was not facing charges. But the captain said telling authorities about the stolen drugs may not have been most intelligent choice.

Grand Central Area detectives are investigating.

NEWS: Chicago applying for grants to hire 400 new police officers

June 29, 2009

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

Chicago is applying for $106 million in federal-stimulus grants to hire 400 new police officers, even though there’s a costly string attached: When the three-year grants expire, the officers must remain on the city payroll for at least another year.

Mayor Daley is poised to lay off 1,504 city employees to help erase a threatened $300 million year-end shortfall unless union leaders agree to another painful round of cost-cutting concessions by July 15.

Although some economists — and even President Obama — see a “glimmer of hope” that the prolonged recession may be winding down, Daley has been all doom-and-gloom. He expects the recession to drag on for years with the situation getting worse before it gets better.

How, then, can Chicago afford to assume the cost of federally funded police officers when the three-year grant expires?

“This is 2009. You have 2010, 11, 12 and 13. Truly, if the United States of America is not out of this recession [by that time], then we have major, major economic problems,” Daley told a news conference called to detail stimulus spending.

“By [20]13, we should be out of this. If not, then it’s much more serious than anyone ever predicted. . . . That’s three or four years away.”

Daley’s 2009 budget slowed police hiring to a crawl — with only 200 officers expected to be hired throughout the year.

But, Police Superintendent Jody Weis recently acknowledged that City Hall hasn’t even kept up with that snail’s pace.

Only one class comprised of 45 officers has entered the police academy for six months of training. No more classes have been scheduled.

As a result, the Chicago Police Department is more than 600 officers below its authorized strength.

And if Daley proceeds with the 1,504 layoffs, 296 civilian police employees will lose their jobs as crossing guards, detention aides and traffic control aides, forcing uniformed police officers to do jobs that have nothing to do with fighting crime.

The so-called COPS Hiring Recovery Program is similar to a police hiring program in place during the Clinton administration.

But, Chicago stimulus czar Pat Harney said this version is more generous.

“It’s a little more money toward us. They actually pay for the three years [of salaries]. We’re obligated to hire them for one additional year beyond that,” he said.

Monday, June 29, 2009

MELROSE TRIALS: U.S. Witness List

Ok folks, you saw it here first!

This is the United State's witness list in the upcoming trial of Ric Cervone and Mickey Caliendo. This is all public record so there is no secret information being revealed here.

Duke

Click here---->>Witness List<<

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

NEWS: Woman killed in Broadview road-rage incident

FROM STNGWIRE REPORTS

(BROADVIEW) A woman was killed Thursday night after she was stabbed during a road-rage incident and crashed a short distance away in west suburban Broadview, authorities said.

Adrean Price, 35, of 2344 S. 21st Ave. in Broadview, was involved in a stabbing and crash at 1811 S. 17th Ave. in Broadview and was pronounced dead at 11:08 p.m. at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Broadview police Lt. Jim Kosik said Price was stabbed about 9:52 p.m.

Authorities said Price was involved in a road-rage incident prior to being stabbed. Price and the other motorist, a woman, each allegedly got out of their vehicles and stabbed each other. Price then got back into her car and attempted to drive away when she crashed.

An autopsy is scheduled for later Friday, the medical examiner’s office said.

Kosik said several witnesses are being witnessed early Friday, but no charges have been filed as of 5:30 a.m.

TRAINING: Hand Grenade Management

--This is more of a management article, but I am sure after reading it you will agree that we have all know some of these people--
Duke

WILLIAM L. HARVEY
Management Contributor

I am sure that every one of you is familiar with the employee who practices hand grenade management. It is their style to blow up everybody else's work, reputation or disrupt other's sections, just to make themselves appear to be the better worker. OK, no names but let's discuss this all too frequent animal that lurks within police departments and how to handle them.

Past Bombings

I recall from my past days as a sergeant who was competing for the lieutenant's promotion. You go to college at night and take on mandatory opportunities to excel as my former chief called them. These were extra projects or collateral duties. You drive yourself hard and then boom! one of your fellow competitors has walked down the hall and lobbed a grenade in your lap. Well, not really; they probably dropped a rumor at the coffee pot to your superiors, started a rumor with the secretaries, or just launched an explosive attack elsewhere. Now despite your good work and efforts, you have to do damage control over somebody else's childish, infantile behavior.

From my observation now as a chief, I can really see these creatures at their finest moments. Even if there is a faint possibility of a better station in life for them, they begin with their treacherous designs. They are often making up for their own faults, misgivings and ineptness is the often their reason. Many of them do not have the right qualifications, lack education, have a tawdry past, lack experience or have gotten to their station in life by riding coattails of others. They may have been the fair haired child in past administrations and now are out in the cold for they lack the right stuff. So what better way than to destroy all others who are your competition and then the last person standing will win the battle. These are easy to spot, the problem-child employee who always tells you their past exploits. They can not offer anything new; they alone got the department where it is now and expect the laurels. They will not forget to mention the faults of others, remind you of whom they are related to, married to, tell of their political affiliations and drop names. Again, no name calling please.

Handling the Bombers

If you are designing a promotional process or placement into a special unit, here are some tried and true means to separate them from their ways. First, require a letter of intent for the position and a resume that is limited to two pages without references. First this puts them in a position of having to produce factual information. Double check the resume to the work record. If your department can afford an assessment center process, this is great for the evaluators do not know this person or the names he/she is to drop. Don't worry, they will drop a name but good assessors can cull the herd. The assessors are only interested in performance and facing the tasks at hand. Most do not have names but only know you as candidate number one. If you can not afford an assessment center, have others assist with lower level interviews. Ask Human Resources or other department heads outside of your area to sit on the dais. I was once called into a local fire department for their process; they did not want anyone in fire service to evaluate; only other managers.

Format your questions to be performance and personality based questions, not just boiler plate questions of why you want to be promoted. My favorite of all is Tell me of a time you have failed and what have you learned from it? Another favorite is We do not want to hear your strengths, but what are your faults and what are you doing to eliminate them? What is interesting about a grenadier candidate is that they will never admit to failures or faults - just give them a moment. I once interviewed a promotional candidate who should have been the spokesperson for hand grenade hurling. When he was asked by the board if he possessed any faults or weaknesses, he declared he did not have any, but immediately began to name the faults of the other candidates! This was unbelievable; many do not believe me, but if I told others in that department they'd believe me.

If you are supervising one of these masters of disaster, here is the way to deal with them daily. If you ask them a question, demand that it is answered in ten words or less. I do not want their color commentary on others. What do you see as the immediate problem and what are you going to do to handle it. Performance is what counts, not tearing down the staff. By the way I will tell them, if you are known for speaking evil of your brother and sister officers then you will speak ill of the management. I do not want that kind of player on my management team. I want results, not excuses.

TRAINING: Grudge I.A. Investigations (Yes they can happen)

--I thought this was interesting.--
Duke

RANDY RIDER
Internal Affairs Contributor

In my career of working internal affairs I have often been asked the following question. Has internal affairs been utilized to initiate investigations as a form of harassment, intimidation, or as a way to eliminate an employee? This question comes from officers and civilians alike. I also hear about once per week. My answer unequivocally is yes. There is not a doubt in my mind.

Not too many years ago it was common that a vendetta would put an officer in such a position by falling into disfavor by someone in a police department. The usual thing that I look for in these situations is if the officer had offended in the department, local government, and a citizen.

Falling from favor will eventually work its way around to most police officers. One day an officer is at the top of the ladder and can do no wrong. Overnight they fall from grace. At the time most officers are devastated but, whose fault is it? Well, at times they do it to themselves.

Things float along for years and all is well. Officers become complacent in their jobs and attitudes. In the back of their minds they are not thinking that some things they are doing in their complacency would normally put another officer in trouble. It is known as the fair hair syndrome. Those in this category have been there too long and are too comfortable.

Eventually they screw up. Simple things they should have paid attention to. Taking short cuts on reports, not completing assignments as well as they could and finally they are in the radar. At this point management begins to pick up on these problems. Enough screw-ups and it is time for management to take adverse action. When it happens the officer must take a good hard look at themselves. Remember the good times and how you got where you are. See if you might really be the problem. Don't blame the supervisor or, department until you take stock of the situation. Then take whatever the future may bring and go forward. Sometimes you have to dig your way out.

There are grudge cases. These come from the public or the department. I had an investigation into the theft from an officer's family member employer. The family member was caught stealing and the owner tried to take the officer down. Initially the business owner convinced the Chief the officer was stealing. An IA was ordered. Within a few days and plain old paper trailing revealed there were receipts at the business where the officer purchased the items. The chief was pleased that the officer was cleared. The officer sued and obtained a settlement. Score one for the good guys.

Then there are the department grudge cases. IA officers have been put into positions that they have been told the outcome of the IA before it is investigated. I have never been told where to take a case. I have told all my employers that I will do anything I am asked. However, I will not lie; I will not go against my morals; I will not go to jail for them. I have heard cases where the officers have been told to complete the case the way it was laid out to them. Some followed along; some didn't. I know I would have a hard time keeping something like that on my conscience. I would hope other IA officers would too.

This has been a brief summary of things that can go wrong. Have there been grudge IA's? Again, without a doubt there are. What should an officer do in these cases? Allow the investigation to run its course. You may just be having a run of bad luck. A good IA officer will find the truth. A good Executive officer would not allow this to occur.

Keep your head up and your integrity. There are remedies to these problems. Running the mouth is not the thing to do; pre-outcome statements will come back to haunt you. Contact your union representative or attorney. Even though neither may be allowed in the interview keep them up on what is going on. Make it clear that you have representation. Do not let this be a surprise to the department. Wait till the conclusion of the investigation to consider the best choice of action. When you do take action do it legally and within policy.

Friday, June 26, 2009

NEWS: Peterson trial witness list: 805 people


--Can you see 805 people testifying in one murder trial?--
Duke

June 26, 2009
By JOE HOSEY jhosey@scn1.com

JOLIET — Saying Drew Peterson's attorneys were attempting to simplify disclosure evidence into "CliffsNotes," prosecutors thwarted the bid Thursday but will have to pare an 805-witness list down to the 50 most likely to testify.

John Connor, the chief of the major crime unit for the state's attorney, countered an eight-point motion from Peterson's defense team that would help the accused wife-killer's lawyers more easily navigate the thousands of pages of discovery evidence.

"I think what the counsel is asking us to do is give them CliffsNotes on this," Connor said, referring to the study guides that simplify books for students.

One of Peterson's attorneys, Joel Brodsky, argued that the first-degree murder indictment against Peterson was too vague.

He wanted prosecutors to provide detailed descriptions of such matters as how Peterson allegedly drowned his third wife, Kathleen Savio; whether he used any weapons or tools to kill her; exactly where and when the alleged 2004 murder occurred; and how Peterson may have gained entry to her home.

"Was it a key?" Brodsky asked. "Was it, 'Beam me up, Scotty'?"

Connor countered that all of the information Brodsky is entitled to can be found in the discovery evidence already handed over by prosecutors. But Brodsky said it was too much for him and Peterson's other attorneys to sift through.

Judge Stephen White denied all the requests in Brodsky's motion, but did tell Connor to come up with an approximate time Savio was last seen alive and about when her body was found.

755 witnesses too many

Brodsky also took issue with the 805 men and women listed as possible witnesses against Peterson. Connor is supposed to come up with the 50 most likely to testify by July 10, but was not forbidden from calling the remaining 755 at trial, which is scheduled to start Aug. 24.

White also shot down Brodsky's request for Peterson to take possession of the evidence against him while he is in jail. White said Peterson could review the evidence in the presence of his attorneys, who have been granted unlimited jailhouse visits with their client.

Paid testimony?

Brodsky also asked whether three key witnesses against Peterson were compensated by the state police.

Brodsky named Peterson's former friends Len Wawczak and Paula Stark, who clandestinely recorded their conversations with Peterson for seven months at the behest of the state police, and Peterson's stepbrother, Thomas Morphey, who claims to have helped Peterson dispose of the body of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, in October 2007, as the witnesses he suspects may have profited from their statements.

Brodsky asked whether Stark, Wawczak or Morphey were paid money or given consideration in regard to criminal charges that may have faced them.

White said this issue would be resolved July 10.

Police Blotters June 26, 2009

--Click on the town your interested in--

>>Franklin Park, Northlake<<

>>Elmhurst<<

>>Elmwood Park, River Grove<<

>>Harwood Heights, Norridge<<

>>Oak Park<<

>>River Forest<<

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

NEWS: Recession Depleting U.S. Police Forces

By DON BABWIN
Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO --

As hundreds of jobs in Chicago's police department go unfilled, officers who once patrolled the streets with partners are riding alone in what some cops bitterly call "rolling coffins."

In a Pennsylvania town that disbanded its three-member police force, Anita Gricar worries that officers from the neighboring town won't come fast enough if she calls for help. She also misses the comfort that came from having officers who knew everyone and everything about Versailles, Pa., population 1,700.

"They knew your house, they knew when your tomatoes are red," Gricar said.

This is what the nation's economic crisis looks like in law enforcement. As tax revenue shrivels, police agencies that for years were bulletproof when it came to funding are tightening their belts. Some worry that criminals will take advantage of the situation.

"There are consequences for every cut that is made. With the recession, people out of work, criminal offenses are going to go up ... immediately," said Steve Dye, an assistant police chief in Garland, Texas, and an International Association of Chiefs of Police official.

Exactly how many officers are losing their jobs and how many positions are going unfilled are unclear. But one after another, departments are telling the International Association of Chiefs of Police that officers are being laid off or taking furloughs, positions are being left vacant, and police forces are closing or consolidating.

"I've been in law enforcement for 25 years and if you would have talked about laying off policemen, people would not have believed you," Dye said.

The cuts come as police departments are being asked to take on more responsibilities, such as investigating domestic terrorism, said John Firman, director of research for the police chiefs association.

There is some help on the way, in the form of federal stimulus money, but the need may far outstrip the aid. For example, the $1 billion that the Justice Department's Community Oriented Policing Services received to hire officers nationwide is less than one-eighth of the money agencies requested, said Fred Wilson, director of operations at the National Sheriffs' Association.

In the Southern California community of El Monte, dominated by huge car dealerships, the police department laid off 17 of its 148 officers as three of the dealerships went under and sales at the others plummeted, reducing the town's tax revenue.

In Chicago, with a police force of about 13,000, the number of vacancies has climbed to more than 400 since January 2008 because the department is not hiring to keep up with the number of officers who leave. The city could be down 800 officers by the end of the year, said Mark Donahue, president of the police union.

The danger of one-person squad cars was seen last summer in Chicago when Officer Richard Francis, riding alone, responded to a disturbance involving a mentally ill woman. During a struggle, the woman allegedly grabbed Francis' gun and killed the 27-year veteran.

"On calls like the one he was responding to at the time, they are being put at risk in one-man cars," Donahue said.

Also, more cops are being attacked on the streets, and police say that is because they can no longer flood the scene with officers when they respond to a call. The number of incidents of battery against a police officer in Chicago rose from 2,677 to 3,158 between 2007 and 2008, according to department statistics.

In Broward County, Fla., Sheriff Al Lamberti worries that attacks by inmates on deputies and each other will increase because he must lay off 68 of his 1,500 jail deputies. In addition, 100 civilians are being laid off at the county's jails, which house about 5,000 people.

In addition, he has eliminated jail programs that, among other things, help inmates overcome addiction and stop beating their kids.

"We are at the point where we are literally out of options," Lamberti said. "I never thought in a million years this would happen."

In El Monte, layoffs forced the department to shut down programs such as one in which officers served as mentors to young people likely to get into trouble.

"Now we're going to be responding when a kid slaps his mom instead of having him in a program where they can teach him to respect his parents," said Lt. Charles Carlson.

In Kansas City, Mo., only 45 police officer jobs have gone unfilled, but there is a very real possibility that the 31 cadets scheduled to graduate in August will be laid off before they can even start work.

"And we may not be able to have another academy class until 2011," said Maj. David Zimmerman.

NEWS: Pender spared death penalty in murder sentencing

Therese (left) and James Pender

June 25, 2009
By CHRIS LAFORTUNE clafortune@pioneerlocal.com

James Pender has been sentenced to natural life in prison without parole for the murder of his wife Therese Pender.

Pender was eligible for the death penalty, but Cook County Circuit Court Judge James Tucker sentenced Pender to life Tuesday afternoon.

Pender pleaded guilty June 9 to the first-degree murder of his estranged wife. Therese Pender was bludgeoned to death with a hammer in March 2005 in River Forest.

Pender was arrested shortly after the attack while fleeing the scene with the murder weapon, prosecutors said.

The judge's decision was good news to Pender's attorney, Public Defender Preston Jones Jr.

"We actually thought that a term of years in prison would have been appropriate, but we are happy he was spared the death penalty," Jones said.

Members of Therese Pender's family were not as happy with Tucker's decision.

"I don't think he's got any remorse in him," brother-in-law Bob Satterthwaite said. "Sitting in jail, he's never going to think about what he's done. The only good thing is he's not going to be able to do it to anybody else."

Therese Pender's mother, Mary McCullars, said she's happy James Pender will not be able to hurt her family any longer. The decision is a long time coming, she said, but still, she's not pleased with the final outcome.

"Therese did everything she was supposed to do," McCullars said. "She worked for a lawyer, so she knew what to do. And therefore, she went by the rules. And it didn't save her. The rules didn't save her."

Therese Pender had filed for divorce and had an order of protection against her husband.

McCullars said James Pender has been manipulating the legal system for four years, and just before the trial began, decided to plead guilty. She does not believe he's taken responsibility for the killing.

"Our family has been going through hell for four years," McCullars said.

Jones said James Pender wanted to take responsibility for what he did. It's why he pleaded guilty, ultimately, to show he was remorseful, Jones said.

"He wanted to make sure the family of the victim didn't have to go through the extra trauma of a trial," Jones said. "He wanted to make sure the family didn't have to go through 15 years of appeals back and forth. He stood up and took responsibility for what he did."

The death penalty was not appropriate in this instance because Pender did not have a significant criminal history, Jones said. He had only one non-violent felony conviction in 1992.

"We believe that he was operating under extreme emotional and mental disturbance from the mental illness he suffered from," Jones said.

And James Pender has an 84-year-old mother, Jones said.

"While we understand that Therese Pender's mom will never be able to talk to her daughter again, we were asking for mercy, asking that Fran Pender be able to at least know her child was alive and maybe correspond with him," Jones said.

Perhaps, but Therese Pender's family will never see her again, Satterthwaite said.

"If we want to spend Christmas with Therese, we've got to go to the cemetery," he said. "Where's the justice?"

Sister Lisa Janopoulos is somewhat accepting of the verdict. James Pender can never hurt anyone again, she said.

"Nothing will ever bring back my sister," she said. "I think about her all the time. But knowing that ... he can't hurt anybody else, I guess that's kind of closure, if that makes any sense."

NEWS: Alcohol sting nabs four businesses selling to minors

June 25, 2009
Four Melrose Park bars and liquor stores were ticketed last week for selling alcohol to minors during a Sheriff's police sting.

Officers from the Cook County Sheriff's police Special Operations Unit and the Illinois Liquor Commission had teenagers attempt to buy liquor at 24 suburban liquor stores, according to a release issued Wednesday from the Cook County Sheriff's office.

The teenagers entered the establishments with their own valid identification cards and attempted to buy alcohol. Seven of the 24 businesses sold liquor to the undercover teenagers, the release said.

The following establishments were among those ticketed: Allycat Lounge at 115 E. Grand Ave. in Melrose Park; Squab Gyros at 2348 Mannheim Rd. in Melrose Park; Possum's Pub at 2324 N. Mannheim Rd. in Melrose Park; Ozzie's Food Store at 11158 W. Grand Ave. in Melrose Park.

In addition to the citations, which could be as high as $500, the businesses were given a ticket for an administrative hearing before the Illinois Liquor Commission.

— Sun-Times News Group

NEWS: Man held in connection with fatal shooting

Darrell J. Topps, 29, of Bellwood, was charged Monday with the murder of an 18-year-old Maywood resident. Police say the shooting was a gang retaliation, but the victim was not the intended target. (Photo courtesy of Forest Park Police Department)

June 25, 2009
By JOLIE LEE jlee@pioneerlocal.com

A 29-year-old Bellwood man was charged Monday with the June 15 shooting death of Keyana Bates, 18, of Maywood.

Darrell J. Topps, of 141 Rice Ave., Bellwood, faces one count of capital murder and two counts of attempted murder, according to a Forest Park Police Department release.

Bates was shot twice in the back while a passenger of a car at Des Plaines Road and Harrison Street in Forest Park about 10 p.m. June 15. The driver of the vehicle, a 19-year-old Maywood man, was shot in the shoulder.

The driver was the intended target of the shooting, which was a gang retaliation, said Forest Park Police Chief Jim Ryan.

Arrested with Topps was Tristan Agee, 24, of 23 S. 21st Ave., Maywood. Agee faces charges of resisting arrest and was in violation of his parole for a narcotics arrest.

The shooting occurred after Bates and her companions pulled into the driveway of a residence on the 800 block of Dunlop Avenue in Forest Park, Ryan said. As Bates' vehicle pulled out of the driveway, a vehicle driven by Agee with Topps and two others inside followed.

Topps allegedly got out of the vehicle and started shooting. Fifteen shots were fired into the vehicle, police said. Two shots penetrated Bates' seat and struck her in the back. A backseat passenger, a 19-year-old Maywood man, was not injured.

Bates' companions told police the other vehicle had been following them from Maywood, Ryan said.

Topps and Agee were picked up by police at a Burger King on the 4900 block of North Avenue in Chicago, according to the release. The two others in the car with Topps and Agee have not been identified, Ryan said.

Topps and Agee both have "an extensive violent criminal history and are active gang members," according to the release.

No bail was set Tuesday for Topps in Cook County Circuit Court.

Bates was a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She graduated from Proviso East High School in 2008.

A neighbor said Bates had started dating a man who was "the wrong person to hang out with." Ryan said police do not know what the relationship was between Bates and the driver.

Bates was shot less than three blocks from the residence of another shooting victim, Johnathan Ollech, who was found in Maywood with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest only a day earlier. Both Maywood and Forest Park police say the two shootings are unrelated.

MELROSE TRIALS: Convictions halt compensation for Scavo, others

June 25, 2009
By JOLIE LEE jlee@pioneerlocal.com

Four former Melrose Park police employees -- including former chief Vito Scavo -- no longer receive compensation after guilty convictions in federal court.

When indicted in July 2007, Scavo continued to receive his $7,500 monthly pension, and the other employees were placed on paid administrative leave.

Scavo, who was chief from 1995 to 2006, and six other police and village employees were charged with running private security firms out of the police department and shaking down local businesses to use the firms.

With the conviction, Scavo no longer receives his pension, said village spokesman Gary Mack.

According to the Illinois Pension Code, a person cannot receive a pension when "convicted of any felony relating to or arising out of or in connection with his or her service as a police officer."

Scavo was convicted on all 22 counts against him, including extortion and racketeering.

The two co-defendants in Scavo's trial were also found guilty on all counts. Former Deputy Chief Gary Montino was convicted on racketeering and mail fraud charges and part-time officer Michael Wynn on mail fraud.

After the indictment two years ago, Montino was still receiving his salary of $102,410. Now convicted, Montino has been terminated from the police department, Mack said.

Wynn is also no longer employed by the police department. His salary was nearly $35,000.

Last week, former Deputy Chief James Caputo changed his plea to guilty on charges of mail fraud. Caputo's monthly pension before taxes was $6,207. Caputo resigned from the police department in 2004 after he was accused of stealing about $40,000 in checks made out to the village.

Two police employees will go to trial July 13.

Police Cmdr. Guy "Ric" Cervone is charged with one count of obstruction of justice and two counts of mail fraud. Cervone is on paid administrative leave and stills gets a paycheck from the village for his $95,000 salary.

Michael "Mickey" Caliendo, supervisor of part-time officers, is charged with one count of racketeering conspiracy and seven counts of mail or wire fraud.

Caliendo had a felony conviction when hired onto the department and served on the force as a civilian employee. Because he is not a sworn officer, Caliendo does not receive a pension from the police department, Mack said.

Employees who conduct police duties are excluded from the village retirement fund, said village human resources manager Jackie McMillian.

German Cepeda, a former police department janitor and village code inspector, was also indicted as part of the racketeering scheme. Cepeda pleaded guilty to extortion charges and testified in the trial against Scavo. Cepeda is still employed by the village. His salary is $46,800.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

R.I.P.: Undercover Houston Officer Killed in Shootout


Suspect was killed by another officer

CINDY GEORGE and MIKE GLENN
Houston Chronicle

An undercover Houston police officer was killed Tuesday night in a shootout with a man killed moments later by another officer, officials said.

The officer was identified as 42-year-old Henry Canales. He joined the Houston Police Department in 1993. The identity of the other man was not available.

Canales was part of an undercover team investigating stolen televisions when he was shot in the parking lot of a Walgreens drugstore at Hillcroft and Bellaire, officials said.

Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt described Canales as dedicated.

"He was not only an outstanding officer but an outstanding individual," Hurtt said early this morning outside of Ben Taub General Hospital, where Canales was taken after he was shot and later pronounced dead.

"He cared a lot about the people that he worked with," Hurtt said. "He cared a lot about the citizens of the city of Houston. And, he was a hero to his family."

At about 9 p.m. Tuesday, four people had contacted undercover officers and asked to buy stolen televisions, according to Houston police spokesman Victor Senties. The officers arranged to meet the potential buyers at the parking lot of the southwest Houston drugstore.

"At some point, the transaction was made and the money was exchanged," Senties said.

After the transaction, Canales walked around to the front of a Budget rental truck parked on the lot. The buyer followed him and then pulled out a pistol, Senties said.

"There's an exchange of gunfire, and the undercover officer drops to the ground," Senties said. Canales was shot once.

The buyer went to the back of the truck and fell to the ground.

A second undercover officer, identified as R. Lopez, ran up and tried to take the buyer into custody, Senties said. At some point at least one of his hands was handcuffed.

The man reached back and fired at least twice at Lopez, Senties said.

Lopez, who was not hit, fired his weapon at least once toward the man. The man died at the scene, Senties said.

Three others, including one female, who were with the buyer left in a van. Police pursued and stopped them at the Southwest Freeway and Bellaire.

Lt. Scott Dombrowski, who is with the department's auto theft division and was in charge of the operation, said the area was targeted because of the high amount of crime.

He visited with Canales before the shooting.

"We talk about everything (before deploying an operation)," Dombrowski said. "When we're done with an operation, we critique that operation; it just doesn't always go as planned."

The lieutenant said he's known Canales for a number of years.

"Henry was a good man," Dombrowski said. "Dedicated. Loving family. Loved his job. He loved what he did and he was very good at it."

Canales worked in the auto theft division for seven years and before that was with northeast patrol for seven years.

"This is probably the most difficult time of any chief's tenure: when we lose one of our officers in the line of duty and then have to share in the grief of the family, loved ones and other members of our organization," Hurtt said.

Canales leaves behind a wife, a 15-year-old son and a 17-year-old daughter.

The last Houston police officer to die in the line of duty was Timothy Abernethy. He was killed on Dec. 7 by a gunman who allegedly ambushed him during a foot chase at a northside apartment complex.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

R.I.P.: Arkansas Officer Killed in Shooting


By JON GAMBRELL
Associated Press Writer

PLUMERVILLE, Ark. --

A rural Arkansas assistant police chief only two weeks from retirement was shot dead Friday during a traffic stop, authorities said.

The officer, Joey Cannon, 49, pulled over a pickup truck just after 6 a.m., with about 40 minutes left in an otherwise routine nightshift, Plumerville Chief Bill Hartman said.

He had information the truck was stolen and had a sheriff's deputy to back him up as he approached the driver's side of the truck, said Sheriff Mike Smith.

A single shot fired by the truck's driver struck Cannon in the chest. Hartman said he didn't know whether the 27-year law enforcement veteran had a bulletproof vest on or if the deputy returned fire.

A passenger in the truck jumped out and the deputy arrested him as the pickup sped off, Smith said. The truck was stopped in Faulkner County a short time later. Police recovered a bag and a weapon from near the truck, said Bill Sadler, a spokesman for the Arkansas State Police.

Smith refused to name the men arrested, but said they'd likely face capital murder charges. If convicted, the charge carries either a death sentence or life in prison.

Hartman said Cannon, who served as a police officer in the small town for nine years, approached him Thursday night about retiring.

Cannon's son, a Conway County deputy, arrived to the scene shortly after the shooting. His daughter works as a sheriff's dispatcher in Perry County.

"The comment he made the other day was that it was time to retire because things were changing too much," Hartman said.

Cannon was one of only three full-time officers in the city, a little more than 30 miles northwest of Little Rock.

"This has been one of the worst things that's happened here in the history of the town," Mayor Ed Paladino said.

The officer's death is the latest tragedy to strike the small town of 866 in central Arkansas. In April, three young boys drowned when their mother drove a car into a manmade lake north of town during an early morning rainstorm.

The last police shooting death in Arkansas came in 2007.

Funeral Information: Officer Joey Cannon will be laid to rest Tuesday. His service will be held at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Plumerville at 1:00 p.m.

MELROSE TRIALS: Caputo changes plea, awaits sentence

June 23, 2009
By DAVID POLLARD dpollardard@pioneerlocal.com

Former Melrose Park Deputy Police Chief James Caputo changed his plea to guilty June 18 in federal court and faces a possible 20 years in prison.

He acknowledged the change of plea in front of Judge Joan B. Gottschall and pleaded guilty to mail fraud connected with incidents that started around 1997 and continued until Oct. 15, 2007.

Caputo's guilty plea comes less than three weeks after former Melrose Park Police Chief Vito Scavo was convicted on federal charges of extortion and racketeering. His sentencing date is Nov. 4

Along with a prison term, Caputo's guilty plea carries a maximum fine of $250,000 with two to three years of supervision after being released. Attorneys on both sides have negotiated a lesser sentence ranging between 17 to 41 months in jail.

Sentencing for Caputo is scheduled for Nov. 25.

According to the plea agreement, Caputo, along with others, schemed to defraud the village and businesses in the village of money, using their title and influence as police officials.

The plea agreement focuses on Caputo's business dealings with Sears Outlet Store, 2065 George St., Melrose Park.

The agreement states Caputo and Michael "Mickey" Caliendo, former supervisor of part-time police officers, received monthly payments totaling $108,600 for security services provided to the business from 1997 to 2007, which was split between the two, according to court documents. Caputo is required to repay this amount at sentencing.

Caliendo was indicted on one count of racketeering conspiracy and seven counts of mail fraud. He, along with Melrose Park Police Cmdr. Guy Ric Cervone, who is on paid leave, will be tried together in federal court July 13.

Cervone was indicted on two counts of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice.

Caputo's business relationship with Sears Outlet Store started when an armed robbery occurred at the Sears Outlet in Melrose Park in 1997. After the robbery, officials with the company asked the police department about security guard services and were referred to Caputo.

Company officials met with Caputo, who was a lieutenant at the time, about interest in hiring off-duty police officers to work as security guards at the store at one hour per night -- a half hour before the store closed and a half hour after the store closed.

Caputo told Sears management it would cost $1,140 a month in one lump sum payment and should issue the payments to Caliendo and mail it to the Melrose Park Police Department headquarters.

Security services began in November 1997 through April 2005 with police department officers providing security. In May 2005 the price was increased to $1,200 a month.

According to court documents, although payments for security, made by check, were sent to Caliendo, Caputo, who became chief in 2004, cashed the checks at Melrose Currency Exchange in Melrose Park. None of the proceeds were given to police officers working security or to the village.

Melrose Park police officers who provided security during the week were dressed in full uniform with their police badges displayed and were armed. The officers drove Melrose Park police cars to and from Sears Outlet violating the department's standard operating procedure.

Sears Outlet switched to paying vendors by credit card in 2003 and Caputo avoided filling out an IRS W-9 form, which was required by the company for those who did not want to be paid with the company credit card.

Instead Caputo persuaded store management to pay him with petty cash out and routinely called to see if the store had enough money in petty cash to pay the monthly fee.

In a statement provided by the village's public relations firm, Mack Communications, Melrose Park Mayor Ronald Serpico said, "I'm saddened again that a public official of Melrose Park is guilty of a crime against our people. We cannot tolerate public corruption at any level."

Gary Mack, spokesman for the village, said a lot of internal mechanisms have already been implemented to make sure nothing like this happens again.

"That's what's the new police chief has been charged with doing," he said.

He added village attorneys are looking at avenues where the village could be compensated for any losses caused by Caputo while working for the village.

Kim Freely, spokeswoman for Sears, said the company is aware of the allegations and is cooperating with the investigation.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

NEWS: Two teens face murder charges in Maywood shooting

June 18, 2009
By JOLIE LEE

Two teens have been charged in the murder of 18-year-old Forest Park resident Johnathan Ollech, found Sunday morning in Maywood with a gunshot wound in the chest.

Quavortis Harris, 18, of the 1600 block of S. 18th Avenue in Maywood, and Joseph E. McKinnis, 17, of the 7200 block of Champlain Avenue, Chicago, were each charged today with first-degree murder and armed robbery, said Maywood Police Chief Tim Curry.

Harris and McKinnis have been in police custody since June 15, Curry said. The two men are affiliated with the Gangsters Disciples but it is not clear if the shooting was gang-related, Curry said.

Ollech, a recent Proviso East High School graduate, was found 3 a.m. Sunday slumped over the wheel of his car at 21st Avenue and Bataan Street. Initially police did not know if the puncture wound in his chest was a gunshot. An autopsy confirmed Ollech was shot. Initially police also did not know if the shooting occurred in Maywood. Curry said the shooting did in fact occur in the village.

The investigation is ongoing, Curry said. No weapon has been recovered, and Curry declined to comment how the investigation led to the two teens' arrest.

Ollech's father, Robert, said his son was returning from his job at a drag strip in Wisconsin. Police first told him his son was in a car accident. Only later did he learn his son had a .22-caliber bullet in his heart, Robert Ollech said.

Harris and McKinnis have a bond hearing Friday.

Friday, June 19, 2009

MELROSE TRIALS: Former deputy chief pleads guilty in fraud case

Associated Press - June 19, 2009

CHICAGO (AP) - A former deputy chief of suburban Melrose Park police has pleaded guilty to renting out officers as security guards and collecting $108,600 in payments.

James Caputo appeared before U.S. District Judge Joan B. Gottschall on Thursday and pleaded guilty to mail fraud. He admitted taking monthly payments from a store in exchange for assigning officers to serve as security guards.

Prosecutors said Caputo may be facing a sentence of 33 months to 41 months, plus a fine of up to $250,000. Gottschall set sentencing for Nov. 25 at 9 a.m.

Former police chief Vito Scavo, deputy chief Gary Montno and part-time officer Michael Wynn have been convicted in connection with the case.

MELROSE TRIALS: Recent Updates

--I guess this is as good a name for future postings as any. Anyways, this is the evidence profer submitted by the U.S. Attorney in the upcoming trials for Jim Caputo, Ric Cervone, and Mickey Caliendo. It is a 97 page document that pretty much spells out the case. It was submitted on June 15, 2009.
On a side note, not sure what it means but this was entered into the record on the 16th "06/16/2009 377 MINUTE entry before the Honorable Joan B. Gottschall:as to James Caputo, ( Change of Plea Hearing set for 6/18/2009 at 09:00 AM.), Mailed notice (rj, ) (Entered: 06/16/2009)".
Not sure what a change of plea hearing is or what it indicates but when I know, you will know.--
Duke

Download Profer >>HERE<<

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NEWS: Did he give order to shoot?

HALLOWEEN KILLING | Imprisoned gang leader suspected of role in pregnant woman's death
June 19, 2009

BY FRANK MAIN Staff Reporter

A Latin Saints gang member sentenced this week to 100 months in prison on federal gun charges is suspected of having a role in the mistaken killing of a pregnant woman on Halloween in 2007, sources said.

Luis Contreras, 30, is not charged in the killing of Leticia Barrera, who was four months pregnant.

But he is suspected of giving the order for fellow Latin Saints to fire shots at rival gang members on the 4800 block of South Seeley on Oct. 31, 2007.

Rolando Avillar allegedly was aiming for the rivals when he missed and shot Barrera in the head as she tried to open the gate outside her house. Avillar is charged with her murder.

Contreras -- who has a tattoo of a Glock handgun on his neck -- was convicted of selling three handguns to a U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent posing as a drug dealer. The weapons were "nation guns" used exclusively by the gang, officials said.

Contreras did not mention the Barrera shooting in a statement to federal authorities, but he acknowledged he was the leader of the Latin Saints in the Back of the Yards neighborhood where he lives on the South Side.

Contreras, who told authorities he also was a cocaine dealer, claims he's shot at 10 people since he was a teenager -- and told authorities he wounded two of them.

During a federal investigation, officials learned Contreras took elaborate steps to ensure police were not watching his activities.

Once, one of Contreras' lookouts spotted a car that did not belong on the block. Contreras called 911 and falsely reported the man in the car was wielding a gun.

When police arrived and failed to do anything to the man in the car, Contreras realized he was a law enforcement officer conducting surveillance, and Contreras left the area, he later told authorities.

"Perversely clever," U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen said of Contreras' 911 maneuver. "Very scary."

In sentencing Contreras to more than eight years in prison, Andersen said Wednesday that he understood the gang member had a tough upbringing. But the judge said he could not tolerate how Contreras had terrorized the neighborhood.

He also recommended that Contreras have his gun tattoo removed when he gets out of prison.

R.I.P.: Arkansas Officer Fatally Shot at Traffic Stop


Officer.Com News

CONWAY COUNTY, Ark. -- A Plumerville police officer was shot and killed the morning of June 19 during a traffic stop, according to multiple media reports.

The officer -- identified as Joseph "Joey" Cannon -- pulled over the vehicle on Highway 64 in Conway County before being shot one time in the chest. The officer was able to return fire.

The driver and passenger in the vehicle were both caught near the scene of the shooting and a weapon was recovered.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

NEWS: Facebook Postings Cost Indiana Trooper

--Something everyone should be aware of--
Duke

Story by theindychannel.com

INDIANAPOLIS --

An Indiana state trooper has resigned following an investigation into postings on a social networking Web site in which he referred to himself as a "garbage man," called those he arrests "trash" and bragged about heavy drinking.

Christopher Pestow resigned Wednesday before Superintendent Paul Whitesell could enter a final finding and order, state police said in a news release.

Police began an investigation after discovering questionable entries on Pestow's Facebook.com page. They also were investigating whether he had posted any of the material while he was on duty.

Some of the entries showed Pestow with a .357 Magnum pointed at his head and drinking beer with friends. He also posted pictures of a crash involving his police cruiser and wrote that a person who resists arrest and threatens police officers would "probably end up shot."

Pestow was investigated on allegations of conduct unbecoming an officer, violation of department policy and improper use of department equipment.

He had been assigned to administrative duties pending the investigation.

No phone listing for him was available. His Facebook page has been removed.

Cool Video

Very cool video submitted by a friend. Click on the arrows

>>Brevard County K9 Pursuit<<

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Police Blotters June 18, 2009

Click on the town you are interested in.

>>Franklin Park, Northlake<<

>>Bellwood, Berkeley, Maywood, Melrose Park<<

>>Elmhurst<<

>>Elmwood Park, River Grove<<

>>Norridge<<

>>Oak Park<<

>>River Forest<<

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Professional Courtesy

--Don't know who wrote it, but it sure sounds good and makes sense. Even being retired/disabled I would not think twice about stopping and helping a cop I saw getting his ass kicked in any town. People need to remember little things like that as they write a ticket to a badge and say "well, it was just a ticket" or "I don't really give a sh**". I am not sitting in judgment of anyone, I understand that things are "different" these days but not writing a ticket to a cop or his family is not unethical or illegal. Just something to think about--
Duke
"Professional courtesy begins with the officer being stopped, not with the officer making the stop."


Since the days of Wyatt Earp there has been an unwritten but etched-in-stone doctrine which we call professional courtesy.

Under this doctrine law enforcement officers are suppose to take care of each other. It’s not just about traffic tickets either. It is much more than that.

Throughout this article, the words “cop” and “officer” are used frequently. They refer to all law enforcement officers including State Troopers, Sheriffs and Corrections officers, Federal officers, retired officers, municipals, etc.

None of us on the job today created professional courtesy. We inherited it from those who came before us, and we’ll hand it down to those who come after us. Law enforcement is a culture and is no different from other cultures. We have certain rules, certain language, certain music, certain days and periods of remembrance and celebration, and, for the most part, we enjoy being around each other. Professional courtesy is just part of our culture.

Several years ago during a trip up to Hoboken with some guys from work, we stopped off at the bar district which overlooks Manhattan. I forget the name of it. When we couldn’t get a parking spot we asked some Hoboken cops for guidance. They put us in an unauthorized area behind their police car so we wouldn’t have to walk and so they could watch our car for the night. The guys and girls at Newark Airport Port Authority PD will let you put your car in their lot and shuffle you to and fro when manpower allows. If your wife and kids break down in our town, we’ll get them back to you in one piece even if it means setting up a three-county leap frog with the departments in between.

The bottom line is that we go the extra mile for each other and extend courtesies that we couldn’t normally do for the public. I may have never met you, but you know if you need a favor, just ask.

I know the same.

This is not to say that we don’t go above and beyond for the public, because we do. It’s just that most of us understand that as part of an often alienated group, it is important that we stick by each other.

Taking care of other cops doesn’t stop at a state border either. If you’re not familiar with New York City and you flag down a radio car for directions, tell them who you are and where you’re going. If it’s in their sector and they're not busy, I’ll bet that 9 out of 10 times they’ll throw you in the back seat and shuttle you to the front door.

Professional courtesy, however, is not diplomatic immunity. In the old days there were no limits to what cops were suppose to do for each other. Those guys though didn’t make the salaries we do today. There aren’t many readily available jobs with the money, benefits, and pensions we have, so risking your job to fix a traffic ticket is no longer part of the equation.

If after returning to your car you find a parking ticket, pay the friggin thing. Don’t risk your job and the job of the officer who gave it to you.

In New Jersey, or at least in some towns, in order to withdraw a ticket you have to write a letter to the judge requesting permission for the dismissal. You also have to explain why you want to have it dismissed. If you indicate that it was because you wrote the wrong statute, you will be asked to produce the ticket you issued with the correct statute. All tickets are numbered and tracked, and if a summons is not turned in, you’ll receive a letter from the court asking you to document it’s disposition. Behind-the-scenes chicanery takes down peoples careers and lives and, often, when you see some officer’s career self destruct, it is for some stupid, minor violation. It’s just not worth it.

Also, if you’re drunk and end up causing a three-car accident with injuries, you can’t expect to be whisked out the back door of the scene. Doing 75 MPH in a 25 MPH school zone is nothing less than abuse. When a spouse signs a domestic criminal complaint, hands are tied. An arrest has to be made.

There is a very important element of this doctrine too which is too often overlooked.

Professional courtesy begins with the officer being stopped, not with the officer making the stop.

Most road officers have a story of a fellow officer they stopped who immediately caught an attitude. There is no reason for this.

By far, the majority of us subscribe to the "doctrine" of professional courtesy, and most of us would agree that committing crimes or severely abusing your privileges is out of bounds. One could probably speed on the Parkway from Cape May County to Bergen County and not receive a summons. This doesn’t mean we should do it.

It's important to remember too that there are always two sides to every story.

If your relative or courtesy card gets written, give the issuer the benefit of the doubt before declaring war. Sometimes people don’t produce the card or identify who they are. Other times their conduct was absolutely deserving of the citation, and they're only telling you half of the story. Then, there are those situations that don’t fall into either of these categories. These are the instances where the issuer just doesn’t care. Unfortunately, this crap happens a lot in some southern states. The really disturbing part is that these same officers wouldn't hesitate to call you at your job asking for a favor. That is complete hypocrisy. Fortunately, this group is by far the minority.

Oh, one final note.

There is one last group whom should not go without mention. While they may not fall under the doctrine of professional courtesy, they are somewhat relevant to this topic in general. In fifteen years as a police officer, I have never, and absent extraordinary circumstances, would never give a minor summons to a veteran. These older guys from WWII, Korea, Viet Nam and even the more recent conflicts have been to places geographically and mentally that most of us couldn’t even imagine. In a way, they’re even above professional courtesy. Most of us have never served a day in a military uniform, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try and understand and appreciate this very special people.

And please, "Professional courtesy begins with the officer being stopped, not with the officer making the stop."

NEWS: 3 officers recognized for their service

June 16, 2009
By CATHRYN GRAN cgran@pioneerlocal.com

Calling it a privilege, Elmwood Park's village president congratulated three police officers for their efforts to keep impaired drivers off the roads.

At the June 1 Village Board meeting, Police Chief Thomas Braglia announced Det. Evelyn Rosa and officers Michael Winiarcyzk and Carlos Rodriguez received certificates of recognition from the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.

Elmwood Park officers made 102 arrests for driving while under the influence in 2008 with Rosa accounting for 16, Winiarcyzk, 19, and Rodriguez 12.

"I am very, very proud that they are members of our police department," said Village President Peter Silvestri.

Braglia noted that throughout the country, the alliance tries to remind every law enforcement agency of the importance of keeping people alive and safe.

"We work together, with all departments linking together and sharing information to keep people safe," he said. "Ultimately, it saves lives."

Braglia said officers also appreciate the recognition from agencies outside the department.

"And remember," he said, "the police department's first priority is to prevent crime."

The alliance is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1982 by families who had lost loved ones in drunk driving crashes. The group seeks to use legislation and education to reduce impaired driving.

NEWS: Police: Two gunshot deaths in two days are unrelated

June 16, 2009
By JOLIE LEE jlee@pioneerlocal.com

Police in Maywood and Forest Park say there is no link between two shooting deaths that occurred within two days of each other, even though one victim was shot within three blocks of the other victim's home.

Forest Park resident Johnathan Ollech, 18, was found in the driver's seat of his car in Maywood early Sunday morning with a gunshot wound in his chest.

Less than 48 hours later -- at 10 p.m. Monday -- Maywood resident Keyana Bates, 18, was shot to death while a passenger in a car blocks away from Ollech's home.

Both were Proviso East alumni; Ollech graduated in May and Bates in 2008. Although they were not close friends, Ollech knew Bates from school, Ollech's family said.

Neither appeared to be in gangs, police said.

Although the Forest Park shooting may be a "gang-related or narcotics-related" retaliation, Bates was not the intended target, said Forest Park Police Chief Jim Ryan.

A student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Bates had "little or no arrest record," Ryan said. Police believe the driver of the vehicle, a 19-year-old Maywood man, was the shooter's target, Ryan said.

Fifteen shots were fired. Two shots penetrated Bates' seat and struck her in the back. The driver was shot in the shoulder. The backseat passenger, another 19-year-old Maywood man, was not injured.

The shooting occurred after Bates and her companions pulled into the driveway of a residence on the 800 block of Dunlop Avenue to visit people they knew, Ryan said. The rear passenger began to leave the vehicle when another vehicle pulled up behind them and a person got out, Ryan said.

"They felt something was going wrong and (the passenger in the car with Bates) got back into the car and closed the door," Ryan said.

As the vehicle backed out of the driveway, the person from the other car began shooting. The vehicle Bates was in headed north on DesPlaines Road and came to stop near Harrison Street.

"The shooter ran along continually shooting into the vehicle," Ryan said.

The victims told police they noticed the vehicle following them since 19th Avenue in Maywood, Ryan said.

Bates was transported to Loyola University Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at 12:38 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. The driver was treated and released from LUMC, Ryan said.

Less details are available for how Ollech died. Police have not even determined if Ollech was shot in or outside of Maywood,

Police first told Ollech's family that he was in a car accident, said the victim's father, Robert Ollech. There was no mention of a gunshot.

Ollech's car was resting along the expressway barrier at 21st Avenue and Bataan Drive. When police arrived, he was slumped over the wheel, semi-conscious but unable to speak, with a puncture wound in his chest, said Maywood Police Chief Tim Curry.

Police did not immediately identify the puncture wound as a gunshot. Later the Cook County Medical Examiner's office confirmed it was a gunshot. Ollech learned his son had a 22-caliber bullet in his heart.

Ollech was on his way home from working at a drag racing strip in Wisconsin, Robert Ollech said.

"He was mechanically inclined," he said and described his son as "outgoing, happy-go-lucky."

Ollech said he did not know why his son was in Maywood Sunday morning. Usually Johnathan took the 25th Avenue exit off the expressway, but maybe he was taking a different route due to construction, Ollech said.

Curry said the shooting did not appear gang-related but added, "there may be other issues I can't get into."

Bates' home was empty Tuesday morning. A neighbor, Frankie Sierra, said Bates' mother was at a relative's house.

It was the mother who called Sierra to tell him about Keyana's death.

"She kept saying, 'They took my baby. They took my baby,'" Sierra said.

"(Keyana) definitely had plans," Sierra said. "She actually wanted to do something right."

But, Sierra added, "she chose the wrong person to hang with," referring to her boyfriend. Ryan did not confirm if either male in the vehicle with Bates was her boyfriend.

As of Tuesday, no suspects were in custody for either shooting. West Suburban Major Crimes Task Force is assisting Forest Park Police Department with the investigation.

-- STNG contributed to this story.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NEWS: Reputed Chicago mob figure: I didn't do it

Michael 'The Large Guy' Sarno pleads 'not guilty' to 2003 bombing

June 16, 2009
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Reputed Chicago mob figure Michael “The Large Guy” Sarno has been freed on $1 million bail after pleading "not guilty" to a racketeering charge.

The 51-year-old Sarno was arraigned today in federal court in Chicago and ordered confined to house arrest pending trial.

He is required to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Six other men are also charged in the case, which stems from a February 2003 bombing that wrecked the offices of a company that distributed video-gaming equipment.

Prosecutors say it was a warning from the mob to stop horning in on its gambling operations.

RIP: Cruiser Crash Kills Florida Officer


A Miami-Dade police officer was killed in a crash on the Florida Turnpike when his cruiser collided with a dump truck Tuesday morning.

Story by justnews.com

VIEW VIDEO STORY >>HERE<<

MIAMI --

A Miami-Dade police officer was killed in a crash on the Florida Turnpike when his cruiser collided with a dump truck Tuesday morning, police said.

As a result, all southbound lanes of the Turnpike at Southwest 152nd Street were shut down for hours. They have since reopened.

At around 4 a.m., the officer was heading southbound when he ran into the back of a dump truck just before the Southwest 152nd Street exit. The collision caused the officer to lose control of his cruiser, Miami-Dade police Maj. Veronica Ferguson told Local 10.

The officer died at the scene. The driver of the dump truck stopped and is cooperating with investigators. It is too soon to know who was at fault, Ferguson said.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Gonzalez was speeding at the time of the crash, and if so, why. They are also investigating whether the lights on his cruiser were flashing and whether the truck pulled out in front of the police car.

Miami-Dade police identified the officer as 23-year-old Giovanni Gonzalez. He served on the police force for two or three years and had recently finished the officer training program. Gonzalez was engaged to be married and had a 1-year-old son.

According to police, the victim was assigned to the Kendall district. He worked the midnight shift and was on duty at the time of the crash.

"Of course, it's a tragic accident and it affects all of us here at Miami-Dade, and not just at the Miami-Dade Police Department but in law enforcement, period," Ferguson said.

The Turnpike was closed for several hours, but it reopened around 10 a.m. The crash scene caused delays in both directions.

A memorial service for Gonzalez is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at the Miami-Dade Police Department headquarters in Doral.

NEWS: Body found in van at O'Hare

--Now, this has an erie ring to it, no?--

June 16, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Police have made a grim discovery in a van parked at O'Hare International Airport.

Police found a man in his 30s dead inside the van. It was parked in a cell phone lot, which is where people waiting on passengers can park and call them.

It's unclear how long the van may have been parked in the lot. Investigators are working to identify the body and determine how the man died.

NEWS: Maywood woman killed in shooting

June 16, 2009
A woman died early Tuesday after being shot in Forest Park, authorities said.

Keyana Bates, 18, of 1612 S. First Ave. in Maywood, was pronounced dead at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood at 12:38 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

She was shot in the 900 block of Des Plaines Avenue in Forest Park, the medical examiner's office said.

Authorities said she was in a car when she was shot.

Forest Park police were not immediately releasing information. An autopsy is planned for later Tuesday.

— Sun-Times News Group

Monday, June 15, 2009

NEWS: Man dies, car continues through red light

June 15, 2009
By MARK LAWTON mlawton@pioneerlocal.com

A man evidently died the evening of June 13 at a red light in Franklin Park, though his car continued through an intersection.

Arthur C. Zimmerman, 66, of Des Plaines was pronounced dead at Gottlieb hospital by midnight.

At 11:07 p.m., Zimmerman was driving north on Des Plaines River Road. He stopped his 2001 silver Chevrolet Cavalier at a red light at Belmont Avenue.

Witnesses later told police that the Zimmerman appeared to be asleep at his steering wheel. His car, however, slowly began moving through the intersection while cross traffic was approaching.

A woman driving a car next to him thought Zimmerman had fallen asleep. She drove into the intersection with him, honking her horn.

The Cavalier hit the guardrail on the north side of River Road and stopped, straddling two lanes. A River Grove police officer, whom was driving by, performed CPR on Zimmerman.

Zimmerman died of natural causes, said a spokesman for the Cook County Medical Examiners Office, adding that Zimmerman has hypo cardio vascular disease.

TRIAL UPDATES: scavo et al

I have not seen any movements so far as to any other trials or indictments.
The only court activity of late was an attorney appearance filing for one of Jim Caputo's lawyers.
I have also seen that the U.S. Statement of their case is filed as well as the proposed jury questions in the Caliendo, Cervone trial. (These are posted for your veiwing below.
I have heard (unverified) that Caputo's trial will be next and will begin around July 6th or 7th. As always, I will keep you up to date with court proceedings and any other information (credible) that becomes available.
Thanks for visiting Duke's Daily Blotter

Download U.S. Statement of case >>HERE<<

Download U.S. Jury Questions >>HERE<<

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

NEWS: Officials investigate Forest Park teen's death

June 14, 2009 12:57 PM
An autopsy scheduled for Monday could reveal if foul play contributed to the death of an 18-year-old Forest Park teen who was found dead following a Maywood car accident early this morning.

Authorities said the teen was found in a car about 3 a.m. after what appeared to be a motor vehicle crash near the intersection of 21st Avenue and Bataan Drive. The teen was found in the front seat of a car at that location with a puncture wound in his chest.

The teen was pronounced dead at 3:59 a.m. at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, according to Cook County medical examiner's officials.

A spokesman for the medical examiner's office said the teen's name was not available pending notification of his family. The spokesman said an autopsy is scheduled for Monday to determine the cause of death and whether the puncture wound contributed to the teen's death.

Maywood police would not comment on the incident.

NEWS: Dozens of rape kits not submitted for testing by Chicago suburban police departments

--I find this interesting, mostly because it is happening outside of Cook County.--
Duke

By Megan Twohey

Tribune reporter

June 14, 2009
Quantcast

A woman submitted to a rape kit exam in July 2008 at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital after a husky stranger allegedly dragged her to the ground and sexually assaulted her, biting her on the neck and ears, according to police reports.

Nearly one year later, the kit with its potential DNA evidence sits in storage at the Downers Grove Police Department after the agency chose not to have it tested.

In other police storage vaults are rape kits gathered from a 6-year-old Bolingbrook boy, who told investigators an older child forced him to perform oral sex, and from an Aurora woman allegedly sexually assaulted by an acquaintance, who later made a taped confession, police records show.

By allowing a nurse to secure semen, saliva and other potential DNA samples -- an invasive exam that can take up to eight hours -- these Chicago-area residents provided police with potentially valuable forensic evidence. DNA testing of rape kits has identified sexual offenders, linking some predators to numerous attacks.

But in these and nearly 100 other sexual assault allegations handled over the last two years by some of the largest suburban Chicago police departments, including Naperville, Evanston and Aurora, police never had the kits tested, according to records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Most of the 13 law enforcement agencies reviewed by the Tribune don't require that every kit be tested -- a notable exception being the Chicago Police Department.

In fact, some departments have placed most of the kits in storage, according to the newspaper's review, a finding that prompted outrage from victims advocates and the offices of Cook County State's Atty. Anita Alvarez and Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan.

"We feel very strongly that every single kit should be submitted from law enforcement to the crime lab for testing. Period," said Cara Smith, Madigan's deputy chief of staff. "It's so rare for survivors of sexual assault to come forward. For victims to go through that exam and then have the kit sit on the shelf is infuriating. It sends the message that it didn't happen. And we miss a chance to stop future attacks."

Such concerns helped prompt Chicago police in 2005 to start testing all rape kits except in cases where the victim admits to lying, said Sgt. Kathy Warner, commanding officer of the department's DNA unit and evidence evaluation program.

Before that, she said, the department only submitted kits if there was a suspect.

Concerned that Chicago police were sitting on potentially valuable evidence, a non-profit group raised private funds to test hundreds of kits that had been shelved. As a result of the effort from 2003 to 2007, 22 people were implicated in rapes. Three of the kits were traced to Wayne Willis, who was sentenced to 55 years for raping a 15-year-old girl in 1998.

"We now make sure nothing sits on our shelves," Warner said.

Illinois law doesn't require that police submit kits to a crime lab for testing -- only that kits be retrieved from the hospital within two weeks.

The suburban police departments said rape kits are stored untested if the victim recants the allegations, doesn't want to press charges or is found not to be credible. They are also kept if investigators don't believe the case is strong, if the suspect acknowledges he had sex but says it was consensual, or if the state's attorney's office refuses to prosecute.

"Part of it is, you want to see where the case is going before you use those resources, how is it going to shake out," said Kurt Bluder, deputy chief of the Downers Grove Police Department, adding that police can always pull kits out of storage if they later decide testing could prove valuable.

"Are you going to get a confession? Is there a suspect? Do we want to put things in the pipeline and system without knowing for sure we're going to need it? If every department sent in every piece of evidence to be examined, we'd bring the system to its knees."

The Illinois State Police Crime Lab continues to struggle with a DNA backlog, causing nearly yearlong delays in the testing of some rape kits.

The backlog is no excuse for not testing kits, said Shauna Boliker, chief of the criminal division of the Cook County state's attorney's office, which handles 800 to 900 sexual assault cases a year.

The medical consent form for the rape kits explicitly states they will be sent to a crime lab for testing.

"I don't see any reason why these kits should not be tested," Boliker said.

Critics say that by failing to unlock the potential DNA profiles in all rape kits as soon as possible, law enforcement agencies are letting down victims and placing the public in danger of repeated attacks.

Personal biases and sloppy investigating can make detectives ill-equipped to judge the value of rape kits, critics say. They note that although the DNA evidence may not lead to a prosecution in a particular case it can prove a useful in linking attacks and identifying offenders.

The victim in the Downers Grove case said she was unwilling to press charges if the attacker was found, according to police reports.

In the case of the Bolingbrook boy, records show the Will County state's attorney office declined to prosecute after the alleged offender left Illinois. A spokesman said the youth is in a residential treatment facility in another state. In the case of the Aurora woman, DuPage County Assistant State's Atty. Demetri Demopoulos refused the investigator's push for charges.

"I asked him to reconsider since we had a offender taped confession, and a witness that observed the incident," investigator Darrell Moore wrote in his report. Demopoulos "later called me, and advised me that the DuPage ASA would not be authorizing charges at this time. I advised him, that I disagreed with his findings, and thanked him for his time."

DuPage County State's Atty. Joe Birkett said his office takes sexual assault seriously but determined it could not win this case because the offender had no criminal history and the victim had been drinking and had initially expressed interest in having sex with the offender.

"I'm not suggesting the victim wasn't a victim of sexual assault, but what her versions of events are and what we can prove in court are two different things," Birkett said.

"It would be wrong to submit a kit in this case and have him [the accused] branded in CODIS," he added, referring to the Combined DNA Index System, a database of DNA profiles secured from rape kits and convicted felons. CODIS, used as an investigative tool by police, is not accessible to the public.

Like the Chicago Police Department, the Will County sheriff's office has made it a policy to submit every kit to the crime lab.

Sgt. Richard Kowalski said it is in the best interest of the victims, whether cooperative or not, to use the offender database to try to identify a suspect. Many victims, he said, become uncooperative after finding out how complicated the criminal justice process can be.

"Some victims blame themselves," he said. "If it can be shown that a particular person has established a certain pattern of behavior, then it may prevent someone from becoming a victim in the future."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

NEWS: Man shot in head in police chase dies

--Can't wait to see how the "system" handles this one. I am sure the lynch mobs will be out in force--
Duke

June 13, 2009 8:41 AM

A man died Friday night after he was accidentally shot in the head earlier this week when he hit a Chicago police officer during a foot chase, causing the officer's gun to fire, authorities said.

Marcellus Perry, 22, of an undetermined address, was declared dead at 7:39 p.m. Friday at Stroger Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

About 6:30 p.m. Thursday, police tried to curb a vehicle for a traffic violation at West 70th Street and South Eggleston Avenue in the Englewood neighborhood, said police spokesman Roderick Drew. The vehicle stopped, but two men inside exited it and fled on foot, Drew said.

When the officers chased after the two men, one of them tried to elude an officer through a gangway. That officer, who had his gun drawn as he "proceeded with caution" through the gangway, eventually caught up with that man, who was hiding at the end of it, Drew said.

He said that man hit the officer, causing the officer's gun to go off, wounding the man in the head. No officers were hurt, but the other man from the vehicle police were after got away.

No weapons were found by police in the wounded man's possession.

The Independent Police Review Authority, which probes all shootings involving Chicago police officers, was investigating the incident, said Mark Payne, a spokesman for the agency.

-- Staff report

NEWS: Fake kid cop now in more hot water

--This kid is something else--
Duke

June 13, 2009

BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter rhussain@suntimes.com

In yet another troubling episode, a teenage boy who embarrassed the Chicago Police Department by impersonating an officer allegedly threatened to beat up a sheriff's officer Friday so he could escape from custody.

The 15-year-old has pleaded guilty to impersonating a Chicago Police officer and swiping a used Lexus from a South Side dealership after convincing the owner he was an adult with a job.

The boy, who was in Cook County Juvenile Court on Friday, will be sentenced June 26 by Judge Andrew Berman.

But before the hearing, a sheriff's officer told Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Rutkowski the boy had threatened to escape.

No one was hurt, and the boy went back into custody.

In January, the boy, then 14, made national headlines when he walked into the Grand Crossing District station dressed in a police uniform and announced he was assigned to traffic patrol there. He signed out a police radio and joined another officer in a patrol car for five hours, police and prosecutors said.

Friday, June 12, 2009

NEWS: Photo of the Week: Near-fatal cruiser crash


he story behind this photo: A 1:38 am pursuit began as an erratic driver and ended with a crash that was almost fatal. This officer was attempting to deploy Stop Sticks while the suspect vehicle was approaching. The vehicle lost control and slid sideways and hit the patrol car. The truck rolled over the car's hood, windshield, roof and trunk, coming to rest on its wheels behind the patrol car. All the while, the police officer was at the wheel of the patrol car. The officer had to be extricated through the driver's side window. Luckily, the officer walked away uninjured.

The suspect was jailed for Driving Under The Influence of Intoxicants (twice the legal limit), Reckless Driving, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Criminal Mischief, Driving While Suspended, attempt to elude and Parole Violation. It turned out the suspect had been driving on a suspended license. His license had been suspended from a prior driving under the influence.