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Public Pension & Law Enforcement Advocate; Law Enforcement News; Officer Down Memorials; Public Corruption News

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ere the TRUTH starts. Public Pension Reform. Law Enforcement News. Officer Down News. Collective Bargaining. Corruption. - See more at:
Where the TRUTH starts. Public Pension Reform. Law Enforcement News. Officer Down News. Collective Bargaining. Corruption. - See more at:

Officer Down

Monday, November 30, 2009

NEWS: 9 slain during Thanksgiving weekend in Cook Co.

November 30, 2009

The holiday weekend in Cook County proved deadly this year, with nine homicides reported as of Sunday night.

An additional five suicides were also reported, according to records from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

The violence began on Thanksgiving eve, when 18-year-old Shannon Moore, of 7417 S, Rockwell St. was found lying on the ground with gunshot wounds around 5 p.m. Wednesday after an argument in the hallway of a South Side building at 537 E. 44th St., according to police News Affairs Officer Robert Perez.

A witness who saw the argument went to call police, and as he was going to make the call he heard multiple gunshots, Perez said.

Moore was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he died at 4:45 p.m. Saturday, according to the medical examiner's office.

In the early morning hours of Thanksgiving Day, a shooting at an Englewood gas station left one man dead.

Ricky Coleman, 21, of 457 W. 62nd St., was shot at 810 W. 59th St., and was pronounced dead at 1:35 a.m. at Saint Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. The man was in the street when an unidentified gunman approached on foot and fired several shots at him about 12:30 a.m., police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.

On Friday, two separate incidents of murder/suicide were reported, including a newly-wed couple on the West Side and a Markham man who shot himself after shooting his ex-girlfriend and another man in south suburban Sauk Village.

At about 9:10 p.m., Sauk Village police responded to a call at 22454 Jeffrey Avenue on Friday night and found a woman who had been shot. In a nearby driveway, police also found 43-year-old Robert Allen of Carthage, Miss. fatally shot.

The suspect, Paul Gunn, was later stopped by police in the area of 162nd and Dixie Highway in Markham. Gunn, who was armed, turned the weapon on himself and died of a gun shot wound to the chest. He was taken to Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, where he was pronounced dead at 10:44 p.m., according to the medical examiner's office.

The woman who was shot was reportedly Gunn's girlfriend or ex-girlfriend, according to a source.

Earlier that day, a woman was found murdered in a Garfield Park apartment on the West Side, possibly shot to death by her husband—who then took his own life.

Claudette Coleman, 30, was found fatally shot in her home at 3429 W. Madison St. in Chicago. Police responded to the Madison Street apartment building just before 2 a.m. -- three hours after Coleman’s husband was found with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on the street at 3311 W. Monroe St., police said.

Antwone Coleman, 28, of the Madison Street address, reportedly shot himself and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:20 a.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.

During an armed robbery on the West Side, Anthony Bryant, 40, of 3311 W. Maple St. was fatally shot at about 11 a.m. Friday, News Affairs Sgt. Antoinette Ursitti said.

Bryant was at a home in at 2741 West Wilcox Street, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. A second man, in his 30s, was with the victim, although he was not harmed, Ursitti said. News Affairs Officer Ron Gaines said the robber got away with a cell phone and cash.

Nearby, an Austin man was also fatally shot in his home on the West Side.

Robert Barber, 36, was shot at 435 South Central Avenue and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

At 3:15 p.m., police responded to a man shot in the 400 block of South Central Avenue, said police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli. The man had a gunshot wound to his chest, authorities said.

On Saturday, 29-year-old Roy Williams, of 1502 S. Trumbull Ave. died after being shot multiple times by two men in the West Side's North Lawndale neighborhood. The shooting occurred shortly after midnight on the 1300 block of South Central Park Avenue, Perez said.

After he was initially shot while sitting in his car, he tried to drive away from his assailants but he crashed into a parked car and was shot again, before collapsing in the street and dying about 40 minutes after he was found by emergency personnel, Perez said.

In the same night, at about 2:30 a.m., police found a Dolton man fatally shot in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on the South Side.

Corday Keys, 29, of 14249 Woodlawn Ave. in Dolton, was fatally shot at 1858 W. 80th St., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. He was dead on the scene.

Police responded to a call of shots fired at the 80th Street address at 2:30 a.m. and found Keys in the street with multiple gunshot wounds to the head, back and arms, Perez said. He also said Keys is believed to have had gang affiliations.

In south suburban Summit, a man also died early Sunday after he was fatally shot less than one mile from his home.

Treondes Spriggs, 28, of 7651 W. 62nd St., was shot at 7543 W. 61st Pl., a spokesman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said.

Spriggs was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood where he was pronounced dead at 5:05 a.m., the spokesman said.

NEWS: Cops: Suspect in officer killings may be dead

Smoke rises after police set off an explosive device at a house where they believe a suspected cop killer may be hiding in the early morning hours of Monday.

Seattle house surrounded after gunman slays 4 officers in coffee shop

NBC News and news services
updated 7:49 a.m. CT, Mon., Nov . 30, 2009

SEATTLE - A suspect in the slaying of four police officers gunned down in a suburban coffee shop was in a Seattle house early Monday, wounded and possibly dead, police said.

Negotiators were trying to communicate with Maurice Clemmons, 37, using loudspeakers and explosions to try to prod him from hiding. At one point, gunshots rang through the neighborhood, which is some 30 miles from the original crime scene.

"We have determined that in fact he has been shot," said Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff. "He may be deceased from his gunshot wound."

NBC News reported Monday that police had not been able to make contact with Clemmons.

Authorities had speculated early Sunday that the gunman might have been wounded at the coffee shop by one of his victims. Troyer said interviews with others detained in the investigation confirmed that theory.

'We are not going away'
Police surrounded the house late Sunday, and a negotiator used a loudspeaker early Monday to call him out by name, saying: "Mr. Clemmons, I'd like to get you out of there safely. I can tell you this, we are not going away."

Any response from inside the house was inaudible from the vantage of a photographer for The Associated Press. But shortly thereafter, police began using sirens outside the house, and there were several loud bangs before the negotiator resumed speaking, saying: "This is one of the toughest decisions you'll make in your life, but you need to man up."

By 3 a.m. Pacific time, the loudspeakers and explosions had fallen silent.

Clemmons, 37, who had a lengthy prison sentence commuted by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee nearly a decade ago, became the prime target Sunday in the search for the killer of Lakewood Police Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39; and Officers Ronald Owens, 37; Tina Griswold, 40; and Greg Richards 42.

Clemmons is believed to have been in the area around the time of the shooting, but Troyer declined to say what evidence might link him to the shooting.

On Sunday, Huckabee deflected blame with a statement on his Web site.

"Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State," he wrote.

Investigators say they know of no reason that Clemmons or anyone else might have had to open fire on the four as they sat working on their laptops early Sunday morning, catching up on paperwork at the beginning of their shifts.

"We're going to be surprised if there is a motive worth mentioning," said Troyer, who sketched out a scene of controlled and deliberate carnage that spared the employees and other customers at the coffee shop in suburban Parkland, south of Seattle.

"He was very versed with the weapon," Troyer said. "This wasn't something where the windows were shot up and there bullets sprayed around the place. The bullets hit their targets."

Extensive criminal history
Officer Richards' sister-in-law, Melanie Burwell, called the shooting "senseless."

"He didn't have a mean bone in his body," she said. "If there were more people in the world like Greg, things like this wouldn't happen.

Clemmons has an extensive violent criminal history from Arkansas. He also recently was arrested and charged in Washington state for assaulting a police officer, and second-degree rape of a child. Using a bail bondsman, he posted $150,000 — only $15,000 of his own money — and was released from jail last week.

Documents related to the pending charges in Washington state indicate an unstable and volatile personality. In one instance, he is accused of punching a sheriff's deputy in the face, The Seattle Times reported. In another, he is accused of gathering his wife and young relatives and forcing them to undress, according to a Pierce County sheriff's report.

"The whole time Clemmons kept saying things like trust him, the world is going to end soon, and that he was Jesus," the report said.

Troyer said investigators believe two of the officers were killed while sitting in the shop, and a third was shot dead after standing up. The fourth apparently "gave up a good fight."

"We believe there was a struggle, a commotion, a fight ... that he fought the guy all the way out the door," Troyer said.

In 1989, Clemmons, then 17, was convicted in Little Rock for aggravated robbery. He was paroled in 2000 after Huckabee commuted a 95-year prison sentence. Huckabee, who was criticized during his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 for granting many clemencies and commutations, cited Clemmons' youth. Clemmons later violated his parole, was returned to prison and released in 2004.

There was no indication of any connection between Sunday's killings and the Halloween night shooting of a Seattle police officer.

Authorities say theman charged with that shooting also firebombed four police vehicles in October as part of a "one-man war" against law enforcement. Christopher Monfort, 41, was arrested after being wounded in a firefight with police days after the Seattle shooting.

The officers killed Sunday had received no threats, sheriff's officials said.

"We won't know if it's a copycat effect or what it was until we get the case solved," Troyer said.

The Associated Press and NBC News contributed to this report.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

(R.I.P.) BREAKING NEWS: Sheriff's official says 4 police officers shot dead in ambush at Wash. state coffee house

By Associated Press

12:59 PM CST, November 29, 2009

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Four police officers were shot and killed Sunday morning in what authorities called a targeted ambush at a coffee house in Washington state, a sheriff's official said.

Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer told The News Tribune in Tacoma one or two gunmen burst into the Forza Coffee Co. and shot the four uniformed officers as they were working on their laptop computers, then fled the scene.

Troyer said investigators believe the officers were targeted, and it was not a robbery.

"It looks like a flat-out ambush," Troyer told the newspaper.

The four officers were about to go to work, Troyer said. He said officers were looking for a male suspect who fled on foot, and "at this point we may be looking for another person."

He could not immediately say what agency the officers were from. The coffee shop is near McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, about 35 miles south of Seattle.

"The four of them are known by everybody here," Troyer said. "We haven't got any information as to why this happened."

Roads were blocked around the attack. Dave Gabrielson, a clerk at Foot Mart about a block away from the coffee shop, told the newspaper all was quiet when he opened the store at 8 a.m. About 30 minutes later, "All of a sudden a million cops were zooming up and down the road," Gabrielson said.

He said he saw officers bring a police dog into a nearby apartment complex.

The baristas who were inside the shop are "stunned and shocked, traumatized," Troyer said.

"We hopefully will have answers, but there is nothing more we can tell you," Troyer told KING-TV. "That's as cold-hearted as it is."

Last month, Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton was shot and killed Halloween night as he was sitting in a cruiser with trainee Britt Sweeney. Sweeney was grazed in the neck.

Christopher Monfort, 41, of suburban Tukwila, was charged in the shooting. Days after the shooting, Seattle detectives attempted to question Monfort at his residence. Police say that Monfort then ran from the detectives and tried to use a gun. The detective shot him.

Authorities also linked Monfort to the October firebombing of four police vehicles, with prosecutors saying Monfort waged a "one-man war" against law enforcement.

Monfort remained hospitalized.

!!Important!! Legislative Updates

--These are important bills pending in both the Illinois House or Senate and also the U.S. House and Senate. These bills range from pension issues, collective bargaining, federal concealed carry issues and officers rights. Please read these all important bills and let your Representative or Senator know how you feel. Remember, this is YOUR future.


-HB0923 (Read full text HERE)This bill pertains to fireman, but if it passes it can greatly impact an argument to have the law changed for police officers as well.

-Pending changes to Illinois Pension Statutes
There are currently about 241 changes pending. You can read their texts HERE

U.S. House and Senate

H.R. 413:
Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2009
Read summary HERE

H.R. 248:
Law Enforcement Officers Flag Memorial Act
Read summary HERE

H.R. 235:
Social Security Fairness Act of 2009
Read summary HERE

H.R. 1972:
Law Enforcement Officer's Procedural Bill of Rights Act of 2009
Read summary HERE

S. 490:
Public Servant Retirement Protection Act of 2009
Read summary HERE

S. 484:
Social Security Fairness Act of 2009
Read summary HERE

H.R. 3752:
Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Improvements Act of 2009
Read full text HERE


Saturday, November 28, 2009

NEWS: Chicago's Most Wanted Search for Murder Suspect

Arturo Daza

Updated: Monday, 16 Nov 2009, 11:19 AM CST
Published : Monday, 16 Nov 2009, 11:19 AM CST


The last time Oscar Navarro saw his son, 17 year old Eric, was on July 7th. They had just come home from lunch. Oscar says everything seemed fine while they were eating.

Oscar Navarro left their Northlake home and headed back to work. When he returned late that night, Eric was not there. At first, Oscar thought his son was at a friend's house. But by morning, Eric had not returned, and was not answering his cell phone. That's when Oscar says he started to get concerned and filed a missing persons report with the Northlake Police Department.

Two days later, he got a visit from Chicago police.

A body had been found in a dumpster on Chicago's West side. It was burned beyond recognition. The Cook County Medical Examiner's office determined It was Eric and he was beaten to death and then set on fire.

According to the FBI, Eric was killed over fifteen dollars. Investigators say he owed the money to a member of the Pacchous street gang. When Eric didn't pay up, they say three gang members, including 23 year old Arturo Daza, lured Navarro away from a Bensenville basketball court by inviting him to a party. It was at a nearby apartment that belonged to one of the gang members. Agents say that's where two gang members beat Eric to death.

Daza is accused of only trying to cover up the crime by helping them move Navarro's body from the Northlake apartment to the dumpster.

The FBI's Ross Rice say, "At this point, he's only been charged with helping dispose of the body, which in layman's terms is concealment of a homicide."

Since Navarro's body was discoveredon July 10th, investigators say Daza has disappearred.
They say he called an associate from an airport to tell him he was leaving town.

Now the Chicago FBI is conducting a nationwide search for Daza.

Here is detailed description of what Daza looks like:

He is described as a Hispanic male,

about six feet tall,

weighing around 180 pounds,

with black hair and brown eyes.

He is considered armed and dangerous. If you see him, call police.

NEWS: Officer hurt while responding to disturbance on NW Side

November 28, 2009
Sun-Times Media Wire

An officer was injured Saturday morning while responding to a domestic disturbance in the Northwest Side Irving Park neighborhood.

Just before 9 a.m., officers responded to a domestic disturbance in the 3800 block of North Albany Avenue, police News Affairs Officer Robert Perez said.

An officer attempted to stop a fight between an intoxicated boyfriend and his girlfriend when he hurt his shoulder, Perez said.

One person, reportedly the boyfriend, was taken into custody and the officer was taken to Swedish Covenant Hospital for treatment.

Further details were not immediately available.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and readers. And a special prayer for all the folks in blue (and their families) who are working today. I for one am thankful that all of you are out there and I wish I was still there with ya's, but I am in spirit.



NEWS: FBI seeks man wanted in with murder of Northlake man

--I bet this guy is still in the area and hiding out. His Pachuco buddies are probably hiding him out.--

November 25, 2009
The FBI is asking for the public's help in finding Chicago man wanted in connection with the murder of a 17-year-old Northlake boy in July.

Oscar Ocampo, 24, whose last known address was 2153 N. Laramie Ave. in the Craigin neighborhood, is wanted by the FBI for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, according to an FBI release.

Ocampo is believed to have fled the state last summer after being charged in Cook County Circuit Court with first-degree murder. The charges stem from Ocampo's alleged involvement in the beating death of Eric Navarro, who had been reported missing July 8 by Northlake police, the release stated.

According to police reports, an acquaintance said Ocampo planned to flee to Mexico.

Anyone recognizing having information as to his whereabouts should call the Chicago FBI at (312) 421-6700.

STM reports

Police Blotters November 26, 2009

Click on the town your interested in.

>>Franklin Park, Northlake<<



>>Elmwood Park<<

>>Harwood Heights, Norridge<<

>>Oak Park<<

>>River Forest<<


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NEWS: HILLSIDE CITIZENS POLICE ACADEMY: An up-close look at how police work

--I know a lot of people don't like these but I taught at two or three of them when I was on the job and it was pretty cool. Depending upon the information you give and the people you use to give it, it can make you some allies in the community.--

November 25, 2009

A group of Hillside residents were able to take a realistic up close and personal look at what it takes to be a police officer over several weeks.

After 10 weeks of learning how to take fingerprints, shoot a pistol at a firing range, identify drugs and paraphernalia, handling gangs along with other police-related activities and procedures, 14 people were recognized Nov. 10 for their efforts. The group became the first graduating class of Hillside Citizens Police Academy.

Hillside Police Sgt. Chuck Strebar, who coordinated the academy, said the idea behind it was to give residents a closer look at what their police department does.

"We wanted them to get a little taste of what we do and a greater understanding of what we do," he said. "It's interacting with the community so they can help us and we can help them."

Shirley Lucas, 68, who has lived in Hillside for 16 years, said she's learned a great deal participating in the academy. "I had fun with all the things they showed us about their (police) work," she said.

Participating in the academy has increased her confidence and made her more aware of what's going on in her community, she said.

Shirley Mason, who is retired and an 11-year resident, said participating in the class has definitely made her more aware.

"Just to be more aware of suspicious activity," she said. "You look at a person and be able to describe what they are wearing, height and age."

Monique Cade, 42, said she volunteered just to be more active and to be aware of what the police have to deal with in the community.

All of the participants were given certificates of participation and there was a celebratory dinner.

"It's a way of really getting out and teaching the community," said Hillside Police Chief Joseph Lukaszek. "It's our way of getting people to understand what we do."

The police department plans to have another citizen's academy next year.

R.I.P.: Detective in Richard Speck case dies

November 25, 2009 2:10 AM

Jack G. Wallenda, a Chicago homicide detective on the midnight shift, took the biggest call of his career early on the morning of July 14, 1966.

Eight student nurses had been murdered in a Southeast Side town house. A seasoned street cop, Mr. Wallenda quickly set about protecting the crime scene.

From then on, he played a leading role in the case that resulted in the capture and prosecution of Richard Speck.

Mr. Wallenda, 83, died of congestive heart failure on Saturday, Nov. 21, in his home in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood, said his daughter Sharon Lopez.
"If I had my choice of all the detectives in Chicago for the Speck case, it would be Jack Wallenda," said Oak Park attorney William Martin, who as a young assistant with the Cook County state's attorney's office led the team that prosecuted Speck in a sensational 1967 trial.

"He protected the (murder) scene, which wasn't easy. He did a magnificent job of keeping it pristine for the crime lab," Martin said.

After taking part in the massive manhunt that led to Speck's arrest, Mr. Wallenda helped compile an exhaustive background on the killer, in anticipation of a possible insanity defense, Martin said.

He was also part of a small detail of detectives assigned to watch over the case's key witness, Corazon Amurao, who had hidden in the town house and survived Speck's rampage.

To ward off reporters and the curious, the detectives stayed in an apartment next to Amurao's through the end of Speck's trial.

"He became close friends and made her comfortable, which was crucial to making her the magnificent witness she was," Martin said. "She said she'd be all right as long as Jack and the other detectives were in the courtroom when she testified."

Mr. Wallenda and the other detectives assigned to Amurao diligently "sat like bumps on a log and monitored the testimony" throughout Speck's trial in Peoria, recalled Bob Wiedrich, who covered the event for the Tribune.

"There was nothing flamboyant about" the straightforward and soft-spoken Mr. Wallenda, said Rudy Nimocks, a former deputy superintendent with the Chicago police.

A Chicago native, Mr. Wallenda graduated from Lane Tech High School and served with the Army in the Philippines, said his son James. His uncle was Karl Wallenda, the famous tightrope walker who plunged to his death in Puerto Rico in 1978, his family said.

He joined the police force in the early to mid-1950s and before long was a detective, working out of Area 2 on the South Side.

"Jack was primarily steady midnight" shift, said Charles Lind, a retired police detective who worked with Mr. Wallenda. "Things would happen. You went there."

In the late 1960s, he worked briefly as an investigator with the state's attorney's office under Edward Hanrahan, then was chief investigator in the Illinois attorney general's office under William Scott.

Later, he was executive director of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, where among his tasks was disciplining inspectors accused of taking bribes in the famed Mirage Tavern investigation.

Mr. Wallenda's wife, Stella, died in 2008.

He is also survived by sons Jack Jr. and William; daughters Sandra, Patricia Beauchamp and Donna Murphy; 12 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Services are set for 10 a.m. Wednesday in Blake-Lamb Funeral Home, 4727 W. 103rd St., Oak Lawn.

--Trevor Jensen

NEWS: No Pension For Chicago's Top Cop Weis

Updated: Wednesday, 25 Nov 2009, 8:23 AM CST
Published : Wednesday, 25 Nov 2009, 7:43 AM CST

FOX Chicago News

Chicago - Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis will not get a police pension.

The issue came up last month after some officers learned Weis was paying into the fund.

They say the pension fund is only for cops who have worked their way up through the department.

Weis did not.

Yesterday the pension board agreed.

Weis has contributed $47,000 so far.

That money will be transfered to the Chicago municipal pension fund.

BREAKING NEWS: Police investigate murder-suicide in Addison

--More to follow when available--

November 25, 2009 11:41 AM

Police are conducting a double murder-suicide investigation at a home in west suburban Addison, officials said.

A law-enforcement source said the incident left three people dead; one of the murder victims was a child, the source said.

Officers responded to the single-family house in the 200 block of South Wisconsin Avenue at about 9 a.m., according to an Addison police spokesman.
Check back for additional details.

NEWS: Death may be town's 1st murder in 20 years

November 25, 2009 (NORTH RIVERSIDE, Ill.) (WLS) -- Police in west suburban North Riverside are investigating what may be their first homicide in nearly 20 years.

Daniel Halligan, 62, was found stabbed to death in his home on West 26th Street. Police are searching for witnesses.

Investigators are awaiting an autopsy before determining whether Halligan's death was a homicide.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NEWS: CSI ELEMENTARY: Westdale students get forensics lesson

--See, now this is pretty cool. They should do this for all the schools, get the kids interested early.--

November 23, 2009


The room was surrounded by yellow plastic tape with the words "Crime Scene: Do Not Cross." There were 20 or so people in white coats looking for clues. None of them were taller than four feet.

The place was a fifth-grade classroom on the second floor of Westdale School in Northlake. From Nov. 17 to 19, instructors from the University of Illinois Extension Office taught a unit in forensics, applying a variety of sciences to legal problems.

In this case, the problem was a mythical stolen bicycle. The thief was one of four also mythical students. It was the fifth graders' task to figure out who did it.

The students had all the basic equipment: white lab coats, yellow stickers in the shape of a police badge that read "Detective," and manila folders stamped "Confidential."

The instructors, trained in food science, physics, geology and veterinary science, walked them through the basics of the scientific method, then got to the fun stuff.

Maps were produced that showed how many miles each suspect traveled in a day. Students had to measure the distance on each map and convert it into miles.

"I have to start (measuring) from one, right?" asked Jefferson Gomez, a boy with spiky hair and a stud in his left ear.

An assistant principal explained students needed to start from zero on their rulers.

Jazlene Resto, who had drawn stars on the back of one hand, asked this reporter if he was learning anything.

A bit. UIC instructor Karen Meyer explained that an Italian named Marcello Malpighi wrote about fingerprints in 1686. In some places, fingerprints were used to sign contracts.

In 1880, an English physician named Dr. Henry Faulds developed a classification scheme for fingerprints. He offered the system to the Metropolitan Police of London in 1886. They turned it down.

In 1892, an Argentine police officer named Juan Vucetich first set up a fingerprint file.

The students got a chance to print their own fingerprints, though using pencil lead rather than an inkpad. When done, several looked as if they'd been scrambling through a coal mine.

Over the next couple days, students were to collect a DNA sample from a fruit, analyze a soil sample and ultimately see if they could figure out who stole the bike.

NEWS: Franklin Park businessman's trial begins

November 23, 2009

The trial for a Franklin Park business owner charged with assaulting an FBI agent last summer began Nov. 18.

John Esposito, owner of National Concrete Company, 11825 Franklin Ave., is being tried in U.S. District Court for allegedly assaulting FBI Special Agent Brian Etchell on July 17, 2008.

According to court papers, Etchell and agent Allen Reiner served Esposito with a search warrant. While other agents looked through the premises, Etchell and Reiner interviewed Esposito in his office.

The FBI was investigating whether another business was acting as a "fraudulent minority business enterprise" for Etchell's business, essentially acting as a front that would get contracts reserved for minority businesses.

The questioning moved outside, where Esposito showed materials he said belonged to another business. When Etchell questioned the age of a sign identifying the materials, Esposito allegedly pushed Etchell.

Etchell pushed back. Then "Esposito was on top of Etchell on the ground," according to court documents. Reiner and several employees separated the two. Etchell ended up with a sore neck, sore back and a scraped left elbow.

NEWS: Cops: Fake fed flashed fake badge outside theater

November 24, 2009

A Hyde Park man was accused of pretending to be a federal agent after he allegedly approached patrons entering the Goodman Theatre and flashed a badge to a cop.

Laurence Bradley, 46, of the 5100 block of South Kimbark, was charged Friday with impersonation of a peace officer, say police.

During the alleged incident, when police asked Bradley what he was doing, he showed a badge to police and warned: "You better watch your job."

A short foot chase ensued, and when the police caught up to him, Bradley allegedly said, "Get out of my way; I'm a federal agent,'' a police report said.

Officers asked Bradley for credentials, but he refused. He was placed in custody. He wore a security badge around his neck, officials said.

Rosemary Sobol

Sunday, November 22, 2009

R.I.P.: Las Vegas Corrections Officer Killed in Crash

Posted: November 22nd, 2009 09:16 AM EDT News

A Las Vegas corrections officer was killed after his prison transport vehicle T-boned a truck hauling a trailer yesterday morning (Nov. 21), according to KLAS-TV.

Officer Daniel Leach died in the crash at approximately 6 a.m. after the truck crossed into his lane. He was driving the vehicle from the Clark County Detention Center to the facility in Laughlin and was the only one on board at the time of the incident.

The driver and passenger of the truck were not injured in the collision.

The 49-year-old officer is survived by his wife Laura, son Christopher, daughter Alexandra, mother Sandra Leach, father James Leach, brother Michael leach, and sister Audrey Rehmer.

NEWS: Cop charged with $600K theft also officer of statewide group

November 22, 2009
BY FRANK MAIN Crime Reporter/

A statewide police association will check its financial books after learning one of its board members -- a Chicago Police sergeant -- was charged with skimming $600,000 from the Chicago Police Sergeants' Association.

Sgt. John Pallohusky, a detective and president of the Chicago sergeants' association, also serves as financial secretary for the Springfield-based Police Benevolent & Protective Association of Illinois.

On Friday, Cook County prosecutors charged Pallohusky, 53, with stealing from the Chicago Police Sergeants' Association and spending the money on a home, an online stock brokerage, gambling trips, hotels and steak dinners.

Michael Eddlemon, treasurer of the Springfield association and a police sergeant in Peoria, said Pallohusky did not have signing privileges on that union's financial accounts. "Of course, we are going to have to take a step back and take a look to make sure everything is OK," he said Saturday.

Also Saturday, Cook County Criminal Court Judge Laura Sullivan set Pallohusky's bail at $250,000, but he will be held in jail until Monday for a hearing on whether the money he intends to post for bond comes from a legal source, said Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Pallohusky's wife, Mary O'Toole, is treasurer of the Chicago Police Sergeants' Association. She has not been charged with wrongdoing. Pallohusky insists he did not misappropriate any money, his attorney has said.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

NEWS (Red Light Cameras) Chicago's red-light cameras don't always deter accidents

State, city statistics conflict over effectiveness of technology
By Bob Secter and Erika Slife
Tribune reporters
November 22, 2009

Download the data; Traffic accidents at red light cameras >>DOWNLOAD<<

Comparing state, city accident Statistics >>DOWNLOAD<<

Cars and trucks slammed into each other 28 times at Western Avenue and 63rd Street in 2006, the year before the Daley administration installed red-light cameras there in the name of safety. In 2008, the year after cameras went in, accidents at the Southwest Side intersection soared to 42, according to state data.

It was not an aberration. Cameras are said to reduce accidents, but collision records compiled by the Illinois Department of Transportation indicate that accidents increased at many city intersections the year after red-light cameras were installed. In fact slightly more intersections saw an increase than a decrease, the data show.

The city tells a very different story. Crash statistics compiled by the city reflect broad success in reducing accidents with cameras, and the city could not explain why the numbers are so different.

The state records detail several years of accident data for all 47 city intersections where cameras were installed in 2006 or 2007.

Crash totals for the year before and the year after the cameras arrived shows 18 intersections recorded a significant drop in accidents with cameras. Twenty intersections had a significant increase in accidents, while nine had relatively little change.

With or without cameras accident totals fluctuate year to year at every intersection. For that reason the Tribune analysis of accident trends treated crash numbers that rose or fell less than 10 percent as essentially unchanged.

The read from the state numbers is this: Although some Chicago intersections indeed appear to benefit from the presence of cameras, nearly 60 percent do not.

By year's end red-light cameras will be installed at 189 Chicago intersections, the most of any big U.S. city. Sprawling Los Angeles, where the car is king, has 32; New York, 150.

Controversy over traffic cameras has only grown as more are installed across the nation.

Chicago, like many other communities with the automated devices, see cameras as a behavior-modification tool. Drivers are said to become more careful when faced with the threat of $100 fines for being caught on video blowing through stoplights or making rolling right turns on red.

Critics, and there are many passionate ones, contend cameras are little more than money-making municipal gimmicks that induce drivers to slam on brakes to avoid tickets, leading to more accidents.

Many independent traffic safety experts say the truth lies in between.

The safety benefits of red-light cameras are indisputable when placed at truly dangerous intersections, said Timothy Neuman, chief highway engineer for CH2M Hill, one of the nation's largest engineering consulting firms. But Neuman acknowledged that drivers have grown skeptical because cameras in many communities seem to be proliferating at marginal locations.

"The trick is where you put them," Neumann explained. "It frustrates traffic engineers like myself if and when it's misused."

Indeed state data shows that accidents have fallen, sometimes dramatically, at some dangerous city intersections after the installation of cameras. In 2006 there were 141 accidents at South Chicago Avenue and Stony Island Drive, a very complicated South Side intersection. Cameras were installed in mid-2007 and accidents that year dropped to 123. By 2008 the total fell again to 101.

More typical, though, is the situation at Western and North avenues, where cameras were installed in late 2007. In 2006 the year before the camera went in, the intersection was the scene of 34 accidents. In 2008, the year after installation, there were 40 accidents, including six broadside collisions -- considered the most dangerous type of intersection crash. There were no broadside crashes at that intersection in 2006.

City traffic officials say they adhere to a rigid protocol for siting cameras that emphasizes reducing accidents, not enhancing revenue. Still the city collected nearly $45 million in fines from camera-generated tickets last year. Since the program began in late 2003, more than 2.1 million tickets have been issued -- an amount equal to more than one for every driving-age resident of the city.

The city statistics show accidents declined at slightly over 60 percent of the intersections where cameras were installed in 2006 and 2007, a mirror image of what the state data suggests.

The conflicting sets of data were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The city provided a list of accident totals, while the IDOT numbers came contained in detailed crash summaries for each intersection.

"Our crash-reporting threshold -- and ultimately, the data maintained -- is based on Illinois statutes; Chicago's policies for their crash reporting and crash-data maintenance are different than ours," said IDOT spokeswoman Marisa Kollias.

The difference between the city and the state data is stark for the Northwest Side intersection of Central and Fullerton avenues, where cameras have been running since October 2007. The city says that intersection was the scene of 47 crashes in 2006, before the cameras went in, but just 25 accidents in 2008. State reports, however, log 34 accidents in 2006 and 36 in 2008.

David Zavattero, a deputy director of the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications, said the variations between city and state numbers may be due to different interpretations of when an accident is truly intersection-related.

City officials say crash totals are just one way to measure the effectiveness of cameras. After an initial spike in violations when a unit is first installed, tickets usually fall off dramatically -- a phenomenon experienced in most towns with cameras. Zavattero said violations per intersection have fallen more than 60 percent since the earliest days of the program, a sign that motorists approach an intersection with more care when they know a camera is watching.

Friday, November 20, 2009

NEWS: President accused of stealing from police sergeants' union

Chicago Police Sgt. John Pallohusky, president of the Chicago Police Sergeants Association, was arrested Friday morning on allegations that he stole money from the association, sources said.

November 20, 2009

BY FRANK MAIN Staff Writer

A Chicago Police sergeant was arrested this morning on allegations he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Chicago Police Sergeants Association, sources said.

Sgt. John Pallohusky, president of the association, was the target of a joint investigation by the Chicago Police Department and the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, the sources said.

Officials are expected to reveal more details of their investigation this afternoon.

In 1989, Pallohusky was one of 11 people who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor fraud charge in connection with a petition drive to put a 1986 nonpartisan mayoral referendum on the ballot, according to newspaper reports.

Pallohusky was in the headlines last month when the sergeants’ association voted not to accept a new five-year contract that could have frozen sergeants’ pay through 2012. He said members did not want to work under conditions the city was demanding.

NEWS: Man charged with using Craigslist to rob 11 people

November 20, 2009 9:15 AM A Chicago man used Craigslist to rob 11 people by luring them to a South Side alley on the promise of selling them televisions and other items, police said.

Dwayne Williams, 20, of the 120000 block of South Justine, would brandish a handgun instead of a television and make off with their money, police said.

Williams was arrested Tuesday by Calumet Area detectives who had noticed a rash of robberies in the area.

The detectives answered an ad placed by Williams who claimed to be selling a television. Police met Williams in the 8700 block of South Parnell Avenue. As the undercover detectives approached Williams, he displayed a revolver and the police identified themselves.
Williams was arrested as the tried to flee, police said. Police recovered the gun, and victims identified him in line-ups, police said.

Williams faces charges of armed robbery with a firearm charges, including aggravated robbery and weapons violations.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NEWS: Discovery Channel chronicles life at Cook County Jail

--Anybody watch this? I did. I thought it was a pretty bland look at what the place is really like. Pretty typical if you ask me. Seems like they did it just to take pressure off themselves. It really didn't show to much of anything. Anybody see it differently?--

November 19, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Reality TV comes to 26th and California: Home of the Cook County Jail.

When he was elected sheriff three years ago, he made the choice to move the office out of the Daley Center and onto the jail ground. That is by far the largest responsibility and has traditionally been the biggest problems that originate. Now he hopes it will be a source of positive P.R.

Inside division 9, the level system houses the roughest detainees in cook county jail.

For more than two months, TV crews shadowed jail staff chronicling daily life in what is essentially a small city- home to 9,255 prisoners. Most prisoners are awaiting trial.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says he green-lighted the TV project to give the public and the county commissioners who control his budget a better understanding of the challenges he faces.

"The truth shall set you free, and if the public understands what's going on here, they're accepting of when bad things happen here and they realize that, guess what, we don't have a boy scout troop in here for the weekend," said Dart.

"Always see new crazy stuff going on every day, that's something you can depend on," said Larry Robertson, jail inmate.

The 21-year-old said this is his seventh stay at the jail and by far his most serious. He is in the maximum security wing facing attempted murder charges.

"Now I know I'm going to be sitting here awhile because I got real drama," said Robertson.

The Sheriff says his statistics show violence is down at the jail. In the last five years, there have been four homicides, the most recent in 2007. The last successful escape was in 2006.

Despite the crackdown, jail staff still finds homemade weapons on almost a daily basis. So far this year they have confiscated 625 shanks.

The color-coding of inmates puts those with a knack for making shanks in lime-green outfits. Detainees without a history of gang ties are housed in a gang-free section of the jail. Regardless of where inmates are detained, inmates said violence is a concern.

"They're here to make sure we're safe but a lot of people get hurt," said Robert Hill, jail inmate.

"Everything you would gauge is going in the right direction. Are we going to have a love fest here where we have Kumbaya breaking out and no violence or fights? Well no, of course not," said Dart.

He had a knack for capturing national media attention but only makes a brief appearance in the series. The focus is on jail staff and inmates, but already the sheriff is looking at another project next year, one that would be a tv show that focuses on the jail's gang intelligence team.

NEWS: Inside Tamms Prison

November 19, 2009 (TAMMS, Ill.) (WLS) -- The supermax prison is Tamms, Illinois has been criticized for its treatment of inmates. They are locked up in small cells for 23 hours a day.

The prison says it is making some changes to improve conditions.

The state's lone supermax prison built just over a decade ago. It's where the state's execution chamber is located.

Tamms was built to house the worst of the worst - inmates who've attacked fellow prisoners, or guards, gang bosses, and others with serious mental health issues.

They live for the most part in solitary confinement in 7 by 13 cells for 23 hours a day. The other hour can be spent alone in an enclosed recreation yard. Contact with each other and the outside world is sharply restricted. There are limited eucational opportunities and no prison jobs. One inmate called it "complete idleness."

There may be little public sympathy for the living conditions of the worst of the worst but the intent of Tamms when it was opened was to serve as a short term stay for the most violent offenders - a year or two - then transfer them back. But what's happened are longer term stays here, averaging five years.
"It does not make sense to lock people up and throw away the key. It's very expensive and the end results are not very good at all," said Hanke Gratteau, executive director, John Howard Association.

Prison reform advocates have argued that Tamms and other supermax prisons are warehousing the mentally ill, and that extreme isolation eliminates any notion of rehabilitation.

"You truly have to earn your way here through serious, predatory or violent behavior," said Michael Randle, director, Illinois Dept. of Corrections.

The state's new Corrections Director says since Tamms was opened, incidents and injuries at other state prisons have dropped significantly. He doesn't regard treatment here as inhumane, but does acknowledge that some changes need to be made, and they've already started . They include more frequent mental health sessions, group religious services, some new phone privileges based on behavior, and an active review process for transferring out the less dangerous.

"I can't say every case will be short period, but a lot of them will be a short period of time," said Randle.

But there are many here - like I-57 killer Henry Brisbon - who won't be leaving Tamms for other prisons simply because they're too dangerous. Their isolation here, Randle says, has made the state's other prisons safer.

NEWS: Correctional officer charged with smuggling pot into jail

Officials said whoever Romell Wilburn was providing the drugs to may have run out, which is possibly why he was bringing in more. Cook County Sheriff's Office
November 19, 2009
Sun-Times Media Wire

A Cook County correctional officer was ordered held on $25,000 bond Wednesday after being arrested at the Cook County Jail for allegedly attempting to smuggle marijuana in to inmates.

Romell Wilburn, 33, is charged with one count of bringing contraband into a penal institution, a felony, according to Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokesman Andy Conklin.

Wilburn, a five-year veteran of the jail, was arrested Monday after a search revealed he was carrying three packages of tobacco laced with marijuana, Conklin said.

“He made arrangements between inmates and people on the outside to smuggle in tobacco laced with marijuana,” Conklin said, citing court records.

Cook County Sheriff's Dept. spokesman Steve Patterson said Wilburn was assigned to Division 10, a maximum security portion of the jail that houses inmates with psychiatric issues. The department searched the division following Wilburn's arrest, but did not find any drugs.

Patterson said whoever Wilburn was providing the drugs to may have run out, which is possibly why he was bringing in more Monday.

The department began investigating Wilburn when the internal investigations division received a tip he was bringing the drugs from his car to the jail while on duty, Patterson said.

The department set up a surveillance camera and recorded Wilburn going out to his car after his shift began, getting marijuana-laced tobacco and bringing it back in. He was arrested when he re-entered the building, Patterson said.

Sheriff's department investigators are working to determine who was paying him for the drugs.

Wilburn appeared in court Wednesday and bond was set at $25,000, Conklin said. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Dec. 9 in Indictment Court (Br. 98).

Police Blotters November 19, 2009

They are back!!! Click on the town your interested in.

>>Franklin Park, Northlake<<

>>Bellwood, Maywood, Melrose Park<<


>>Elmwood Park, River Grove<<

>>Harwood heights, Norridge<<

>>Oak Park<<

>>Forest Park<<


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NEWS: Ark. Police Officer Uses Taser On 'Unruly' 10-Year-Old Girl

--I am not sure what is worse in these types of cases; the parents who have to call the police on a 10 year old because they can't control them or the cop who responds and feels the need to taze that kid because they cannot control the kid either. What happened to just kicking your kids ass or just going and grabbing the kid and saying "yes you will do what I say?"

Posted: November 18th, 2009 01:53 AM GMT-05:00
Story by
OZARK, Ark. --

Ozark police said they were called to a home where a mother asked for help with her unruly child, but the 10-year-old's father said he's outraged at the force police used against his daughter.

"I would like to say Ozark police Tased this little girl right here. Ten years old and [they] shot electricity through her body, and I want to know how the heck in God's green earth can they get away with this," said the girl's father, Anthony Medlock.

Medlock said his daughter was at her mother's house when Ozark police Officer Dustin Bradshaw shocked her in the back with a Taser and arrested her.

"If you can't pick the kid up and take her to your car, handcuff her, then I don't think you need to be an officer," Medlock said.

Medlock said his daughter does show signs of having emotional issues, but she "doesn't deserve to be treated like a dog. She's not a tiger."

According to a police report, the officer was called to the home by the mother and witnessed the child kicking and screaming.

The officer's statement said the girl's mother, Kelly Hamlert, told him to use a Taser on her if he needed to.

The officer did shock the girl after he said she kicked him in the groin.

"He had no other choice. He had to get the child under control," said Ozark police Chief Jim Noggle.

Noggle said the officer shocked the girl for about a second.

Ozark police said it is their policy to use a Taser on someone who is a threat to others, no matter their age.

Noggle said simply restraining the child could be harmful.

"Well, if he tried to restrain her, he might hurt her by restraining her. If you grab somebody, you can slip an arm out of joint. They can slip from you and fall on the ground," Noggle said.

"I don't know what kind of policy it is. I don't think it's right," Medlock said.

Medlock said this is not the first time the girl's mother has called police to take her daughter to a juvenile facility. He said he will now try to get custody of his daughter.

"She just wants somebody to love her, and I do," he said.

40/29 News checked with several other police agencies about their taser policies. The Fort Smith Police Department said it will only uses a Taser on a person 14 years old or older if they are a threat to someone.

Fort Smith Police said it's usually the discretion of each police department to make their own policies on using a Taser.

Noggle said no action is being taken against the Ozark officer who used the Taser on the girl, and he said her case will go before the juvenile court system.

NEWS: Anti-violence program combines counseling, sports

November 18, 2009 12:01 AM | No Comments

The University of Chicago has partnered with two community groups to launch a $1 million youth anti-violence program that will include a rare component: a rigorous, scientific evaluation to determine whether it's cost-effective.

The program, called Becoming a Man-Sports Edition, aims to help adolescent boys in Chicago public schools curb their impulse to use fists and guns to settle disagreements. It addresses the problem on two fronts, by using character education and counseling as well as training in Olympic sports, such as archery and fencing.

During the 27-week initiative, which begins Wednesday, university evaluators will use a research model akin to clinical trials in medicine to determine whether the program is reducing violent behavior and helping boys stay in school.

Public officials continue to grasp for solutions to youth violence in Chicago. They've launched programs in schools, boosted police patrols and thrown public and private money at the problem. Earlier this year, Chicago schools chief Ron Huberman launched a $30 million violence prevention effort that targets the most at-risk students and the most troubled schools.

Still, little is known about which programs are effective and worth the expense.

"Unfortunately, the anti-violence field is littered with programs that are not grounded in solid research so we have no idea if they are really working," said Jens Ludwig, a professor at the University of Chicago and the director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab. "This program will allow us to generate scientifically credible evidence about a program and show whether it works, and why."

The lab was created in 2008 in partnership with the city of Chicago to gather crime data and research and identify solutions. It garnered $1 million in grant money and then selected B.A.M.-Sports Edition from among 30 anti-violence programs that applied.

The program is a joint venture between Youth Guidance, a private group that has provided counseling to troubled teens for decades, and World Sports Chicago, a legacy of Chicago 2016 that brings Olympic sports to Chicago's youth.

The program will operate in 15 Chicago elementary and high schools. It will be offered to an estimated 550 boys at risk of dropping out or landing in the criminal justice system. These are not the most at-risk students, but rather the ones just beginning to get into trouble.

The lab will analyze the students' academic achievement, attendance, school discipline and juvenile court records during the 27 weeks and compare the information with data from a control group of 550 similar students who did not participate. They hope to determine which parts of the programs worked, for which students.

Scott Myers, executive director of World Sports Chicago, sits on the Youth Guidance board of directors and helped marry the two programs. He said after-school sports help students develop self-discipline, respect for authority and responsibility.

"There's a lot of anecdotal evidence about sports being a social development tool, but we realize there is not a lot of real empirical research to prove it," Myers said. "We are hoping this study will help define a model that can become a 'best practice' so other cities who want to use sports as a tool to help kids can understand the maximum benefit."

During school, the selected students will work with counselors in the Youth Guidance program.

Tony Di Vittorio, the Youth Guidance counselor who developed B.A.M. a decade ago, said the program provides one-on-one counseling and behavior strategies for boys in junior high and high school. It's not an anti-violence program, per se, he said, but rather a character education course.

Learning to control impulses, channel anger and develop coping skills are all part of the package, he said.

"I started challenging these young men and forcing them to think about their lack of responsibility and their own integrity," he said. "I challenged their tendency to project the blame outward, instead of looking inward. We talk about ways of expressing anger and leaving a situation with your self dignity."

Bruce Moore, a senior at Clemente High School in Chicago, spent three years in the B.A.M. program. He credits it with helping to improve his grades and keep him out of trouble.

"I was bad and couldn't get along," he said. "But Tony taught me integrity and how to keep my word and act like a man. I used to blame my teachers for my bad grades. Now I know I have to put effort into it and it's up to me to earn the good grade."

Duke's Blotter hits 20,000 visitors

Thanks to all of you this blog has had 20,000 visitors since I started it in March of '09. That is way more than anything I had imagined. It is almost 2500 a month, which to me means that at least I am putting out stuff that folks want to read. I will try to continue that and I am always open for ideas. If you have any info you want out just let me know. I will post news, info from departments on people they are looking for, union info, pension info, and yes even fun info or jokes.

Send your info or suggestions to me at

And again, thanks to everyone.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MELROSE TRIALS: Sentencing Updates

It has been awhile since we have heard anything. Here is what I have learned.

Scavo - was set for October but due to other trial obligations his lawyers were able to get the sentencing date set for December 9, 2009.

Caputo - was set for November 25. His attorneys requested a new sentence date in early December, preferably before the others are sentenced.

Cervone - Sentence date will be determined.

Caliendo - This is the only one there has been any movement on. His sentencing is set for December 9 with Scavo. On November 13 the US Attorney filed a sentence memorandum on this case. This spells out the case against Caliendo and why the AUSA wants him to receive the guidelined sentence of 97 to 120 months (8 to 10 years).

I have uploaded the Memo and an exhibit of a phone call transcript they use in making the argument.

As always, when I know more, you will know more.

Download Caliendo sentence memo >>HERE<<

Download exhibit >>HERE<<


Saturday, November 14, 2009

NEWS: Illinois prison in running to house Gitmo detainees

Gov. Pat Quinn has had discussions with President Barack Obama about the federal government purchasing Thomson Correctional Center in northwest Illinois.

November 14, 2009

BY LYNN SWEET Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief

WASHINGTON — A nearly empty state prison in northwestern Illinois has emerged as a possible site to house detainees transferred from the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, the Obama White House told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday.

Gov. Quinn and Obama discussed the federal purchase of the Thomson Correctional Center when Quinn was in Washington on Nov. 4 and visited the White House. Quinn and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) will outline proposals for the future of the prison at press conferences in the Quad Cities, Chicago and Rockford on Sunday.

Durbin’s office has been quarterbacking the potential sale of the prison through a series of meetings between the White House and Quinn, who is looking to generate revenues for the cash-strapped state. State government could realize at least $200 million from a sale.

The Thomson complex is the Illinois Department of Corrections’ newest maximum-security prison. Built in 2001 for $145 million, the 1,600-bed facility has zero inmates. The facility’s minimum-security operation has about 200 prisoners.

A White House source told the Sun-Times that no decisions have been made and Thomson is one of “multiple options” being considered to house Guantanamo detainees.

Republicans in Congress quickly began lining up to oppose the idea.

Rep. Mark Kirk, the leading Republican candidate for Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat, rattled off a letter to the president warning that “if your administration brings Al Qaeda terrorists to Illinois, our state and the Chicago Metropolitan Area will become ground zero for Jihadist terrorist plots, recruitment and radicalization.

“As home to America's tallest building, we should not invite Al Qaeda to make Illinois its number one target,” Kirk also wrote.

Rep. Don Manzullo — a Republican on the House foreign affairs terrorism subcommittee whose congressional district includes the Thomson prison — acknowledged that “part of the Administration’s proposal involves opening a separate maximum security federal prison at Thomson, and I have long encouraged the Administration to support that venture.”

However, “the terrorists remaining at Guantanamo Bay are dangerous and brutal killers, many of whom were involved in the attacks on our nation,” Manzullo said. “I adamantly oppose this plan to bring the terrorists to northwestern Illinois, where they could one day be released into our communities.”

If the prison is acquired by the federal government, it would be run under the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which would then establish a supermax facility, leasing a portion to the Defense Department for a “limited number” of Guantanamo detainees.

Obama, who may miss his Jan. 22 deadline of closing the controversial prison, established a Guantanamo Review Task Force, run by the Justice and Defense Departments by executive order on his first day in office. The task force has been evaluating maximum security facilities nationwide, with Thomson one possibility.

Quinn’s office said only that “senior officials” from the Obama administration will be visiting Thomson to determine if the “virtually vacant, state-of-the-art facility can be better utilized by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

“Over-crowding in federal prisons is a serious issue and one of the reasons why the Bureau of Prisons is interested in viewing Thomson Correctional Center. As always, Gov. Quinn’s first priority is public safety and security, an issue that will definitely be part of any future discussion with federal prison authorities regarding Thomson. In addition, the Quinn administration is interested in utilizing Thomson to create” new jobs and “generate greater economic development for Illinois.”

Quinn’s statement side-stepped the matter of whether Guantanamo detainees would be housed there.

Durbin and Quinn are expected to discuss details about the ongoing evaluations by the Justice and Defense teams. They will be joined at press conferences at the Quad City International Airport, Midway Airport and Rockford International Airport by Michael Randle, Department of Corrections director and Jonathon Monken, Illinois State Police director.

Unlike other locations where the housing of terrorist suspects touched off a political storm, Obama’s home state of Illinois may provide a friendlier reception. Durbin is on board and Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) is open bringing detainees to Illinois.

The mayor of Thomson (population 550) has raised no objection to the potential use of his community to house Guantanamo detainees — which has been an open possibility for months. A maximum security federal prison in Downstate Marion houses Ali al-Marri, a convicted al-Qaida conspirator without controversy.

The Quad City Times, which covers northwestern Illinois, reported on Friday that the federal government may buy Thomson. Quinn, during a campaign stop on Thursday night in the Quad Cities said he would have an announcement about the sale of the eight-year-old facility “within the next few days,” the paper reported.

The paper said Thomson Mayor Jerry Hebeler has not objected to suspected terrorists being imprisoned in his town — far away from any target-rich population center.

On Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that five men accused of the 9-11 attacks now being held in Guantanamo would be sent to New York to stand trial, just several blocks away from the World Trade Center twin towers, destroyed in the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Security is expected to be at an all-time high.

The closing of Guantanamo has touched off a political storm for Obama, who made shutting the prison in Cuba a signature pledge of his presidential campaign. Obama promised on his first day in office to close the prison in one year, but it has proved more difficult than Obama or his advisors ever contemplated, especially since other nations have balked at accepting detainees.

Holder on Friday, discussing the Guantanamo closure said “I’m not sure we are going to be able to complete that process by Jan. 22.”

The state-of-the-art Thomson prison was to have been one of the final pieces of a prison building boom under former Republican governors Jim Edgar and George Ryan.

Launched by Edgar, Thomson was ready for its first prisoner in 2001. But Ryan kept its doors closed because the state could not afford to staff it as state revenues began a steep decline because of the post-9/11 economic nosedive.

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich proposed closing the Pontiac Correctional Center and transferring inmates to Thomson. But Quinn scuttled that plan, and Thomson now houses only the minimum-security unit on its grounds.

A 2005 report by Auditor General William Holland indicated that then-empty prison cost $1.8 million to maintain in 2004, including $809,000 for what the prison system said were utilities, $405,700 for telecommunications and $143,400 for staffing.

A full-time engineer was assigned to staff the unopened prison and to make sure all systems are working, with one task to flush toilets to keep the prison's plumbing systems in working order.

NEWS: Fencing ring busted in Stone Park

--Nice job guys--
Police find hundreds of items they say were stolen and fenced as part of ring in Stone Park.
November 13, 2009


Acting on a tip to locate stolen items at a local pawnshop, Melrose Park police coincidentally ran into the man who they would later arrest for running a national fencing ring.

The impromptu meeting resulted in uncovering hundreds of stolen goods, totaling more than $100,000, from several western suburbs as well as out of state.

Jose Silva, 50, of 1626 N. 43rd Ave., Stone Park, was arrested Nov. 10 and charged with possession of stolen property.

Silva's arrest came after Melrose Park police acted on a tip about an alleged fencing ring.

Police had arrested two men Nov. 8 in connection with a Nov. 2 car burglary. During the police interview, the suspects told about a location where stolen items often ended up after they were taken to a pawnshop.

Melrose Park Police Sgt. Anthony Greco said some of the stolen merchandise was pawned at the Melrose Park pawnshop and later the pawn tickets were sold to a Stone Park resident. The man would later claim the pawned items and resell them for more money through other outlets, such as flea markets.

Police visited the pawn shop on Nov. 10 looking for the stolen items and were surprised when Silva was there exchanging the pawn tickets he allegedly bought from the offenders to claim the stolen merchandise.

He was immediately arrested.

When police went to Silva's home, they saw several stolen items in his back yard.

Greco said they obtained a search warrant and found more stolen merchandise the next day in his home, garage and shed.

The stolen property included construction tools, computers, flat-screen televisions, computers, touring bicycles and automobile tires.

As police trace the stolen property, Greco said, they found some items originated in Oak Park, River Forest, Northlake and Springfield. Other stolen goods have origins as far away as Idaho and California, he said.

Greco did not know how long Silva had been operating his alleged fencing ring, but based on the amount of recovered items at Silva's house, Greco estimated it was two to three years.

Melrose Park Police Chief Sam Pitassi said the stolen merchandise is not part of a rash of burglaries in the village, but says the stolen items seem to be coming from all over the place. He doesn't believe Silva is part of organized crime.

"I don't think this guy is a part of any organized group he's just acting independently and working with local gang kids," he said.

Pitassi said the arrest and confiscating the stolen merchandise is the result of "good old-fashioned police work."

He said the arrest and seizure was a joint effort with Stone Park Police Department.

R.I.P.: Ind. Deputy Killed In Crash With Truck

Story by


A Kosciusko County sheriff's deputy was killed Thursday in a crash with a flatbed truck.

Sgt. Jeffery B. Shaw, 40, was on duty and driving his sheriff's squad car when the crash happened on State Road 14 just west of 100 East at about 3 p.m.

Police said Steven L. Byerly, 53, of Fort Wayne, was hauling scaffolding when he drove partly off the road and then over corrected, crossing the center line and striking Shaw's squad car head on.

Witnesses said the two vehicles caught fire shortly after the crash. Byerly was pulled from his truck by onlookers, but Shaw had to be extricated by emergency workers.

Shaw was transported to Kosciusko Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Byerly suffered minor injuries.

Shaw, a Warsaw native, joined the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department in 1994 as a jail guard, and became a full deputy in 1998. He leaves behind a wife and two young children.

Sgt. Jeffery B. Shaw was on duty and driving his sheriff's squad car when the crash happened on State Road 14 just west of 100 East.

NEWS: Chicago's Most Wanted Murder Suspect

--As shown on Fox News Chicago--

Oscar Ocampo

Updated: Monday, 09 Nov 2009, 10:50 AM CST
Published : Monday, 09 Nov 2009, 10:50 AM CST


Chicago police and FBI agents are trying to track down the prime suspect in what they say is one of the most heinous crimes they've ever seen triggered by a dispute over just fifteen dollars.

17 year old Eric Navarro's family reported him missing back on July 8th.

Oscar Navarro, Eric's father, says " I'm still in denial today that we don't believe this is true."

The last time Oscar saw his son was the day before at their Northlake home. The recent high school graduate spent the morning playing basketball and then had lunch with his dad and his dad's fiance. When Oscar Navarro got home from work that night, his son wasn't there. Oscar says he thought Eric was probably at some friends house and went to sleep. When he got up the next morning, Eric still wasn't home. Oscar says that's when he started to become concerned.

After calling Eric's cell phone all afternoon, and getting no answer, Oscar filed a missing persons report with Northlake police. For the next 48 hours, Eric's family wondered and worried where he was. Then they got the answer they never expected.

The FBI says a passerby had discovered the smoldering remains of a human body in a dumpster in an alley on Chicago's west side. The Cook County Medical Examiner's office confirmed the body inside was Eric's.

The FBI's Ross Rice says, " The family had no indication that their son was in trouble. He had not reported any incidents or concerns over his safety to them." Rice adds, " this is a very perplexing as well as troubling case for us."

As investigators traced Eric's last steps, here is what they pieced together. After leaving home on July 7th, Eric did play basketball at Redman park in Bensenville. While he was there, investigators say three men invited him to a party at a nearby apartment in Northlake. When he got there, Eric was beaten to death. Investigators say the apartment belonged to 24 year old Oscar Ocampo. They say Ocampo and two other gang members beat Eric to death because he owed Ocampo money. Rice says, "navarro apparently owed 15 dollars to ocampo and some other members of a fairly new street gang, called the pachucos."

Following the beating, investigators say Ocampo and two other gang members put Eric's body in a dumpster on Chicago's west side and set it on fire. A man walking down the alley discovered the remains on July 10th.

Cook County prosecutors have charged Ocampo with killing Eric Navarro. He has not been arrested. Police and FBI agents say he's disappearred. He's the target of a nationwide search, but investigators say he might be hiding right here.

Eric's sister, Karen Navarro says "these people are out on the street enjoying their freedom after they took somebody's life and they destroyed our family's life and its just not right that they're out there on the street. "

Ocampo is described as a

Hispanic male,

about five feet six inches tall,

weighing around 200 pounds,

with black hair and brown eyes.

He is considered armed and dangerous. If you see him - call police.

NEWS: Former Northlake Police Officer Arrested for Domestic Battery

--Not exactly what I really wanted to report coming off my illness. This is the only information available from the police blotter in the Norridge Herald. Hope it all works out for Dan and Tracy--

Daniel Rasic, 43, of 4424 N. Ozanam, Norridge, was charged Oct. 30 with misdemeanor domestic battery after an incident at a residence. His court date was Nov. 2.


Monday, November 9, 2009


Updates and postings will be coming. I have been down with pneumonia for the past week. Just getting back into the swing of things.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NEWS: Top cop 'nervous' about likely retirement surge

November 7, 2009

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said Friday he is "extremely nervous" that a wave of police retirements next year -- after an arbitrator rules on the new police contract -- will stretch a burgeoning manpower shortage beyond levels he considers safe.

Roughly 1,000 officers are eligible to retire now that Mayor Daley has promised to extend premium health benefits to officers who call it quits at 55. But many are waiting until the contract is settled in hopes that a raise will lock in a higher rate of retirement pay.
» Click to enlarge image
Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said today he is "extremely nervous" about a wave of police retirements next year.
(Brian Jackson/Sun-Times)

The Police Department has 600 sworn vacancies and is 2,000 officers short of authorized strength.

After hiring only 46 police officers this year, Daley's 2010 budget uses federal stimulus funds to add just 86 officers, 30 of them for the CTA.

That's nowhere near enough hiring to solve the manpower shortage that Weis fears is about to get dramatically worse.

"I am extremely nervous about the number of officers who may choose to leave, based upon the fact that the contract may be signed in 2010," Weis told aldermen at a City Council budget hearing.

"There's conceivably 1,000 officers who could leave. ... We have to be prepared for that type of loss. ... We will work closely with Budget to make sure our hiring plan does not leave us too stripped to provide an effective police force for the city."

Weis is not the only one who's nervous about the police manpower shortage. So are aldermen.

"It truly is unacceptable. We want these numbers filled and filled now. We'll find the funding for it. If we have to get rid of some of these other departments ... [or cut their budgets in half] to fill these vacancies, we'll do that," said Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

NEWS: Westchester man charged in murder of Niles man in Stone Park

November 5, 2009
A Westchester man has been charged with murdering a Niles man who was shot dead Wednesday in west suburban Stone Park.

Nicholas Carrino, 30, of Westchester was charged with murder in the death of Daniel Kowalewski, according to police. The charge was approved at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Daniel Kowalewski, 32, of 7630 W. Madison St. in Niles, was pronounced dead at 2:27 p.m. at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood after suffering a gunshot wound at Manheim Road and Division Street in Stone Park, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

Stone Park police responded to a 911 call of a shooting at the intersection Wednesday morning, according to a release from Stone Park police.

An autopsy is scheduled for later Thursday.

The West Suburban Major Crimes Task Force and Stone Park detectives are investigating.

— STM reports

R.I.P.: New York Trooper Killed in Cruiser Crash

Albany Times Union, N.Y.

CATSKILL, N.Y. -- A 30-year-old state trooper was killed this afternoon (Oct. 4) when his patrol car veered off of Route 32 and struck a telephone pole.

Trooper David Lane, who has been on the force for four years and worked out of the Catskill barracks, was northbound at 2:25 p.m. when he attempted to pass another northbound vehicle, officials said. The vehicles made contact and Lane's car drove off the road.

Route 32 was closed in both directions to allow for emergency vehicles and the investigation. Additional details will be released as they become available.

R.I.P.: Florida Police Officer Dies While On Duty

Posted: November 5th, 2009 11:01 AM GMT-05:00

Story by


A veteran Jacksonville officer died Wednesday afternoon in his unmarked police car on the Hart Bridge.

Police said they were notified about 1:15 p.m. of a person slumped over the wheel of a car against the barrier wall of the bridge near the exit to Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.

After responding officers broke the window to get in, Officer Robert "Bobby" Ford, 44, was transported to Shands-Jacksonville Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

In announcing that Ford had died, Sheriff John Rutherford called him a "great guy, easy-going, full of life."

Ford was on duty Wednesday, presumably heading to the Police Memorial Building. Rutherford said the car was found in neutral and no other cars were involved.

While an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death, Rutherford said it was likely a heart attack.

Ford, who was 44, spent most of his career with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office working in the narcotics and vice unit.

"A 24-year veteran and a guy who loved the job like he did, it's a big loss," Sheriff John Rutherford said.

The last Jacksonville officer to die on duty was also killed in a traffic accident. Officer Christopher Kane was killed Sept. 4, 2008, when his patrol car struck the back of a tractor-trailer in a construction zone on state Road 9A.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NEWS: FBI charges Elmhurst man with Ponzi scheme

October 29, 2009

An Elmhurst man was charged with mail fraud Thursday after defrauding up to 60 people as part of a Ponzi scheme.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in release that Matthew Scott, 50, of 208 Willow Road, lured at least 60 victims to invest about $28 million in a high-speed commercial printing repair company known as Gelsco, Inc. He then took the money and paid back previous investors.

Scott was president and sole owner of the Northlake-based company. The release says between early 2000 and March 2009 he fraudulently obtained the money and caused a loss of at least $4.5 million. A date has not been determined of when he will be arraigned in U.S. District Court.

The charges state that Scott lied to his investors and said their money would be used toward purchasing or financing the purchase of the printers, which had a value of more than $100,000. These printers would then be sold to third parties for a profit.

Scott also told investors Gelsco increased the price of the printers by 20 percent, and that they had earned “substantial” profits. He promised to split that money with them within 90 days.

However, instead, authorities allege Scott never purchased the printers, and falsified purchase orders, invoices, promissory notes and other documents that he gave to the investors to convince them a sale had been made.

In May 2008, he also obtained a $300,00 bank loan by falsely representing that the loan would be secured by a printer being sold to a third party and providing fake documents as proof of that sale.

If convicted of mail fraud, Scott could receive a maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of $250,000. The court could also decide to impose a fine equaling twice the loss to any victim or twice the gain to the defendant, whichever is greater.

NEWS: Family questions police tactics that ended in fatal crash

--I'm sorry, I really am, that an innocent woman was killed in this incident but shouldn't the focus be on the guys in the van that rammed the police cars, tried running over the police and then ran into this woman's car? I fail to see how the police made him do all of this. He should be charged with murder among all the other charges.--

November 3, 2009 11:50 PM
Family members of a 42-year-old woman who was killed Tuesday morning when two drug suspects fleeing police crashed their vehicle into hers questioned why authorities did not do a better job of containing the suspects.

Valerie Davis, of the 600 block of East 65th Street, and a mother of a 16-year-old son died as she was en route to the Dan Ryan Expressway on her way to her job as a shipping clerk at a suburban company, said her aunt Charlene Davis.

"If they were watching them and were ready to hound in on them, then they should have had it so they couldn't run,'' said Charlene Davis. "If you're a crook you know that's what you are going to do, you're going to run. If you're the police you know they are going to run so you should have all the exits cut off so they can't run."

The sequence of events that included several crashes began with a traffic stop in the Woodlawn neighborhood about 7 a.m. by Chicago police and federal Drug Enforcement Agency officers.

Several officers riding in two cars got out of their vehicles at 63rd Street and King Drive and approached a minivan with two male suspects inside, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Robert Perez.

At that point, the van's driver put the van into reverse and tried to run over the officers, Perez said. The officers were not hurt. But both police vehicles were rammed.

One of the officers fired a single shot at the van but missed, Perez continued.

The van sped east on 63rd Street where at St. Lawrence Avenue it crashed into a green Pontiac driven by Valerie Davis. She was transported to Stroger Hospital in critical condition and was pronounced dead at 7:50 a.m.

The minivan kept going and a short distance away struck a second car, a white Dodge Charger driven by an adult man. He declined treatment, Perez said.

After hitting the second car, the two suspects got out of their van and began running. They didn't get far before they were arrested, Perez said.

Both were taken to St. Bernard Hospital for minor injuries sustained during the car crashes.

The city and federal officers involved in the operation were members of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas task force.

Charlene Davis who lives in the same home as her niece and other family members, said her niece's death has yet to hit the tight-knit family.

"It hasn't hit us yet, but it's going to be hard when it does. She was there for whatever we needed," said Davis. "We all called on her to do things."

She said her niece was the person who the family leaned on to help them with errands, paperwork and this past weekend she was the one who filled nearly 75 bags with candy for neighborhood children and children at the church she attended.

Davis said her niece always focused attention on children in the neighborhood and in her church. She often gave children in the church school bags filled with pencils and paper at the beginning of the school year.

"She would go out and spend her money and fix those bags,'' said Davis.

She said Christmas will be especially difficult this year because her niece was always generous with presents to children in the church and in her family.

"She thought about them when nobody else was thinking about them,'' Davis said.

-- Carlos Sadovi and Andrew Wang

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

R.I.P.: Seattle Officer Killed, Trainee Injured in Shooting

Associated Press Writer


Few clues have emerged from a drive-by shooting that left a nine-year veteran Seattle police officer dead and a trainee injured on Halloween night.

Investigators on Sunday fielded tips, interviewed potential witnesses and scoured through video tapes for evidence that would lead them to the assailant or assailants. They have not yet identified a suspect or the suspect's vehicle, nor have they determined what kind of weapon was used.

Killed in the Saturday night shooting was field training officer Timothy Brenton, 39. Rookie officer Britt Sweeney, 33, suffered a minor injury.

The two were discussing a routine traffic stop while parked in downtown Seattle when their police cruiser was suddenly struck several times by gunfire shortly after 10 p.m., officials said.

Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel said Brenton died instantly. Sweeney ducked, and a bullet grazed her back. She then called for help and returned fire, Pugel said.

"This is an assassination, and every resource is being used to bring it to a conclusion," Pugel said.

Brenton became the city's first officer killed in the line of duty since 2006, and Saturday's shooting was the first intentional homicide of an officer since 1994, police officials said.

Pugel said there had been no threats against Brenton and no indication the assailants were looking for him.

Sweeney was taken to the hospital but was later released and is at home. She joined the force about six months ago, and had graduated from the academy just weeks ago.

Brenton is survived by his wife and two children, ages 11 and 8, officials said. His father and uncle are retired Seattle police officers.

"Everybody loved him," the officer's uncle, Jon Brenton of Kingston, Wash., told The Seattle Times. "I don't think there was any reason anybody would come after him."

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels described the shooting as "cold-blooded."

"Our community is in shock at this brutal and senseless crime," Nickels said. "The killing of someone who protects our public safety is universally condemned, and our city is united in rejecting this violence and supporting the men and women in uniform. "

In August 2006, rookie officer Joselito Barber was killed when a woman drove her sport utility vehicle through a red light and broadsided his patrol car.

In 1994, officer Antonio Terry was shot and killed after stopping behind a disabled vehicle, according to the Seattle Police Officers' Guild.