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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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

NEWS: Elgin puts more crime data online

Daily Herald

By Lenore T. Adkins | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 7/31/2010 12:39 AM

Were you in Elgin last night and wondered why there were a bunch of squad cars in a certain area?

Now, you can pull up a website and find out why.

Just in time for National Night Out, the Elgin Police Department has launched an online program that helps residents and officers track crime in the city.

By visiting www.crimereports.com, a whole host of information is at your fingertips.

You can see what sex offenders live on your street and what they look like.

You can see how many people were pulled over on Randall Road Thursday night.

You can run your own crime statistics to see whether the number of dogs bites is on the rise.

You can also receive crime alerts about any area of town you wish and filter crimes to your liking.

Police will be holding very little back from the public.

"In the spirit of transparency, we're putting out everything we can," said Police Chief Jeffrey Swoboda, adding that the best defense against crime is an informed citizenry.

Police will, however, not list suicides or crimes against children.

Covert operations would appear once an arrest is made, Swoboda said.

Everything else that occurred within the last six months is fair game, Swoboda said.

And if you happen to see something, there's a link for every crime posted that lets you leave a tip with police.

The program works like this: you call police because your neighbors are making too much noise near Festival Park, for example. The call goes to the dispatch center and appears on a map.

The officer goes to the address and tells the dispatcher center he wrote a citation. That information is then forwarded to the department's records management system.

Elgin police edit that information and send it off a third party, which then uploads the information onto crimereports.com that shows the time, date, location, what the call was for and the officer's action, if any.

The website automatically updates twice a day.

Police, meanwhile will use the site as a tool to identify crime trends around the city and to assist with staffing needs.

For example, if there are a rash of burglaries on the south east side of the city, authorities will know they should send more officers there.

The program -- also used in Itasca, Roselle, Villa Park, Waukegan and Wauconda -- costs Elgin $1,788 annually, money Swoboda says is well spent.

"The price is worth is just for what we'll be doing with it for the police department," Swoboda said. "That the community now has access to it is a bonus."

Police will start promoting the free website next Tuesday during the various National Night Out celebrations being held in neighborhoods all over the city.

NEWS: East Dundee police chief back on job, for now

Daily Herald

RELATED STORY: NEWS: Ex-East Dundee police chief threatens suit over removal
By Larissa Chinwah | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 7/30/2010 10:23 PM

East Dundee Police Chief Terry Mee was reinstated to his position Friday, but the village president who removed Mee from his post a week ago said he would fulfill the state statute requirements to officially remove the chief.

At a special board meeting Friday night, Village Attorney Pat O'Connor and the village board determined that Mee was inappropriately removed from the post because Village President Jerry Bartels failed to provide a written charge outlining his reasons for dismissing the chief. Technically, Mee was never removed as chief.

Although trustees had initially made a motion to overrule the village president's decision, no vote was taken.

"He has not been removed pursuant to statute," O'Connor said. "The removal did not comply with state statute."

Bartels did provide the board and the audience of about 20 residents with a laundry list of financial reasons for his decision, ranging from the anticipated departure of Walmart to the unexpected expenses related to infrastructure improvements on Van Buren Street.

"These are things I am concerned about now," Bartels said. "We are paying too much now and we have too many things on our plate that we need to pay for."

Bartels said he would provide the board with a written charge Monday. When asked under what authority he removed Mee, Bartels said, "I have the authority as executive officer of East Dundee."

Mee, who received support from his family and more than a dozen residents, said he would return to the office next week.

"It appears that I have been reinstated at this time," Mee said after the meeting. "Until I hear something to the contrary from the village board, I will be back to work on Monday."

But trustees said they expect the fight to continue.

"It is unfortunate that this is not the end," Trustee Rob Gorman said.

 Mee, who took over as chief in 2006, was relieved of his duties July 23. Bartels sent an e-mail to the village board, legal counsel and village staff announcing Mee's removal and the appointment of Lt. Michael Blahnik to acting chief. No reasons were outlined in the e-mail.

The board then received a letter from Mee's attorney calling the action "an improper removal" and stating the chief wants to continue leading the East Dundee police force. Board members said the letter implied a threat of legal action if the decision was not reversed.

Back: President says he has authority to remove chief

NEWS: (National) Colorado Police Officers Told to Cover Tattoos

Officer.com

--I can see this ending up in a courtroom. Especially with today's views towards body art.--
Duke

Posted: July 31st, 2010 09:02 AM EDT

BY DEB STANLEY
Story by TheDenverChannel.com

AURORA, Colo. --

Police officers in Aurora have been given a new regulation: Cover your tattoos or have them removed.

"Some people find tattoos a bit offensive or distracting," said Aurora Police Detective Shannon Lucy.

The new policy started June 15.

"I was very taken back," said Aurora Police Sgt. Graham Dunne. "I am offended by it; I take it personally."

Dunne said it's not so much the inconvenience of the heat of the sleeves, as it is I am being told I look unprofessional.

"It was often a conversation starter for people. I never had anyone who was offended by my tattoos or taken back by my tattoos," said Dunne. "It was always positive."

Lucy said Aurora police will still hire people with tattoos. "But they will need to understand when they come here what the policy is and they will need to be covered," said Lucy.

"I would like to see the department focus more on physical fitness standards than tattoos on a officer," said Dunne. "The public wants an officer who comes to help them to be physically fit, they don't really care if they have a military of patriotic tattoo on their arm."

Officers have the option to purchase long-sleeve shirts for $30, makeup kits for $30 or a pair of slide-on half sleeves for $20 if they don’t want to get the tattoo removed, which could cost thousands of dollars.

7NEWS checked with other law enforcement agencies across the metro area and found most have some sort of tattoo policy, which requires officers or deputies to have tattoos covered.

Denver police officers are allowed to have and show tattoos as long as they are not offensive.

NEWS: 4,000 pot plants found in North Chicago

Chicago Tribune

Operation seen in wooded area during flyover; suspect escapes

By Ruth Fuller, Special to the Tribune

July 31, 2010

Lake County officials have discovered about 4,000 marijuana plants being cultivated in a heavily wooded area in North Chicago.

The operation just east of U.S. Highway 41 and north of Illinois Highway 137 was uncovered by members of the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group last week during a flyover, MEG Deputy Director Jeffrey Padilla said. The plants had grown to about 3 feet tall.

Authorities have begun carefully uprooting the plants so they don't grow back, and burning them in small piles. Because the plants are so moist, diesel fuel is necessary to ensure that the plants burn, Padilla said.

MEG officials were trying to determine a safe route into the remote growing area when, about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, they saw someone tending to the plants, Padilla said. A short foot chase ensued but the suspect escaped, and later surveillance by MEG officials did not yield further suspects.

Still, Padilla said officers "made a very large impact on (the) operation," adding that each plant can yield about $1,000 to $1,500 in pot sales.

Padilla said this type of operation is typically tended to by migrant workers who work at odd hours to help ensure secrecy. It's unclear who owns the property, though authorities have in the past busted pot farms planted on public property or on private land without the owner's knowledge.

NEWS: (Chicago) Cop sues city, seeks overtime for BlackBerry use

Chicago Sun-Times

--I can see the result of this suit having far reaching ramifications.--
Duke

FEDERAL LAWSUIT | Says gang-unit duties required he spend off-duty time on device

July 31, 2010
BY FRANK MAIN Staff Reporter/fmain@suntimes.com

Like millions of Americans, Chicago Police Sgt. Jeffrey Allen's job had him on an electronic leash of sorts.

Even when he was off duty, Allen says, he performed work on his department-issued BlackBerry. Now he wants to get paid for the off-duty time he spent on the device.

Allen has sued the city in federal court, seeking overtime pay for up to two years. His lawsuit, filed earlier this year, seeks OT for similarly situated officers, too.

"Over a period of years, I am confident there are hundreds of hours," said Paul Geiger, one of his attorneys.

The city has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit.

Allen was issued a BlackBerry while he was in the gang-investigations unit. "These guys, regardless of rank, are spending in some cases hours on the phone dealing with search-warrant issues and calls from supervisors about cases -- and they're working when it's not their tour of duty," Geiger said.

"We believe we can prove it's a requirement for people who want to work in the gang-investigation unit," he said. "If you tell them you're not going to work outside your work hours and don't want a BlackBerry, you're not going to work in the unit."

Allen, a 20-year veteran, was a "superstar" in gang investigations, Geiger said. In 2009, he won a special commendation for his role in investigating more than a dozen gang murders on the West Side. Currently, he's working in a district and no longer has a department-issued BlackBerry, his attorney said.

Sean J. Rogers, a Maryland-based arbitrator who focuses on labor relations, said overtime disputes involving the use of BlackBerrys and other smartphones and PDAs is an "uncharted, undefined area for many employers."

"The problem for the employers is to make sure these electronic devices don't lead to work being done that they never wanted," Rogers said.

An employee must do more than just minimal work -- such as reading an e-mail or two but not responding -- to claim overtime, Rogers said.

Rogers -- former director of labor relations for the Internal Revenue Service and a former cop in Washington, D.C. -- said the devices leave behind an electronic evidence trail that makes it difficult for employers to contend a worker wasn't doing off-duty work.

"Twenty minutes on a Saturday and 20 minutes on a Sunday can become [nearly] 40 hours of pay over 52 weeks," he said.

Lawsuits seeking OT for off-duty work on BlackBerrys have been filed in the private sector, too.

In Milwaukee, for instance, a maintenance worker sued CB Richard Ellis in March, saying he racked up overtime because the property management company required him to carry a BlackBerry to keep in touch during off hours.

"We have reached a point in society where it's very easy to get a whole lot of unpaid work from employees just by the use of these devices," Geiger said. "I want people to get paid for the work they do."

NEWS: Northlake police seek comment for accreditation

Pioneer Press

--I am sorry, but what a truly worthless endeavor and waste of tax payer money. Accreditation does absolutely nothing for the police department or the city except make the administrators look good. Do the research, read about CALEA. See how many departments have dropped from the program after finding out the truth. The money wasted on this would be better spent on training for the current officers. And for the record, Northlake was never accredited, we achieved the recognition status which meant we were making strides towards the actual accreditation.--
Duke

 July 29, 2010

A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., will arrive July 31 to examine all aspects of the Northlake Police Department's policies and procedures, management, operations and support services, Police Chief Dennis Koletsos announced July 14.

Verification by the team that Northlake meets the commission's state-of-the-art standards is part of a voluntary process to gain national accreditation -- a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence, Koletsos said. Northlake was awarded its first certification in April 2002.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to call in on a non-recorded telephone line, , dedicated to community comments on Aug. 1 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Telephone comments are limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency's ability to comply with the commission's standards. There will also be a public information meeting at 5 p.m. Aug. 2 for anyone wishing to make public comments regarding the agency's ability to comply with commission standards.

A copy of the standards is available in the lobby of the Northlake Police Station. The local contact is department accreditation manager Terry Baney or Koletsos.

People wishing to offer written comments about the Northlake Police Department's ability to meet the standards for accreditation are requested to write: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Gainesville, VA 20155, or call (703) 352-4225.

The Northlake Police Department has to comply with 464 standards in order to gain accreditation status, Koletsos said.

"Gaining national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies assures our citizens that their police department is operating at a high level of efficiency," Koletsos said. "Using these standards as a guideline, the department is able to reduce insurance and liability costs as well as provide a high level of service to our citizens and other law enforcement agencies."

Baney said the assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar but out-of-state agencies. The assessors will review written materials, interview individuals, and visit offices and other places where compliance can be witnessed.

Once the commission's assessors complete their review of the agency, they report back to the full commission, which will then decide if the agency is to be awarded accreditation status, Baney said.

Accreditation certification is for three years, during which the agency must submit annual reports attesting continued compliance with standards for which it earned national accreditation.

For more information, please write the commission or call (703) 352-4225.

Friday, July 30, 2010

NEWS: Ex-East Dundee police chief threatens suit over removal

Daily Herald

By Larissa Chinwah | Daily Herald Staff

Published: 7/30/2010 12:01 AM

The attorney for former East Dundee Police Chief Terry Mee, relieved of his duties last week, sent a letter to the village board Thursday calling the action an "improper removal" and stating the ex-chief wants to continue leading the town's police force.

Village President Jerry Bartels last Friday removed Mee from his position and named Lt. Michael Blahnik as acting police chief. He did not explain the decision in an e-mail Friday afternoon to trustees, village staff and legal counsel.

The board will hold a special meeting at 7:15 p.m., Friday to discuss the matter and take action to either overturn or uphold the village president's decision.

But Mee's attorney, Phillip Luetkehans, wrote in a letter Thursday that Bartels' actions were void because a majority of the village board did not vote to dismiss Mee, as required by state statute.

" ... unless the Village President and four other Trustees vote to confirm Chief Mee's removal from office, Chief Mee remains the Police Chief of the Village of East Dundee," Luetkehans wrote.

The letter states Mee "strongly desires to continue to work as the Chief of Police for the Village Board and the people of East Dundee and has a similar strong desire to avoid any litigation over his improper removal as Chief of Police in a manner not consistent with Illinois law."

Mee, who took over as police chief in 2006, said the letter is not a threat of litigation.

"It is simply a matter of making sure I have legal assistance here, and looking for whatever action is taken, is taken within the framework of the city ordinance and state statute," he said.

NEWS: (Illinois) Report faults state's youth prisons on mental health care

Chicago Tribune

--Just another example of a broken system in the State of Illinois. It seems that every aspect of business in this state is tied to payoffs and people getting rich and the systems being allowed to crash.--
Duke

July 29, 2010 8:21 PM

Illinois' juvenile prisons are not adequately screening and treating mentally ill youths, in large part because the facilities are underfunded and poorly staffed, while their mental health workers are not always trained in up-to-date methods, according to a report released today.

The report, in many ways, echoed what the outgoing director of the Department of Juvenile Justice, Kurt Friedenauer, has long said about the department: The state's failure to support the department has made it nearly impossible to deliver state-of-the-art mental health treatment to some of the state's most troubled youths.

The report noted "serious deficiencies" in mental health treatment at juvenile facilities across the state, and said that at one downstate institution the caseloads are "unmanageable and a barrier for meaningful treatment to occur."

Friedenauer had requested the assessment following youth suicides in 2008 and 2009. It was carried out by the Models for Change Initiative and funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

The review team documented woes that have become well-known: the lack of involvement of youths' families in their treatment and care, the lack of a system of aftercare for youths leaving the facilities, and the reluctance of some staff to embrace a focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment.

It also noted what it said was a failure to adopt more up-to-date tools; for instance, mental health workers used suicide risk assessments and substance abuse surveys developed for adults rather than adolescents.

The team's report was based on one-day visits to the state's eight facilities and interviews with employees and youths -- what it termed a "snapshot" of the facilities' operations. But the team did little in review of youth case files, which might have yielded more substantive and objective information about treatment.

Friedenauer said in an interview that he was disappointed the review team did not dig deeper. For example, he said he had hoped the team would evaluate the department's psychiatric treatment and use of medication. But the review team did not include a psychiatrist, he noted.

He also said he hoped the report would provide specific solutions to the department's troubles, particularly regarding employee training and mental health programs.

"I knew we needed more mental health staff and we needed more training," said Friedenauer, who resigned amid plans by Gov. Pat Quinn to fold the agency into the Department of Children and Family Services. The juvenile justice agency was spun off from the Department of Corrections four years ago.

"I think a deep dive into files and clinical information ... probably would have resulted in some of the more specific information that I had hoped for," said Friedenauer, whose last day is Friday.

Ned Loughran, who led the team's review, said he understands Friedenauer's frustration with the findings.

"I can see a director saying, 'I wish they went a little deeper. Don't tell me what I already know. Tell me what I don't know,'" said Loughran, executive director of the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators. "I understand that."

But "when you bring in outside national experts, it substantiates and adds clout to what he's been saying," Loughran said.

In spite of his frustration with the report, Friedenauer said he hoped it would spur the state to invest in the youths.

"Once again," he said, "we've had an external assessment that validates that we've been hamstrung since this department was started."

-- Steve Mills

NEWS: In Wake of 'Heller,' 3rd Circuit OKs Ban on Unnumbered Guns

LAW.com

Shannon P. Duffy

07-30-2010

In an important Second Amendment decision that charts a course for evaluating the validity of gun laws now that the U.S. Supreme Court has declared the right to be an individual one, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to strike down a federal law that bans possession of guns with obliterated serial numbers.

Perhaps the most important lesson to be gleaned from U.S. Circuit Judge Anthony J. Scirica's opinion in United States v. Marzzarella is that courts faced with unanswered questions in the Second Amendment arena should consider looking to the extensive jurisprudence on First Amendment claims for guidance.

"The First Amendment is the natural choice," Scirica wrote, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court's watershed decision in District of Columbia v. Heller repeatedly invoked the First Amendment in establishing principles governing the Second Amendment.

"We think this implies the structure of First Amendment doctrine should inform our analysis of the Second Amendment," Scirica wrote.

Scirica, who was joined by 3rd Circuit Judge Michael A. Chagares and visiting U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez of the District of New Jersey, looked to First Amendment law in deciding that the federal ban on guns with obliterated serial numbers should be subjected to "intermediate scrutiny."

But even if the law were held to strict scrutiny, Scirica said, it would still pass constitutional muster.

"Serial number tracing serves a governmental interest in enabling law enforcement to gather vital information from recovered firearms," Scirica wrote, "Because it assists law enforcement in this manner, we find its preservation is not only a substantial but a compelling interest."

In the appeal, Michael Marzzarella argued that his conviction under Section 922(k) for possessing a gun with an obliterated serial number should be overturned because the law is unconstitutional under the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller.

Marzzarella reserved his right to appeal when he entered a conditional guilty plea to one count of violating 922(k) after U.S. District Judge Sean McLaughlin of the Western District of Pennsylvania refused to dismiss the indictment.

McLaughlin held that the Second Amendment does not protect a right to own handguns with obliterated serial numbers and that 922(k) does not meaningfully burden the "core" right recognized in Heller -- the right to possess firearms for defense of hearth and home.

Instead, McLaughlin concluded that because 922(k) is designed to regulate the commercial sale of firearms and to prevent possession by a class of presumptively dangerous individuals, it is analogous to several long-standing limitations on the right to bear arms identified as presumptively valid in Heller.

After losing his motion to dismiss the indictment, Marzzarella entered a conditional guilty plea and was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment. Now Marzzarella has lost his appeal, but the appellate ruling in his case is sure to be required reading in future Second Amendment cases because the 3rd Circuit set out to draw a road map for how to approach such cases and unpacked all of the available guidance that may be drawn from Heller.

"As we read Heller," Scirica wrote, "it suggests a two-pronged approach to Second Amendment challenges."

First, Scirica said, courts should ask whether the challenged law imposes a burden on conduct falling within the scope of the Second Amendment's guarantee. If it does not, the inquiry is complete. If it does, the law should then be evaluated under "some form of means-end scrutiny."

Turning to Marzzarella's challenge to 922(k), Scirica found that the threshold inquiry should focus on whether the law regulates conduct that falls within the scope of the Second Amendment.

"In other words, we must determine whether the possession of an unmarked firearm in the home is protected by the right to bear arms," Scirica wrote.

The Heller Court, Scirica said, focused on an individual's right to bear arms in the home to be prepared for "confrontation," and explained that the "prefatory" clause referring to militias was meant only to explain the purpose for guaranteeing the individual right, meaning the prevention of disbandment of the militia by the federal government.

But Scirica said the Heller Court also declared that the right protected by the Second Amendment is "not unlimited," and does not extend to all types of weapons, only to those typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.

Heller also identified several other valid limitations on the right, including "longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."

Marzzarella's lawyer, Assistant Federal Defender Thomas W. Patton, argued that 922(k) is unconstitutional because the Second Amendment categorically protects the right to possess unmarked firearms.

Heller, he said, defined the Second Amendment by looking to what the right meant at the time of ratification.

Because the Second Amendment protects weapons "of the kind in common use at the time," Patton argued, it must be read to protect firearms without serial numbers.

But Scirica said the court was "not persuaded by Marzzarella's historical syllogism."

Unmarked guns are not a class of firearms, Scirica found, because serial numbers are "wholly unrelated" to a gun's utility.

"A person is just as capable of defending himself with a marked firearm as with an unmarked firearm. With or without a serial number, a pistol is still a pistol," Scirica wrote.

"Because a firearm with a serial number is equally effective as a firearm without one, there would appear to be no compelling reason why a law-abiding citizen would prefer an unmarked firearm. These weapons would then have value primarily for persons seeking to use them for illicit purposes," Scirica wrote.

Nonetheless assuming that 922(k) burdens Marzzarella's Second Amendment rights, Scirica turned to the second step of the test and considered the standard to apply.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura S. Irwin argues a rational basis test should apply, but Scirica said the Heller Court clearly rejected that standard for laws burdening Second Amendment rights.

Marzzarella argued that strict scrutiny should apply because the right to bear arms is an enumerated, fundamental constitutional right.

But Scirica drew guidance in First Amendment law and found that even an enumerated right may be subjected to varying levels of scrutiny depending on the facts.

In the First Amendment arena, Scirica said, a content-based regulation on speech in a public forum is subjected to strict scrutiny, while less exacting standards apply to content-neutral regulations of speech that impose only time, place or manner restrictions.

Scirica concluded that 922(k) should be evaluated under intermediate scrutiny because the burden it imposes does not severely limit the possession of firearms.

Again looking to First Amendment law, Scirica found that an intermediate test calls for proof that the asserted governmental end to be more than just legitimate -- either "significant," "substantial," or "important" -- and that the law ought to "fit" that goal and not impose more of a burden than necessary.

Applying that test, Scirica found that 922(k) passes muster because it serves a law enforcement interest in enabling the tracing of weapons.

"Firearms without serial numbers are of particular value to those engaged in illicit activity because the absence of serial numbers helps shield recovered firearms and their possessors from identification," Scirica wrote.

"Their prevalence, therefore, makes it more difficult for law enforcement to gather information on firearms recovered in crimes. Accordingly, preserving the ability of law enforcement to conduct serial number tracing -- effectuated by limiting the availability of untraceable firearms -- constitutes a substantial or important interest."

The law also "fits reasonably with that interest," Scirica said, "in that it reaches only conduct creating a substantial risk of rendering a firearm untraceable."

Patton, Marzzarella's lawyer, could not be reached for comment.

NEWS: Pajama-clad sisters settle over Naperville cop reality show

Chicago Tribune

July 30, 2010 7:11 AM

Two  sisters who sued Naperville and the producer of a television reality show about female police officers have settled out of court.

Chelsea Frederick and Ferrara Daum had said they never signed a release allowing the show "Female Forces" to show them in their pajamas.

Terms of the settlement were not revealed. Two similar suits against the city and the reality show--whose tag line is "brains, beauty and a badge"--are still pending.
Frederick was arrested at her apartment for failure to appear on a traffic warrant, according to the lawsuit filed last October. The complaint asserted an officer who came to her apartment could have arrested her in normal fashion but instead called a female officer who showed up with a camera crew.

Attorneys for The Grief Co., which produced the show for A&E's Biography Channel, defended Naperville in the suit, said Mark Scarloto, senior assistant city attorney. Naperville won't have to pay any part of the undisclosed settlement, he said.

 "The city is quite pleased the parties could come together in a settlement," Scarloto said, adding city officials believe the officers acted appropriately.

"(The arrest) was valid, nothing was done improperly," he said. "We are confident that had it gone to trial we would have prevailed."

The suit was one of three filed as a result of the city's participation in "Female Forces," which chronicled the day-to-day activities of female officers in Naperville's police department.

A suit filed in June by Matt Coan similarly asserted he had not signed a release to allow airing of an incident in which he became ill and vomited after being pulled over for driving on a suspended license. He said  Naperville officers Tracy Nance and Julie Lardino made disparaging remarks as he vomited.

Another suit filed in December by  Eran Best alleged officers made him submit to a field sobriety test after he was  pulled over for having an expired license plate sticker. The complaint alleges officers Stacy Malec and Timothy Boogard "made Best perform an unnecessary field sobriety test solely for the benefit of the 'Female Forces' camera crew."
Best also said he never signed a release.

--Anne Halston

NEWS: (Chicago) Police round up parolees in slain officer's neighborhood

Chicago Tribune

--Somebody out there is talking, bragging or the polar opposite they went into hiding. People know because there has been talk, there is always talk. Sooner or later somebody is going to tire of the intense pressure on the street and give the killer or killers up. The main thing is that the police must keep the pressure on, even turn it up if it is possible.--
Duke

Sweep part of efforts to step up investigation

By Annie Sweeney, Tribune reporter

8:32 PM CDT, July 29, 2010

Nearly two weeks after the slaying of an off-duty Chicago police officer, investigators are stepping up efforts to find out whether anyone knows something about the early morning killing in the Park Manor neighborhood.

With reward money for an arrest and conviction mounting — it currently stands at just shy of $130,000 — the Illinois Department of Corrections joined Chicago police Thursday on an early morning roundup of parolees in the Park Manor neighborhood were Officer Michael Bailey, a 20-year officer, was shot and killed on July 18.

The roundup was part of a compliance check on the parolees, which are done regularly. But the state has started coordinating with local law enforcement agencies to address specific crime patterns and lend support to officers if they need it, officials said.

Last weekend three neighborhoods on the South and Northwest sides were the subject of similar parolee checks on account of rising violence.

"We are trying to get more target-specific,'' said Mike McCotter, the newly appointed public safety officer of the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Rounding up parole violators in Park Manor provided an opportunity to shake information loose from the neighborhood about Bailey's shooting. "We are hoping that something comes of it,'' McCotter said.

Other law enforcement sources said the roundups should also send a message that no one has stopped looking for information on the officer's death.

The sweep was welcome by longtime Park Manor residents who are also worried the case will go cold.

"We are not going to stop,'' said Darlene Tribue, the president of the Park Manor Neighbors' Community Council. "Let every law enforcement agency come and help us.''

The rewards that have been posted include large lump sums from the law enforcement community to $1,000 from the Park Manor organization.

"This is an historical community in the city,'' Tribue said. "I can't allow them to feel unsafe in their homes. … I am not going to say our peace is shattered. Your peace is shattered if you allow someone to shatter it. I can't take that attitude."

asweeney@tribune.com

NEWS: State panel denies paroling cop killer Charles Connolly

Chicago Sun-Times

--Excellent news. Now we just have to get the Feds to reconsider Gargano's parole and keep him where he belongs. We need to keep these mosters locked up like the animals that they are. THANK YOU to all of the officers and witnesses that attended this hearing--
Duke

RELATED STORIES: 

NEWS: (Chicago) Police oppose freedom for man convicted in 1970 cop slaying

NEWS: Chicago officers on way to cop killer's parole hearing
July 29, 2010

BY DAVE McKINNEY Springfield Bureau Chief

SPRINGFIELD- A state panel Thursday unanimously sided against paroling convicted cop killer Charles Connolly, who is serving up to 150 years for murdering one Chicago police officer and wounding another.

By a 12-0 vote, the Illinois Prisoner Review Board sided against a bid by Charles Connolly, 65, to have the balance of his sentence set aside. Connolly can renew his pitch for parole in three years.

“There are some redeeming qualities about Mr. Connolly’s post-conviction life in that he’s reformed his life and shows contrition,” said Jorge Montes, the board’s chairman. “However, after reviewing all the facts and Mr. Connolly’s history, the board concluded they could not agree to parole Mr. Connolly.

Connolly was convicted of the 1970 murder of police officer Thomas Kelly and the wounding of his partner, Tom Neustrom, during a traffic stop on the South Side. Kelly, 26, was fatally shot between the eyes while Neustrom, 23, sustained life-threatening injuries from being shot in the chest and back by Connolly.

Connolly also had a 1959 murder conviction.

“The fact he has reformed his life did not outweigh the fact he took the life of two people and particularly the climate where there has been so much hostility toward the police department and the killing of three officers in the last two months,” Montes said.

The shootings occurred as the two officers were headed to pick up tuxedos for Kelly’s wedding. A busload of about two dozen Chicago police officers attended Thursday’s hearing in Springfield to oppose Connolly’s parole bid.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

R.I.P.: Police Officer Carlos Ledesma

Police Officer Carlos Ledesma
Chandler Police Department
Arizona
End of Watch: Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Cause: Gunfire

Biographical Info
Patch image: Chandler Police Department, Arizona
Age: 34
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available

Police Officer Carlos Ledesma was shot and killed while conducting an undercover buy and bust operation.

Officer Ledesma was working an undercover operation with several other officers. His team was to purchase a large quantity of marijuana. The officers arrived to make the purchase with over $100,000 in their possession. As the transaction was taking place, the suspect may have attempted to rob the officers, and a shoot-out ensued. Officer Ledesma was mortally wounded, and two other officers suffered gunshot wounds.

Two suspects were shot and killed by the officers, and six other suspects were taken into custody.

Officer Ledesma is survived by his wife and two children.

Duke's Blotter Live Tonight @ 9 p.m.

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Join me tonight to discuss the weeks events in law enforcement.

R.I.P.: Inspector Timothy Charles Barnes

Inspector Timothy Charles Barnes
North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft Bureau
North Carolina
End of Watch: Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Cause: Heart attack

Biographical Info
Age: 38
Tour of Duty: 10 years
Badge Number: Not available

Inspector Timothy Barnes suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after completing physical training at the NCDMV License and Theft Bureau inspector training program.

He was transported to Mission Hospital in Asheville after collapsing and passed away a short time later.

Inspector Barnes had served with the NCDMV License and Theft Bureau for only nine weeks. He had previously served with the Nash County Sheriff's Office for 10 years.

NEWS: Chicago officers on way to cop killer's parole hearing

Chicago Tribune

--Give 'em hell officers. Do not let them release this guy. We stand with you all.--
Duke

RELATED STORY: NEWS: (Chicago) Police oppose freedom for man convicted in 1970 cop slaying

July 29, 2010 4:31 AM

Twenty-five Chicago police officers are on their way to Springfield by chartered bus this morning to lend weight against the parole of a cop killer.

The 13-member state parole board is scheduled to vote later today.

Charles Connolly, 65, is serving a prison sentence of up to 150 years for murdering Officer Thomas Kelly and wounding his partner, Tom Neustrom, after they stopped a suspicious car on the South Side in March 1970. At the time, the two were on a break to pick up tuxedos for Kelly's upcoming wedding.

Connolly shot Kelly, 26,  between the eyes and Neustrom, 23, in the chest and back. Connolly walked around the car to finish off Neustrom, but his gun had run out of bullets.
Connolly is one of about 10 inmates convicted in Cook County of the murder or attempted murder of police officers who, under outdated sentencing laws, still have a chance of getting out of prison.

In recent years, as these cases get older--and relatives and partners can no longer attend--police are making an effort to ensure the officers are still represented at parole hearings. Last week, a half dozen officers videotaped appeals to the parole board to deny Connolly freedom.

Connolly originally was sentenced to die in the electric chair, but 15 months after the jury's decision the  U.S. Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional. Connolly was resentenced to 75 to 150 years in prison.

He denied his guilt at trial, but at a 2006 clemency hearing admitted it, saying he was drunk after celebrating his birthday.

He has been up for parole a number of times since then and has been turned down each time.

--Staff report

NEWS: Impound or shakedown?

Chicago Tribune

--I have to say that this is a program that I do go along with. Not just because of the money the towns make on it. But when you work in a smaller town you get so many repeat offenders that it seems the only way to stop them from driving is to just take the car and make it as hard as possible for them to get it back.--
Duke

Towns find new revenue stream by charging hefty fees to owners when cops seize vehicles in traffic stops

By Joe Mahr, Joseph Ryan and John Keilman, Tribune reporters

July 29, 2010

Jean Wells' boyfriend was caught driving her car without a license. But after police impounded the car, she was the one who had to pay $550 to get it back.

The same thing happened to Nancy Boyland after police found her grandson driving her sedan with a small amount of marijuana. And it happened to Larissa Harrington after her son was nabbed behind the wheel of her car with an expired license.

The women committed no crimes, and in past years probably would have been able to retrieve their cars without penalty. But under an increasingly widespread policy, they paid for the alleged sins of others.

Welcome to a new era in Chicagoland policing, where municipalities are turning traffic stops into big money.

A Tribune investigation has found that more than 100 area communities have created laws to seize vehicles as punishment for a growing list of offenses, from drunken driving to loud radios to littering. Car owners must then pay "administrative" fees to get their vehicles back, even if the owners had nothing to do with the crime.

If the owners don't pay — and can't convince municipal officials that the tow was unfair — their vehicles are taken away for good.

The concept isn't new: Chicago and some suburbs started doing it in the 1990s for a few crimes. But the laws are now spreading quickly.

Citing cash woes and frustration over repeat offenders, at least 24 communities launched new seizure programs in the last year. Area impounds now top 53,000 vehicles a year, netting $24 million in fees.

Local leaders say the fines, often $500 or more, pay for police officers' time. But the Tribune found that the fees are usually much higher than what it actually costs to make an arrest and coordinate the tow.

Defense lawyers and other critics say impounds have become a shakedown of mostly low-income drivers, a system that punishes people before they're found guilty — if they're even charged with a crime.

"I would call it an alarming trend," said attorney Robert Loeb, past chairman of the state bar association's criminal justice section. "They're doing it for the revenue. That's what's motivating it."

The pitch for impounds

Kim Brown — a pregnant mother of five — was on a West Side sidewalk last fall when she was crushed by the wreckage of a nearby crash.

The driver who caused the crash, James Cox, 40, wasn't supposed to be on the roads. He hadn't had a valid license since 2002, and he'd been convicted 15 times for driving anyway.

Brown died. So did her baby. And within weeks, Chicago aldermen decided that the courts weren't doing enough to punish and deter the thousands of drivers ticketed a year for driving on a suspended or revoked license. So the city added that crime to its list of more than a dozen impoundable offenses.

Before such ordinances, usually only abandoned or junk vehicles were impounded. Arrests led to impoundments only if the vehicles couldn't be safely parked or driven away.

If the crimes were serious enough — such as running drugs — a state seizure law let police impound and permanently take the vehicles. But it wasn't easy. Authorities had to prove vehicle owners knew or should have known about the crimes. Many cars weren't worth the effort.

Now, with impound ordinances, localities can cash in with far less hassle.

Municipalities emphasize that they often impound and levy fees for crimes that can lead to crashes, such as unlicensed or drunken driving. Researchers say impounds in those cases help keep the roads safer.

But many communities extend the hook to drivers deemed more annoying than dangerous. Cars thumping loud music were among the first to be slapped with impound fees in some communities. And, as new suburbs adopt the practice, the list of towable sins grows long, unique from place to place, from the serious to the mundane.

You can be forced to pay a $300 administrative fee to get your car back in Bolingbrook if you are arrested for treason.

Or pay $400 in Romeoville for having an obstructed windshield.

Or $500 in Bloomingdale for shooting someone from your car.

Or the same amount in Chicago Heights for loading someone's curbside trash into your car without a special permit.

Some places have limited ordinances, such as Oak Park, where only illegal guns can draw a $500 impound fee. Police have never imposed it, instead sticking to the state seizure law.

Other places have broad impound powers and gladly return vehicles in exchange for cash. That includes the region's most prolific tower, Markham.

The south suburb charges a $500 fee for crimes ranging from soliciting prostitutes to ferrying illegal fireworks. In the past fiscal year, it towed nearly 1,000 vehicles and collected nearly $350,000. That's more than $28 per resident.

Its chief referred questions to the city attorney, who could not be reached.

The next-biggest tower was another south suburb, Evergreen Park.

The suburb's high rate of collections — about $27 per resident — didn't surprise police Capt. Greg LeCompte. The village is bisected by the heavily traveled 95th Street.

"We do have a lot of officers out there, and they work — they are workers," he said.

Automatic tows

Larissa Harrington's car was towed in Waukegan in 2003 because her son hadn't renewed his driver's license.

Police had stopped him for driving 46 mph in a 30-mph zone, noted his expired license and called for the Ford Escort to be towed. He called his parents. They got there before the truck.

"Please don't take my car, officer. I am here," Larissa Harrington told police, according to court records. "Can you please release it to me and my husband?"

The officer said he couldn't.

Harrington paid more than $600 to get it back. She sued to stop the practice. And U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow ruled her tow was, in fact, an unlawful seizure of her property.

That 2006 ruling remains on appeal, but it helped push at least 38 suburbs to soften their impound ordinances to avoid situations such as Harrington's. Those suburbs allow someone else to legally drive a vehicle away, if the driver can quickly arrange it.

To Hinsdale police Chief Bradley Bloom, it's only fair.

"Just like everything we do, if we are not reasonable and fair in our application, we risk losing public support," Bloom said.

But the Tribune found most suburbs' ordinances still call for police to automatically tow.

North Chicago says it interprets the ruling to limit tows only in cases involving expired licenses. Every other crime is fair game to automatically tow.

That's why police in June impounded the car of 79-year-old Nancy Boyland.

Her grandson was driving her sedan when police caught him with two small bags of marijuana. Police stopped him a half-block from Boyland's house but wouldn't allow Boyland's son to drive the car home.

Her grandson awaits his fate on the misdemeanor charge, while Boyland is out more than $600 to retrieve her 1993 Mercury.

"I'm retired. I had to use my credit card. I don't have that kind of money," she said.

Hefty fees

Those towed quickly find out the price tag to bail out their cars can be more than the cars are worth.

Before the advent of administrative fees, owners paid only the costs of the tow truck and storage — usually under $200. The municipalities' added administrative fees have tripled or quadrupled costs.

At a recent Downers Grove hearing, Scott Petersen asked why he had to pay the $500 administrative fee on top of towing costs and the criminal fines a judge may later impose for driving on a suspended license.

Administrative hearing officer Victor Puscas shrugged.

"You know, that's a good question," said Puscas. "I would agree with you. I guess it's kind of an arbitrary number."

Puscas said the administrative fee is meant to cover the costs to police for the tow and the arrest. In ordinance after ordinance, suburban officials said the same thing. But a handful of officials surveyed by the Tribune couldn't offer any detailed cost breakdowns to justify the fees.

One town, however, did the math.

Hickory Hills Chief Alan Vodicka said an officer may take up to two hours to handle an impound case. An officer is paid $35 an hour on the high end. Add $15 for a half-hour of a dispatcher's time, and an extra $15 for incidentals.

The grand total: $100.

Vodicka said he thinks the courts should determine punishment: "I don't think it is our job to pile on and add on to that."

Most suburbs don't share that concern, with 85 charging at least $500 in administrative fees. Eight charge more than that.

One town, Cicero, takes fees a step further. It charges owners more if they pick up their vehicles right away.

For most crimes, from resisting police to having overly tinted windows, Cicero's fee to pick up the vehicle starts at $800, dropping $100 a day before leveling off at $500. Marijuana possession starts at $1,000. For a car involved in a shooting, it starts at $9,500.

Owners hoping to avoid fees must turn to officials from the very places that towed them.

At towns' mercy

Tow appeals are handled at local hearings, where rules are tougher on vehicle owners than those in county courts.

At hearings, police have to show only that, more likely than not, somebody in the vehicle committed a crime listed in the town's impound ordinance. The only real defense allowed is if someone reports a vehicle stolen.

Refunds are the exception at area hearings.

Jean Wells couldn't get one.

Recently laid off as a mail processor, she had to pay $150 in tow fees and a $400 administrative fine to get her 14-year-old car back. Wells said she needed that money to pay her rent.

She came to Romeoville's hearing and told Deputy police Chief Mark Turvey she didn't know her boyfriend lacked a license. Plus, the officer refused to let her drive the car away from the scene.

Turvey explained coolly that the law called for the car to be towed so they could "recoup some of the costs" of the arrest.

He declined the plea for a refund. Case closed.

NEWS: Hanover Park police get $48,000 grant

Daily Herald

--Excellent training to have for all police officers in all jusisdictions.--
Duke

By Tania Karas | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 7/28/2010 5:23 PM

The Hanover Park police department recently received a $48,000 U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance grant to conduct rapid deployment training for its officers.

The grant will help pay for training materials, officer overtime pay and new equipment such as shields.

Rapid deployment is a method employed by agencies across the country when responding to active shooters in schools, businesses and warehouses. Training covers techniques for moving police together as a unit, securing a building, negotiating with shooters and understanding the floor plans of local buildings.

This is the first time Hanover Park police have applied for and received the grant.

"It helps so that we can get our officers trained," said Deputy Chief Tom Cortese. "And it helps our budget so we can use our money for other police department programs. The grant is a big plus."

Rapid deployment techniques developed in response to the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colo., which have since been replicated at several U.S. schools and businesses. First responding officers in a shooting situation use the techniques to locate and neutralize a threat.

Police have never had to employ rapid deployment methods in Hanover Park, but officer training is an added safety layer in the event they are needed, Cortese said.

The Hanover Park police have conducted two rapid deployment trainings, one in 2008 and one in June. Both trainings were coordinated with Elgin Area School District U-46 officials and held at Hanover Park schools. Officers were better familiarized with the layout of the schools and devised plans for how to react in different shooting scenarios.

All Hanover Park police officers are trained in the latest rapid deployment techniques. The $48,000 grant will pay for costs associated with the June training and any future rapid deployment trainings.

NEWS: Ex-DuPage Co. cop alleges sexual discrimination in suit

Susan Kuttner, a former DuPage County deputy sheriff, before her February 2010 dismissal.
Daily Herald

By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 7/29/2010 12:30 AM

Is Susan A. Kuttner a crusader, wrongfully fired from her job as a DuPage County sheriff's deputy after speaking out against sexual discrimination and unsafe conditions for female deputies?

Or is she a chronic complainer and deserving of termination after she wrongfully used her position as an officer to try to collect a debt for her boyfriend?

Those issues are the crux of a federal sexual discrimination lawsuit Kuttner has filed against Sheriff John Zaruba and DuPage County. It is the second civil rights complaint of its type lodged in recent months against Zaruba.

Kuttner filed the lawsuit July 9, less than five months after she lost a hearing before the sheriff's merit commission to keep her job.

Kuttner worked nearly 12 years in the DuPage County jail, where the 34-year-old Bolingbrook woman said she was physically attacked by female inmates due to unsafe conditions. Kuttner said she often complained to management, but to no avail.

She lost her job Feb. 24 "despite an unblemished, exemplary record" on a baseless pretext, the suit alleges, while male deputies accused of far worse infractions not only remained but, in some cases, were later promoted.

In her lawsuit, Kuttner names 15 male deputies who were not fired despite various wrong acts, such as drunken driving arrests, domestic battery, drug use, sexual harassment, soliciting prostitutes, stealing, on-duty political campaigning and viewing pornography on work computers.

Zaruba referred comment to DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett, who as the county's lawyer represents the sheriff's office, which employs an estimated 550 people. Birkett said he anticipates the lawsuit will be promptly dismissed, though he declined to elaborate. Birkett also said the lawsuit was designed to try to smear the sheriff's office through sensational headlines to leverage a favorable outcome in court.

"We're going to file an appropriate response," Birkett said, "and are confident it will be dismissed. The sheriff runs a very large department, the second largest in the state, with hundreds of employees. In my opinion, he does an excellent job."

One of the deputies named in the discrimination lawsuit is retired Chief Thomas Duhig, the sheriff's brother-in-law, who Kuttner said was the source behind many sexual harassment complaints. For example, former sheriff's dispatcher Tammie Vlach accused Duhig in a 2002 federal lawsuit of a series of unwanted sexual advances. Vlach settled her suit two years later for $10,000, federal court records showed. She did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Attorney James Sotos, who as the county's attorney then represented Duhig, said Vlach lacked evidence to back up her claims, as evidenced by the small payout.

Kuttner said she lobbied for safer female inmate jail doors, new radios/transmitters and increased female deputy staffing, and on other issues such as equal promotions and benefits.

"For several years, I attempted to bring about change along with other female deputies," Kuttner said in an interview, "but we were ignored and instead were retaliated against for speaking out."

The lawsuit names two other female deputies who were fired or forced to resign for infractions Kuttner argues were less egregious than those of the named male counterparts. One of the ex-deputies, Wendy Sears, agreed with Kuttner that women are subjected to discrimination.

"It's a boys club. If you don't belong to the club, you're out," said Sears, who resigned from her 15-year job in August 2008 after being accused of running a license plate for personal use. "I loved my job and, if you look at my work file, it's exemplary. If I had the money, I would have fought it to the highest court, but you can't fight city hall."

Some of the misdeeds of male deputies alleged by Kuttner were captured on videotape, the suit states. For example, a male deputy had sex with a Villa Park woman in his squad car during an intimate relationship in 2003 and 2004 after a domestic violence call in which the deputy arrested the woman's husband for battery, according to the lawsuit. It states the husband later hired a private investigator, who filmed the trysts. The deputy later was promoted to sergeant.

"None of these are based on speculation," said Kuttner's attorney, Maurice J. Salem. "They are based on 12 years of inside information and supporting documents. We have solid evidence and we intend to prove these allegations in court with the intent to change the policies of the sheriff's office and its pattern of discrimination."

Zaruba, who has been with the sheriff's department since 1974, rose to the top spot in 1997 when he was selected to finish the remaining term of retiring Sheriff Richard Doria. Zaruba easily won election in 1998, 2002 and 2006, and garnered more than 80 percent of the vote in this February's GOP primary.

Zaruba served as the 2009 president of the National Sheriffs' Association and an Illinois Sheriffs' Association vice president. The DuPage County jail has won consistent praise and reaccreditation from correctional associations. One longtime female deputy, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the office's no-talk media policy, said Zaruba is a strong advocate for women.

Added Birkett: "I don't know how they could have that superior reputation and, at the same time, have the kind of behavior that is alleged to be going on."

Zaruba did ensure a respected crime scene investigator was investigated after an internal audit uncovered missing money out of seized property. Paul Dunklau, a 23-year sheriff's veteran, pleaded guilty to official misconduct in November and was ordered to repay nearly $10,000.

Kuttner's complaint is the second such sex discrimination suit filed against Zaruba's office in recent months. On Nov. 4, deputy Susan Lakics accused her supervisors of allowing an "intimidating, hostile and offensive work environment."

The 49-year-old West Chicago woman is a 14-year sheriff's deputy assigned to patrol. In the lawsuit, Lakics also alleges she has been passed up for promotions despite being ranked sixth out of more than 60 in a test for sergeant because Zaruba had a political falling out with her husband, Steve, who served as West Chicago's mayor for eight years until his April 2001 election defeat.

Neither Lakics nor her attorney, Kimberly Carr, returned phone calls seeking comment.

In Kuttner's firing, the merit commission found her guilty of violating two administrative regulations in a single off-duty incident stemming from a dispute between her boyfriend, Steven A. Cooper, with whom she operates a private mortgage loan company, and Indian pop star Reggie Benjamin.

Cooper, 48, of Glen Ellyn, reported Benjamin to the police after his check for a $7,000 loan bounced. Sheriff's detectives in October 2009 wound up arresting Cooper, also known as Moustafa Abed Elsalam Elturky, on charges he unlawfully recorded a telephone conversation and charged an excessive interest rate for the loan. He has pleaded not guilty.

Kuttner was never criminally charged. But she was brought up on administrative charges by her supervisors for wearing her uniform when stopping by the Hinsdale home of Benjamin's parents while attempting to reach their son. When asked by the Daily Herald about the incident, Benjamin's parents declined to be named, but one of them said of Kuttner: "She came here dressed as a police officer. She was rude and intimidating."

Deputies are not allowed to comment to the media, but nine female deputies besides Kuttner and Sears spoke to the Daily Herald on the condition of anonymity. Most agreed it's a boys club in which women aren't treated as well as their male counterparts. Still, they also said it's a good job with good benefits.

But those same deputies said Kuttner had a reputation as a troublemaker.

Kuttner acknowledges she often complained, but insists it was to stand up against discrimination and unsafe work conditions. Regardless, she said, her punishment does not fit the crime, especially in light of more serious allegations against the male deputies she names.

"I was a good, ethical and hardworking officer," Kuttner said. "I don't feel I did anything wrong to deserve this. I want change, for the sheriff to cease discriminating against females, and I want compensation for the income, benefits and retirement taken from me."

Police Blotters July 29, 2010

Click on the town your interested in.

{{Franklin Park, Northlake}}

{{Elmhurst}}

{{La Grange, Westchester}}

{{Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace}}

{{Chicago 16th District}}

{{Elmwood Park, River Grove}}

{{Niles}}

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NEWS: Federal grant helps secure police vests for Norridge

Pioneer Press

--Nice to see some Fed money being put to great use. No police officer should be without a vest in this day and age.--
Duke

 July 29, 2010

Norridge police officers will be better protected after help from federal grant money.

A July 16 press release from Norridge Police Department states new ballistic vests for 35 full-time officers and 20 auxiliary and community service officers were provided as a result of about $19,000 in grant money awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice.

"Officer safety is a top priority for the Norridge Police Department," Police Chief Charles Ghiloni said. "Supplying our officers with these vests is just another insurance policy towards enhancing both officer and community safety."

Norridge Deputy Chief James Jobe said this was a 50-50 grant. The village funded $40,000 for the project up front, and the Justice Department will reimburse the department with about $19,000.

-- Staff Writer Craig A. Whitney

EDITORIAL: Unpunished shooters given nothing to fear

Chicago Sun-Times

07/28/2010

There will be no solution until ordinary people, tired of washing blood stains off sidewalks, refuse to tolerate the violence

CHICAGO — We knew people shoot other people every day in Chicago. We did not fully appreciate how often they get away with it -- almost always.

This is the discouraging message of "59 Hours," a three-part Chicago Sun-Times series by reporters Mark Konkol and Frank Main that ends today (see Page 16). Not only are the numbers for shootings consistently high in Chicago, even by comparison with other big cities, but hardly anybody responsible is brought to justice, at least not in a court of law.

Until that changes, nobody should be surprised that shootings will continue, as persistent and bloody as ever.

On a single weekend in 2008 -- 59 hours -- 40 people were shot in Chicago, seven of them fatally. In each case, the police swooped in and interviewed neighbors and witnesses, took statements and collected evidence. They even made arrests.

But two years later, reporters Konkol and Main found, not one shooter has been charged and convicted, and just one suspected shooter is awaiting trial.

So much for the long arm of the law.

If that one weekend were an exception to the rule, the news might not be so bad, but it is not. Fewer than one in 10 of all non-fatal shootings last year resulted in criminal charges.

A crooked alderman stands a better chance of getting caught.

The second important lesson of "59 Hours" is that an effective solution can come only from the bottom up. A top-down solution --more neighborhood beat cops, more violent crimes detectives, more prosecutors -- is no solution at all unless ordinary people, tired of washing blood stains off sidewalks with bleach, refuse to tolerate the violence any longer.

But witnesses don't come forward. Or, unbelievably, they recant their testimony right on the witness stand. They are fearful, and they don't trust the police.

Or the victims themselves refuse to cooperate with the police, stupidly plotting their own form of revenge, as if they live in the lawless land of a Mad Max movie.

The cops can't make arrests without witnesses. The Cook County state's attorney's office can't win cases without witnesses. Nobody can sweep gun-toting gangbangers off the street without witnesses.

Meanwhile, gang-bangers shoot gangbangers. Sure. But they also shoot small children. And honor students. And nice guys who keep their noses clean.

Hey, everybody, how's that code of silence working out for ya?

Everybody at the top has a solution, or makes a nod at a solution, which is better than nothing -- we sincerely cheer them on.

Gov. Quinn has formed an anti-violence commission to gather testimony on the problem. The Chicago Police are using computers to deploy officers to the biggest hot spots. The Illinois General Assembly passed a law this year that mandates prison time for any gang member caught with a loaded weapon in a public area. The state's attorney's office has opened a third community center to develop closer ties to potential witnesses.

But you'll have to excuse us if we can't whip up a lot of enthusiasm today for commissions and programs.

Because just the other day, on Sunday afternoon, a 15-year-old Springfield boy who was visiting relatives in Roseland was shot while riding a bike.

And nobody could identify the shooter.

Could not or would not?

Commissions and programs are all very nice.

But nothing works like a little courage.

R.I.P.: Deputy Sheriff John Willis

Deputy Sheriff John Willis
Greene County Sheriff's Office
North Carolina
End of Watch: Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Cause: Gunfire

Biographical Info
Age: Not available
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available

Deputy John Willis was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call at approximately 7:30 pm.

A male subject came out of the house and opened fire on Deputy Willis, striking him twice. The man then committed suicide.

Story from Kinston Free Press

(UPDATED 7:30 a.m.) Greene County Sheriff's Office deputy killed in line of duty

The Free Press
2010-07-28 22:04:42

According to multiple media sources, a Greene County deputy has been killed in the line of duty.

Greene County Sheriff Lemmie Smith told Wes Goforth of WCTI ABC-12 that Deputy John Willis responded to a domestic disturbance call. The suspect was drunk and irate, shot the deputy and then shot himself.

This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the night.

UPDATE 11:35 P.M.: Free Press crime reporter Wesley Brown is at the scene of the double shooting on Estuary Drive, which is in Greene County near the Wayne County border off U.S. 13.

Neighbors say three shots were fired around 8:30 p.m. The male suspect, who neighbors call "Dee," killed Willis before turning his gun on himself.

UPDATE 1:45 A.M.: SNOW HILL - A murder-suicide that happened in Greene County Wednesday night outside the Shine community resulted in a Greene County deputy killed from an assailant that immediately turned the gun on himself.

Greene County Sheriff Lemmie Smith told Wes Goforth of WCTI ABC-12 that Deputy John Willis responded to a domestic disturbance call at a home in the Brooke Meadow Mobile Home Park off U.S. 13 near the Wayne County border.

Upon arriving at the scene, the resident, a drunk and irate male known to neighbors as "Dee," shot the deputy twice and then immediately ended his own life in his bedroom.

Neighbors of the assailant, who sat outside the man’s home on Estuary Drive, say they heard three shots around 8:30 p.m.

“This is shocking,” said 15-year-old Da’Shon Boseman, who lives three doors down from the assailant’s home. “He was a nice guy and it is hard to see this happening to him. I hung out with him yesterday, the day he had a new born, and he was celebrating with his first child, a 1-year-old.”

Two teenage brothers, 18-year-old Ryan Aytch and his 17-year-old brother Rodney, sat in front of “Dee’s” home before the shooting.

 “We were sitting and talking on the green light box in front of his house and then when we decided to go inside, we heard three shots sound and then we walked towards his house,” Ryan Aytch said.

Moments after the double shooting officials with the Greene County Sheriff’s office made it to the scene. The N.C. Highway Patrol and State Bureau of Investigation, as well as the Greene County EMC, Snow Hill Police Department and Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, assisted in controlling the scene.

The Greene County Courthouse had more than two dozen people stationed outside its doors waiting for new developments until past 1 a.m.

“I was not nervous when I heard the shots, but it does make me think twice about what people can do,” Rodney Aytch said.

Willis, 30, reportedly had two children.

UPDATE 7:30 A.M.: Media outlets are reporting that the man's name who killed Willis is Daniel Meyers, a 22-year-old.

BREAKING NEWS: (National) 1 officer killed, 2 wounded during Ariz. undercover operation

PoliceOne

Suspect shot dead as drug operation turns into gun battle

PHOENIX – A gunbattle erupted during an undercover drug operation Wednesday night, killing one police officer and wounding two others, police said. A suspect also was shot dead, and another was wounded and being detained.

TV news helicopters showed the three officers being taken out of a south Phoenix home on stretchers Wednesday. Police say one of them was later pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.

Police say one of the two wounded officers is in critical condition at a Phoenix hospital, while the other is in stable condition.

No names have been released.

Police say the wounded suspect is being detained and two other people are being questioned. Police are unsure if there any other suspects.

Video from television news helicopters showed the three officers being taken out of a home on stretchers. Police say one of the officers was later pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

NEWS: (Chicago) New Description of Suspect in Officer Michael Bailey's Murder

MyFoxChicago

Reward now $129,000

Updated: Wednesday, 28 Jul 2010, 7:41 PM CDT
Published : Wednesday, 28 Jul 2010, 7:41 PM CDT

Sun-Times Media Wire

Chicago - Police are looking for a man seen running away from the area where Chicago Police Officer Michael Bailey was murdered July 18.

The man is described as a 6-foot, 160-pound, 18- to 24-year-old black man with a medium-dark complexion and a short “fade” haircut, according to a community alert issued Wednesday. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, blue jean-shorts with a long brown or orange belt hanging from his pants.

Bailey, 62, was shot and killed in an apparent robbery attempt outside his home in the 7400 block of South Evans Avenue. He was the vice president of the Park Manor Neighbors’ Community Council.

The 20-year veteran officer was assigned to the Central District, which encompasses the Loop, and he had just finished an overnight shift guarding the mayor’s home. He planned to retire next month.

Bailey was polishing his new Buick Regal when he was killed.

The Fraternal Order of Police, the FBI, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the Park Manor Neighbors’ Community Council and a group of 13 law firms have all contributed to a reward fund worth $129,450 offered for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gunman, a police release said.

Anyone with information about Bailey’s slaying is asked to contact Calumet Area detectives

NEWS: (Chicago) Officer's widow speaks at council meeting

ABC7Chicago

video


Ben Bradley

July 28, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- The wife of a fallen CPD officer is encouraging people to prevent violence by helping those who need it.

Officer Thor Soderberg, 43, was shot and killed as he left work in Englewood July 7 at 61st and Racine.

He was honored at a Chicago City Council meeting Wednesday morning, where Soderberg's widow said she hopes everyone in the city can prevent violence.

Jennifer Loudon thanked her husband's Chicago police family for standing by her over the last few weeks and thanked the countless Chicagoans who have reached out to her since her husband's death. Loudon said they too would like his life to have a lasting legacy and have expressed an interest in helping her family develop programs for inner-city kids.
Soderberg's family has partnered with Chicago Community Trust, choosing to turn his life into a legacy, funding nature trips for troubled urban youth.

Soderberg was a teacher at the police academy; his wife is a social worker for Chicago Public Schools.

A man relatives say had a history of mental problems is accused of taking Soderberg's gun and shooting him with it.

"It's everyone's responsibility when they see someone who is stressed out and when they see someone who is hurt or suffering to step up and really attempt to intervene before that escalates into what we see has happened too many times," Loudon said.

NEWS: (National) Two convicted in Pa. cop's death

PoliceOne

07/28/2010

Both could face the death penalty at sentencing

By Maryclaire Dale
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A jury on Wednesday convicted two men of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a police officer, and both could face the death penalty at sentencing.

Jurors found 41-year-old Levon Warner and 35-year-old Eric Floyd guilty on all counts in the May 3, 2008, shooting death of Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski following a bank robbery in the city's Port Richmond neighborhood.

The jury will next decide whether the men should be sentenced to death.

Authorities said Floyd and Warner helped rob the bank and were in the getaway car when a third man, Howard Cain, got out and shot the pursuing Liczbinski. Cain later died in a shootout with police.

The defense had argued that Warner and Floyd did not share in the intent to kill the sergeant.

Floyd watched most of the trial on closed-circuit television. He had been removed from the courtroom during jury selection after punching his defense attorney. He took the stand briefly last week, testifying he was asleep at the time of the officer's killing and denying any involvement in the shooting or the bank robbery.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey attended much of the four-week trial. He had his arm around Liczbinski's widow when the verdict was announced and moved to pass a box of tissues to one of Warner's sobbing relatives on the other side of the courtroom.

NEWS: (National) FBI scrutinized over test cheating

Associated Press

By MATT APUZZO and ADAM GOLDMAN, Associated Press Writers
Wed Jul 28, 7:02 am ET

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department is investigating whether hundreds of FBI agents cheated on a test of new rules allowing the bureau to conduct surveillance and open cases without evidence that a crime has been committed.

In some instances, agents took the open-book test together, violating rules that they take it alone. Others finished the lengthy exam unusually quickly, current and former officials said.

In Columbia, S.C., agents printed the test in advance to use as a study guide, according to a letter to the inspector general from the FBI Agents Association that summarized the investigation. The inspector general investigation also was confirmed by current and former officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

"There are similar stories for practically every office, demonstrating the pervasive confusion and miscommunication that existed," Konrad Motyka, the association's president, wrote May 13 in the letter obtained by The Associated Press.

Depending on the outcome of the investigation, agents could be disciplined or even fired.

FBI Director Robert Mueller was scheduled to testify Wednesday before Congress, where the new guidelines and the cheating scandal were expected to come up.

The inquiry threatens to be another black eye for the FBI as it tightens controls after years of collecting phone records and e-mails without court approval. The brewing scandal has already upended management at one of the nation's largest field offices.

The FBI had no comment on the investigation late Tuesday.

Motyka's letter urges the inspector general to focus instead on what he called the "systemic failure" of administering the test without consistent rules.

FBI agents should not be punished "because of a failure to effectively communicate the rules," he wrote.

Such testing is unusual. FBI agents are required to take online training courses to stay current on bureau policies, but pass-fail tests are rare. In 2008, however, when the FBI received more leeway than ever in conducting surveillance and opening investigations, it assured Congress that it would train and test its agents to make sure they knew the rules.

The Domestic Investigations and Operation Guidelines allowed the FBI, for the first time, to conduct surveillance for national security purposes without evidence of a crime. Agents were also allowed to consider race when opening early inquiries. For instance, the FBI could look into whether the terrorist group Lashkar-e Taiba had taken hold in a city if it had a large Pakistani-American presence.

The new rules gave agents more flexibility to identify and prevent terrorist attacks. They also raised concerns that the FBI would use its new powers to monitor religious organizations or single out certain races.

The FBI has a checkered past when it comes to conducting surveillance. From the late 1950s though the early 1970s, the bureau opened hundreds of thousands of files on Americans and domestic groups, including anti-war organizations, civil rights groups and women's movements. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the bureau collected U.S. phone and computer records without court orders.

Lawmakers and civil liberties groups were concerned that the new rules would allow racial profiling and other abuses. The FBI assured them they would not.

"We share the concern and have devoted considerable time and effort to educating our employees regarding how race and ethnicity can — and cannot — be used," FBI counsel Valerie Caproni told Congress in December 2008.

But problems with the training and testing programs surfaced quickly. Last year, Assistant Director Joseph Persichini, the head of the FBI's Washington field office that investigates congressional wrongdoing and other crime in the nation's capital, retired amid a review of test-taking in his office.

Persichini took the test alongside two of his most senior managers and one of the bureau attorneys in charge of making sure the exam was administered properly, current and former officials said. The two agents who took the test with him have been moved to headquarters while the investigation continues.

At the time, the inquiry appeared limited to the Washington field office. But investigators have broadened their inquiry to cover the entire FBI. Among other things, they are focusing on agents who took the test particularly quickly, officials said.

NEWS: (Cook County) Deputy may be off hook for allegedly smuggling drugs to inmate

Chicago Tribune

Cook County prosecutors says investigator errors compromised case

By Matthew Walberg, Tribune reporter

9:01 PM CDT, July 27, 2010

An inmate who allegedly received a box of marijuana-filled ballpoint pens from a Cook County sheriff's deputy is facing a felony contraband charge for the transaction.

But, in a dispute over the investigation between sheriff's investigators and the Cook County state's attorney's office, prosecutors declined to charge the deputy who was arrested earlier this month for allegedly hand-delivering the drugs inside the Cook County Criminal Courts Building at 26th Street and California Avenue.

"We are still at a loss as to why this particular case did not get charged," Joe Ways, head of the sheriff's Office of Professional Review, which investigates employee misconduct, said Tuesday.

The state's attorney's office said the case fell apart because sheriff's investigators did not follow specific instructions designed to ensure they had the evidence they needed to show the deputy knew she was delivering drugs to inmate Brian Goolsby, 28.

"It was clear that she knew she was transporting a box of something, and it was probably clear that she knew she was transporting pens," said Dan Kirk, chief of staff to State's Attorney Anita Alvarez. "We would have gladly charged her had the evidence been sufficient, as we have in many other cases. It just simply wasn't there."

The 40-year-deputy — whom the Tribune is not identifying because she has not been charged with a crime — was arrested July 1 after she allegedly delivered the pot-stuffed pens to Goolsby when he appeared at the Criminal Courts Building for a routine hearing in his pending murder case.

While court was in recess for lunch, a cooperating witness who had been wired delivered the box of pens to the deputy in a courthouse hallway, allegedly discussing the drugs stashed inside, Ways said. Moments later, the deputy went into an adjacent lockup area where a handcuffed Goolsby was being held. While investigators secretly watched, she allegedly delivered the box through a hug.

The investigators moved in and recovered the box from Goolsby and found that one of the pen caps had been removed, revealing the marijuana.

"Because of the speed of the series of events, one would have to surmise that she opened one and saw what was in there," Ways said.

But that assumption was a key sticking point for prosecutors, who said no one actually saw her open the pen. In addition, the deputy, who is hearing impaired, denied she knew about the drugs and said she didn't hear what the cooperating witness said in the hallway.

A source familiar with the investigation said prosecutors asked that the sheriff's investigators leave the marijuana exposed and visible so the deputy would be hard pressed to claim ignorance. Instead, the pens were closed before the exchange. Despite the fact that one pen had been opened afterward, no one can testify they saw the deputy do it, the source said.

Additionally, an earlier recorded telephone conversation between Goolsby and the witness suggested the deputy was unaware of the drugs.

"For all she knows, she's just getting pens," Goolsby allegedly told the witness, referring to the deputy.

Goolsby was charged Monday with possession of contraband in a penal institution and is expected to appear in court Wednesday. Meanwhile, the deputy has been suspended with pay for delivering the box of pens, a department violation. Ways said the sheriff's department is moving to fire her.

mwalberg@tribune.com

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

NEWS: (Chicago) Daley: Remarks about FBI not 'derogatory'

Chicago Sun-Times

--Daley just can't say, "sorry if it got taken wrong" or "sorry, it was out of context". The word sorry cannot leave his mouth. He is so arrogant that he just puts the blame for his asinine comment on the FBI. This guy needs an enema for his mouth.--
Duke

RELATED STORY: NEWS: (Chicago) FBI Chides Daley for 'About Time' Crack

July 27, 2010

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

Mayor Daley said Tuesday it was his notorious impatience — not a desire to denigrate the FBI — that prompted him to complain the federal government was not doing enough to combat gang violence.

“I said, ‘Finally, they did it’ because, for a year-and-a-half or two years … they’d come in and talk to me about their investigation. I want it completed right away. I’m like that. You know that. I want it done,” Daley said.

Asked if he planned to apologize to the feds, the mayor said, “It wasn’t derogatory to them.”

Reminded that hard-working FBI agents and their boss took it that way, Daley said, “Then, just tell ‘em it wasn’t. Please. It wasn’t derogatory. ... They came in to see me the last two years. Of course I want it done right away. But, like anything else, you have to have to thank them. These are good Chicago Police officers. That’s who really started it. Then, with the FBI and other agencies involved.”

FBI spokesman Ross Rice refused to engage in a back-and-forth with the mayor.

Rice would only say that Robert Grant, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago office, “went public with his frustrations” because the mayor’s initial comments gave the public the mistaken impressions “that the FBI had not been involved in the investigation of street gangs” prior to last week’s arrest of 25 people.

“Mr. Grant felt it was important to let the public know that was not the case,” Rice said.

Daley has long-complained that the federal government is not doing enough about gangs and drugs and following the money trail.

Last week, he touched a raw nerve when he reacted to the federal crackdown by essentially saying, “It’s about time.”

“Well, finally. Thank God, they did it. Where have they been? The Chicago Police round 'em up every day, every week and every month. You give ‘em no publicity for that. And they solve crimes in the community. Shootings. They will solve these crimes. We don’t wait for the feds,” Daley said.

“They’re finally getting [the message]. Latin Kings are bigger than anything else. They go from L.A. to Washington D.C. to New York to Miami to Houston to Seattle to Chicago. They’re all over. These are organized crime gangs. These are not local little kids running around. They deal with guns and narcotics trafficking and everything else that goes with organized crime.”

The mayor’s press office attributed the mayor’s remarks to frustration over the murder of three Chicago Police officers in the last two months. But, Grant was not appeased.

He said his two gang squads were “demoralized” by the mayor’s remarks “after all the hard work they put in.” He told Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg that there was a “gap” between the mayor’s rhetoric and the reality on the ground.

“I have heard Daley bash the feds a lot. It’s so inconsistent with this city's cooperative efforts — in Chicago, you’ve got, not just the FBI, but the ATF, the DEA, IRS, postal inspectors, all putting considerable amount of resources onto gangs, working together better than they ever have,” he said.

“Our people ask: What gives with this mayor? ... He’s always embarrassing his employees. What you need from a mayor is someone who will stand up and set a tone for this city.”

Grant said his office had dozens of people working undercover for more than a year, only to get a slap in the face from Daley when the investigation came to a head.

“My guys work; some were working 36 hours straight. Our people are dedicated, and they care. Then there's no sense of appreciation, no sense of thanks, no sense of ‘good work,’” Grant said. “‘They finally get it.’ What's he talking about? We’ve been working the Latin Kings for years.”