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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

Friday, December 31, 2010

PENSION: Chicago's Daley Says Pension-Overhaul Law Will Bring Record Tax Increase

--Here's Daley doing his Chicago math again. The same restrictions were placed on all municipalities.
I guess it is our fault that Chicago is the third largest city in the United States and their payments will be more just based on numbers alone.
He is leaving the city in ruins anyways, what does he care? If he cared he would have been sounding off long before the legislation was presented. 
He is just mad because the state told him how he had to do something. 
Remember, Daley has always been under the assumption that he was the top politician in the state.--

By Tim Jones - Dec 31, 2010

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley accused his fellow Democrat, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, of imposing “the largest property-tax increase in the history” of the city by signing a pension-overhaul bill into law.

Quinn’s action places “a tremendous burden on Chicago taxpayers” to bolster the pension funds of public-safety employees, Daley said yesterday in a statement.

“The governor took away the opportunity to fix the legislation before he signed it,” Daley said. “The direct result of the governor’s actions will be a massive property-tax hike for Chicago residents of at least $550 million, or about a 60 percent increase in our current property-tax levy.”

Under the law Quinn signed yesterday, the city’s combined annual contribution for police and firefighter pensions will rise from a projected $309 million in 2015 to about $856 million over the next 25 years, according to the city. The law, which applies to all public-safety workers in Illinois, is meant to protect their retirement benefits by requiring municipalities to boost funding of the plans that cover them, Quinn said.

READ MORE AT {Bloomberg}


PENSION: (Glen Ellyn) Salary spikes and retirement boosts add to problems with system

--These two stories show exactly what the problem is.
It is NOT rank and file employees that screw up or manipulate the system. 
It is these high end administrators and politicians friends that put the most pressure on the pension systems.
Glen Ellyn, Highland Park and how many others pull these types of scams on the system and then the everyday employees are left to feel the residents wrath?
If lawmakers want to reform something, they should reform themselves and their cronies in municipal government.--

Glen Ellyn manager's severance package tops $87,000

By Marco Santana

Glen Ellyn Village Manager Steve Jones, whose resignation takes effect Saturday, will receive a severance package worth $87,000 in salary and paid time off over the next six months, based on his written agreement with the village.

That severance agreement, obtained by the Daily Herald through a Freedom of Information Act request, also includes a reference letter from the village, health benefits and a promise the village will not object if Jones applies for unemployment benefits.

Jones announced his resignation in November, saying he is “looking forward to exploring new challenges in 2011.”

But some village board members this week said there were questions about whether Jones was meeting specific goals as outlined by the board. They said his performance was at the center of at least one closed-door meeting.

READ MORE AT {Daily Herald}


Glen Ellyn park director gets retirement pay bump

By Marco Santana

Glen Ellyn Park District’s executive director will retire five days before the close of a one-year window that allows him to collect on an early retirement package he helped create.

As part of the deal, the park district will kick in about $200,000 extra to Cory Atwell’s state municipal retirement fund. The net result, officials say, is that the 60-year-old Atwell will draw a pension equal to what he would have received had he worked for the district another five years.

The park district offered the package, which was approved unanimously by the park board in October 2009, to six eligible employees, including Atwell. Employees were given one year to sign up beginning last Jan. 19.

Four employees took the offer and their departures will cost the park district about $604,000 in initial costs. Under the terms of the agreements, the district can pay that sum over the next 10 years, with accrued interest, or pay each of the individual deals in one lump sum.

Officials say the long-term savings will offset the initial cost because the district plans to hire replacements for those employees at much lower salaries.

READ MORE AT {Daily Herald}


NEWS: (Illinois) 16 East St. Louis police officers lose their jobs

--Anytime you cut your public safety forces you are putting your residents in danger. These layoffs are sweeping and involved police, fire and public works. 
The dangers are not just crime and fire, you have streets that need work, water mains break, etc. Response times will be lengthened and more damage will occur before first responders can arrive. 
This is a town that cannot afford to lose any of its employees. 
The officers already agreed to 20% in concessions, how much more are they supposed to give?--

Posted: Friday, December 31, 2010 12:05 am

EAST ST. LOUIS • Fired, rehired and fired again.

It has been a tumultuous few months for nearly a third of this city's 62-member police force.

On New Year's Day, 16 officers — the bulk of the city's patrol officers — will be without jobs.

Unable to reach an agreement with the officers' union, the City Council on Thursday afternoon voted to cut the positions, along with those of 13 firefighters, four public works employees, two dispatchers and two jailers.

The cuts will offset a $2.2 million budget deficit, city leaders said.

"That's just mathematical reality," said Mayor Alvin Parks. "We have to make a reduction."

Parks has blamed the deficit on the lackluster economy and declining revenue from the Casino Queen — down roughly $1 million from the 2009 budget.

City Manager Deletra Hudson left open the possibility that the officers could be brought back if their union made concessions.

READ MORE AT {St Louis Post-Dispatch}


PENSION: (Illinois) Governor Quinn signs pension reform law for suburban public safety

--On Thursday evening Governor Quinn signed into law pension reform legislation that will take effect January 1, 2011.

This reform will hopefully be the starting point to getting the funds properly funded.

Besides the changes to the benefits package for new hires it puts into place, finally, a mechanism that forces the municipalities to pay their proper share on time.--

Fox News Chicago

Quinn Signs Pension Law; Daley Warns of 'Massive' Tax Hike

FOX Chicago News

Chicago - Governor Quinn's last official act of 2010 could save police and fire pension systems, but give every homeowner in Chicago a gigantic tax increase. Mayor Daley has stated that he’s not happy with the bill.

On Thursday evening, the governor signed a new pension reform law that he said will ensure all new law enforcement officers and firefighters will receive their pensions at retirement.

The reforms only apply to new hires in 2011; current law enforcement officers and firefighters are not affected.

The new law makes changes to pension requirements for law enforcement and fire personnel hired after January 1.  Among the changes:

-- A normal retirement age of 55, with early retirement at 50.

-- A maximum pension of 75% of salary.

-- A maximum pensionable salary of just under $107,000

Quinn says the law will protect "quality pension benefits that are also affordable for municipalities throughout the state."

READ MORE AT {Fox News Chicago}


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Duke's Blotter Live - Tonight (Dec 30) @ 9 pm


Time to say goodbye to 2010. 

This year has not been kind to law enforcement as line of duty deaths topped 160. We'll discuss the year end numbers. 

More pension reforms in store for Illinois? What the state legislature may be planning for the future. The issue of on the job age and pensions. Misrepresenting the first line workers in the pension debates. 

All the news and events from the past week.

PENSION: (Illinois) Letter from Michael Madigan (Speaker of the House)

--I received this a short time ago. It is a letter that was sent out by Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan to all pension board trustees in the state. This means the board members of your pension at your department.
It asks for any information on possible wrong doings within the local pensions. Like misuse of funds, spiking, etc. Very interesting stuff if you ask me.
I am posting it as a picture and I will also post a download link if you would like a copy of it.--


NEWS: (Illinois) Lawmakers could take a last look at the Illinois death penalty

--Hmmm, abolish the death penalty? I think I agree with the statement that it may not be a good deterrent BUT, it is one hell of a punishment!! 
I think the death penalty system needs one of those plastic surgery specials I spoke of in a different post but I do not believe it should be abolished.
There are ways to insure the system works better without doing away with it. There are some folks who commit crimes that deserve a lot more than just death but we are a benevolent society, until it hits our homes.--

Abolition debate on tap in Illinois legislature

By Mike Riopell

SPRINGFIELD — More than 10 years after then-Gov. George Ryan halted the death penalty in Illinois for the time being, state lawmakers are preparing to debate whether capital punishment in the state should be abolished for good.

The controversial vote could come as early as next week. And because it’s such a politically tricky issue, it likely won’t be an easy one for death penalty abolitionists to win.

Supporters of abolishing capital punishment argue that it’s not a deterrent to crime. And, they say, innocent people in Illinois have been sentenced to death — the ultimate mistake the justice system can make.

On the other side, supporters of the death penalty argue it can deter crime, the most terrible crimes deserve the ultimate punishment, and reforms have helped prevent mistakes in prosecutions.

READ MORE AT Daily Herald


NEWS: (Chicago) Public safety overhaul looms for next mayor

--I think overhaul is putting it mildly. I think it needs one of those famous 10 plastic surgeries in one day deals.
I am glad I am not running for this job, what a nightmare. A city left in financial ruin, a pension system that has been raped for years and it is on the brink of failing and a police department so understaffed (I know the reports only say something like 950 out of 13,000) that it is literally robbing it's own districts of police officers to try and stem the tide of crime and violence in certain neighborhoods.
I don't know who would want the job.--

Image, leadership challenges overshadow a continued drop in violent crime

By Annie Sweeney, Tribune reporter

8:28 AM CST, December 30, 2010

When Chicago police release crime statistics for 2010 after the end of the year, violence is expected to be down across the city — even in the face of a major hiring slowdown of rank-and-file officers.

The decline might suggest public safety won't be one of the major headaches facing Mayor Richard Daley's successor, but the reality is more complicated.

While murders and shootings have fallen across the city, gun violence still clings mercilessly to some neighborhoods and in the process raises nagging questions about whether the Police Department deploys enough officers in the most crime-ridden districts. The new mayor will also inherit an image problem: Even though Chicago as a whole was safer in the last decade than in the 1990s or 1980s, the perception remains in the public eye that crime is virtually out of control.

READ MORE AT Chicago Tribune


PENSION: (National) Pension "Armageddon" in Pittsburgh

--The key word in all of these pension stories is "UNFUNDED". This simply means that the municipality or state did not put the money where it was supposed to go in the past and now it is coming back to bite them.

The employees, I assure you, paid every dime they were legally bound to contribute to their funds. This is because it is automatically deducted from their paychecks, on time every time.

The municipalities and the states however do not do it this way for themselves. They wait until they get their actuarial estimates and then decide if they will pay the full amount, a partial amount or just not pay it at all and use the money for something else. They were doing this because the funds were making decent money on investments until 2008.

Now that everything tanked, they want to lay the blame on the employees and have the taxpayer think that the public employees are getting these golden pensions. This is of course done under false pretenses. They use numbers that they allowed for their friends and high ranking officials to make the taxpayer believe that ALL public employees are getting these exaggerated pensions. 

In this story below you have the mayor of Pittsburgh vetoing every plan that comes his way. Why? So the system does fail and as Mayor Daley said, let the plan file bankruptcy and reorganize it? That makes no sense at all. --

Pension "Armageddon" in Pittsburgh; State Threatens Takeover of City Pension Plan

Pension stories seem to be going viral lately, not any story in particular, just the sheer number of them. Please consider Pittsburgh City Council, Mayor Clash on Pension ‘Armageddon’

    Pittsburgh’s City Council ordered Mayor Luke Ravenstahl to attend a meeting today to hash out a plan to avoid a state takeover of the underfunded municipal pension, which may more than double its cost to taxpayers.

    A vote to compel Ravenstahl to come before the council’s finance committee followed about six hours of debate on shoring up the pension system using parking fees. The retirement plan has about $325 million in assets to cover $1 billion in promised benefits, according to a consultant’s report. The city has until Dec. 31 to show the state how it will bolster the plan.

    “It’s merely an accounting gimmick to get past Dec. 31,” said Scott Kunka, Ravenstahl’s finance director, on the proposal to use parking fees over the next 30 years to support the pension system. “It’s just a bad concept,” he said.

    Pittsburgh, whose pension problem was called a “financial Armageddon” by two city councilors yesterday, joins cities such as San Diego and states such as Illinois and New Jersey that may cut services or raise taxes to meet ballooning retirement costs. Those states and 18 others skipped payments or underfunded their retirement systems from 2007 to 2009, according to an October report from Loop Capital Markets in Chicago.

READ MORE AT MISH'S Global Economic Trend Analysis


Pittsburgh Council Passes Tax Plan to Fund Pension, Avoid State Takeover

By Dunstan McNichol - Dec 29, 2010

Pittsburgh’s City Council voted 7-2 for a plan to dedicate $13 million a year in parking taxes to its pension fund to avoid a state takeover that threatens to double the city’s payments into the system by 2015.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he opposes the council’s plan because he believes it won’t head off a takeover and will open a $13 million hole in future city budgets.

Ravenstahl, 30, told the council’s finance committee he will veto the plan today, to give the legislative body time to override him before a Dec. 31 state deadline for raising at least $200 million in assets needed to cover a minimum of half the fund’s needs and avoid a takeover. The council plans to meet again tomorrow.

“I think we’re creating a bigger problem in the future,” Ravenstahl said. “I will not be an active supporter to participate in something I think doesn’t work and doesn’t solve the problem.”



Police Blotters December 30, 2010

Click on the town you are interested in. Hopefully one of the surrounding locals will pick up the towns that Pioneer Press dropped from publication.

Franklin Park, Northlake

Forest Park

La Grange, Westchester

Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace

Elmwood Park


Norridge, Harwood Heights

Park Ridge


Des Plaines, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect

Buffalo Grove, Rolling Meadows

Elk Grove Village, Streamwood


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

OFFICER DOWN NEWS: Another killer set to go free, let's stop this madness

--I think I say this again and again every time I make these type of posts but,


People who kill police officers should not be allowed to receive parole, period. The reason is simple. If a person has it in them to kill a police officer, a sworn representative of the Constitution then what is to stop that person from killing innocent civilians? Absolutely nothing.

The individual in this case, Michael Alston, had already been convicted twice of two other murders and was on parole at the time he killed New York City Sgt. Keith R. Levine. What more information is needed other than that. 

We showed it in Washington state and we can show it in New York that we can make a difference. Please contact the New York State Department of Correctional Services at the links provided and request that this killers parole be denied.

I am reprinting the editorial written by PoliceOne Executive editor Doug Wyllie. This gives some background information and the need information on Michael Alston to fill out the form.

Thank You for your help.--

Editor's Corner
with PoliceOne Senior Editor Doug Wyllie

Killer of NYPD Sgt. Keith R. Levine set to go free

Victim impact hearing for cop-killer Michael Alston (NYSID#0:3 521538N) to be held on January 7, 2011

Today I received a note from the father of a cop killed in the line of duty. In his note, Mike Levine — himself a retired 30-year veteran of law enforcement — said that he’d recently gotten word that the man who murdered his son is up for parole.

Twenty-nine years ago almost to the day — in the small hours of December 28, 1991 — NYPD Sgt. Keith Richard Levine was off duty, driving through Manhattan on his way home, when he saw an armed robbery happening at an ATM machine. There were three individuals robbing one, with. Sgt. Levine sprung into action, stopping his car and giving chase on foot.

“During [the] chase and gunfight,” the elder Levine wrote, “Keith was killed by a man named MICHAEL ALSTON. Alston, at the time he killed Keith, was on the street again after having been twice convicted of homicide in New York City. Killing my son I think now officially qualifies him as a serial killer, and we can't even estimate how many homicides he's gotten away with.”

Yet the New York Parole Board has seen — in its ultimate wisdom (gag) — that Alston should be set free on the streets to kill again.

“I don't know whether or not you guys can do anything, but I figure it is worth a try ... I was told that I would be allowed to give a 'victim statement' to a parole board commissioner, who would most likely not be one of the people actually hearing the case, but that my words would be transcribed and given to the board. There is of course no guarantee that they will even be read, but I suppose that's the way it goes in all bureaucracies ... they got my name wrong; it's Levine, not Lavigne, which certainly doesn't give me much confidence. In any case, I think it a good idea that, if possible, PoliceOne spread the word. Perhaps some letters from across the country might do some good.”

Levine correctly wrote that in a sane society he wouldn’t even be writing this letter. Sadly, we don’t live in a sane society.

We’ve prevented the release of cop killers before. Let’s do it again.

    RE: Michael Alston
    NYSID#0:3 521538N
    DIN#: 93A0704

Click the link below, and make your feelings known.

Or you can send letters via regular old snail mail. Have your entire department sign a petition in opposition to this miscarriage of justice and send it via overnight mail to:

    State of New York
    Executive Department
    Division of Parole
    97 Central Avenue
    Albany, New York, 12206

BREAKING NEWS: Charges filed in CPD Officer David Blake's murder

--Charges of First Degree Murder and Armed Robbery have been filed against 18 year old Bernard Williams of Chicago.

More to follow when it becomes available--

EDITED TO UPDATE (9:18 pm):  

Sun Times Media Wire

Chicago - An 18-year-old suspect has been arrested and charged with the murder of Chicago Police officer David A. Blake, a member of the SWAT team who was shot to death last month.

“It was a classic case of robbery; the suspect wanted to steal Officer Blake’s extensive gun collection,” said a police source.

Bernard Williams of Chicago was charged at about 8 p.m. Wednesday with first-degree murder and armed robbery, said Sally Daly, spokeswoman for Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Williams, who had lived with Blake for a short period of time, allegedly lured Blake, who was off-duty, to an out of the way location at a dead-end street in the 2900 block of West Seipp on Nov. 22 to “talk about moving in with him again,” the source said.

“It was a ruse to kill him and steal his cache of weapons,” the source said.

Blake, a 15-year police veteran who received 84 awards for distinguished service, was shot and killed inside his personal SUV after meeting with the suspect.

His gun and wallet were found at the scene, which originally led police to believe robbery was not a motive. A cigarette was still in the mouth of the 45-year old police officer when his body was found.

“The suspect allegedly returned to Blake’s house to retrieve Blake’s gun collection, but was unable to get inside Blake’s house because the police were already there,” the source added.

The suspect’s 25-year-old sister was a friend of Blake’s and the person who introduced the suspect to Blake. Phone records and an extensive probe of Blake’s personal relationships led to the suspect's arrest, the Sun-Times was told.

The suspect reportedly told friends interviewed by police he had shot Blake and confessed to the crime late Wednesday.

He “provided them with a confession,” the source said.

The friends were brought before a Cook County grand jury on Wednesday, the source said.

“The case developed very quickly Wednesday after more than a month of extensive investigations by gang crimes units, homicide detectives and evidence technicians,” a source said.

FOLLOW UP: We can and do make a difference

--When I posted the below story I asked for everyone's help to stop this miscarriage of justice. As you can see from the email I received we can make a difference. Thank you to everyone who sent messages to Washington Governor Christine Gregoire asking that Lain's parole be blocked.--

Related Story:

Another Travesty In The Making - Man who shot Wash. cop set to go free

This is the text of the email I received from the Governor's office:     Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Dear Earl:

Thank you for your message to Governor Gregoire commenting on the potential parole of offender Jerry Lain.

The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) issued an order of parole and supervision conditions for Mr. Lain under RCW 9.95.120 and RCW 72.04A.070.  He was convicted of first degree assault in 1982 after stabbing and shooting a police officer.  Mr. Lain is one of several hundred people who are serving sentences under an older sentencing law that provides for parole release if approved by the ISRB.

However, based upon a review of Mr. Lain's record, Governor Gregoire concluded that his release would pose too high a risk to public safety.  Therefore, the Governor canceled the ISRB order to grant parole to Mr. Lain using her authority found in RCW 9.95160.

Thanks again for your message.  


Melody Younglove
Constituent/Management Services Manager
Office of Governor Christine O. Gregoire

PENSION: The Cost of Retirement Security in America

--As you review the information that is posted here, please remember that as public servants we are not allowed to pay into Social Security.
Our pensions are our only retirement option.--

"One way to distill the debate over the sustainability of retirement security in the United States is to evaluate the absolute amount of money that will be paid out each year for public sector pensions vs. social security. Doing this removes the necessity to debate what rate at which public employee pension funds can earn investment returns in the market, which presumably diminishes the amount taxpayers have to contribute to fund these pensions. Instead of evaluating how much money has to go in to fund retirement benefits, this post evaluates how much will come out in actual retirement payments.

Making this analysis easier is the fact that the United States, almost uniquely among nations, enjoys an age distribution that is, for people under 60, almost evenly distributed. As the table below indicates, there are about 20 million people in each five year age group, starting with children under five years old, all the way through adults between the ages of 55 and 60. It is a fairly safe assumption that this trend will continue over the next 40 years, and in fact, if you review the United States – 2050 population pyramid projection from the U.S. Census Bureau, that is exactly what is expected. As will be seen, this even distribution of age groups in the U.S. makes projecting future aggregate retirement payouts for social security and public sector pensions somewhat easier."



COMMENTARY: An issue of age

For the last year it seemed all the politicians (local, state and national) could talk about were the pensions of the nation’s public servants. In Illinois, specifically, the debate raged on two fronts; the state pension systems (there are 5) and the Downstate Pension System (local public safety pensions). There are many differences in the systems and two separate reform laws were passed this year to address issues. I am not going to get into the all the issues here. I am going to focus on one issue in particular because it seems to cause a lot of confusion in the debate. AGE.

The biggest issue I have noticed is that folks from the private sector seem to think that police officers have this golden egg pension waiting for them when they turn 50. This is in no way true or possible as you will see.
In the State of Illinois you cannot become a police officer or fire fighter until you reach the age of 21. For future police officers many municipalities now require that you have a minimum of an Associate’s Degree or 60 credit hours from college. Some will accept military service in place of the educational requirement. Simply put, the average age of police recruits today is 23 to 27 years old.

Under Illinois pension laws (40 ILCS 5/3 and 5/5) you must work a minimum of 30 years to be eligible for your pension which is 75% of your current salary. You will accrue your pension at the rate of 2% a year for your first 20 years of service (this entitles you to a 50% pension) and 2.5% for the last 10 years. You are currently able to start collecting your pension at age 50, but as you can see you will not receive the full 75% because it is mathematically impossible to work 30 years by the time you turn 50.

As a person that was in the law enforcement profession for 20 years I can tell you this is a young person’s game. I was 22 when I started my full time career. This means I would have had to work until I was 52 for my full pension. Unfortunately, fate had different plans for me but we are not discussing disability benefits here (later, I promise). But even at 44 I understand the truth of the matter, police work (and fire fighting) is a tough business both physically and mentally.

Some people (or most) are under the assumption that we drive around in a nice comfy car for 8 hours a day. While that may in some way make them feel better about where they live (under the assumption that all is well in La La Land) it still is not the truth. Police work is like launching the space shuttle. Yes, we may drive around for periods of time (sitting on the launch pad) but when the timer reaches 0, LOOK OUT!! You go from sitting on the launch pad to sheer terror in the blink of an eye. And just like the space shuttle you have no idea how you are going to come out on the other end. It is either all good (everyone is safe and unhurt) or tragic (someone was injured or worse killed). There is no in between.

As you get older these cycles take a toll on your body. No matter how much you try to stay in shape pulled muscles or worse are going to happen. These injuries are even worse the older you get. And, let’s face it, no matter how much we all want to we cannot stop time or its effects.

Now, you have to realistically ask yourself this question:

Do you really want 55 or 60 old police officers or fire fighters showing up in your time of crisis?

I am in no way trying to discriminate against the older crowd (remember I am 44 and even I see this). But really, if you get robbed or worse and some 25 year old criminal is running from the scene do you really think the 57 year old police officer has a chance in catching them?

Let’s be realistic here, this not sitting at a desk in an office doing accounting (no offence to accountants), this is life and death in the blink of an eye.

If a person works 30 years as a police officer and can retire at 53 what is wrong with that? Even if they get a sit down job and work another 10 years what is the issue? Public safety careers are hard, no matter where you work. Shift work is hard on the body. Your body going from 0 to 120 miles an hour on a regular basis is hard as well.

Doesn’t a person who has given 30 years of their life to serving everyone but themselves deserve to call it quits after 30 years?

We choose this profession not because we want to play policeman for 8 hours a day but because we were called to it. A person that does the job for 5 years and leaves for a different career was not called, they were just checking it out or wanted to play policeman and found out the rules of the game are not very fair.

As public servants we are prohibited by departmental rules from talking to the press or addressing these issues publicly so all the public ever sees is one side no matter the issue. Well, since I am no longer bound by those rules I intend on speaking publicly on all of the issues.


R.I.P.: Police Officer Jillian Michelle Smith


Police Officer Jillian Michelle Smith
Arlington Police Department
End of Watch: Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Biographical Info
Age: 24
Tour of Duty: 10 months
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Committed Suicide

Police Officer Jillian Smith was shot and killed after responding
to an apartment for a report of a domestic dispute.

Officer Smith responded to a call of a domestic dispute
between a husband and wife. When she arrived, the husband
had already left the apartment. Officer Smith was inside the
apartment taking a report from the female victim when her
husband returned and shot and killed both Officer Smith and
his wife. The suspect then shot and killed himself.

Officer Smith had served with the Arlington Police Department
for 10 months and had finished her field training 15 days prior to
her murder.

Agency Contact Information

Arlington Police Department
620 W Division Street
Arlington, TX 76011
Phone: (817) 459-5600

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

R.I.P.: Streamwood police’s K-9 Zarak dies

Daily Herald
By Eric Peterson

The Streamwood Police Department is mourning the loss of its K-9 officer, Zarak, who died unexpectedly Tuesday morning after a serious medical condition was detected only hours earlier.

“He was kind of a fixture in Streamwood,” Deputy Police Chief James Keegan said of the nearly 8-year-old Zarak, who served the department for more than six and a half years.

The purebred German Shepherd was cross-trained in a variety of skills, including building searches, missing person searches, narcotics detection and crowd control — all of which won him a second job with the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System’s Emergency Services Team.

“That’s not something NIPAS takes lightly, and neither did we,” Keegan said of Zarak’s proven skills.

Zarak was the third K-9 officer to serve the Streamwood department. He worked and lived with his handler, Officer Alex VanDerLinden. Zarak’s death is devastating to VanDerLinden’s family and children, as well as the entire department, Keegan said.

Earlier this year, Zarak had corrective surgery for a flipped stomach, a condition more common among larger dogs, Keegan said.

Though Zarak seemed to have recovered perfectly from that surgery, VanDerLinden noticed the dog was not quite himself during Monday night’s shift. Zarak’s not getting up during a traffic stop convinced him something was wrong.

PENSION: The NEXT 10 City Pensions That Will Run Out Of Money

--I view a lot of these lists as very crafty for the politicians and as a scare tactic for the public. The problems are very real but the numbers on which they get based get lost in translation from the municipal leaders to the reporters to the public.--

Business Insider

Gus Lubin | Dec. 27, 2010, 10:04 AM

The first total municipal pension default happened last week: Prichard, Ala. ran out of money stopped mailing pension checks.

Hundreds of cities could be right behind. Projections by Robert Novy-Marx and Joshua Rauh [PDF] show the average city has $15,000 per household in unfunded pension liabilities. These massive liabilities are ignored by common government accounting.

Insolvency means benefit cuts or borrowing from the already-near-broke states.

Many of the 77 cities surveyed by Novy-Marx and Rauh are facing insolvency within the next decade. Other small cities like Prichard could go even sooner.

#10 Fort Worth

Unfunded liability: $2 billion

Unfunded liability per household: $7,212

Solvency horizon: 2023

#9 Detroit

Unfunded liability: $6.4 billion

Unfunded liability per household: $18,643

Solvency horizon: 2023

#8 Baltimore

Unfunded liability: $3.7 billion

Unfunded liability per household: $15,420

Solvency horizon: 2022

#7 New York City

Unfunded liability: $122.2 billion

Unfunded liability per household: $38,886

Solvency horizon: 2021

#6 Jacksonville

Unfunded liability: $4 billion

Unfunded liability per household: $12,994

Solvency horizon: 2020

#5 St. Paul

Unfunded liability: $1.4 billion

Unfunded liability per household: $13,686

Solvency horizon: 2020

Note: These numbers refer to St. Paul's largest pension, a teachers fund.

#4 Cincinnati

Unfunded liability: $2 billion

Unfunded liability per household: $15,681

Solvency horizon: 2020

#3 Boston

Unfunded liability: $7.5 billion

Unfunded liability per household: $30,901

Solvency horizon: 2019

#2 Chicago

Unfunded liability: $44.8 billion

Unfunded liability per household: $41,966

Solvency horizon: 2019

#1 Philadelphia

Unfunded liability: $9 billion

Unfunded liability per household: $16,690

Solvency horizon: 2015

BONUS: These cities are also facing pension apocalypse

2024: Seattle

2026: Dallas

2027: Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Jose

2028: Memphis, Milwaukee

2031: Tacoma

2032: San Francisco

PENSION: Here's The First 11 State Pension Funds That Will Run Out Of Money

--Guess who is number 1.--

Business Insider

#11 New Hampshire

Year pension fund runs out: 2022

Bill in the following year: $1.0 billion

Share of state revenue: 30%

Projections include 8% y-o-y growth in benefits and 3% y-o-y growth in revenue, from Kellogg professor Joshua Rauh.

#10 Kentucky

Year pension fund runs out: 2022

Bill in the following year: $5.3 billion

Share of state revenue: 35%

Projections include 8% y-o-y growth in benefits and 3% y-o-y growth in revenue, from Kellogg professor Joshua Rauh.

#9 Kansas

Year pension fund runs out: 2022

Bill in the following year: $2.5 billion

Share of state revenue: 23%

Projections include 8% y-o-y growth in benefits and 3% y-o-y growth in revenue, from Kellogg professor Joshua Rauh.

#8 Colorado

Year pension fund runs out: 2022

Bill in the following year: $7.8 billion

Share of state revenue: 54%

Projections include 8% y-o-y growth in benefits and 3% y-o-y growth in revenue, from Kellogg professor Joshua Rauh.

#7 Oklahoma

Year pension fund runs out: 2020

Bill in the following year: $3.7 billion

Share of state revenue: 30%

Projections include 8% y-o-y growth in benefits and 3% y-o-y growth in revenue, from Kellogg professor Joshua Rauh.

#6 Louisiana

Year pension fund runs out: 2020

Bill in the following year: $4.3 billion

Share of state revenue: 27%

Projections include 8% y-o-y growth in benefits and 3% y-o-y growth in revenue, from Kellogg professor Joshua Rauh.

#5 Hawaii

Year pension fund runs out: 2020

Bill in the following year: $1.7 billion

Share of state revenue: 24%

Projections include 8% y-o-y growth in benefits and 3% y-o-y growth in revenue, from Kellogg professor Joshua Rauh.

#4 New Jersey

Year pension fund runs out: 2019

Bill in the following year: $14.4 billion

Share of state revenue: 34%

Projections include 8% y-o-y growth in benefits and 3% y-o-y growth in revenue, from Kellogg professor Joshua Rauh.

#3 Indiana

Year pension fund runs out: 2019

Bill in the following year: $3.6 billion

Share of state revenue: 17%

Projections include 8% y-o-y growth in benefits and 3% y-o-y growth in revenue, from Kellogg professor Joshua Rauh.

#2 Connecticut

Year pension fund runs out: 2019

Bill in the following year: $4.9 billion

Share of state revenue: 27%

Projections include 8% y-o-y growth in benefits and 3% y-o-y growth in revenue, from Kellogg professor Joshua Rauh.

#1 Illinois

Year pension fund runs out: 2018

Bill in the following year: $13.6 billion

Share of state revenue: 32%

Projections include 8% y-o-y growth in benefits and 3% y-o-y growth in revenue, from Kellogg professor Joshua Rauh.

Now here's when the other funds run dry...

2023: Alabama, Michigan, Minnesota and Mississippi

2024: Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and West Virginia

2025: Missouri

2026: Maine, Massachusetts and New Mexico

2027: Montana and Rhode Island

2028: Vermont

2029: Arizona

2030: Arkansas, California, Ohio, Wyoming

2031: South Dakota

2032: Nebraska

2033: Virginia, Washington

2035: Delaware, Iowa, Tennessee

2036: Utah

2037: Texas

2038: Wisconsin

2039: Oregon

2041: North Dakota

2043: Idaho

2047: Georgia

Never: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and New York

PENSION: Lavish Pensions Of Suburban Cook County Retired Government Employees Far Exceed Wages Of Workers In Private Sector

--I found this article on the National Taxpayers United of Illinois website. They usually provide really good information but this article is very misleading (in my eyes). It appears to be just another attempt portray all public pensions under the same picture. This is totally off base. The pensions that are discussed in this article and many others that say "PUBLIC SECTOR" pensions far outweigh those in the private sector are those of administrators, NOT the actual labor force. There is no proof offered that the rank and file employees in the public sector (police, fire, teachers) get these golden egg pensions. These pensions are not the fault of the workers, they are the fault of the politicians who gave these administrators such lavish benefits.--


OAK PARK–A new report by pension researcher Bill Zettler reveals that Suburban Cook County’s retired government employees receive lavish, gold-plated pensions that far exceed actual wages of workers in the private sector.

“These government-employee pensions are bankrupting the state pension funds,” said Jim Tobin, President of National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTUI). “That’s the real reason Gov. Patrick Quinn (D) wants to raise the state personal income tax up to 66%. He wants to pump taxpayer dollars into the state’s floundering pension programs.”

“Those receiving the largest annual pensions are retired government-school educators,” said Tobin. “The suburbs’ retired public school teachers in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) are really raking it in. The largest annual TRS pension goes to Laura Murrray, formerly of Homewood-Flossmoor CHSD 233, whose annual pension is $238,882 — $19,907 a month. The second-highest TRS annual pension goes to Reginald Weaver, formerly of the National Education Association, who received $235,589 a year. That’s $19,632 a month.”

“The largest pension from the suburban Cook County college pension system goes to George Jorndt, formerly of Triton College, who received an annual pension of $208,895. That’s a monthly pension of $17,408. Number two is George Dammer, formerly of South Suburban College, who received an annual pension of $163,434. That’s a monthly pension of $13,620.”

“With a median annual wage of $54,500 and a median house value of $157,700 for all of Cook County, the county’s residents are stagnating, while some of these retired government employees are well on their way to becoming pension millionaires.”

“New government hires should be required to fund their own retirements with social security and 401(k) plans. Ending pensions for new government hires will eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions.”

“In Illinois, if each current state pension fund employee were required to contribute an additional 10% to his or her pension, taxpayers would save over $150 billion over the next 35 years.”

“Requiring Illinois public employees to pay for one-half of their health care premiums would save even more – an estimated $230 billion over current projections.”

OFFICER DOWN NEWS: Deadliest Days in Law Enforcement History

--Thank you to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund for keeping and providing this information. It is information like this that hopefully makes us all the more vigilant while on the street, on or off duty. (Emphasis added to 911 by me)--

November 29, 2009

Four members of the Lakewood (WA) Police Department were shot and killed in an ambush attack as they sat in a coffee shop catching up on paperwork and planning for their upcoming shift. A lone gunman walked in and opened fire on the officers, who were in full uniform and wearing protective safety vests. Sergeant Mark Renninger and Officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Greg Richards were all veteran law enforcement officers, with between 8 and 14 years of experience each. All four had been members of the Lakewood Police Department since it was founded in 2004 in the community outside Tacoma. The officers were the first members of the agency to be killed in the performance of duty. The suspect is a career criminal who had recently been released from jail and has an extensive criminal history in both Washington state and Arkansas.

March 21, 2009

Four members of the Oakland (CA) Police Department were shot and killed by the same gunman in two related incidents. Sergeant Mark Dunakin and Officer John Hege, both motorcycle officers, were shot following a traffic stop in East Oakland. Just over two hours later, SWAT team members, responding to an anonymous tip, tracked the gunman to an apartment building just a few blocks from the original shooting scene. As they entered a bedroom, the gunman opened fire through a closet with an assault weapon, striking Sergeant Ervin Romans and Sergeant Dan Sakai. Another member of the SWAT team, though injured himself by gunfire, managed to shoot and kill the suspect, a parolee who had been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and was also wanted on a no-bail warrant.

September 11, 2001

The deadliest day in U.S. law enforcement history, 72 officers were killed as a result of the terrorist attacks on America. Seventy-one of the officers died while responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, including 37 members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department. That represented the single largest loss of law enforcement personnel by a single agency in U.S. history. Also killed at the World Trade Center were 23 members of the New York City Police Department; five members of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance; three members of the New York State Office of Court Administration; and one law enforcement member each of the New York City Fire Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Secret Service. In addition, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer died in the crash of United Flight 93 outside Shanksville, PA; it is believed he was among the passengers who attempted to retake the plane from the terrorists before it crashed.

February 27, 1997

Eleven correctional officers, all members of the Georgia Department of Corrections who worked at the Rutledge Correctional Institution, were traveling in a van returning from an emergency response team training class. As they were driving on I-75, a tractor trailer forced them off the road and directly in the path of two tractor trailers heading in the opposite direction. Both semis struck the van simultaneously. Seven of the correctional officers were seriously injured, and four were killed: Sergeant Tommie Lee Goggins, and Officers Carlton Cherry Sr., Eddie Davis and Wayne Griglen. The driver of the vehicle that caused the accident was charged with four counts of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident.

April 19, 1995

Eight federal law enforcement officers were killed when domestic terrorists led by Timothy McVeigh bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK. The terrorists detonated a massive truck bomb outside building, killing a total of 168 civilians and government workers, including numerous children in an on-site day care facility. Among the law enforcement who died were four members of the U.S. Secret Service: Assistant Special Agent in Charge Alan Whicher and Special Agents Cynthia Brown, Donald Leonard and Mickey Maroney. Also killed were Senior Special Agents Paul Ice and Claude Medearis of the U.S. Customs Service, Special Agents Paul Broxterman of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Special Agent Kenneth McCullough of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

August 27, 1994

Five Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agents died in a plane crash during a reconnaissance mission near Santa Lucia, Peru. This mission was being flown as part of Operation Snowcap, DEA's cocaine suppression program in Latin America. Killed were Special Agents Frank Fernandez Jr., Jay Seale, Meredith Thompson, Juan Vars and Frank Wallace.

February 28, 1993

Four Special Agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) were killed attempting to execute a search warrant for weapons at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX: Conway LeBleu, Todd McKeehan, Robert J. Williams and Steven Willis. The Branch Davidians were a religious cult that idolized their leader, David Koresh. A two-month standoff followed the initial raid and ended when the Branch Davidians conducted a mass murder-suicide, which resulted in the deaths of over 80 of its members.

August 24, 1990

Four law enforcement officers with the U.S. Coast Guard died in an airplane accident over the Caribbean. After the officers completed a counter-drug surveillance mission, the E-2C Hawkeye aircraft in which they were traveling experienced mechanical difficulties and crashed as the pilot was attempting to land at a base in Puerto Rico. Killed were Petty Officer Matthew Baker and Lieutenants Craig Lerner, Paul Perlt and Duane Stenback.

October 24, 1988

Five California law enforcement officers were killed in a helicopter crash during a joint drug interdiction mission. The helicopter snagged on a power line and exploded into a hillside in western Imperial County. Killed in the incident were Deputy Sheriffs Roy Chester and James McSweeney of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department; Investigator Michael Davis of the Riverside County Sheriff's Office; Sergeant Richard Romero of the Imperial County Sheriff's Office, and Deputy Sheriff Mark Tonkin of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Three National Guardsmen also died in the crash.

July 5, 1984

Four members of the DeQueen (AR) Police Department were killed in a head-on automobile accident. The officers-Sergeant Roy Brewer, Patrolmen William Gilham and Herman Jones, Captain William Mills-were traveling to attend the funeral of Arkansas State Police Trooper Louis Bryant. Trooper Bryant had been shot and killed in the line of duty six days earlier.

December 16, 1982

FBI Special Agents Robert Conners, Charles Ellington Terry Herford and Michael Lynch all died in an aircraft accident while on approach to Cincinnati's Lunken Airport. The agents were escorting a bank fraud suspect and his lawyer to Cincinnati as part of an ongoing investigation.

December 31, 1972-January 7, 1973

Over the course of this eight-day period, five law enforcement officers in New Orleans were shot and killed by a sniper who was a member of the radical group, Black Panthers. New Orleans Police Cadet Alfred Harrell was shot and killed just before 11 pm on New Year's Eve, just five minutes before he was scheduled to end his shift working the gate at Central Lockup. Minutes later, the suspect shot Sergeant Edwin Hosli, who was searching a nearby warehouse after an alarm went off. Sergeant Hosli succumbed to his wounds on March 5, 1973. On January 7, 1973, the same suspect shot and killed Deputy Superintendent Louis Sirgo and Patrolmen Philip Coleman and Paul Persigo, after setting fires and shooting at civilians in a hotel. The suspect was shot and killed by police, who used a Marine helicopter to fly over the hotel he was holed up in and fire at him.

September 11-13, 1971

Seven Correctional Officers were killed during inmate riots at the Attica State Prison in upstate New York. On September 9, a group of inmates began the riot and took control of a large portion of the prison; in the process, they severely beat Correctional Officer William Quinn, who died two days later. Later that day, State Police retook most of the prison, but nearly 1,300 convicts occupied an exercise field, where they held 39 prison guards and employees hostage for four days. After negotiations stalled, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller ordered the State Police to regain control of the prison by force. During the operation, six other correctional officers were killed: Edward Cunningham, John D'Archangelo Jr., Richard Lewis, Carl Valone, Ronald Werner and Harrison Whalen. Twenty-nine inmates and three civilian employees were also killed.

April 6, 1970

Four California Highway Patrolmen — George Alleyn, Walt Frago, Roger Gore and James Pence — died in a fierce, four-minute gun battle with two heavily-armed suspects near Valencia. Patrolmen Frago and Gore were shot and killed in the driveway of a service station after following a suspicious vehicle. Patrolmen Alleyn and Pence were the backup and arrived shortly thereafter, only to be killed in the ensuing gun battle. The gunmen were able to make the escape after firing upon the third and fourth units to arrive on the scene. One of the offenders was later captured, and the other committed suicide after taking several hostages. The Newhall Incident, named for the California Highway Patrol station where the officers worked, reverberated throughout the law enforcement community and led to major reforms in training procedures, firearms use and arrest techniques.

October 30, 1950

Eight members of the Puerto Rico Police Department were shot and killed during a political revolt led by the Nationalist Party, which was attempting to overthrow U.S. presence on the island. The insurrection called for the attack of every police department and military installation on Puerto Rico. The carnage almost was averted: the day before the planned attack, a large number of arrests were made by the Puerto Rico Police and FBI. However, the assault still went on and led to the deaths of dozens of individuals, including the eight law enforcement officials: Chief of Police Aurelio Miranda-Rivera, Lieutenant Ramon Villanueva-Moro, Corporal Ramon Robles-Castillo, and Policemen Virgilio Camacho-Reyes, Jesus Felciano-Ruiz, Luis Rivera-Cardona and Dionisio Rivera-Yolistruck.

January 2, 1932

In what became known as the Young Brothers Massacre, six Missouri lawmen were killed as they attempted to apprehend two suspects wanted in the murder of Greene County Marshal Mark Noe. They were Greene County Sheriff Marcell Hendrix; Deputies Ollie Crosswhite and Wiley Mashburn; and Chief of Detectives Tony Oliver, Detective Sidney Meadows and Officer Charley Houser, all of the Springfield Police Department. Acting on a tip, an 11-man posse went to the family farm belonging to the Young clan and surrounded the residence in an attempt to arrest the suspects. The posse was fired upon, and Sheriff Hendrix and Deputy Mashburn were struck. After witnessing the shooting, Deputy Crosswhite ran to the back of the house and entered through the kitchen door, hoping to catch the shooters off guard. But as he went to the back of the house he was fatally shot. The other three lawmen were killed in the ensuing shootout. The suspects fled to Texas, but were eventually tracked down. They committed suicide once their residence was surrounded.

October 3, 1929

Eight members of the Colorado Department of Corrections — Raymond Brown, John Eeles, Elmer Erwin, Myron H. Goodwin, John McClelland, Walter Rinker, Charles Shepherd and Robert Wiggins — were all killed in a deadly riot at the Colorado State Penitentiary. This incident was preceded earlier that summer by a series of riots in two New York prisons and the Federal Penitentiary in Leavenworth, KS. In the Colorado riot, large sections of the prison were destroyed by fire, and it is estimated that more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition were fired during the melee. Though he ultimately died seven days later from gunshot wounds to the chest, Officer Goodwin is credited with helping stop a general break by the 1,200 inmates. Stationed in tower No. 1, Officer Goodwin threw away his keys when the attack started and began firing. He is credited with fatally shooting the ring leader of the disturbance.

November 24, 1917

In what remains the second deadliest day in U.S. law enforcement history (after September 11, 2001), nine Milwaukee Police officers were killed in a bomb blast at a police station. It was a Saturday evening, and a suspicious package was discovered alongside the Italian Evangelical Church in downtown Milwaukee. A scrubwoman for the church had discovered the package, and a boy named Sam Mazzone was summoned to take it to the police station. The boy arrived with the package shortly after 7 pm, as a group of detectives was filing out of roll call in the first floor assembly room. According to a police department report, “As detectives examined the package with a fury of haste, it exploded, immediately killing [nine police officers.]” The officers killed were Patrolman Henry Deckert and Detectives Frank Caswin, Fred Kaiser, David O'Brien, Stephen H. Stecker, Charles Seehawer, Edward Spindler, Al Templin and Paul Weiler. The culprits were never caught, but police linked the bombing to a group of anarchists who were seeking revenge against the pastor of the church that had been targeted.

April 6, 1902

Sheriff Charles Gassaway and five Colbert County (AL) Deputy Sheriffs were shot and killed while attempting to arrest a suspect for a fraud offense. The suspect informed the sheriff that he would be ready to go in a moment but returned with a Winchester rifle, immediately shooting Sheriff Gassaway and brother, Deputy William Gassaway. The suspect then barricaded himself in the house as other deputies arrived at the scene. Firing from inside the house, he shot and mortally wounded Deputies Jesse Davis, James Payne, Pat Prout and Bob Wallace. The suspect was eventually shot and killed after officers opened fire with more than 1,000 rounds.

September 8, 1900

On the evening of September 8, 1900, a massive hurricane (Category 4 by today's standards) struck the Gulf Coast at Galveston, TX. An estimated 8,000 people were killed, and the Galveston Police Department lost more than half of its officers in the storm. Four of those officers — Adolph Howe, F.L. Richards, Samuel Tovrea and Charles Wolfe — were killed as they attempted to rescue several families trapped in the downtown area.

July 27-28, 1900

The day after a suspect shot and wounded a New Orleans Police officer, a team of officers tracked the suspect to his home. When they entered, the suspect opened fire with a .38 caliber Winchester rifle, mortally wounding Captain John Day and Patrolman Peter Lamb. Other officers immediately surrounded the home, but the suspect was able to escape. Investigators soon received a tip with a location where the suspect was hiding. When officers arrived at the scene, the suspect shot and killed Sergeant Gabriel Porteous and Corporal John Lally and wounded three other officers before being killed himself.

July 19, 1898

An employee of an explosives company murdered a fellow worker in a dispute over lottery tickets, then barricaded himself in the building and threatened to blow it up if an attempt was made to arrest him. The standoff continued into the next day, when the suspect told a sheriff's deputy that he was ready to come out. As the deputies approached the building, an explosion shook the site, killing Deputies Daniel Cameron, Gustave Koch, John Lerri, Charles White and George Woodsum of the Alameda County (CA) Sheriff?s Office. A female bystander and the suspect were also killed in the blast.

December 15, 1890

Six officers with the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs eventually died after attempting to arrest Sitting Bull, the leader of the Sioux Indian tribe in South Dakota: Lieutenant Henry Bullhead, Sergeants James Little Eagle and Charles Shavehead, Private Paul Akicitah, and Officers John Armstrong and David Hawkman. After arresting the Chief, the officers were traveling back to their headquarters when they were attacked by a group led by the chief's son. Four officers were killed immediately and two were seriously wounded in the attack. The Sioux Chief was also killed, along with his son. The two injured officers later died of their wounds.

May 4, 1886

Eight Chicago Police officers eventually died following a violent labor dispute known as the Haymarket Riot. The officers were at the scene of a civil disturbance when the rioters opened fire and threw a bomb into the crowd. Killed in May 1890 were Patrolmen John Barrett, Mathias Degan, Nels Hansen, George Miller, Thomas Redden, and Michael Sheehan. Patrolman Timothy O'Sullivan succumbed to his injuries two years later, in June 1888. Seventy other people were injured by the gunfire and explosion.

May 1, 1885

Four members of the U.S. Marshals Service were shot and killed when their posse was ambushed while attempting to arrest several horse thieves near Calico Creek, Oklahoma. Deputy Marshal Jim Guy and Special Deputy Marshals Bill Kirksey, Andy Roff and James Roff were all shot and killed. Two of the suspects were also fatally shot, and two others were charged with murder, although they were acquitted.

March 14, 1873

Following the wounding in January 1873 of the Sheriff of Lampasas County, TX, a posse of seven state police officers was sent to a saloon to enforce a law prohibiting the wearing of side arms. The posse had arrested one man outside the saloon, and when they attempted to enter the saloon a gun battle ensued and three members of the Texas State Police were killed instantly: Captain Thomas Williams and Privates Wesley Cherry and J.M. Daniels. Private Andrew Melville died one month later from wounds he suffered in the gunfight.

April 15, 1872

Eight Deputy U.S. Marshals were shot and killed in what came to be known as the Going Snake Massacre, which occurred in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The lawmen went to a murder trial armed with an arrest warrant to detain the defendant if he was acquitted. As the lawmen approached the building, they were fired upon by a group of men who were waiting inside. Six members of the posse were killed on the spot: Special Deputies Black Sut Beck, Sam Beck, William Hicks, Jim Ward and Riley Woods, along with Posseman George Selvidge. Posseman William Beck and Deputy Marshal Jacob Owens died the next day of their wounds.

November 16, 1859

What became known as the Cortina War started when Juan Cortina, the heir to a large land grant in the lower Rio Grande valley that included the area around Brownsville, witnessed the city marshal pistol-whipping an intoxicated Mexican citizen who had previously been employed by the Cortina family. Cortina shot the marshal in the shoulder and fled on his horse with the prisoner. In September 1859, Cortina and 60-100 men rode into Brownsville intent on seeking revenge for numerous grievances. The Governor or Texas Governor Runnels authorized a company of 100 rangers from San Antonio to quell the lawlessness in Brownsville. On November 16, a detachment of 30 rangers spotted a band of Cortinistas about a mile from Palo Alto and pursued them into the chaparral. In a vicious gunfight that lasted only 30 minutes, Texas Ranger Privates John Fox, Thomas Grier, William McKay and Nicholas R. Milett were killed, and four others were badly wounded.

January 23, 1857

Los Angeles County (CA) Sheriff James Barton and three of his officers-Constables Charles Baker and William Little and Deputy Charles Daly-were shot and killed while attempting to arrest members of the notorious Flores-Daniels Gang. The gang ambushed the officers, killing them. Eventually, 52 members of the gang were arrested and 18 were hung for the murders.

OFFICER DOWN NEWS: US police fatalities jump 37 percent in 2010

--It has been a tough year for us. We have seen our losses increase and our numbers on the street decrease. I will have the final numbers on Thursday night's show as these numbers here only include up to yesterday and we have lost another brother-in-arms already.--

160 officers died in the line of duty across more than 30 states and Puerto Rico

Read a detailed report of the fatalities from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

By Greg Bluestein
The Associated Press

ATLANTA — Two officers in a remote Alaska town were ambushed as they chatted on a street. Two California deputies were killed by an arson suspect with a high-powered rifle as they tried to serve him a warrant. Two other officers doing anti-drug work were gunned down by men along a busy Arkansas highway.

These so-called cluster killings of more than one officer helped make 2010 a particularly dangerous year for law enforcement. Deaths in the line of duty jumped 37 percent to about 160 from 117 the year before, according to numbers as of Dec. 28 compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a nonprofit that tracks police deaths.

There also was a spike in shooting deaths. Fifty-nine federal, state and local officers were killed by gunfire in 2010, a 20 percent jump from last year's figures when 49 were killed. And 73 officers died in traffic incidents, a rise from the 51 killed in 2009, according to the data.

Craig Floyd, director of the Washington-based fund, said the rise in fatalities could be an aftershock of the nation's economic troubles as officers in some communities cope with slashed budgets.

"We're asking our officers to do more with less. We're asking them to fight conventional crime, and we're asking them to serve on the front lines in the war against terror," he said.

Last year's toll of 117 officers killed was a 50-year low that encouraged police groups. But this year's total is more the norm than an anomaly: The number of police deaths has topped 160 five times since 2000, including 240 in 2001. The annual toll routinely topped 200 in the 1970s and before that in the 1920s.

The deaths were spread across more than 30 states and Puerto Rico _ with the most killings reported in Texas, California, Illinois, Florida and Georgia. The two law enforcement agencies with the most deaths were the California Highway Patrol and the Chicago Police Department, each with five.

Ten of the shooting deaths came from five tragedies in which several officers were shot and killed in groups.

The cluster shootings started in February, when authorities say two Fresno County, Calif., deputies were shot by an arson suspect who had vowed to kill investigators and himself rather than go to prison. The killings led to a daylong gunbattle that ended in the gunman's death as well.

In March, San Juan authorities say two park rangers who were serving as guards at Puerto Rico's Department of Natural Resources were gunned down by invaders who jumped a fence during an attempted robbery.

Two West Memphis police officers doing anti-drug work in May were shot to death by two men wielding AK-47s along an Arkansas interstate. The suspects were later killed in a shootout that injured the local sheriff and a deputy at a crowded Walmart parking lot.

In June, authorities say a man wanted for writing a bad check shot and killed two Tampa, Fla., police officers after he was pulled over at 2:15 a.m. one morning. And in August a man was charged with killing two officers who were chatting in front of his home in the tiny Alaska village of Hoonah.

"There is a more cold-blooded, brazen criminal element prowling the streets of America today," Floyd said, suggesting that cultural and economic changes could be spurring the trend. "These people have a lack of respect for human life, and they don't think twice about killing a cop. They pose a real threat to our law enforcement officers."

The uptick in traffic deaths was particularly troubling, analysts said.

The research didn't reveal what led to many of the traffic deaths, partly because local departments often don't keep complete records those fatalities, said Floyd. But he said it suggests that more research is needed to investigate possible driver fatigue and distracted driving.

"We're asking citizens not to talk and text on their cell phones, but we're providing officers with laptop computers and cell phones and radios," he said. "That means taking their attention from the road. Are we putting too many distractions in police vehicles?"

UNION: No layoffs in Round Lake police contract — but no pay hike, either

--This is great to see. A short term extension that does not lock either side into unreasonable terms. GREAT JOB!!! Hopefully people will learn from this that it does not always have to be confrontational in negotiations.--

Daily Herald

By Bob Susnjara

Round Lake police officers won’t receive a base salary increase, but achieved a no-layoff guarantee as part of a one-year contract extension retroactive to May 1.

Village board members last week voted 6-0 in favor of the contract extension, which required approval from both sides.

Mayor James Dietz said negotiations on a longer-term contract are expected to start in 60 days or so.

“Everybody realizes the economy is down,” Dietz said Monday. “I think the police officers were willing to realize that.”

Officers remain eligible for raises based on longevity milestones, under the agreement. And while base pay won’t increase, Dietz said, the village guaranteed layoffs won’t occur through the extension that ends April 30, 2011.

Round Lake’s officers were represented by the Metropolitan Alliance of Police union in negotiations. Union executive board member Richard Tracy said the trend has been toward short-term deals for police officers.

Tracy said municipalities typically don’t want to be locked into unaffordable raises, while the officers don’t want to forfeit potential gains if the economy improves significantly in the middle of a contract.

No-layoff guarantees have become a noticeable part of police deals, Tracy said.

“I think a lot of contract talks have switched from finagling raises to protecting the jobs of our members,” he said.

An announcement about 3 percent annual police raises in a new three-year contract in Naperville ended on a sour note for some in the city last month. Officials quickly followed up by saying they needed to lay off six officers because of financial woes.

Gurnee village trustees in October approved a two-year contract with its Illinois Fraternal Order of Police union members retroactive to May 1. Under that agreement, police will receive a 5 percent base salary raise on April 30.

Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik said the deal was a result of officials wanting similar pay scales for police and firefighters, as well as public safety contracts that expire at the same time.

R.I.P.: Trooper First Class Chadwick T. LeCroy


Trooper First Class Chadwick T. LeCroy
Georgia State Patrol
End of Watch: Monday, December 27, 2010

Biographical Info
Age: 38
Tour of Duty: 2 years
Badge Number: 744

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Monday, December 27, 2010
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Apprehended

Trooper Chadwick LeCroy was shot and killed in Atlanta after a short vehicle pursuit.

He had attempted to stop a vehicle with a broken headlight on Bolton Road near James Jackson Parkway. The vehicle fled until it crashed at the intersection of St. Paul Avenue and Hightower Road.

As Trooper LeCroy approached the vehicle the suspect opened fire on him, striking him twice. The subject then stole Trooper LeCroy's patrol car and fled the scene. He was arrested a short distance away by members of the Atlanta Police Department and Cobb County Police Department.

Trooper LeCroy had served with the Georgia State Patrol for two years. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

Agency Contact Information

Georgia State Patrol
Public Information Office
PO Box 1456
Atlanta, GA 30371
Phone: (404) 624-7597

Monday, December 27, 2010

NEWS: Gunmen rob Northlake Gamestop

--Nice way to begin the after-Christmas shopping season.--

Pioneer Press

December 27, 2010

A Gamestop in Northlake was robbed at gunpoint this morning.

Two men walked into the store at 75 W. North Ave. after 10 a.m., said Northlake Police Cmdr. Jay Militello. After several minutes, one pulled out a handgun. They ordered an employee to open the register and took somewhere between $100 and $400.

They had the employee go into the storeroom where they took several gaming consoles. They then got a key from the employee, unlocked a showcase and took several more consoles. They drove off in an unknown vehicle.

PENSION: (National) Alabama Town’s Failed Pension Is a Warning

--How long before a town here tries this?--

New York Times


PRICHARD, Ala. — This struggling small city on the outskirts of Mobile was warned for years that if it did nothing, its pension fund would run out of money by 2009. Right on schedule, its fund ran dry.

Then Prichard did something that pension experts say they have never seen before: it stopped sending monthly pension checks to its 150 retired workers, breaking a state law requiring it to pay its promised retirement benefits in full.

Since then, Nettie Banks, 68, a retired Prichard police and fire dispatcher, has filed for bankruptcy. Alfred Arnold, a 66-year-old retired fire captain, has gone back to work as a shopping mall security guard to try to keep his house. Eddie Ragland, 59, a retired police captain, accepted help from colleagues, bake sales and collection jars after he was shot by a robber, leaving him badly wounded and unable to get to his new job as a police officer at the regional airport.

Far worse was the retired fire marshal who died in June. Like many of the others, he was too young to collect Social Security. “When they found him, he had no electricity and no running water in his house,” said David Anders, 58, a retired district fire chief. “He was a proud enough man that he wouldn’t accept help.”

The situation in Prichard is extremely unusual — the city has sought bankruptcy protection twice — but it proves that the unthinkable can, in fact, sometimes happen. And it stands as a warning to cities like Philadelphia and states like Illinois, whose pension funds are under great strain: if nothing changes, the money eventually does run out, and when that happens, misery and turmoil follow.

It is not just the pensioners who suffer when a pension fund runs dry. If a city tried to follow the law and pay its pensioners with money from its annual operating budget, it would probably have to adopt large tax increases, or make huge service cuts, to come up with the money.

Current city workers could find themselves paying into a pension plan that will not be there for their own retirements. In Prichard, some older workers have delayed retiring, since they cannot afford to give up their paychecks if no pension checks will follow.

So the declining, little-known city of Prichard is now attracting the attention of bankruptcy lawyers, labor leaders, municipal credit analysts and local officials from across the country. They want to see if the situation in Prichard, like the continuing bankruptcy of Vallejo, Calif., ultimately creates a legal precedent on whether distressed cities can legally cut or reduce their pensions, and if so, how.

“Prichard is the future,” said Michael Aguirre, the former San Diego city attorney, who has called for San Diego to declare bankruptcy and restructure its own outsize pension obligations. “We’re all on the same conveyor belt. Prichard is just a little further down the road.”

Many cities and states are struggling to keep their pension plans adequately funded, with varying success. New York City plans to put $8.3 billion into its pension fund next year, twice what it paid five years ago. Maryland is considering a proposal to raise the retirement age to 62 for all public workers with fewer than five years of service.

Illinois keeps borrowing money to invest in its pension funds, gambling that the funds’ investments will earn enough to pay back the debt with interest. New Jersey simply decided not to pay the $3.1 billion that was due its pension plan this year.

Colorado, Minnesota and South Dakota have all taken the unusual step of reducing the benefits they pay their current retirees by cutting cost-of-living increases; retirees in all three states are suing.

No state or city wants to wind up like Prichard.

Driving down Wilson Avenue here — a bleak stretch of shuttered storefronts, with pawn shops and beauty parlors that operate behind barred windows and signs warning of guard dogs — it is hard to see vestiges of the Prichard that was a boom town until the 1960s. The city once had thriving department stores, two theaters and even a zoo. “You couldn’t find a place to park in that city,” recalled Kenneth G. Turner, a retired paramedic whose grandfather pushed for the city’s incorporation in 1925.

The city’s rapid decline began in the 1970s. The growth of other suburbs, white flight and then middle-class flight all took their tolls, and the city’s population shrank by 40 percent to about 27,000 today, from its peak of 45,000. As people left, the city’s tax base dwindled.

Prichard’s pension plan was established by state law during the good times, in 1956, to supplement Social Security. By the standard of other public pension plans, and the six-figure pensions that draw outrage in places like California and New Jersey, it is not especially rich. Its biggest pension came to about $39,000 a year, for a retired fire chief with many years of service. The average retiree got around $12,000 a year. But the plan allowed workers to retire young, in their 50s. And its benefits were sweetened over time by the state legislature, which did not pay for the added benefits.

For many years, the city — like many other cities and states today — knew that its pension plan was underfunded. As recently as 2004, the city hired an actuary, who reported that “the plan is projected to exhaust the assets around 2009, at which time benefits will need to be paid directly from the city’s annual finances.”

The city had already taken the unusual step of reducing pension benefits by 8.5 percent for current retirees, after it declared bankruptcy in 1999, yielding to years of dwindling money, mismanagement and corruption. (A previous mayor was removed from office and found guilty of neglect of duty.) The city paid off its last creditors from the bankruptcy in 2007. But its current mayor, Ronald K. Davis, never complied with an order from the bankruptcy court to begin paying $16.5 million into the pension fund to reduce its shortfall.

A lawyer representing the city, R. Scott Williams, said that the city simply did not have the money. “The reality for Prichard is that if you took money to build the pension up, who’s going to pay the garbage man?” he asked. “Who’s going to pay to run the police department? Who’s going to pay the bill for the street lights? There’s only so much money to go around.”

Workers paid 5.5 percent of their salaries into the pension fund, and the city paid 10.5 percent. But the fund paid out more money than it took in, and by September 2009 there was no longer enough left in the fund to send out the $150,000 worth of monthly checks owed to the retirees. The city stopped paying its pensions. And no one stepped in to enforce the law.

The retirees, who were not unionized, sued. The city tried to block their suit by declaring bankruptcy, but a judge denied the request. The city is appealing. The retirees filed another suit, asking the city to pay at least some of the benefits they are owed. A mediation effort is expected to begin soon. Many retirees say they would accept reduced benefits.

Companies with pension plans are required by federal law to put money behind their promises years in advance, and the government can impose punitive taxes on those that fail to do so, or in some cases even seize their pension funds.

Companies are also required to protect their pension assets. So if a corporate pension fund falls below 60 cents’ worth of assets for every dollar of benefits owed, workers can no longer accrue additional benefits. (Prichard was down to just 33 cents on the dollar in 2003.)

And if a company goes bankrupt, the federal government can take over its pension plan and see that its retirees receive their benefits. Although some retirees receive less than they were promised, no retiree from a federally insured plan in the private sector has come away empty-handed since the federal pension law was enacted in 1974. The law does not cover public sector workers.

Last week several dozen retirees — one using a wheelchair, some with canes — attended the weekly City Council meeting, asking for something before Christmas. Mary Berg, 61, a former assistant city clerk whose mother was once the city’s zookeeper, read them the names of 11 retirees who had died since the checks stopped coming.

“I hope that on Christmas morning, when you are with your families around your Christmas trees, that you remember that most of the retirees will not be opening presents with their families,” she told them.

The budget did not move forward. Mayor Davis was out of town.

“Merry Christmas!” shouted a man from the back row of the folding chairs. The retirees filed out. One woman could not hold back her tears.

After the meeting, Troy Ephriam, a council member who became chairman of the pension fund when it was nearly broke, sat in his office and recalled some of the failed efforts to put more money into the pension fund.

“I think the biggest disappointment I have is that there was not a strong enough effort to put something in there,” he said. “And that’s the reason that it’s hard for me to look these people in the face: because I’m not certain we really gave our all to prevent this.”

NEWS: (Aurora) Aurora police chaplain injured in crash

Daily Herald

By Marco Santana

A popular Aurora Police Department chaplain was in serious condition Monday with what officials said were not life-threatening injuries after a marked squad car he was riding in crashed Sunday.

The Rev. Jerome Leake, 68, of Aurora, was in the front passenger seat with a 26-year-old police officer as they responded to a call of a burglary in progress on the city’s east side about 8:40 p.m.

The squad car had its lights and sirens on as it headed east on Fifth Avenue near State Street.

Officials say the car hit a patch of ice and spun off the road on the north side of Fifth Avenue, striking a tree on the car’s passenger side.

Aurora firefighters extricated Leake from the vehicle and took both Leake and the officer to Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora.

The officer, a three-year veteran of the Aurora Police Department who authorities did not name, was treated and released.

Leake, however, was airlifted to another area hospital for further treatment.

“He is a revered member of the Aurora Police Department,” spokesman Dan Ferrelli said. “He’s looked at as one of the boys.”

Leake, who serves as pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Aurora, rides along with officers at least once a week, Ferrelli said.

“Not enough can be said about the service Father Leake offers to the community and to the officers of the police department,” Ferrelli said.

The Aurora Police Traffic Division is investigating the crash, officials said. No tickets were issued.

R.I.P.: Police Officer John Maguire


Police Officer John Maguire
Woburn Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, December 26, 2010

Biographical Info
Age: 60
Tour of Duty: 34 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Sunday, December 26, 2010
Weapon Used: Handgun
Suspect Info: Shot and killed

Officer John Maguire was shot and killed when he responded
to a robbery in progress at a local department store.

Two men entered a department store at 9:00pm, just as the
store was about to close. The men robbed the jewelry
counter, and then fled on foot.

Officer Magurie responded along with several other officers.
As one of the men fled the store he was confronted by Officer
Maguire. The two exchanged shots and Officer Maguire was
struck twice in the chest. He was transported to a hospital in
Burlington where he succumbed to his wounds. The suspect
was also killed in the exchange of gunfire.

The second suspect fled to a waiting car, where he fled with a
third suspect. Both men were later apprehended and face
multiple charges, including murder and robbery.

Officer Maguire had served with the Woburn Police Department
for 34 years.

Agency Contact Information

Woburn Police Department
25 Harrison Avenue
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: (781) 932-4510