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

Officer Down

Friday, August 31, 2012

R.I.P.: Trooper Eric M. Workman


Trooper Eric M. Workman
West Virginia State Police, West Virginia
End of Watch: Friday, August 31, 2012

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 26
Tour: 1 year, 8 months
Badge # Not available
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 8/28/2012
Weapon: Handgun
Suspect: Shot and killed

Trooper Eric Workman and Corporal Marshall Bailey were shot and killed after they stopped a vehicle for reckless driving at the commuter parking lot adjacent to I-79, in Clay County, at approximately 8:30 pm.

The troopers determined the subject was intoxicated and placed him under arrest and hancuffed in front of his body. The subject was searched and placed in the back of the patrol car when he was able to reach a concealed 9mm pistol that was not discovered in the search. He shot both troopers inside of the vehicle and took Corporal Bailey's service weapon.

After climbing out of the vehicle he shot a tow truck driver who had been called to the scene to impound his car. The tow truck driver was able to get away from the scene and call for help.

The subject then fled on foot and set up an ambush in a ditch. He later opened fire on officers from multiple agencies who responded to the scene, wounding a Roane County deputy in the arm, hand, and stomach. The responding officers returned fire, killing the subject.

Corporal Bailey succumbed to his wounds at the scene. Trooper Workman was transported to CAMC General Hospital where he remained on life support until succumbing to his wounds two days later.

Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:

Colonel C. R. "Jay" Smithers
West Virginia State Police
725 Jefferson Road
South Charleston, WV 25309
Phone: (304) 746-2100

Related LODD

Corporal Marshall Lee Bailey
West Virginia State Police, West Virginia
End of Watch: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Cause: Gunfire

Presidential Candidate Questionnaire by National F.O.P.

The National Office of the Fraternal Order of Police
 submitted a questionnaire to both candidates for 
President of the United States.

Duke's Daily Blotter makes no political endorsements.

Seeing as we are geared to the law enforcement community and these issues affect you, we felt this was worth getting out to everyone we could.

The questionnaire is 18 pages long and can be downloaded here >>>>>>>>>>>>

NEWS: (Chicago) Emanuel, McCarthy ask feds for help on South Side

The city’s “Violence Reduction Initiative” started in Englewood and Harrison districts in mid-January.

--The Violence Reduction Initiative is a FAILURE. 
Every initiative put forth by McCarthy has failed. 
You cannot fight crime by using fake numbers to try and show more police officers on the streets.
Until the police officers are out on the streets in proper numbers they will not be able to get a handle on crime.--

Story at Chicago Tribune

From left, Chicago Police First Deputy Superintendent Al Wysinger, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy at a Chicago Police Department promotion ceremony at Navy Pier. (Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune / August 31, 2012)
By Kristen Mack
Tribune reporter
5:09 PM CDT, August 31, 2012

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has asked federal law enforcement for help in combating violence and drugs in two areas of Chicago that the city says have seen the highest increase in crime this year.

Chicago police officers will coordinate with U.S. marshals and FBI, DEA and ATF agents to go after what the mayor called “high-crime areas and high-target individuals” in the Grand Crossing and Ogden police districts on the South Side.

The plan is modeled after a crackdown approach that involves saturating so-called conflict zones with gang, narcotics and patrol officers in the Englewood District on the South Side and the Harrison District on the West Side.

Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said that approach has reduced homicides in those two areas. “I’m pleased that we are going to get that type of support, and the strategy is working,” Emanuel said at a news conference.

McCarthy said he expects similar results with both “immediate and long-term achievements” in Grand Crossing and Ogden. Although McCarthy said the plan is not a “short-term strategy, ” the federal assistance only lasts four months.  The help comes in the form of additional agents to target guns, gangs and drugs.

“We’re working on the worst of the worst . . . the people who are most likely to be involved in homicide, whether they are the offender or a victim of homicide,” McCarthy said.

In Grand Crossing, homicides are up 56 percent and in Ogden they are up 45 percent through Aug. 19, according to the most recent police records available.

The city’s “Violence Reduction Initiative” started in Englewood and Harrison districts in mid-January.

Police records show that from Jan. 1 through Aug. 19, the Englewood District had a 25 percent reduction in homicides compared with the same period last year. In the Harrison District homicides were down 3 percent.

The city’s overall homicide rate is about 31 percent higher than last year. After a year-over-year reduction in homicides in July, the numbers have increased again this month relative to a year ago.

“We’ve obviously had a very difficult August so we have our work cut out for us,” Emanuel said.

BLUE ALERT: (WV) Trooper Eric Michael Workman Passes

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Trooper Workman's family and to the West Virginia State Police on their loss.
More info will be posted when available.

Alert from Blue Alert National Notification System


The following statement was released on Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's website:

It is with deep sorrow that the West Virginia State Police reports the death of Trooper Eric Michael Workman on August 31, 2012. Trooper Workman was critically wounded on Tuesday, August 28, 2012, when he and Corporal Marshall Lee Bailey were shot during a traffic stop along WV Route 36 just off of Interstate 79, Exit 34 - Wallback/Clay, in Roane County, West Virginia. Corporal Marshall Bailey died at the scene.

Trooper Workman enlisted in the West Virginia State Police on January 10, 2011. He was assigned to the Grantsville Detachment upon graduating from the West Virginia State Police Academy and had been recently transferred to the Clay Detachment. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Trooper Workman's family would like to inform the public that he is an organ donor. It is the family's sincere hope that even in his death, his selfless service to others will continue by providing others an opportunity to live a fruitful life.

"Trooper Workman was an outstanding young man with a promising future. It is unfortunate his life was cut short by this senseless and cowardly act. Our prayers continue to be with his family and friends. I am overwhelmed by the support the West Virginia State Police family is receiving during this difficult time." - Colonel C. R. "Jay" Smithers

"I met with Trooper Workman's family earlier this week, and I can honestly say without a doubt, West Virginia lost a very brave young man this afternoon. Joanne and I have held this family and the entire West Virginia State Police family in our prayers, and we will continue to pray for them in the days ahead. May God bless the men and women who wear the uniform and whose mission it is to protect us all." - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin

Thursday, August 30, 2012

PENSION: (National) The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth


An 80% funded ratio often has been cited in recent years as a basis for whether a pension plan is financially or “actuarially” sound.  Left  unchallenged,  this  misinformation  can  gain  undue credibility with the observer, who may accept and in turn rely on it as fact, thereby establishing a mythic standard. This issue brief de-bunks that myth and clarifies how actuaries view funding levels for pension plans and how the funded ratio relates to the general idea of “soundness” or the “health” of a pension plan or system. The Pension Practice Council of the American Academy of Actuaries finds that while the funded ratio may be a useful measure, under-standing a pension plan’s funding progress should not be reduced to a single measure or benchmark at a single point in time. Pension plans should have a strategy in place to attain or maintain a funded status of 100% or greater over a reasonable period of time.


A funded ratio of 80% should not be used as a criterion for identifying a plan as being either in good  financial  health  or  poor  financial  health. No single level of funding should be identified as a defining line between a “healthy” and an “unhealthy” pension plan. All plans should have the objective of accumulating assets equal to 100% of a relevant pension obligation, unless reasons for a different target have been clearly identified and the consequences of that target are well understood. 


Frequent unchallenged references to 80% funding as a healthy level threaten to create a mythic standard.

No single level of funding should be identified as a defining line between a “healthy” and an
“unhealthy” pension plan.

Funded ratios are a point-in-time measurement. The movement or trend of the funded ratio is as important as the absolute level.

Most plans should have the objective of accumulating assets equal to 100% of a relevant
pension obligation.

The financial health of a pension plan depends on many factors in addition to funded status—particularly the size of any shortfall compared with the resources of
the plan sponsor.

PENSION: (Illinois) EDITORIAL Illinois, the 6th-rate state

--This is an excellent piece for change in Springfield.
The problem is that if we vote out all the incumbents that are on the ballot, the main players will not change.
We are still stuck with Madigan, Cullerton, Cross, and Quinn. And to be honest, Christine Radogno disappointed me when she changed her mind on doing anything.
No matter what position Madigan holds he will control the state. 
Illinois voters need to get control back in Springfield by send clear messages to our elected officials that they work for us and not for themselves.--

Editorial at Chicago Tribune

Once again: It's the incumbents. Voters, your move.

August 30, 2012

On Aug. 17, Illinois lawmakers interrupted their summer vacations for a special session that wasn't so special. As usual, they refused to rescue the worst-funded, most-overpromised state pension system in the nation. On Sunday we quoted a frustrated legislator who correctly tied that refusal to politicking before the Nov. 6 general election: "Both parties intentionally failed — so that each now has the opportunity to blame the other."

All that scheming among Democrats and Republicans assumes that Illinoisans care enough about the state's downward financial spiral to let it shape their votes. Sure enough, on Wednesday those contested races for legislative seats got more interesting: Standard & Poor's downgrade of Illinois' credit rating to the sixth-highest rung of its ratings ladder — an A, with a negative outlook that warns of possibly more downgrades — isn't some wrist-slap at politicians who don't keep their bedrooms neat. This latest demotion — Congrats, Illinois, you're a sixth-rate state! — aggravates a debacle that's already costing taxpayers some $550 million a year.

Two years ago we explained how the Civic Federation of Chicago calculated that estimate, and why voters might want to do something about it:

Illinois has to pay additional interest (your tax dollars) to bond buyers who, in turn, cross their fingers and accept the additional risk of lending money to an insolvent state that cannot pay its bills on time. The Civic Federation compared Illinois' high cost of borrowing to that of governments whose stewardship of public money has earned them higher bond ratings. On just one year's borrowing, Illinois had to pay $551.3 million more in interest over the life of the bonds than if this state merited a decent credit rating. That worked out to 20.9 percent more interest than taxpayers in a well-run Illinois would have to pay.

The Civic Federation hasn't rerun its numbers but expects that not much has changed since August 2010. With each deeper downgrade, though, the likelihood that our pols' failure means they're squandering even more taxpayer dollars on needless interest payments only grows.

On Wednesday, S&P credit analyst Robin Prunty essentially blamed state government leaders for their chronic mismanagement of not just the pension system, but Illinois' broader financial mess. This isn't the breeziest reading, but we'll let Prunty speak for herself and S&P: "The downgrade reflects the state's weak pension funding levels and lack of action on reform measures intended to improve funding levels and diminish cost pressures associated with annual contributions. The downgrade also reflects continued financial weakness despite significant measures in the past two years to improve structural budget performance."

Our translation: Wake up, Illinois taxpayers. Your pols are do-littles who hugely raised income taxes and still didn't fix their doomed pension system or their budget, bedeviled as it is by billions in unpaid bills. As your credit rating keeps going down, the amount of surplus interest you foolishly pay to buyers of your bonds probably keeps going up.

In the wake of Wednesday's downgrade, Illinois politicians of both parties were busy blaming one another. Of course they were.

Don't fall for those misdirection plays. The lot of them are to blame — leaders of both parties who are angling for political advantage, back-benchers of both parties who won't confront those leaders for fear of losing the campaign muscle and money the leaders dole out like porridge.

Once again, then, as we've been writing since the Aug. 17 implosion: It's the incumbents, voters. The Nov. 6 election is almost here. Your move.

You have the power to defeat legislators who refuse to reform the pension system. And remember, many lawmakers in both parties are double losers: In years past they also voted for the sweetheart pensions. That is, they put you in the position of having to fund their give-aways — of your money — to their friends in public employees unions. Having created this debacle, they now won't fix it. The unions don't want them to.

You have the power to find and support challengers who will holler for pension reform. That's what we'll be looking for as we roll out our endorsements for legislative races.

So, voters, it comes to this: When you cast your ballots in 68 days, will you enforce consequences on the incumbents who won't take steps to reduce your vast indebtedness? The legislators who have turned Illinois into a sixth-rate state? Or will you let them get away with that?

Note that although membership in the General Assembly is a part-time job, it pays legislators handsome retirement benefits.

But while state government spirals downward, and while ratings agencies mull their next downgrades of Illinois, don't worry about your legislators' pensions. Even in failure, they're still racking up pension points. Their pensions are just fine. Nice of you to ask.

NEWS: (Illinois) Officials in 31 suburban townships get automatic raises

--Illinois is the most governed state in the country. We have over 7000 governmental bodies that run different areas of the state.
Imagine the money we could save if we got rid of some of these useless bodies, starting with these townships.
We just do not need all this government. These bodies were created to take care of certain individuals at one time and they have been handed down through families.
Just look at Leyden Township and the grasp that Rosemont has on the township government.
It is time we stopped wasting money at the behest of politicians.--

Story at Daily Herald

Employees give themselves $661,387 in raises

By Jake Griffin

While most American workers have spent the past four years getting by on stagnant — or declining — wages, some elected township officials were getting automatic raises.

The officials in 31 suburban townships combined to make $661,387 more this year than they did four years ago, a nearly 10 percent pay bump over that period, according to financial records provided by the townships.

In many cases, the elected officials gave themselves the raises and they're getting ready to do it again.

Most township boards have until November to grant themselves raises for next year, and some already have done so.

The eight elected officers in St. Charles Township stand to make a total of $240,622 this year, a 13.5 percent spike above their combined 2009 salary total of $212,081. As in most townships, the lion's share goes to the supervisor, assessor and highway commissioner. Clerks also receive a salary, and four part-time trustees, whose main job is to show up to 12 meetings a year, also receive small stipends.

“The economy was shaky in 2008, but we didn't know it was going to be like it turned out,” said John Arthur Anderson, supervisor of St. Charles Township.

Anderson was a trustee in 2008 when the board voted on the elected officials' salaries for the coming four years.

He expects the board will be more frugal this time, but the township's elected officers should expect to be paid more than they are now by the end of the next 4-year term.

“We have not formally decided, but it was discussed having no increase next year, then minor increases in the years after,” he said.

State law requires township boards set the salaries for elected positions 180 days before swearing in the winners of the next election. In this case, the election is April 9, 2013. That gives most suburban townships until November, at the latest, to set the salaries for elected officials for the next four years who will take office in late April or early May.

Wauconda Township Supervisor Glenn Swanson, who is seeking re-election, voted July 18 to give his current post an $11,000 raise, to $65,504 next year.

His salary and the others then will be frozen for two years, followed by 3 percent pay hikes for supervisor, assessor and highway commissioner in each of the subsequent two years.

“A study was done, it was done by myself, and what the board decided to do was equalize the supervisor's salary with the assessor and road commissioner,” Swanson said. “I'm at a point where fair is fair and equal is equal, and based on the size of the township, the general assistance cases and all that, the average salary is $68,000 in Lake County for township supervisor.”

The vote doesn't sit well with Wauconda Township resident Michael Hennessy, a longtime critic of the township.

“I think it's inconceivable that seven years ago this was a part-time job with no benefits and now he's making this money and full benefits,” Hennessy said. “This was never meant to be a full-time position in this township or any township.”

Hennessy isn't the only taxpayer who has voiced concerns about township government in recent years. The form of government has come under fire from some Illinois legislators who question the need for townships in modern government.

Township officials contend they provide many social services for poor families and senior citizens that are ignored or underfunded by other levels of government. But critics argue many of the duties townships have taken on come with no mandate from the state or voters.

“You have to look at each township and see what services they're offering,” said Dan Venturi, Lake Villa Township supervisor. “In our community, we do have a lot of support. Our community is pretty happy with us.”

Lake Villa Township's board voted unanimously in April to increase salaries of elected officials about 2 percent in each of the final two years of the officeholders' upcoming 4-year term, according to minutes from the meeting.

Of 46 suburban townships surveyed in six counties, Wayne, Winfield, Milton and Warren township boards have also approved salary hikes for some or all of the elected officials over the next four years.

Warren Township Trustee Mike Semmerling was one of two trustees who voted against the pay hikes for elected officials.

“I own a company and our employees have struggled,” he said. “I just felt passing along the pay increases as we have in the past wasn't right. The elected officials should reflect what the private sector is doing.”

And because the private sector is not doling out raises much anymore, township boards like Antioch, Bloomingdale, Downers Grove, Hanover, Libertyville, Wheeling and York have frozen salaries for elected officials for the next four years.

“It was in the best interest of the township and we think those salaries are fair and reasonable,” said Bloomingdale Township Supervisor Ed Levato, who noted salaries have been frozen at the current rate for eight years now.

However, the salaries for Bloomingdale Township's elected officials total $313,680, about $100,000 more than the average of the 46 townships surveyed.

“It is a job,” Levato said. “It is a livelihood and someone's got to run the apparatus of government. I'm a lawyer and I give up a lot of money to do this job as supervisor because I'm interested in my community.”

Legal experts say there is not much recourse for voters living in townships that have already approved salary hikes.

“The citizens don't have any binding powers to do anything post-hike,” said Maryam Judar, a community lawyer at the Elmhurst-based Citizen Advocacy Center. “They can appeal to the representatives if there are rules or procedures of that governing body to rescind that resolution.”

Township officials also don't have to accept the raises. The current batch of elected officials in Avon Township rejected pay hikes approved by a previous board four years ago. It was one of their campaign promises. The move cost the officials $58,000 over four years.

But it's not as easy as it sounds. The officials are required by law to be paid that amount. Township Clerk Lisa Rusch said the eight officials then gave back the raises to the township.

“In the first three years we gave it back to the food pantry,” Rusch said. “This past year (Supervisor Sam) Yingling took applications and used the money to help pay property taxes of some of the residents who were having trouble.”

Rusch said the township board hasn't set the salary schedule for the next four years but expects they will actually lower some the salaries below the levels officeholders are currently accepting.

NEWS: (Illinois) Geneva mayor opposes letting liquor licensees hold office

--I have to say, I agree with this 100%.
Imagine walking into a bar to do a check or on some type of call and the bar owner is one of your alderman or trustees.
What a mess.
I have nothing against business owners being politicians but there is a reason we have always had a separation at alcohol for good reason.
Alcohol establishments generate police calls more than other businesses. That is just a fact of life.--

Story at Daily Herald

By Susan Sarkauskas

Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns said this week he is “110 percent opposed” to amending the city’s liquor code to allow license holders to be aldermen.

His statement was prompted by a question from Alderman Ralph Dantino about the status of a proposed resolution to allow licensees to become aldermen. The council discussed the idea at a policy-themed committee of the whole meeting July 31 at the request of Alderman Sam Hill, and directed city staff members to craft such a change for consideration.

Hill, who is stepping down in April, was opposed in the 2009 election by the owner of a downtown bar. Hill favors letting license holders serve on the council. A change in state law now allows this in smaller municipalities such as Geneva.

“I believe that the mental gymnastics done that evening would have rivaled the dismal performance the Chinese had in London (at the Olympics),” Burns said of the previous discussion.

Aldermen discussed how the law discriminates against one class of business owners, and conflicts of interest, both legal and unofficial. State law requires the license holder to avoid discussing or voting on matters relating to liquor, including licensing or punishing establishments.

Burns said he has to “protect and preserve the integrity of the governing body,” and that there would always be conflicts of interest. He cited as examples votes on fire safety codes, hiring police, building code enforcement, closing times and parking enforcement as times when he believes a license holder would have to recuse himself from discussing and voting on the matter.

He said it would also put police officers, who check for liquor law compliance, in an “untenable situation” of having to enforce laws on people who can hire and fire them.

Burns also said that, when the city was revising its liquor code earlier this year, it asked liquor licensees what they thought of proposed changes. Not one said anything about changing it to allow license holders to hold office, including the man who ran against Hill.

“We don’t have a problem, folks, but I think we create a problem by amending the code,” Burns said.

R.I.P.: Chief of Police Herbert Proffitt


Chief of Police Herbert Proffitt 
Tompkinsville Police Department, Kentucky
End of Watch: Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 82
Tour: 55 years
Badge # Not available
Military veteran
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 8/28/2012
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: Apprehended

Chief of Police (Ret) Herbert Proffitt was shot and killed from ambush in the driveway of his home by a man whom he had arrested multiple times over the past 40 years. He was walking down his driveway to check his mail when the subject drove up and opened fire, killing him.

The suspect fled the scene but was arrested several hours later.

It was later determined that Chief Proffitt had first arrested the man for domestic violence in the 1970s. The conviction resulted in the man spending several years in the state penitentiary. Chief Proffitt arrested the man several more times after his release from prison. When he was arrested for Chief Proffitt's murder, he had copies of the original citations in his possession.

Chief Proffitt was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War. He had served in law enforcement for 55 years, including as chief of the Tompkinsville Police Department and sheriff of Monroe County. He returned to work as a bailiff with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office after retiring the first time in 2000. He retired again in 2009 at the age of 79.

Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:

Chief of Police Dale Ford
Tompkinsville Police Department
201 East 2nd Street
Tompkinsville, KY 42167
Phone: (270) 487-6191

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

CHICAGO OUTFIT: Reputed mobster sentenced to 9 years in robbery plots

Story at Chicago Tribune

Joseph Scalise, 73, booking photo. He pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy and racketeering for plotting to rob an armored car and a break-in at the home of deceased member of the Chicago Outfit. (FBI / July 20, 2011)

By Annie Sweeney
Tribune reporter
4:08 PM CDT, August 29, 2012

Reputed mobster Joseph Scalise and an associate were each sentenced today to 9 years in prison for plotting to rob an armored car and to break into the family home of a deceased Chicago Outfit boss.

Years ago Scalise pulled off one of the more memorable heists in Chicago mob lore, donning disguises to rob the egg-shaped Marlborough Diamond from a London jewelry story.

Scalise was in his 70s when he, Bobby Pullia and Arthur Rachel were arrested in 2010 all dressed in black in a van parked near the Bridgeport home of the late mob boss Angelo “the Hook” LaPietra’s family.

They had already drilled holes into windows leading into the basement and had been under surveillance by federal agents who had listened in on bugging devices as the trio cased banks and armored cars.

News reports that federal agents had found $750,000 in cash and stolen jewelry hidden in the home of imprisoned mob hit man Frank Calabrese Sr. inspired the crew to target the home, authorities have said.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber imposed the 9-year prison terms today on Scalise and Pullia. Both had pleaded guilty to racketeering and conspiracy charges.

Rachel, who was convicted following a trial, was earlier sentenced to about 8 ½ years in prison.

He was also convicted with Scalise in the Marlborough Diamond theft. Both ended up serving 13-year sentences for that heist. The 45-carat diamond was never recovered.

PENSION: (Illinois) S&P lowers Illinois’ credit rating over pension crisis

--Our great state just continues to reach new highs by making new lows.
Only California has a worse credit rating than we do.
According to S&P the decision is based on "lack of action on reform measures".
Is this surprising? It shouldn't be.
Nothing gets done in Illinois until it is time for the votes to mean jobs or side deals for our politicians.
The people of Illinois need to wake up and stop the 'business as usual' that is taking place in Springfield.
I am not advocating voting democrat or republican, I am advocating wholesale changes not based on party affiliation but based on who really wants to do the job.--

Story at Chicago Sun-Times

Last Modified: Aug 29, 2012 01:12PM

Continuing pension problems have earned Illinois another reduction in its credit rating.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services announced Wednesday that it is lowering Illinois’ rating a notch to “A” from “A+.” The decision is based on weak funding for government pensions and a “lack of action on reform measures,” said S&P credit analyst Robin Prunty,

Only California has a lower rating from S&P, but the service says the outlook for California is positive. Illinois falls into the “negative outlook” category.

The S&P action comes less than two weeks after the Illinois General Assembly failed to take action on the state’s $83 billion pension debt. Gov. Pat Quinn wanted the Legislature to vote on a debt-reduction measure during a special session, but lawmakers adjourned after taking no action.

State officials said they were afraid S&P would order a “double downgrade,” a two-notch rate reduction, as a result. While only a one-notch cut was ordered, S&P made clear with its negative rating that future downgrades could occur.

The lower rating applies to more than $1 billion in general obligation bonds.

The Moody’s rating service has also warned that it may lower the state’s rating.

Lower ratings can raise the interest rate Illinois must pay when borrowing money.

Illinois retirement systems have the country’s largest gap between the money available and what they’ll eventually pay out in pensions. Officials have been deadlocked for months over what to do.

Contributing: Reporter David Roeder, AP

NEWS: (Suburban) Oak Brook brings back citizen police academy

--I know I am in the minority here but, I think these academies are a great idea.
I used to instruct at the Northlake Citizen Police Academies and I loved it.
It is a great way to let people know how things are really done and dispel some of the television myths.--

Story at Pioneer Press

Last Modified: Aug 27, 2012 07:47PM

Oak Brook — Oak Brook police have resurrected their Citizen Police Academy for the first time since 1997.

“I believe it was discontinued because of a lack of interest, but he had a couple of calls from residents who were interested,” said Erica Huff, support services officer.

As of Monday, 13 people had signed up for the academy, which is scheduled to start Sept. 5. Academy classes are slated to meet from 7 to 9 p.m. for nine consecutive Wednesdays at the Oak Brook Police Department, 1200 Oak Brook Road.

“We’ve been very pleased with the response,” said Huff, who added about 20 people can be accommodated for academy classes.

Sessions are designed to incorporate lecture and scenario-based formats. Oak Brook police officers and other personnel will be instructors for topics such as support services and community programs, Illinois Vehicle Code, DUI, criminal law, case law, evidence collection, SWAT, defensive tactics and traffic stops.

“Our goal is to educate citizens on law enforcement, particularly our practices and procedures in Oak Brook,” Huff said. “We will talk about state law, but we’ll definitely tailor this to Oak Brook.”

Huff was not with the Oak Brook department when it last offered a Citizen Police Academy. But she knows the new offering has been update considerably.

“A lot of things have changed since 1997,” she said. “One of the big areas where there’s been change is online policing. The use of computers has grown so much since we last did this, and there’s been quite an increase in online crimes.”

The academy is free for participants. Those signing up must be at least 18 and live, work or be associated with the village. Registrants also must not have any felony arrests or misdemeanor convictions; a background and criminal check will be conducted.

A graduation ceremony will be conducted during the final academy session and include a dinner and presentation of colors by the Oak Brook Honor Guard. Each graduate is eligible to join the Oak Brook Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association. That group’s members will be involved in a variety of police-community projects, Huff said.

“Taking part in the academy helps citizens be more aware, and that helps a lot,” Huff said.

NEWS: (Suburban) Leyden Fire Protection District to get new chief

--Since I live in the Leyden District and have worked with both Chief Rafferty and Lt Ryan, this is news.
Congrats to Chief Rafferty on his retirement and
Congrats to Chief Ryan on his promotion.
Best of luck to the both of you.--

Story at Pioneer Press

By Mark Lawton |
Last Modified: Aug 28, 2012 05:26PM

FRANKLIN PARK — Leyden Fire Protection District Chief Tom Rafferty is retiring, to be replaced by Lt. Kory Ryan

Ryan will be sworn in Sept. 1, but Rafferty will stick around for another six months as district administrator to train Ryan.

“Here, in a fire protection district, you’re the chief but you’re also the administrative and finance director,” Rafferty said. “Some things I’ll be doing in the next six months includes teaching him how the whole tax levy process works.”

Ryan has been with the district for 20 years. He’s served as fire inspector and the district’s public speaker. He’s been a lieutenant for seven years.

R.I.P.: Corporal Marshall L. Bailey


Corporal Marshall L. Bailey
West Virginia State Police, West Virginia
End of Watch: Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 42
Tour: Not available
Badge # Not available
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 8/28/2012
Weapon: Handgun
Suspect: Shot and killed

Corporal Marshall Bailey was shot and killed after he and another trooper stopped a vehicle for reckless driving at the commuter parking lot adjacent to I-79, in Clay County, at approximately 8:30 pm.

The subject had been arrested and placed into the back of a patrol car when he was able to get out of his handcuffs. He then drew a concealed handgun and shot both troopers inside of the vehicle, killing Corporal Bailey. After climbing out of the vehicle he shot a tow truck driver who had been called to the scene to impound his car.

The man then fled on foot and setup an ambush in a ditch. Approximately one hour later he opened fire on a Roane County sheriff's deputy who was searching for him, wounding the deputy in the arm, hand, and stomach. The injured deputy was able to return fire, killing the subject.

Corporal Bailey is survived by his three children, his brother and parents.

Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:

Colonel C. R. "Jay" Smithers
West Virginia State Police
725 Jefferson Road
South Charleston, WV 25309
Phone: (304) 746-2100

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

NEWS: (Maywood) Better Government Association Sues Maywood for Refusing to Release Subpoena

--I wonder if other areas of Illinois are like Cook County?
These towns around Chicago (except Northlake, I have not had any issues so far in Northlake with FOIA) just think they can ignore requests or deny them at will.--

Story at Better Government Association

Lawsuit alleges village government violated state’s open records law by failing to provide a copy; this marks second legal fight against municipality in three months.

August 21, 2012 02:28 PM

Mary Frances O’Connor (312) 821-9026
Robert Herguth (312) 821-9030

CHICAGO—In the interest of furthering public-sector transparency and accountability, the Better Government Association sued the Village of Maywood today for refusing to release a grand jury subpoena in its possession.

The lawsuit, filed Aug. 21 in Cook County Circuit Court, accuses Maywood’s municipal government of violating the Illinois Freedom of Information Act – a state law commonly known as "FOIA" that guarantees public access to all public records, except in limited circumstances – by failing to turn over the subpoena.

"Maywood officials have a documented history of playing games and hiding public information," said BGA President and CEO Andy Shaw. "We’re tired of it. The public is entitled to know how a local government is being managed, or mismanaged, and whether corruption is involved, and this subpoena may help us assess that."

"It’s worth noting we’re not the only ones saying the subpoena should be released – the Illinois attorney general’s office issued an opinion saying the same thing – but Maywood still hasn't budged," Shaw said. "Hopefully this lawsuit will help officials there see the light."

The origin of the suit goes back to 2010, when FOX Chicago requested a copy of the subpoena from Maywood under FOIA but was denied. The news outlet appealed to the attorney general’s "public access counselor," which issued a written opinion this past March siding with FOX. However, that opinion was non-binding, and Maywood still refused to release the document.

Meantime, FOX and the BGA began collaborating on research into Maywood’s municipal operation, and as an outgrowth of that partnership the BGA sought a copy of the subpoena in April. Village officials refused that FOIA request, saying in a written response that withholding the subpoena was necessary to protect law enforcement personnel and ensure the integrity of an "ongoing criminal investigation."

The village’s letter also noted "Grand Jury proceedings are secret."

However, the BGA and other news organizations are routinely provided copies of subpoenas upon request, and in 2007 the BGA successfully sued state government to obtain copies of federal subpoenas that then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich tried to keep secret.

What’s more, as the new lawsuit asserts, Maywood’s reasons for withholding the subpoena don’t hold water under state law, which spells out when a public agency may or may not keep a public document from public view.

The new BGA lawsuit was filed pro bono by the Chicago-based law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

"We are happy to continue to assist the BGA in furthering its mission of government transparency, including through litigation when necessary," said Kirkland & Ellis attorney Matthew Topic, who has represented the BGA and others in numerous FOIA disputes and provides FOIA presentations to the public through the BGA’s "Citizen Watchdog" trainings.

Kirkland is representing several Maywood residents in another pro bono FOIA lawsuit that sought, among other things, records of credit card expenses by local government officials. The village initially denied such records existed, even though the then-village manager had taxpayer-funded credit cards in his name.

Kirkland also successfully sued the village on the BGA’s behalf last spring when the village tried dragging its feet in turning over records related to the unsolved murder of Maywood Police Officer Tom Wood. (The BGA teamed up with FOX Chicago’s Dane Placko on a detailed expose on the case. It is featured in the current issue of Chicago magazine.)

The new BGA lawsuit can be accessed here.

The Better Government Association is a Chicago-based non-profit, non-partisan watchdog group that works for integrity, transparency and accountability in government by exposing corruption and inefficiency; identifying and advocating effective public policy; and engaging and mobilizing the electorate to achieve authentic and responsible reform.

EDITORIAL: Corruption, Cop's Murder Should Prompt Renewed Scrutiny of Maywood

--I had a conversation with a friend thinking of seeking political office and I explained local politics like this:

"Voters are only concerned about issues if they happen in the week of the elections. Other than that, voters are the most forgiving and forgetting lot of people in the world."

This means that no matter what you say on the news or in print about the town they live in or the people running it, as long as the streets get plowed and the garbage is picked up, nothing else matters. No matter how bad the police officers and fire fighters are mistreated they will continue to show up when called. No matter what corruption invades their town as long as it doesn't affect their wallets, so be it.

I hate to sound like that but, it is the way it is.--

Editorial at Better Government Association

August 27, 2012 10:03 AM

This mid-size suburb just west of Chicago is about as dysfunctional as a unit of government can be.

By Andy Shaw/BGA

Rob Grant is retiring from the FBI to take a security job with Disney. But even as he trades the toxic "Chicago Way" for the antiseptic "Disney Way," the man who ran the bureau’s local office for seven years will always be remembered for this sagacious sound bite after former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested in December 2008:

"If Illinois isn’t the most corrupt state in the United States it’s certainly one hell of a competitor."

Grant could have substituted "Maywood" for "Illinois" and "village" for "state" and been equally astute.

Because the mid-size suburb just west of Chicago is about as dysfunctional as a unit of government can be.

The Better Government Association has sued Maywood twice for refusing or dragging out Freedom of Information Act requests for public documents — including a subpoena the village recently received from the Cook County State’s attorney — and helped residents find pro bono attorneys to file their own lawsuits in pursuit of basic village information.

The BGA also has conducted investigations into alleged:

-   Cronyism, corruption and mismanagement in the Maywood Housing Authority.
-   Misuse of police officers to chauffeur and guard village officials instead of protecting residents.
-   Conflicts of interest by Mayor Henderson Yarbrough and his wife, State Rep. Karen Yarbrough, whose family businesses ended up with questionable government contracts.

In addition, the village failed to pay the City of Chicago more than a million dollars in overdue water bills.

And, as the BGA and Fox Chicago reported earlier this month, Maywood still hasn’t solved the 2006 murder of Police Officer Tom Wood. Cops typically double down to solve the murder of a colleague. But this case not only remains unsolved, it has been plagued by so many errors and irregularities that some observers wonder if the killer will ever be brought to justice.

A possible suspect was allowed to wander around the crime scene unattended; a friend of Wood’s who saw him with a stranger a week before the murder was never interviewed; evidence stored at the Maywood police station was soaked in a flood; Maywood Police and outside investigators routinely sparred over the direction of the probe, and a $100,000 reward was allowed to dry up and only restored after the BGA and Fox began making inquiries.

The case was handled so haphazardly that some of Wood’s friends and relatives wondered openly whether the investigation was purposely compromised.

Political corruption wastes our tax dollars and tears at the fabric of our community, but law enforcement corruption jeopardizes our public safety and undermines our sense of well-being.

It’s visceral, and Wood’s widow, Helene, says her late husband and the community deserve better: "If they can kill a police officer, where are their limits?"

She’s right. Maywood’s 24,000 residents are predominately African American, and they’ve been putting up with this unacceptable government behavior for too long.

An outside agency such as the State Police or the Illinois Attorney General or the U.S. Attorney needs to pick up the homicide investigation.

And the "usual suspects" who run the village need serious competition from reform-minded residents in next year’s municipal election.

Maywood’s motto is "Village of Eternal Light."

If only.

Andy Shaw is president and CEO of the Better Government Association. He can be reached at or (312) 386-9097.

R.I.P.: Correctional Officer Timothy Betts


Correctional Officer Timothy Betts
Indiana Department of Correction, Indiana
End of Watch: Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 51
Tour: 15 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Heart attack
Incident Date: 8/26/2012
Weapon: Person
Suspect: In custody

Correctional Officer Tim Betts suffered a fatal heart attack while escorting an unruly inmate to the segregation unit at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.

He suddenly collapsed as he and other officers moved the inmate. The other officers immediately began CPR and used an automated external defibrillator until an ambulance arrived. Officer Betts was transported to Sullivan County Community Hospital where he passed away a short time later.

Officer Betts had served with the Indiana Department of Correction for 15 years. He is survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:

Commissioner Bruce Lemmon
Indiana Department of Correction
302 West Washington Street
Room E-334
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: (317) 232-5780

Monday, August 27, 2012

PENSION: (Suburban) Sheahan challenges Oak Brook officials to open deposition session

--Sheehan and Molaro played the system.
There probably isn't much that can be done about it now except pay and hope he goes away.
Molaro robbed the tax payers of Oak Brook and Illinois and was paid for it with a nice job.--

Story at Pioneer Press

By Chuck Fieldman |
Last Modified: Aug 22, 2012 04:42PM

Oak Brook

Former Oak Brook Police Chief Tom Sheahan is challenging village officials to a public deposition session.

Sheahan offered his challenge through The Doings after the Village Board’s Aug. 14 hiring of an investigator to look into how Sheahan’s pension left the village with a $750,000 unfunded liability.

The purpose of the investigation is to look into how Sheahan, appointed in 2005, was able to use a piece of 2007 legislation introduced by state Rep. Robert Molaro to boost his pension at the expense of Oak Brook’s taxpayers, village officials said.

The legislation allowed Sheahan to transfer his previous pension credits to Oak Brook. Sheahan resigned as chief in 2011 after slightly more than six years with the Oak Brook Police Department. His $750,000 pension liability is over a 20-year period, he said.

“They have been making it seem like I pulled something really sneaky, and that’s just not the case,” Sheahan said. “It took three weeks to negotiate my contract with the Village Board, and it went back and forth three to five times before it was finished.”

Sheahan said he would submit to eight hours of deposition over a two-day period, with questions being asked of him by the village’s attorney.

“I’d be happy to do that as long as it’s televised in Oak Brook and put on their website,” he said. “My other stipulation is that all the Village Board members, the village president, the village manager and the assistant village manager submit to questions from me, and I can use anything uncovered during the deposition in my lawsuit.”

Sheahan is involved in a lawsuit against Oak Brook and several of its employees, claiming they caused damage to his reputation and “stigmatized him in his profession.”

Village Manager Dave Niemeyer didn’t accept Sheahan’s challenge for open-session depositions.

“We’re in litigation with him; he basically began the litigation, and we’ll defend ourselves in court through the legal system,” Niemeyer said. “We feel we have a very strong case.”

Sheahan said never met or spoke to Molaro until after Molaro had retired from the senate and had been hired by Oak Brook as a lobbyist. Molaro was appointed as a $5,000 a month lobbyist by the village in 2009.

“I was directed to meet with him by Dave Niemeyer to talk about a traffic light to help Costco,” Sheahan said.

“I really feel like I have been targeted here, and their targeting of me is libelous and slanderous. I have three lawyers looking into it.”

Sheahan said if current Police Chief James Kruger stays six years, his pension liability will be similar for the village, and said former police and fire chiefs have pension liabilities twice as much.

Niemeyer said the village wouldn’t be paying anything toward Kruger’s pension for time he worked elsewhere.

“And with all the others, our pension responsibilities are based on their time working here, not other places,” Niemeyer said.

Oak Brook officials have said on several occasions that Sheahan was the only person in Illinois affected by the legislation proposed by Molaro. Molaro was appointed as a $5,000 per month lobbyist by the village in 2009.

“The village knows that isn’t true,” he said. “IMRF gave Oak Brook a list of 20 people affected by this.”

IMRF is the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

Niemeyer said Oak Brook officials received a list from IMRF of 20 people who were eligible to take advantage of the pension legislation, but that Sheahan is the only one who took advantage of it.

“And when Molaro introducted the legislation, he said, without mentioning a specific name, that it was to benefit one individual,” Niemeyer said.”Our big issue with this is that he’s the only one who is benefitting from this legislation. We want to know how that happened.”

PAROLE ALERT: Cop Killer Calvin Wilbert


I ask that you please DENY PAROLE to Calvin Wilbert, inmate #033370. This criminal's violent murder of Officer James Moon in 1971 should preclude any consideration for parole.

On Monday, September 27, 1971, inmate #033370 brutally murdered Officer Moon and seriously wounded his partner after stealing Officer's Moon's service revolver.

Inmate #033370 has already been denied parole in the past, demonstrating that he would impose a clear danger to the general public and our law enforcement officers if released.



Officer James Homer Moon
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Florida
End of Watch: Monday, September 27, 1971

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 24
Tour: 2 years
Badge # 220
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 9/27/1971
Weapon: Officer's handgun
Suspect: Sentenced to life

Officer James Moon was shot and killed with his own weapon as he and his partner questioned a mentally disturbed person. During the interview the suspect attacked the officer and gained control of Officer Moon's revolver and shot him in the head. He then shot and wounded the other officer. As Officer Moon lay in the street other citizens stole his hat and badge.

His murderer was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years on February 11, 1972. He was denied parole in 2003.

Officer Moon had served with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office for two years. He was survived by his wife, son, parents, and two sisters.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

HELP WANTED: Reward in Ron Susek Homicide??


I have been asked by several people if I would start a reward fund for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the murder of retired Melrose Park Police Sergeant Ron Susek.

The first thing that would have to happen is that Ron's family would have give approval for the idea.

I have no idea how to do this but I would be interested in seeing it get rolling.

I would like to see the Village of Melrose Park donate money as well as the police department's Fraternal Order of Police Lodge.

I am willing to help in any way possible.

It should be at a bank in Melrose Park.

There should be at least two or three signatures required to pay out the reward if it is successful.

And it definitely should be public information so that people can see where the money is.

Only anonymity should be for the person who receives the reward if it is successful.

Any thoughts, ideas or direction would be greatly appreciated.

Date of posting changed to hold at top of Blotter (Posted on Aug 22, 2012)

NEWS: (Chicago) Getting a gun in Chicago quick and easy

“You’ll never stop us from getting guns,” he said. “You feel me?”

--This is where me and the lead heads differ.
I think we need to monitor who is buying the guns and keep records while lead heads think they should be able to buy as many guns as they want at one time and it is nobodies business.
Straw purchasers are a real issue that needs to be dealt with.
I am not saying I have the answers because I don't. But, something needs to be in place to help with this type of situation.--

Story at Chicago Sun-Times

Staff Reporter
Last Modified: Aug 25, 2012 07:42AM

Want to know how to get a gun?

Just ask Chris.

The skinny teen attends high school in Chicago and is a talented athlete. But he’s also a notorious gunslinger.

As a shooter in a South Side gang, he can get his hands on a gun as quick as you can get a burger at a fast-food restaurant.

“I will make a call and say I need a gun. I will ride down the street on my bike and get it — five minutes.”

The Chicago Sun-Times sat down with Chris for a lesson on how gangs get guns. Armed gangs like Chris’ have driven up Chicago’s murder total 28 percent above the rate at this time last year. And Chris is on the front lines of the shooting.

“For your ’hood, you can’t stop [getting] guns because it’s war season. A gang need any gun it can get,” said the teen, who has worked as an informant for police and asked for anonymity. The Sun-Times is identifying him by an alias.

‘Gun guys’
He knows men whose full-time job in the underground economy is to buy guns from suburban stores and illegally sell them to criminals.

Chris calls them the “gun guys.” The cops have another name for them: “straw purchasers.”

“Gun guys” have clean records allowing them to obtain Illinois firearm owner’s identification cards. With FOID cards, they can legally buy guns at stores in the suburbs.

Then they illegally sell them to gang members banned from owning guns because of their criminal backgrounds.

Most of the guns recovered in crimes in Chicago were bought in suburban gun stores, according to a new University of Chicago Crime Lab study of police gun-trace data.

The police sometimes interview the people who originally bought the guns. Often, police are simply told the guns were stolen from them.

But authorities say most straw purchasers are lying when they say their guns were stolen. It’s hard to catch them unless they confess to the crime.

“It can be a man or a girl, but it’s mainly a guy,” Chris said of the straw purchasers he knows. “Somebody that got a gun license, they buy the gun, scratch off the serial number and sell it to you.”

Chris said the big drug dealers in his neighborhood have the cash to pay straw purchasers for guns — more than $600 for a decent semiautomatic handgun, a markup from the retail price.

But Chris doesn’t sling dope. He doesn’t have a job. He doesn’t have the money to pay a “gun guy.”

So he and his crew look elsewhere for guns.

Stealing ‘gats’

Their demand for handguns is insatiable because cops seize them or they have to ditch them after they commit crimes with them.

“Say one of your guys gets bumped [arrested] with a gun,” Chris said. “Now your gang need another gun. It’s a lot of people who get bumped, a lot of people who get caught. The chances are like 50-50. If I get caught, I’m gonna need another gat.”

“Or you may have people who did a murder and want to get rid of their gun,” he said. “Now they get another gun and you take theirs.”

Chris said one major source of guns in his neighborhood was a ring that burglarized suburban gun stores.

In January, one of those stores, Maxon Shooters Supply & Indoor Range in northwest suburban Des Plaines, was looted of about 200 guns after thieves broke in with a sledgehammer, police said.

Lots of those guns wound up in the hands of gangs on the South Side — including people Chris knows.

“They sold people the guns — and when those people got caught, they snitched,” he said.

Police have arrested the suspected thieves, including some members of the Gangster Disciples street gang. But police are continuing to try to track down all the guns, officials said.

Another source of stolen guns is “the freights,” Chris said.

He was talking about the freight trains parked on easy-to-access rail yards on the South Side.

“You bust the lock,” he said. “Once you get in there, you may get the wrong thing. You may get shoes or something. You feel me? But you keep trying. We tried it before and we know what kind of containers they in. They’re carrying all type of handguns — in crates.”

But the revolver Chris most recently acquired came from yet another “hot” source: a friend who stole the gun from a relative who legally registered the weapon with the city.

The friend lent the revolver to Chris, but he never gave the gun back.

“It’s a grimy world these days, I won’t lie,” he said. “I told my friend I lost it, but I kept it for myself.”

The gun had a serial number on it, so Chris scraped it off with a screwdriver. The cops can’t trace the weapon back to the original owner without the serial number, he explained.

“I don’t want no one to snitch on me,” the teenager said.

He’d like a ‘Nine’

A revolver isn’t the weapon of choice for Chris or his gang buddies.

They prefer “nines” — 9mm semiautomatic handguns — but they’re harder to get.

“It can hold like 17 shots,” he said. “A revolver only holds six shots. And I like the grip on a nine. I don’t like the revolvers, but that’s what I’ve mainly been getting. People holding on to their nines.”

Chris said his crew members hide their weapons in their homes, but keep them “steady moving” to different locations to avoid police seizures.

Anyone in the gang can use one of the weapons, Chris said. Five of his crew members also have guns, he said.

The crew needs its weapons about three times a week, he said. Sometimes, it’s for self-protection.

Sometimes it’s to go shooting at rivals — or “drilling,” as he puts it.

Other times, the young gangsters simply pose with their guns in homemade rap videos they post on Facebook and YouTube.

Chris credits the Chicago rapper Chief Keef with inspiring him to carry a gun and use it over the past year.

“I wasn’t doing this before I started watching the videos. The females want to see you be a tough gang-banger,” he said.

Unlike the Hollywood caricature of a gangster who points his pistol sideways to fire at his rivals, Chris said he knows how to shoot correctly.

“Two hands on the weapon, arms straight out,” he said.

In his neighborhood, nobody calls the police when he practices with his gun in his backyard.

“What are they going to say, like, ‘I just heard a random shot?’ ”

He said he takes the gun with him when he and his friends are venturing into the neighborhoods of rival gangs. He calls his rivals “ops” for opposition.

“If I’m going to go over there and kill somebody, if we’re going to go over there and drill or if we’re trying to get past the ops to go downtown or the beach, we [have] our guns,” he said.

Guns or games?

Chris said he wants to leave gang-banging and concentrate on sports — and his dreams of attending junior college.

Often, he escapes his neighborhood to hang out with high school friends who live in places where he won’t cross paths with his gang rivals. He and his high school friends shoot hoops instead of guns.

“Everybody wants out of this,” he said. “Everybody would love to live in a mansion, move out of town and live in the suburbs.”

But the reality is that retribution is a powerful force that keeps gang members like him from changing their ways.

It motivates Chris to keep hanging out with his crew members in the ’hood — even though cops, ministers and other authority figures have encouraged him to get out of the gangster life.

He notes that four of his friends have been killed in gang shootings.

“You want to shoot back,” he said. “You want to go over there and drill.”

Asked whether he would feel bad if he fired at a rival and hit a child, he quickly answered:

“I ain’t gonna think about it. If it’s his nephew or something, he gotta feel the pain because he put his nephew there. If you a gang-banger, why you have a little kid with you?”

Chris said he doesn’t think the police will ever rid the streets of guns in Chicago — unless legislators make getting caught with a firearm punishable with an extraordinarily harsh sentence, such as life in prison.

He said his first gun-possession arrest, which resulted in probation, was a “joke.”

He was standing with his crew when police stopped and frisked them and found a gun on Chris.

The arrest taught him how to avoid getting caught with a gun, Chris said.

Now when he goes on the street and needs a gun, a girl carries it for him in her purse.

Chris said he’s confident he and his crew will always be one step ahead of the police.

“You’ll never stop us from getting guns,” he said. “You feel me?”

NEWS: (Chicago) 4 killed, 13 others wounded across Chicago

--Nothing to see here, move along.
The manpower shift in the Chicago Police Department is working just as it should.
Crime is down.
No need to worry, the mayor and the superintendent have it all under control.--

Story at Chicago Tribune

By Deanese Williams-Harris and Peter Nickeas
Tribune reporters
9:53 AM CDT, August 25, 2012

Four males - 17, 30, 34 and 23 years old - were killed and at least 5 others wounded in a three-hour stretch Friday night in shootings on the city's South Side. At least 13 people survived shootings between 4:15 p.m. Friday and early Saturday morning.

The first of three homicides happened about 5:45 p.m. in the city’s Bridgeport neighborhood. A 30-year-old man, identified as Noah Cruz by the Cook County medical examiner's office, was shot to death in the 3100 block of South Wallace Street and pronounced dead at John H. Stroger Jr., Hospital of Cook County. He lived in the 800 block of West 31st Street. Police weren’t able to provide details about that shooting.

Someone opened fire near 79th Street and Drexel Avenue in the Chatham neighborhood, hitting a 42-year-old woman and a 17-year-old boy. The boy, identified as Lucian Dreux by the Cook County medical examiner's office, died. He was pronounced dead at 6:25 p.m. at John H. Stroger Jr., Hospital of Cook County. The woman was shot in the leg and also taken to Stroger hospital.

Another man, 34, was killed about 8 p.m. Someone shot him in the 8800 block of South Prairie Avenue in the West Chesterfield neighborhood. The Cook County medical examiner's office identified him as Phillip McCall, of the 200 block of East 89th Street. He was shot six times in the park next to McDade Classical Elementary School, police said, about two blocks from his home. People nearby only heard the gunfire and saw a single person running away.

About 2:30 a.m., a 23-year-old man was killed in the 4900 block of South Drexel Boulevard. Stephin L. Williams, of the 4000 block of South Lake Park Avenue was sitting in a car eating with his girlfriend when two men, one of whom was armed, walked up and announced a robbery, police and his family said.

Williams tried to fight back but was not successful. He was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital at 3:10 a.m., a spokeswoman for the Cook County medical examiner's office said. Police are questioning two people in connection with that homicide.

His mother, Tanya Williams said her son worked at a local Walgreens and Starbucks and was attending school to be a registered nurse in Rantoul before transferring back to Chicago. He also served as the main caregiver for his 95-year-old grandfather, said his mother.

"He was a good man," said Tanya Williams, sobbing on the telephone. "My baby didn't know them, my baby didn't live by the gun he don't live by the sword. My baby was a good baby."

A man was shot in the leg in the Little Village neighborhood about 6:30 a.m. The 24-year-old was wounded 2800 block of South Spaulding Avenue and is in good condition at Mount Sinai Hospital. He was approached by four men and shot by one in what police are saying might have been a robbery.

Before 4 a.m. a man was shot in the leg in an east-west alley where it intersects with Orleans Street between Chicago Avenue and Ontario Street. One person is in custody, police said, though additional details weren't immediately available. Police had problems with a crowd that gathered after the shooting but the street was open as of 4:25 a.m. Evidence markers were laid next to at least four shell casings in the alley.

Just before 2 a.m. two men and a woman were shot near Oakley Boulevard and Ohio Street, Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Ron Gaines said. Someone inside a passing car opened fire at a handful of people drinking in front of a house during the tail end of a party, hitting a 42-year-old man and a 21-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman, police said. Police weren't able to offer a description of the car or a direction of the car's travel.

A male was shot in the leg in the 8700 block of South Honore Street about 12:10 a.m., Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Ron Gaines said. Additional details about that shooting weren't available.

About 8:40 p.m., a 19-year-old man was shot in the head near 79th Street and Champlain Avenue, police said. He was taken to John H. Stroger Jr., Hospital of Cook County. He’s still listed in critical condition.

About 8:30 p.m., a male was shot in the lower back in the 8000 block of South Paulina Street and is in critical condition at Christ Hospital, Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Joshua Purkiss said. Police said a second person suffered a graze wound in that attack.

A 15-year-old girl is in critical but stable condition at Comer Children's Hospital after she was shot, possibly on accident, about 7 p.m. in the 0-100 block of 112th Street, police said.

Two people, a 38-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman, were shot in the 800 block of West 50th Street about 4:15 p.m. Friday. They were on a porch when they heard shots and felt pain, police said.

NEWS: (Northlake) Neighbor charged in Northlake stabbing death

--Nice quick clear up.
Nice job NLPD!!--

Related Story at NEWS(: (Northlake) Man stabbed to death in Northlake

Story at

Bradley T. Janikowski, 44, of the 200 block of South Wolf Road in Northlake was charged with First Degree Murder in the stabbing death of Michael Brumbeloe, 52, of the same address.

Thursday night Northlake police responded to call of a battery in progress in a parking lot in the 200 block of South Wolf Road. Brumbeloe was found lying on the ground with multiple stab wounds from what appeared to be a knife attack.

According to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Officer, Brumbeloe was pronounced dead at Gottlieb Hospital in melrose Park at 12:06 Friday morning.

Witnesses reported seeing Brumbeloe arguing with Janikowski. Both men lived in the apartment building.

Bradley Janikowski was expected to appear at a bond hearing at the Cook County court house in Maywood on Saturday morning.

Friday, August 24, 2012

NEWS: (Chicago) 19 shot in overnight violence, 8 in one incident

--Strict gun laws....
Rahm and Gary playing a numbers shell game...
A wing and a prayer......
Yea, it's working.....NOT!!!!--

Story and Video at ABC7 NEWS


Jason Knowles

August 24, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Chicago police are searching for a person who shot and wounded eight people in one South Shore incident on the South Side at 79th and Kingston.

Two of the victims are 14- and 15-year-olds; both are at Comer Children's Hospital being treated for gunshot wounds. One of them was shot in the arm. Another was shot in the back of the neck.

Police were in the area at 78th and Essex around 9:15 p.m. Thursday when gunshots rang out. Eight people were hit. Seven young men and one woman were hit ranging in age from 14 to 20. Most of the victims have been in stable condition, others are in serious to critical condition.

Related Content
Story: 5 injured in South Side shooting
79th is a known north-south dividing line for gangs.

Moments after police started investigating, some investigators rushed to a nearby motel at 81st and Stony Island. There was a blood trail leading to a room. SWAT teams stormed into that room, but nobody was inside.

There were also other shootings overnight. Those were separate incidents, but in all, 19 people were shot and injured from Thursday night into early Friday morning.

Adrienne Jackson has a 7-year-old son and works the night shift as a nearby nursing home. She was walking to work when the drive-by shooting occurred.

"Maybe if we had resources here in our community we wouldn't be out here trying to rob people or kill people. And it was a group get-together, come through shooting up the block," she said.

"I believe to get the citizens hope in this area that they along with the Cease-Fire branch of South Shore are working diligently and trying to combat this problem to stop the retaliation," said Bob Jackson, CeaseFire.

NEWS(: (Northlake) Man stabbed to death in Northlake

--His apartment building has been a source of problems on and off over the years.--

Story at

A Northlake man was stabbed multiple times outside his apartment building shortly before midnight Thursday night.

Michael Brumbeloe, 52, was stabbed multiple times following an apparent argument with an unidentified male in the parking lot of his apartment building in the 200 block of South Wolf Road.

Brumbeloe was transported to Gottlieb Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:06 a.m.

Northlake Police had no further information.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First Annual Solemn Procession for St. Michael


Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 6:30pm

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
1101 N 23rd Ave
Melrose Park, IL 60164

More details will follow on the Shrine's website

Solemn Procession through the streets of Melrose Park with a statue of St. Michael. This will be to honor living and deceased policemen from Melrose Park, Chicago and surrounding communities. All Catholic policemen are invited to attend.

NEWS: (National) Police: Bogus 911 call made to lure officers into ambush

--Because you folks don't have enough to worry about out there, now they are making calls just so they can attack you.--

Story at KARE11

1:11 PM, Aug 22, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS - Minneapolis police now say what they thought was a 911 robbery call Wednesday morning was actually an attempt to lure Park Police officers into an ambush with the sole purpose of harming them.

Police spokesman William Palmer reported the new information on Twitter shortly after noon, and then elaborated in a news release early Wednesday afternoon.

Two Minneapolis Park Police officers were dispatched to the intersection of Bryant Avenue South and Minnehaha Parkway West on the south side of Minnehaha Creek around 11:45.m. Tuesday. They were responding to a 911 call from a man reporting that a number of men had robbed him at knifepoint.

When the officers walked up to make contact with the alleged victim, the man pulled a knife and stabbed the male officer, a 9-year veteran, in the chest. He was saved by his Kevlar bulletproof vest.

The officer's female partner, a 4-year veteran, was stabbed in the upper back and suffered lacerations to her head. While she was struggling with the suspect her partner pulled his weapon and shot the man.

Palmer says the knife used to stab the officers was recovered at the scene. Medical personnel later found another knife in the suspect's clothing while treating him at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC).

When questioned by investigators the 38-year-old suspect reportedly admitted he called 911 to report being robbed as he wanted to hurt police officers when they arrived to talk to him.

The man is currently under guard at HCMC and will be booked for probable cause second degree assault as soon as doctors say he is sufficiently recovered.

No word on what his motive was.

The female officer was released from HCMC Wednesday morning after treatment for her stab wound. Both she and her partner have been placed on administrative leave, standard practice after an officer-involved shooting. 

Palmer originally told reporters that the 911 call was from a robbery victim, but now says investigators have learned that the call was made by someone who had planned an ambush, and wanted to harm police officers.

NEWS: (Suburban) Plainfield police ask to store guns in schools

--This has been discussed by schools and police departments since Columbine.--

Story at Chicago Tribune

Associated Press
8:31 AM CDT, August 22, 2012

Police in Plainfield are asking officials for permission to store rifles in the town's high schools so they'll be ready if violence breaks out.

The Plainfield School Board is scheduled to consider the request at the board's meeting next week.

Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek wants the district to install gun safes at its four high schools so the school resource officer can store a rifle. Konopek said having the extra weapon on hand would be useful “if a situation involving a shooter arises.”

"We as a police department, myself as a parent, we see this as another tool to respond if that worst case scenario does happen," Konopek said.

In his written request to Plainfield District 202 officials, Konopek wrote that "unfortunately, in today's society, active shooter incidents are no longer something we see on TV. They are reality. "

School district spokesman Tom Hernandez says the board is willing to consider the request.

CORRUPTION: (Bellwood) Prosecutor: Trust betrayed in Bellwood

--I wonder if I am the only one that thinks there is more to this than meets the eye.
Kind of strange that I am hearing that Mayor Pasquale will not be seeking re-election and this court proceeding is starting.--

Related Stories: CORRUPTION: (Bellwood) Indictment in Bellwood pay scandal

Story at Chicago Tribune

Former official accused of lying about his pay as part of a 'mission to deceive and steal'
By Joseph Ryan
Chicago Tribune reporter
8:40 PM CDT, August 21, 2012

Roy McCampbell, a former Bellwood administrator, leaves a bond hearing Tuesday where he was accused of deceiving the village about his pay. (José M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune / August 21, 2012)
Cook County Associate Judge James B. Linn stared intently Tuesday as he listened to a prosecutor accuse a former suburban administrator of secretly inflating his pay to nearly $500,000.

Then he interrupted the prosecutor and asked: "He took advantage of the (Village Board's) laziness or incompetence?"

"Their trust," Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Gregory Ahern responded.

The exchange gets to the heart of much of the case laid out Tuesday against Roy McCampbell, the once longtime top administrator for the small and struggling near west suburb of Bellwood.

Prosecutors say McCampbell deceived Bellwood officials by telling them his pay was far lower than it actually was, in part by stocking his contract with various stipends and months of sick and vacation time that he didn't detail to Village Board members when they voted on the agreement.

"It is clear that the defendant set out on a mission to deceive and steal as much money as he could to embellish his pension," prosecutors say in court records.

McCampbell has said village officials knew all about his pay — totaling $472,255 in his final year. His attorney contends McCampbell has been turned into a scapegoat after the Tribune reported in 2010 on his high salary tied to 10 job titles and resulting annual pension of roughly $250,000.

"It became politically expedient for this entire crew to have amnesia," attorney Craig Tobin said about village officials. "When the focus came on the mayor, somebody had to be the scapegoat."

McCampbell faces a dozen felony charges, including theft and official misconduct, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. He is accused of stealing more than $500,000 from the village. He also stands to lose much of his pension if convicted. A grand jury indicted him this month.

On Tuesday, Cook County prosecutors unveiled details behind the charges at McCampbell's bond hearing. Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez issued a news release that in part thanks Bellwood officials for cooperating on an investigation that she says they initiated.

Among the new details to emerge Tuesday, Ahern said McCampbell padded the pay of his secretary to gain her loyalty, inflating her compensation over four years by $400,000. The secretary is cooperating with authorities, Ahern said.

The state's attorney's office also accuses McCampbell of using his position to get $100,000 worth of medical coverage from the suburb's insurance plan that shouldn't have been paid under the plan's terms.

Three-term Bellwood Mayor Frank Pasquale is quoted in Alvarez's release saying his former administrator, who remains free on his own recognizance, "betrayed our trust." The village is also suing McCampbell in civil court.

VIDEO GAMBLING: Franklin Park approves video gaming

--Interesting to see a town that was so wrapped up in the video gambling scandals of the 1990's approving video gaming once again.--

Story at Pioneer Press

By Mark Lawton |
Last Modified: Aug 22, 2012 02:25AM


Local officials have approved video gaming in Franklin Park.

On Aug. 13, trustees unanimously agreed to allow video gaming within the village. The owners of Mike O’Donnel’s Irish Pub, Underpass and DJ Nightspot originally brought the proposal to Franklin Park’s attention three months ago.

Trustee Cheryl McLean delayed a June 4 vote so trustees could gather more information.

“I looked at three things,” McLean said Monday. “How the video gaming would benefit residents, businesses and the Village of Franklin Park.”

Out of the money that’s gambled, 35 percent goes to the machine owner, 35 percent goes to the establishment, 25 percent goes to the state government and 5 percent goes to the local government.

McLean concluded video gaming would bring in revenue to local bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. It would also bring in a small amount of revenue to the village government.

As for residents, McLean said there’s gambling all around Franklin Park.

“To be an island doesn’t make sense,” she said. “If someone has the inclination to partake, we could provide it right here in town.”

Under the law passed by the General Assembly in 2009, four entities can apply for video gambling machines: veteran’s organizations, fraternal organizations, truck stops and businesses with retail liquor licenses, but not package liquor.

Mike O’Donnel applied for permission to have video gaming machines soon after the state law was passed. Businesses and organizations would have to apply to the Illinois Gaming Board for approval.

“I hope it will bring in more business,” O’Donnel said. “River’s Casino did $42 million last month,” he said, adding he’d like to see some of that money come his way.

John Kindt, professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, said serious issues remain. Kindt teaches business and legal policy and is a critic of gambling.

“Are the odds on the machine fair?” Kindt said. “Can the odds be manipulated? Or remotely accessed and manipulated? Aaron Jaffe, head of the Illinois Gaming Board, has said they don’t have regulations in place or personnel to monitor this.”

Kindt suggests local governments call in video gaming machines owners and make them testify under oath on how the machines work and if they can be manipulated to cheat customers.

There is also gambling addiction.

“These machines are the crack cocaine of hooking newly addicted gamblers,” Kindt said. “Nobody benefits except the owners of the machines. It makes all your social problems worse. Increased tax issues, new crime, new social problems and new bankruptcies.”

Chicago: A city on the edge

One look at the following stories, all from Monday night, and you might ask yourself "what in the world are we heading for?"

Chicago murders surge again in August

7 Shot, Wounded In Chicago Overnight, Including 5 In One Incident

Killings tie 2012 single-day record

Chicago homicide total for this month surpasses last August

If you listen to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy everything is fine and their strategies are working. The numbers tell a different story.

The scheme of "shifting manpower" has been a failure. The fact that the Chicago Police Department is short on manpower can no longer hidden. There is a gap of almost 3000 by conservative estimates in the needed manpower.

It appears as if crime in Chicago may be Mayor Emanuel's "Snowstorm of '79".