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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

COMMENTARY: Reapers: Not that grim after all.....

I think this story goes way past what was aired and shows a much deeper issue.

I am not even going to get into the politics of its timing.

Let's look at this in a different manner.

On its face, six guys from a police department, starting a motorcycle club is not really a big deal.

I know many police officers that belong to clubs, but they have names like "Blue - This" or
"Blue - That".

They have special badges made for their vests, sport patches that say "Support Law Enforcement", "Support the Military", and especially "September 11 Remembrance" patches.

So, I guess the the Reapers decision for a little shall we say darker look is different but not unheard of.

The whole idea of contacting the Outlaws Motorcycle Gang thing is a little unsettling but having known Nunzio Maiello for as long as I have I will say, I think he got some bad advice. But I don't think it was done with malice intent.

I don't know any law enforcement based clubs that would contact any criminal organization just to let them know that they are around. And I don't think they should.

Same goes for the wearing of "Support Your Local Outlaw" or "1%" patches.

Enough of that.

The question that should be being asked is why didn't the department administration see any of this a long time ago and step in?

Like I said, six guys starting a biker club is no big deal. That club grows to 30 or 40 members not related to law enforcement and you have to know they are there. Not that they are involved in wrong doing but you have to know.

Off duty police officers that become involved in alcohol related altercations in another town and the police chief has no idea until the press tells him? Sorry, I call B***S**T.

I can only speculate as we will probably never know the truth but it may have went down like this:

Off duty officers in their club colors become involved in an alcohol related altercation in a DuPage County town (That is a BIG, BIG deal. Just ask any cop). The responding officers would have called there supervisor over. This supervisor would have contacted the on duty Melrose Park supervisor. Now whether this supervisor notified his bosses or he chose to blow it off will determine if the chief knew about it or just looked dumb on the news as not knowing what his officers are doing, EVER.

The altercation itself, again, is not a big deal. People get into arguments. Let's remember, these are people and while they are held to a higher standard, life happens to the best of us.

The idea that a police chief has no idea his officers are involved in the altercation is unfathomable. It simply shows he has no control or no ability to direct his department.

The idea that it took a BGA and Channel 2 news story to bring to the chiefs attention that his officers may be in a little over their heads, unfathomable.

Once more, no control and no knowledge whatsoever of what is happening in his house.

I can honestly say, I have seen the members of the Reapers at Toys for Tots runs and other fund raisers. I have not seen them engage in any criminal activity. I think they got caught up in the whole biker genre and I am sure any issues could have been addressed with a few simple words from the chief a long time ago.

This whole issue really is not about the motorcycle club itself, it's members, or even their activities. It is about the SCAVO EFFECT and nothing being done to change the culture in the police department after his removal.

Fortunately, this whole matter got brought out before one of the officers got himself into trouble and it was a much worse situation. Police officers are a product of their environment. Work somewhere that the bosses have no idea what is going on and don't pay attention to their employees and all kinds of bad things start happening.

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