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

Officer Down

Monday, November 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Marines!!!!!!!


While some Koschman cops await fate, many get big pensions

--If Daley's nephew had been the victim, they would have moved mountains to make an arrest and get a convictions. Instead, they lifted the mountain and buried everything to do with this case under it.
I am all for the "old school" way, but when someone dies there is a limit to what lengths you can go to help someone out.--

-Chicago Sun-Times-

Sun, 11/09/2014

Nine months after a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, not a single cop has been disciplined for letting Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko get away for nearly 10 years with killing David Koschman.

And many of them can’t be punished because they no longer work for the city.

Dan K. Webb, the court-appointed special prosecutor who won Vanecko’s conviction in January, identified 53 police personnel involved in two botched investigations of Koschman’s death.

Both investigations — the first in 2004 and the second, prompted by Chicago Sun-Times reporting, in 2011 — ended with no charges filed.

Vanecko was finally charged in December 2012, when a grand jury led by Webb indicted him.

 RELATED: Complete coverage of the killing of David Koschman.

After Webb wrapped up his investigation, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration asked City Hall Inspector General Joseph Ferguson to determine whether any police officers should be disciplined for their roles in the Koschman case. Police Supt. Garry McCarthy is awaiting Ferguson’s recommendations.

But only 21 of the cops and other police officials identified by Webb remain on the city payroll, still subject to possible disciplinary action. Their salaries total more than $2.2 million a year.

Twenty-eight others have retired and are collecting pensions totaling $2.6 million a year. Another has died, one is on disability, and two others have left the department.

Here’s a look at the Koschman cops:


◆ Patrol Officer Edwin Tremore — responded after Koschman was punched. Pay: $80,724.

◆ Sgt. Patrick Moyer — signed Tremore’s report. Retired June 2013. Pension: $69,907.

◆ Cmdr. William O’Donnell — boss of cops on Rush Street. Retired March 2008. Pension: $98,843.

◆ Cmdr. Michael Chasen — top cop in Area 3 detective division, which investigated Koschman’s death. Retired July 2008. Pension: $130,468.

◆ Lt. Richard Rybicki — supervised case. Retired July 2006. Pension: $88,688.

◆ Det. Rita O’Leary — the first detective on the case. Retired August 2014. Pension: $69,059.

◆ Det. Robert W. Clemens — Rita O’Leary’s partner. Retired September 2012. Pension: $74,756.

◆ Sgt. Robert O’Leary — supervised O’Leary and Clemens. Retired March 2011. Pension: $84,884.

◆ Cmdr. James Gibson — approved several case reports as a sergeant. Retired August 2013. Pension: $90,940.

◆ Det. Andrew Sobolewski — listed as “primary detective” but never worked on case. Died in July 2012.

◆ Det. Edward Day — listed Sobolewski as being assigned the case. Retired April 2006. Pension: $73,373.

◆ Sgt. Gillian McLaughlin — another case supervisor. Retired in October 2010. Pension: $86,438.

◆ Patrol Officer Tracie Sheehan — oversaw transfer of Koschman’s body to the Cook County morgue. Pay: $78,012.

◆ Det. Thomas Skelly — assigned to the case before it was reclassified a homicide. Pay: $87,372.

◆ Det. Kenneth Webb — opened case to which Skelly was assigned. Retired June 2012. Pension: $76,994.

◆ Det. Ronald E. Yawger — lead detective in the homicide case. Retired August 2007. Pension: $77,443. Now an investigator for Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Pay: $81,264.

◆ Det. Anthony Giralamo — Yawger’s partner. Retired January 2007. Pension: $37,632.

◆ Det. Edward J. Louis — interviewed a Koschman friend, but his notes are missing. Retired April 2010. Pension: $77,931.

◆ Det. Anthony A. Villardita — Louis’ partner. Retired April 2010. Pension: $75,378.

◆ Det. Charles A. Redman — assisting detective. Retired April 2010. Pension: $77,931.

◆ Det. Patrick Flynn Jr. — with Yawger oversaw Vanecko’s police lineup. Retired September 2004. Pension: $73,168. Now a security officer for city’s aviation department. Pay: $60,648.

◆ Det. John Griffin — took Vanecko lineup photos. Retired February 2006. Pension: $74,985.

◆ Evidence Technician Willard Streff — took lineup photos of Vanecko’s friends. Retired April 2014. Pension: $69,746.

◆ Supt. Phil Cline — city’s top cop when Koschman was punched. Retired August 2007. Pension: $162,972. Now heads not-for-profit Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. Pay: $115,707 in 2012.

◆ Thomas Epach — former Cook County prosecutor who was Cline’s assistant. Retired. Pension: $42,414.

◆ Dep. Supt. Hiram Grau — detective bureau supervisor. Retired June 2008. Pension: $133,194. Now heads Illinois State Police. Pay: $132,566.

◆ Chief of Detectives James Molloy — detectives’ day-to-day supervisor. Retired June 2007. Pension: $141,629

◆ Deputy Chief of Detectives Richard Kobel — Molloy’s deputy. Retired June 2005. Pension $123,153.

◆ Officer Matthew Sandoval — handled media request for case files. Pay: $78,012.


◆ Supt. Jody Weis — ordered reinvestigation of Koschman case after Sun-Times requested files. Quit in 2011.

◆ General Counsel Debra Kirby — alerted Weis about Sun-Times request. Retired January 2014. Pension: $122,352.

◆ Chief of Staff Michael G. Masters — discussed case with Weis and Kirby. Now heads Cook County Emergency Management Agency. Pay: $160,000.

◆ Legal Officer James McCarthy — got copy of Sun-Times request. Now a sergeant. Pay: $102,564.

◆ Legal Officer Terrence J. Collins — got copy of Sun-Times request. Pay: $93,708.

◆ Sgt. Melinda Polan Linas — helped oversee handling of Sun-Times request. Pay: $99,444.

◆ Officer Rory O’Brien — handled Sun-Times request. Pay: $78,012.

◆ Deputy Supt. Steven Peterson — convened meeting on re-investigation. Retired August 2011. Pension: $142,438.

◆ Assistant General Counsel William Bazarek — attended meeting. Pay: $129,096.

◆ Chief of Detectives Thomas Byrne — attended meeting. Retired June 2013. Pension: $115,879.

◆ Deputy Chief of Detectives Constantine “Dean” Andrews — attended meeting and reassigned case to new set of detectives. Now deputy chief of patrol. Pay: $162,012.

◆ Cmdr. Gary Yamashiroya — attended meeting. Opposed Andrews’ decision to take case out of his jurisdiction. Pay: $154,932.

◆ Lt. Denis P. Walsh — couldn’t find original Koschman case file. 2014 salary: $122,718. 2013 overtime: $32,248.

◆ Cmdr. Joseph Salemme — attended meeting. Took over case from Yamashiroya’s detectives. Pay: $154,932.

◆ Sgt. Sam J. Cirone — supervised re-investigation. 2014 salary: $105,864. 2013 overtime: $37,085.

◆ Det. James Gilger — lead detective on re-investigation. 2014 salary: $93,192. 2013 overtime: $60,687.

◆ Det. Nicholas Spanos — Gilger’s partner. 2014 salary: $87,732. 2013 overtime: $44,598.

◆ Det. Emiliano Leal — assisted Gilger. 2014 salary: $90,540. 2013 overtime: $3,102.

◆ Sgt. Thomas Mills — signed Gilger’s reports. Pay: $105,864.

◆ Lt. Maureen Biggane — coordinated response to Sun-Times with Mayor Daley’s staff. Pay: $119,076.

◆ Deputy Supt. Ernest Brown — briefed reporters on case. Retired December 2011. Pension $127,148. Now police chief in suburban Darien.

◆ Internal Affairs Det. Richard Downs — investigated missing files Walsh later found. 2014 salary: $93,192. 2013 overtime: $11,652.

◆ Sgt. Thomas Flaherty — Walsh’s former partner, who said he was present when files were found. 2014 salary: $105,864.

◆ Det. Nicholas Rossi — explained police record-keeping procedures to special prosecutor. Now on disability leave. Pay: $63,936.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The most dangerous block in Chicago

--I know it sounds impossible but I do believe people can start taking back these blocks and neighborhoods by partnering with the police and making these places undesirable for gang bangers and drug dealers.
All day street activities, all night campouts, lot's of street lights. It will take time and determination but I think they could make progress.--

-Chicago Sun-Times-

Fri, 10/31/2014
Frank Main

They call it “O Block.”

It’s a notorious stretch of South Side real estate known for violence.

On maps, it’s the 6400 block of South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. But it’s just O Block to people there and in frequent references to the street in the blood-drenched lyrics of Chief Keef and other Chicago rappers.

The sprawling Parkway Gardens low-income apartment complex sits on one side of the street. A string of businesses including an Auto Zone, a food mart and the Chicago Crusader newspaper lines the other.

Young men in hoodies and low-riding jeans gather in the courtyards here, staring down strangers. Mothers hurry past, holding tight to little hands as they shuttle between the neighborhood school and the safety of their apartments. Security cameras posted nearly everywhere here see it all.

Gang members gave O Block the name. The O was for 20-year-old Odee Perry, a gang member gunned down just around the corner on a summer’s night in 2011. His killer? A female gang assassin, police sources say. She later was shot to death not far from here.

Perry was one of 19 people shot on O Block between June 2011 and June 2014. That makes it the most dangerous block in Chicago in terms of shootings in that three-year period, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found.

Two of the victims were killed.

None of the shootings has resulted in criminal charges.

And none of the weapons has been recovered.

The number of people shot would have been even higher, the police say, if not for one shooter’s bad aim. Gerald Preacely, 22, is accused of shooting at a group of people standing outdoors on O Block on June 3 — then firing at two police officers who saw him do it. Somehow, no one was hit. Preacely — already on parole for illegal possession of a gun — is now charged with attempted murder.


Despite the violence, things are actually better now around O Block than they’ve been, the police and politicians say. They point to figures that show most of the shootings on O Block the past three years happened in the first two years of that span and that no one has been shot to death in two years.

Shootings are also down in the general area. O Block sits in the midst of the Chicago Police Department’s Beat 312, which stretches east from the Dan Ryan Expressway past Cottage Grove, roughly between 63rd and 65th streets. Since 2012, the number of shootings in Beat 312 is down by 59 percent through September, the police say.

In an effort to curb the violence, more officers have been assigned to patrol the area on foot and in cars, focusing on an “impact zone,” drawn up in February 2013, of five square blocks with O Block near the middle. Ten veteran officers patrol the zone, along with additional officers fresh out of the police academy.

“There is progress being made in the beat and the whole district,” says Robert Tracy, chief of crime-control strategy for police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

Ald. Willie Cochran (20th), a former police sergeant whose ward includes O Block, says the police have sent a message to gangs that the shooting must stop.

“The gangbangers have listened,” says Cochran, whose 26 years as a cop included time patrolling O Block and the surrounding area. “They have cooperated.”

But the shootings, while down, haven’t stopped.

A little past 9 in the morning on Oct. 23, young kids from the neighborhood were safe in their classrooms at Dulles elementary school, a block north. But on O Block, yellow police tape marked the scene of another shooting.

It had been going on all night long, according to people at the Parkway Gardens apartments, where popular rapper Chief Keef used to hang out.

Then, at 9:20 a.m., a 22-year-old man was shot in the face inside the Parkway Super Market at 6435 S. King Dr. across from Parkway Gardens. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

James Rufus is a butcher at the Parkway Super Market. Things will have to improve a lot more before he feels safe. On April 14, Rufus’ 23-year-old nephew was shot on O Block. A man in a hooded sweatshirt followed him out of the supermarket, pulled a gun and shot him in the head outside Parkway Gardens.

The nephew survived but was left paralyzed. He got out of the hospital in September and now needs a wheelchair to get around.

Rufus says he thinks a gang member from Woodlawn, east of King Drive, shot his nephew, mistaking him for a rival.

“It could be better, much better, around here,” says Rufus. “I see more kids during school hours than after school. They’re just hanging out. Things still need to change.”


When Michelle Obama was a baby, her family lived on O Block, in Parkway Gardens, the complex of 35 buildings that stretches from 63rd to 66th along King Drive. She wasn’t even 2 when her parents moved the family from Parkway Gardens to a home on Euclid Avenue closer to the lake in 1965.

Her childhood memories of the apartment complex where she once lived are of “a wonderful, small apartment building,” the first lady told Time magazine in 2009. “But now when I pass it, it’s — I was, like, God, I never saw that apartment in the way that I’m seeing it now.”

Over the years, Parkway Gardens became a haven for gangs. These days, the police say, the Black Disciples control both sides of King Drive and Parkway Gardens, and the rival Gangster Disciples claim the neighborhood of single-family homes to the east.

The gangs fuel their antagonism online in 140-character bursts on Twitter and in rap songs uploaded to YouTube. Often, it carries over into real life.

That’s what gives the area its other name: “Wiiic City” — for Wild, Insane, Crazy.

“You can catch a shooting in the rain, the snow or the sun,” says one cop who works the block. “The GDs won’t go in to the McDonald’s or the drive-through because that’s BD. It’s all about territory.”

The dismantling of a nearby Chicago Housing Authority high-rise complex also figures into the calculus of crime on the block. Randolph Towers — 144 apartments spread across 16 buildings in the 6200 block of South Calumet — had been the hub of operations for the Black Disciples until it was razed in 2007 as part of the CHA’s Plan for Transformation, the police say.

Many of those gang members moved about three blocks away, to the low-rise Parkway Gardens apartments, which are privately managed and cater to low-income tenants.

Ever since, there’s been friction between BDs and GDs outside the complex.


Around O Block, people fear the gangs.

“It’s rough,” one woman says. “A lot of shootings happen.”

A woman who’s lived in Parkway Gardens for a quarter century says: “It was nicer back then, flowers planted in the beds, the grass kept up, less violence in and around the complex. You have to watch yourself more these days.”

Another, the mother of a young daughter, says that when she wants the girl to be able to play outdoors, she takes her to a park on the Southwest Side because of the frequent gunfire outside her apartment in Parkway Gardens.

Yet another young mom, Stacey Griffin, echoes that: “I have to watch my back, always watching over your shoulder. The police do be around, but, I mean, crime still goes on. I rush my son in to the house because you never know what’s going to happen. I don’t allow my son to play in the playground, either. I would take him to a far-out, better neighborhood to let him play.”

A young man offers a warning to anyone unfamiliar with the area: “It’s dangerous out here. If you ain’t from here, don’t come here, please don’t. It’s real, it’s hectic.”

In “52 Bars (Part 4),” Chicago rapper Lil Durk lamented the violence and gave a nod to Sheroid Liggins, a reputed gang member shot and killed in February 2012 when he walked out of a store on O Block: “Askin’ why they took Sheroid. Gave an inch they took a yard.”

In the winter of 2011, the Rev. Corey Brooks became famous as the pastor on the roof when he camped out for months on top of a boarded-up motel nearby, in the 6600 block of South King Drive, to draw national attention to the rampant gunfire in the neighborhood. Brooks says things aren’t as bad today. But gang factions continue to battle there, he says, with homemade rap videos posted online often fueling the violence.

Gang members from the Parkway Gardens side of King Drive still risk getting shot if they cross Vernon Avenue two blocks to the east or venture north past 63rd, says Brooks, who raised more than $450,000 with his rooftop campaign, bought and demolished the motel and plans to build a community center in its place.

“You have kids on both sides who are fenced in because of their conflicts with each other,” he says of O Block.

He points to Parkway Gardens and says the difference between the mid-1960s, when the first lady’s family lived there, and today is drastic.

“The environment was family-focused,” he says. “People were working. When you eliminate all those things from a community — men not in the household and education failing — it will be a drastic difference than what the first lady of the United States and her family experienced.”


Tracy, the police crime-control strategy chief, says O Block remains one of his major challenges.
“We have to stay ahead of it,” he says of the violence there.

The police have tried to do that by pouring officers into the “impact zone” around Parkway Gardens. They’re also putting to use strategies, suggested by a Yale sociologist who’s studied crime in Chicago, that aim to identify potential troublemakers and stop them from shooting.

They’ve done a “gang audit” to identify gang members in the area. Now, after a shooting, police officials say they can use this list to go to gang members and make it clear they’re watching them and won’t tolerate retaliation.

Also, they say they are monitoring social media for threats between gang members.

And they are now targeting gang members deemed likely, on the basis of the circles they travel in, to commit violent acts — or to become a victim of violence — by warning them they’re at risk and ietting them know they’re being watched.

These tactics, based on the research of Yale sociologist Andrew Papachristos, have been effective elsewhere around the city, the police say.

In the 20 months before the police drew up the five-square-block impact zone that includes O Block and started putting extra officers on patrol, there were 32 shootings. In the first 20 months after, there were 10 shootings — a sign, the police say, of progress.

Officers in marked and unmarked cars regularly can be seen driving along O Block and through the Parkway Gardens complex. On several afternoons in recent weeks, an officer was parked the entire time in a marked squad car in the complex on side streets off King Drive, and private security guards could be seen walking through the courtyards.

“They put in new security and removed people who weren’t supposed to be living there,” says Ald. Cochran, who says he pushed for a change at Parkway Gardens that saw Related Companies take over the complex’s management in late 2012.

Before that, Cochran says, “You had a lot of people who were not on the lease in places where guns, drugs and gang members were being harbored.”

Related has put in a $350,000 artificial turf field at Dulles elementary school, adjacent to Parkway Gardens, hoping to give kids and teens a place to play.

“The presence and quick response of officers has deterred crime recently,” the alderman says.

“We have not solved it 100 percent. But there has been a host of actions that have been taken.”


On a recent afternoon, dozens of young men lingered in the courtyards at Parkway Gardens. “Maybe you shouldn’t be here anymore,” one warned.

Yvonne Gayden has felt the violence — and says it still hangs over O Block and Parkway Gardens. Her son, Edward Riley, 20, was shot to death as he walked with his girlfriend on O Block on Oct. 19, 2011. The two gunmen also shot and wounded a 15-year-old boy.

Riley had attended Dulles elementary when the family lived in the neighborhood, near 63rd and Eberhart. Later, they moved north to 53rd and Wallace, but Parkway Gardens was his world, his mother says.

Gayden says her son was a “kindhearted young man,” despite having a rap sheet with arrests for drug possession and gambling and having been convicted for possessing a handgun with a defaced serial number.

“He was no angel,” she says. “But I will not blame my son for hanging out at Parkway with his friends. He grew up with those guys.”

Still, she says she warned him about going there.

“That place is a death trap,” she says.

Contributing: Art Golab

Traffic stops top cause of death for law enforcement officers

--This is why I hate whenever I hear the word >ROUTINE< associated with any aspect of police work.
The word should be stricken from the vocabulary when discussing police work, or fire fighting for that matter. There is no such thing as a routine call in either profession.
A police officer should NEVER approach any situation, especially a traffic stop, as routine. And, the media should never use the word to describe the actions of any first responder.
For all you young cops out there, get the word out of your vocabulary! Never use it in a report, and never, ever use it in court testimony. Don't develop patrol routines, coffee routines, or any other routine that could allow someone the opportunity to plan and do you harm.--

-Joplin Globe-

Posted: Saturday, November 8, 2014 5:19 pm

Matthew Chism became the 97th law enforcement officer in the country to die in the line of duty this year when he was shot following a traffic stop last week.

He also is just the latest in a long line of officers from the Four-State Area who died during traffic stops.

Early on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 2, Chism, a Cedar County deputy, attempted to pull over a vehicle in El Dorado Springs. The driver allegedly refused to stop and at one point a passenger, William Collins, 28, jumped out at an intersection and ran. Chism, 25, gave chase on foot, leading to an altercation in which both men were fatally shot.

It is not an isolated case; traffic stops have become the leading cause of death for police officers, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in Washington.

From 2000 through 2009, 118 officers were killed conducting traffic stops, compared with 82 handling domestic-violence complaints and 74 during disturbance calls.

"It gives you cold chills," said Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland. "(Chism) got up and kissed his wife goodbye that day, looked at his baby, went to work like any other day. And look.
"The problem is, it will be a big news deal today. Then tomorrow, that wife and that baby are by themselves. The public won’t care anymore, they’ll move on."

Copeland said he puts a notice on his department bulletin board every time an officer anywhere is killed in the line of duty and it stays there as a reminder for a while.

"It's way too often," he said. "Every 53 hours."

"There’s more and more getting killed in their cars — a bogus call, the officer shows up, a sniper shoots. You can’t defend against that."

But law enforcement agencies at all levels are striving to lower the numbers through stepped-up training, tools and awareness.

The FBI Academy’s one-week Law Enforcement Training for Safety and Survival program is designed to give participants "the skills and mindset required to identify and handle critical situations in high-risk environments," such as traffic stops. The National Crime Information Center — accessed by more than 92,000 agencies — also added a Violent Persons File in 2012 that officers can use during a routine traffic stop to determine if a person in the vehicle that has been stopped has a violent criminal history or previously threatened law enforcement.

'Seen it all'

Mark Lomax, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association, is retired from the Pennsylvania State Police Department after 27 years. His son is a Maryland state trooper. He said he has seen it all.

“Over the course of my career, I lost a lot of friends — not only within the state police but other police agencies,” Lomax said. “The dangers are not only with the bad guy, the criminal, but we lose more police officers in the U.S. through car accidents and vehicle stops.”

“Of course, that’s the police officer’s office — a patrol car — the majority of their time.”

Lomax advocates a training program, “Below 100,” started in 2010 after a dinner table conversation by Capt. Travis Yates of the Tulsa (Oklahoma) Police Department and colleagues following a spate of officer deaths.

Led by a team of core trainers, with support from outside partners and sponsors, its goal is simple: To reduce line-of-duty deaths, including those from traffic stops, to fewer than 100 per year — a number not seen nationally since 1944. To do so, they analyzed commonalities in officer deaths and then created and implemented five basic tenets. Among them: Wear a seat belt, wear a bullet-proof vest, and watch speed.

"The fourth is 'WIN, or What's Important Now?' — meaning you can’t be giving out a citation to someone and looking down at text messaging. Focus on what you’re doing. Make sure you’re visible, how traffic is moving, what's going on in the car."

"The fifth is 'Remember: Complacency kills.' When you do things over and over again, you tend to get complacent," he said. "You're running radar at a certain location every day for years. You pull someone over, write a ticket, the next time you will do it without thinking. The individual in the car could have just robbed a store, or be on "America's Most Wanted." You always have to assume that."

The Below 100 program, he said, "has been taught to tens of thousands of police officers."
In some states, such as California and Ohio, it’s mandatory to go through the training.

"You can’t really measure how many lives that program has saved, but anecdotal stories come back that show it does save lives," said Lomax.

Below 100 officials believe they're getting closer to their goal: Today, the average is 150 officers killed per year. In 1974 — the all-time high year for officer deaths — 278 were killed in the line of duty.

Numerous other officers of various local city, county and state departments also have died during traffic stops, including:

• Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Russell W. Harper, 45, who was shot and killed in 1987 after he pulled over a pick-up truck near Springfield for a traffic violation. The driver of the truck emerged and fired several rounds at Harper through the patrol car's windshield. Harper was killed by the gunfire and the shooter left the scene. He was later caught and eventually executed.

• In 1985, Missouri Highway Patrol troopers Jimmy Linegar and Allen Hines were conducting a spot check near Branson when Linegar unknowingly stopped a man who just been indicted by a federal grand jury for involvement in a Neo-Nazi group accused of murder. The man shot Linegar with a machine pistol as Linegar approached the van to ask more questions. Hines was wounded by gunfire and the shooter fled. He was later captured and sentenced to life without parole.

• In 1996, Barry County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Castetter was shot and killed after responding to a suspicious vehicle call. The operator of the vehicle had just assaulted his girlfriend and was awaiting her return to her home. As Deputy Castetter pulled up, the suspect opened the door to his patrol car and shot him in the head. The killer remains on death row.

• In Joplin, in 1967, Patrolman Robert Clifton was shot and killed when he and another officer stopped a vehicle for a routine inspection. The vehicle was occupied by five people who had robbed and beaten a grocery store operator in Bowie, Texas. When the two officers ordered the occupants to get out of the car the driver pulled a gun and killed Clifton. The other officer returned fire, killing the gunman.

There are more stories, including Miami, Oklahoma, police officer Jack Dunaway, killed during a traffic stop in 1934, and Ottawa County Sheriff's Deputy John Lawrence, killed during a stop in 1951.

'Routine calls'

In addition to line-of-duty deaths at traffic stops, Copeland, who has been in law enforcement for 34 years, has known fellow officers killed “on routine calls,” he said.

“When I worked for the Joplin PD, we had three shot all in one incident, years ago, in Joplin,” said Copeland, who was working that night.

“It was a normal call they responded to at Howard Johnson Motel. A man who had been shot in the leg and was the supposed victim,” he said. “Two detectives and a uniformed officer responded, and it was just a routine deal. But the guy ran down the hallway, then turned around and just started firing.”

“When you think you’re dealing with a victim, you drop your guard a little bit.”

Copeland said he believes that today, when officers are on call, "they're sometimes damned if they do, damned if they don't," when it comes to taking precautions with a proactive stance.

"The public is quick to judge us," he said. "They're quick to analyze our actions."

"Over the years, the typical complaint we get is from somebody 18 or 20 who got stopped, about how the officer treated them like a criminal. In reality, the officer didn’t. They are trying to protect themselves and others," Copeland said.

Copeland also noted that while officers are trained in law enforcement academies for every possible scenario, and continue to have training throughout their careers, “when somebody wants to shoot you, they’re going to shoot you.

“So many officers get ambushed and sniped. That’s something they didn’t have as much 34 years ago when I began,” he said.

During a eulogy for Chism at his funeral service last week in Stockton, his brother recalled the deputy's level of professionalism and attention to detail when he joined him on a ride-along over the summer. Before the deputy would allow his brother in his truck, he insisted he put on a bulletproof vest.

"He said, 'That's what you do,'" Joshua Chism recalled.

"He was always talking about procedure, what you do if this happens, what you do if that happens, how you would handle this situation or that situation — situations that as a normal person were terrifying for me to think about."

“I was amazed as Matthew’s level of professionalism, duty, honor and commitment to his career, to his job, to his safety, to my safety, to your safety,” he said.

Said Copeland: "I would hate to be starting out in law enforcement today the way it is now. I’ve been blessed, still look forward to going to work every day. But it’s tough, today. Much tougher. You are up against so much more."

Saturday, November 8, 2014

What would Rauner pension plan look like?

--This is what everyone forgets. In the late 80's and 90's many big, private corporations stole their employees pension funds and put them into 401k type programs. All those people lost their money in 2008. We now have formerly retired senior citizens trying to return the work force because they no longer have a retiement fund to live on.
What is so fair about that, that we should force it onto our public employees?

-Illinois Policy-

November 07, 2014

This article was written by Matt Porter and featured on WCIA on November 7, 2014.

With a Republican headed to the governor’s office, the state could see shifts in several policies including state pensions. Governor-elect Bruce Rauner was very public against the current pension reform before the Illinois Supreme Court, calling it unconstitutional and, during the campaign, he laid out his own plan for state pensions.

“Freeze the current pension system, protect all the benefits that have been honestly accrued and paid into,” Rauner said in an interview with WCIA-3 before the election, “but create a second pension plan for future work that’s much more flexible and more affordable, more of a defined contribution plan, 401K style plan.”

The Illinois Policy Institute’s senior tax and budget analyst, Ben VanMetre, said Rauner’s plan has merit.

“This is good change for Illinois. This is exactly the direction we need to head into because it takes politicians out of the retirement business and it gives government workers control of their own retirements,” VanMetre said.

The conservative research group said switching plans could cut the pension debt liability in half. VanMetre said the state university system already allows professors to opt into a similar plan. He said the defined 401K-type plan would be easier on budget-making.

“Under a defined contribution plan, it’s a fixed,” VanMetre said. “Say it’s a seven percent match, it’s seven percent of payroll every year going forward and it’s a known cost for the state which makes it very easy to budget for retirement costs.”

Most private sector jobs already use defined plans and several states have adopted them as well.
“This is where states are headed, and this is where Illinois needs to head too,” VanMetre said.
AFSCME 31, the union for state workers, said on its website, 401K plans can be deceptive and risky since they depend on investments in the stock market. While several states have adopted 401K-style plans, at least one state, West Virginia, has reversed its course on defined benefit plans.

Friday, November 7, 2014

19 charged after year-long drug investigation in Aurora

--Sound like some good police work--

Nov 07, 2014 3:11 PM CST

AURORA, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Nineteen people face federal and state charges following a yearlong drug investigation by federal authorities and police in west suburban Aurora.

“Operation Blue Flame,” which began in the fall of 2013, led to the arrest Tuesday of 14 people charged with distributing heroin and cocaine, according to Aurora police. Five others wanted on drug charges remain at-large.

The investigation led to the seizure of 47 grams of heroin, with an estimated street value of $5,600; and 256 grams of cocaine, valued at about $25,600, a statement from police said.

Authorities conducted more than 40 separate undercover drug purchases near parks and churches.

Two of the defendants have been charged under federal statutes, while the other 17 face state charges, police said.

Karlid Lash, 45, of the 1300 block of Howell Place in Montgomery; and Eric D. Coachman, 45, of the 700 block of Concord Street in Aurora, face federal charges of delivery of a controlled substance, police said. Lash is being held without bond at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, while Coachman remains at large.

Police said the following defendants face felony state charges of delivery of a controlled substance:

-- Tyree O. Pryor, 35, of the 700 block of South Route 31 in Oswego. His bond was set at $300,000.

-- Michael A. Turner, Sr., 42, of the 1000 block of Grand Boulevard in Aurora. His bond was set at $200,000.

-- Kenya Pittman, 43, of the 300 block of Old Indian Trail in Aurora. Bond set at $200,000.

-- Jaquel K. Owens, 29, of the 100 block of North Kendall Street in Aurora. Bond set at $300,000.

-- Shelly Vickers, 40, of the 600 block of Palace Street in Aurora. Her bond was set at $150,000.

--Steven L. Simmons, 40, of the 100 block of South View Street in Aurora. His bond was set at $200,000.

-- Lafande C. Hicks, 48, of the 1200 block of Monomoy Street in Aurora. Bond set at $250,000.

--Darrius T. Darden, of the 600 block of Four Seasons Boulevard in Aurora. His bond was set at $150,000.

-- Andrea S. Welter, 41, of the 500 block of Montgomery Road in Aurora. Her bond was set at $100,000.

-- Andre T. Hill, 29, is charged with two counts. Bond set at $150,000.

-- Michael James, 39, of the 800 block of East New York Street in Aurora. His bond was set at $200,000.

-- Wendall C. Thompson, 48, of the 200 block of South Fourth Street in Aurora. His bond was set at $70,000.

In addition, 42-year-old Latasia A. Laurant is charged with six felony counts of unlawful use of a building for allowing drug sales to take place at her apartment while she was present, police said. Her bond was set at $70,000.

All are being held at the Kane County Correctional Center.

Four other Aurora men charged with delivery of a controlled substance remain at large, police said.

Authorities have identified the suspects as Kelly C. Stephens, 42, of the 400 block of North Avenue; Marcus J. Hill, 29, of the 100 block of LaSalle Street; Lawrence J. Rayford, 37, of the 100 block of North Calhoun Street; and Christopher M. Fenley, 40, of the 1100 block of Cumberland Avenue.

Anyone with information about them is asked to contact the Aurora Police Special Operations Investigators at (630) 256-5600.

9 rookie cops lose jobs over drunken graduation party

--What more can you say except-STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!!!!!!!!
These guys probably didn't deserve the job anyways. We have all celebrated, but this was going to a whole new level.--

-New York Post-

By Phillip Messing
November 7, 2014 | 1:03pm

Nine rookie cops were fired for drunkenly “running wild” — some of them flashing their badges, back-talking bosses and grabbing a woman’s butt — after a Port Authority Police Academy graduation ceremony, sources said Friday.

Dozens of newbie officers flocked to Texas Arizona Bar and Grill in Hoboken after the ceremony at Dunn Sport Center in Elizabeth on Aug. 22, Port Authority police sources told The Post.

But the celebration quickly turned into a booze-soaked mess, when some officers hopped behind the bar and began pouring their own beers in uniform, the sources said.

But when a bartender asked them to calm down, some of the cocky rookies flashed their badges and explained they were allowed to act like jerks because they were cops, the source said.

The bartender called Hoboken police but the officers were so out of control, they had to summon Port Authority cops to the scene, a source said.

Even then, the rowdy revelers ignored their bosses and acted “drunkenly defiant,” according to the Port Authority sources.

“They were running wild … They brought shame and disrespect to the department,” a source said.

They also grabbed a woman “inappropriately” and trashed the bar bathroom, the sources said.
Not long after, investigators demanded some of the officers hand over their cell phones — some of which had been used to record the post-graduation shenanigans.

Nine of the officers, some of them women, have since been fired.

Half a dozen more — including a lieutenant who was also drunk — face disciplinary action.
The investigation was headed by the Police Integrity Unit of the Port Authority Inspector General.

-Additional reporting by Natalie O’Neill

Back and ready to roll

Yes, I am back, AGAIN!!!!!!

As I said before, October was just crazy and tiring. I am now recharged and ready to hit the ground running.

The elections are over and now we all have to sit and wait to see how this new group will do with our taxes, quality of life and most importantly, our public pensions.

I promise you, I will be watching closely and keeping you up to date on any moves they attempt to make.