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POLICE BOARD MEETING:Taking our concerns to the next level

October 6, 2010
By

We must use all available means to obtain the necessary attention to the conditions in our neighborhood. We must do more than attend the CAPS meetings. We must address all who exercise control over the actions of the police.

 The Police Board holds a public meeting once a month. Members of the public are invited to attend and are welcome to address questions or comments to the Board, the Superintendent of Police, and the Chief Administrator of the Independent Police Review Authority.

 The next meeting:

 Thursday       October 21, 2010        7:30PM

Chicago Police Headquarters,   3510 South Michigan Avenue

 We must attend this Police Board meeting and address our comments and concerns directly to the top. We must plan to attend and speak at this meeting and continue to attend and speak at  these meetings until we see results.

We all know that there is power in numbers. We need to show force and support. We need several people who are willing to speak about the conditions in our neighborhood.

We must sign-up in advance in order to address the Board. Each person must call (312) 742-4194 before 4:30pm no later than the day before the meeting to add your name to the list of speakers.

We must take action.  If we don’t make a move, they won’t.

One Response to POLICE BOARD MEETING:Taking our concerns to the next level

  1. admin on October 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    October 20, 2010

    BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
    Without using the dreaded term “beat realignment,” Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said Tuesday he would “reallocate” police resources by the end of this year from lower crime districts to those that need more officers.

    Testifying at City Council budget hearings, Weis vowed to finally deliver on a promise made and broken by at least four of his predecessors.

    » Click to enlarge image More police will work in high-crime districts by the end of the year, the chief says.
    (Brian Jackson/Sun-Times)

    RELATED STORIESMayor backs Weis in brutality investigation

    He’s not calling it beat or district realignment, which would entail a complete redrawing of the boundaries of the 281 police beats to coincide with crime and population changes.

    That will have to wait until “Phase 2”– after ward boundaries are redrawn, the superintendent said.

    But two years into a hiring slowdown that has left the Chicago Police Department more than 2,300 officers a day short of authorized strength, Weis is prepared to take decisive action.

    “We anticipate in the very near future of having a resource re-allocation that will better balance the workload of our officers throughout the entire city. We will re-allocate our resources to address where the crimes actually are,” Weis said.

    “I know I’ve talked about this for two years. We will deliver it in 2010. . . . We can’t go three decades without adjusting resources again. That’s inexcusable. . . . We’re not talking about changing districts or beats right now. This is . . . a resource realignment to make sure we put those officers where they need to be based upon . . . a formula we would be able to adjust on a regular basis should crime shift, should communities change.”

    Weis did not say which police districts stand to lose officers and which districts stand to gain. He would only say that some districts “have an additional number of police officers above and beyond what analysis has proven they actually need. So we can move some of those officers to a district where analysis has shown they need some more.”

    Police Committee Chairman Anthony Beale (9th) applauded Weis for confronting an issue that his predecessors took pains to avoid.

    “I’ve been fighting for resource reallocation, beat realignment . . . for 12 years now. And you are the first superintendent who has really taken the bull by the horns and said, ‘This is the right thing to do to make the entire city safe — not just certain communities,’ ” Beale said.

    Northwest and Southwest Side aldermen are preparing to do battle to preserve what they have.

    Ald. Tom Allen (38th) said Weis has “already drained police resources” in his ward by pulling gang and organized crime units out of police districts.

    “The 16th District [Jefferson Park] has had a 400 percent increase in homicides this year. If he likes to use statistics, he should digest that statistic,” Allen said.

    “If he takes more resources out of Jefferson Park and Albany Park, he’s doing a disservice to the people who pay a lot of taxes and expect police protection. You can’t continue to buffalo the media and everyone else by telling them we don’t have crime in our neighborhoods.”

    Retiring Ald. Ginger Rugai (19th), who represents the Far Southwest Side neighborhoods of Beverly, Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood, said she, too, is concerned.

    “I’ll fight to keep what we have, if not more people. . . . It’s important for the entire city that everyone have the protection they need,” Rugai said.

    After a string of snatch-and-grab crimes involving iPods and cell phones in the downtown area, Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) warned Weis to maintain police resources in the Central Business District.

    “God help the city if public perception is that this is not a safe place,” Reilly said. “We need to make sure our major retail corridors have high-visibility police in key locations so people feel safe spending their money here and spending their weekends visiting Chicago.”

    Chicago has 281 police beats with lines that have not been redrawn since 1985.

    For the past three decades, police superintendents have been promising to redraw the boundaries of the beats to accommodate shifting crime patterns and population changes, but it’s never happened.

    Instead of touching off a political war between black and Hispanic aldermen who say their high-crime wards have been shortchanged and white aldermen who won’t tolerate a reduction in police services, Mayor Daley chose the political path of least resistance. He formed a Targeted Response Unit that temporarily redeployed officers to crime “hot spots.”

    Also Tuesday, Weis disclosed that he’s looking seriously at an idea that Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) has been pushing for years — creating a cadre of auxiliary police officers — but with a twist: Retired officers would be hired back, to minimize union resistance.

    The auxiliary officers would be armed and have arrest and ticketing powers, though what specific duties they might have hasn’t been defined.

    The superintendent also disclosed that the gun-registration ordinance rushed into place in July to replace the handgun ban tossed out by the U.S. Supreme Court has been a bust.

    Nobody’s registering their weapons and nobody’s being arrested, either.

    “There’s probably tens of thousands of gun offenders out there right now that have not registered as the new law provides,” Burke said. “Every time a policeman drives by one of them, that’s a cause for arrest.

    “It was a clear tool for law enforcement to take action against those members of gangs who are out there and are now in violation of the law. And the obvious question is: Why hasn’t it been used? …We pass laws, and people don’t enforce them.”

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