Requiem for the Chicago Police Department
Seventy-one shot, 12 killed. These are the current stats for a weekend in the great City of Chicago. These numbers do not take into account people stabbed, beat, robbed or raped, but the continued effort to punish and disable the police department is in full throttle.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Superintendent Eddie Johnson continue to throw the police department under the bus with overall focus on votes instead of safety. The new round of attacks come with accommodations to the Decree being forced on the CPD from an activist group led by Black Lives Matter. This amounts to the fox guarding the hen house.
Johnathon Projansky of BLM submitted a list of demands. Let’s review them:
- Removing Chicago police officers from Chicago public schools.
Chicago police officers are stationed in most public high schools to deal with the recurring violence that is routinely allowed by the Chicago public school system. The original viewpoint was, discipline is too often dispensed disproportionally effecting minority students. Ignored is the fact that the student makeup is disproportionally minority so in fact, discipline apportionment is normal. Being a sergeant in the CPD for thirteen years, with many of those years charged with overview of five public high schools, I can personally vouch for the dire need for police presence in most schools. Guns, drugs, thefts and batteries are commonplace. Gang recruitment is rampant and daily gang fights are commonplace.
- Prohibiting police offices from unholstering their weapons unless lethal force becomes necessary.
Any officer worth their salt understands that if you are not prepared and lethal force becomes necessary, it’s too late, you are dead! There are situations where having that weapon in your hand is absolutely necessary for personal survival. Bank alarms, burglar alarms at night, high risk car stops, man with a gun call or shots fired call, man shot calls, etc.
As a young officer working Cabrini Green Housing Project in Chicago, one of the most violent housing projects in the city, every time we exited the squad car we had the pistol in hand regardless the call.
Sergeant James Severin and Officer Anthony Rizzato were shot and killed while simply walking and talking to residents in 1970. When walking the stairs or hallways, weapon in hand was necessitated by the fear of the unknown. More than once an officer made a turn and walked into a gun toting thug protecting his turf.
- Requiring a report be filed every time a weapon or Taser is pointed at a person.
These tools of the trade often reduce violence and encourage cooperation with the police avoiding a violent conflict. Eliminating that induced fear will undoubtedly lead to more conflict and injuries, including avoidable injuries to police officers. Tasers have a chilling effect on potentially violent individuals and many rethink their position when confronted with the aspects of being “electrocuted.”
- Requiring supervisory authority prior to all misdemeanor arrests.
This is self- explanatory. The goal of the BLM here is to reduce or eliminate any law enforcement activity. Any decent supervisor would arrive on scene and debrief any officers initiating a misdemeanor arrest, thus negating the usefulness of street supervisors.
- Providing incentives to those officers who “refuse to use force” and solve problems without making arrests.
Officers already have the discretion on arrest or using alternative methods to arrive at a mutually agreed upon solution involving most police actions. BLM wants to skirt police protocol and reward officers for being lazy and avoiding arrest situations. Chicago police officers, regardless of what BLM and the ACLU deprecate, are some of the most highly trained professionals in the United States. They have guidelines and regulations that are time-tested and should not be interfered with simply for political considerations.
- Officers still in schools would be prevented from carrying firearms while in the school. They would be prevented from intervening in incidents in the school or interrogating any youths on school grounds.
At one time in my duties as sergeant in the schools, where, with the assistance of about a dozen police units, broke up a gang fight on the third floor of the school during class time. I explained to the principal that there would be a substantial police presence remaining in school strictly for the well-being of the two assigned officers.
The principal insisted that I not leave additional officers on school grounds during the remainder of the day. She maintained that she ran the school and I did not. My response was to remove all assigned officers rather than place any of them in an unattainable position.
Another time, the school officers and backup street officers entered an ongoing class and removed a suspect eventually charged with burglary. Beforehand, the dean of discipline initially blocked my way in the hallway espousing his unfettered control in the school and demanding we leave and return after school hours. My reply was simple and straight forward. He either relinquished his self-imposed authority to on duty police officers or be arrested for interfering with a police officer and dragged out of school in handcuffs.
By these examples, I feel the need to dismiss these demands by BLM and continue the uphill battle to maintain a lid on the Chicago high schools.
Seventy-one shot and 12 dead. The neutering of the Chicago Police Department continues. The allegiance to the almighty vote is paramount to any considerations of safety and protection of the tax paying citizens of Chicago. The city implodes as its politicians continue on the slippery slope of kowtowing to these socialistic groups. Good citizens are afraid to be heard and shiver and quake in their own homes. I fear the future.
To all my brothers and sisters in blue, lock and load and protect each other. And as always, stay safe.
Reference: Chicago Sun-Times, August 15, 2018
Larry Casey, sergeant (ret.), Chicago Police Department, Criminal Justice Professor, Wilbur Wright College. View his website at www.StoriesofaChicagoPoliceOfficer.com for more information and review his book by the same name.