The [Tuesday] Papers
To my Facebook opponents: You can now stop arguing with me and start arguing with Jon Stewart, because apparently he's on my side.
Rahm's Race Card
"Last week, mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel tried to pull the rug out from under Weis' plan to shift police resources.
"Emanuel said he was determined to 'find policies that unite' the city. He argued that shifting officers away from lower-crime districts in his North Side political base to higher crime South and West Side districts would only divide Chicago."
Right. Chicago is divided when mostly white and affluent citizens are affected at the expense of mostly minority and poor citizens, but not vice versa. Memo to Rahm: Chicago is already divided.
You know all those hand-wringing, heart-wrenching, head-scratching editorials and columns and political speeches and dinner-party conversations about what we should do about the awful violence in parts of Chicago most people never see? This is one of the few concrete pieces of the policy puzzle available to us. In fact, it's a no-brainer.
Now, Rahm is right that a solution that might make everybody happy would be to hire more cops - right if the new hires were all sent to the districts that need them the most. That's a solution I've long advocated. But Rahm doesn't appear to be saying that - and if elected it's highly doubtful he'll actually fulfill his pledge to put another 1,000 officers on the street. (Only 250 of those would be new hires, paid for out of TIF funds, a strategy that may not even be legal.)
So Weis is right to realign beats. I just hope he gets it done before the next mayor takes office because I'd like to see the next mayor then try to move cops out of our most crime-ridden neighborhoods and send them back to our safest neighborhoods.
From the Beachwood, March 20, 2006:
"The media as a whole, for example, refuses to adequately explore the issue of realigning police beats according to where crime actually occurs. Every few years the issue of beat realignment crops up and is quickly pushed back down. How can the police have really shifted 'every extra resource' to Englewood without just such a beat realignment? The formation of 'hot spot' units doesn't count; this is a strategy above and beyond daily beats, which were supposed to be the cornerstone of community policing."
From the Beachwood, February 16, 2007:
"'In 2003, Daley turned his back on a campaign promise to realign Chicago's 279 police beats, arguing that it would undermine community policing and deprive middle-class neighborhoods of the officers they need to deter crime,' Fran Spielman writes today. 'Instead of picking a fight with aldermen from middle-class wards by enlarging police beats, Daley chose the path of least resistance.'
"She's halfway there, but only halfway. How in the world would beat realignment undermine community policing? Beat realignment is crucial to community policing; besides putting cops where they are most needed, novel idea I know, beat realignment puts cops closer to the people in high-crime districts where police are otherwise overwhelmed and hardly have time to walk the streets.
"And to be clear, when Spielman says 'enlarging police beats,' which sounds like a bad idea resulting in less coverage on the face of it, she means enlarging beats where the least amount of crime occurs, and shrinking beats where the most crime occurs. How does that not make sense? Unless the mayor would simply add more street cops to the force - a better idea, I think, than surveillance cameras at every intersection."
From the Beachwood, October 27, 2008:
"'They haven't been moved around since 1978. That's three decades of people making empty promises. Nothing against my predecessors, but at some time, you've got to look at a problem and say, I know I can't make every one of the 50 aldermen happy, but we have to make sure we have the right resources in the right locations,' Weis said. 'I'm 100 percent committed to that . . . I know we'll upset some people. But we have to have fair police service to every community.'
"Weis is right, of course. But two observations: First, it wasn't just his predecessors who made empty promises. It was the mayor himself. And second, he has now acknowledged that the police department has not been providing services fairly to every community. Guess which ones have been on the short end of the stick?
"'If we move people into other districts and other wards, we've got to take from some other place,' he said. 'I want it to be based on factors that ensure all citizens . . . get equal police coverage based upon the threat that they're facing."
"Again, this is an acknowledgment that police coverage has not been based on the crime threat. In fact, it's been the reverse.
"Finally, there is a way to avoid reducing police services in some districts and wards in order to deploy services where they are needed most: hire more cops to fill the gaps."
From the Beachwood, April 17, 2009:
"Think about it for just a second: Chicago's police officers are assigned to beats according to 20-year-old crime patterns and population figures.
From the Beachwood, September 15, 2010:
"I've heard that long-promised, long-denied beat realignment has actually become a de facto, um, fact - and that it's been done outside of public view and beyond the reach of the objecting city council.
"This is the right thing to do but the wrong way to do it.
"Simply put, population patterns as well as (more importantly) trends in the locations of crimes change, but the police department's deployment of manpower does not. Why? Because aldermen of both white and affluent (sometimes non-white, let's note) wards do not want to lose cops even if that means more needy areas need them more. Of course, one solution would be to simply hire more cops and assign them - or shift others - to the areas that need them most. It seems, though, as if Daley would rather privatize the police force than hire more officers - or increase their pay satisfactorily. The mayor is as responsible, if not more, for low morale in the department as anyone. No constituency, including poor African Americans, hates him more.
"Beat realignment is a matter of public policy that should be done publicly and formally - not just in the interests of democracy but in the interests of effectiveness. But that's not how Daley's Chicago works."
When Rahm Emanuel plays to his white base at the expense of the actual lives and deaths of black people, can we accuse him of playing racial politics?
When Rahm Emanuel says he'll be the mayor for all of Chicago, is he implying that his opponents would only be the mayor of black or Hispanic Chicago? Why do we allow white to be the default that encompasses everyone? And isn't that the same rhetoric used against Harold Washington - that he would only be black Chicago's mayor? And in what way was Richard M. Daley the mayor of poor blacks?
"WGN reports that a teen 'reeking of alcohol' climbed into bed with the Wilmette woman and told her to 'move over' early Saturday morning. She initially thought her husband was getting into bed, but when she realized it wasn't him she told the teen to get out.
"He allegedly said 'Oh my God' before leaving the home."
The Chicago School of Rock
I Am A Security Guard
The Beachwood Tip Line: Citizens wanted.
Posted on January 11, 2011
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