Hillard – Weis – Warm Weather

 “”Progressive communities can fix things early on,” Heintze said. “The question is whether the department is trying to identify rogue operations or dysfunctional management.” Hillard added, “If they see a problem, they have to be very aggressive. They need to address the kinds of issues that can bring a chief down.”  Frank Main, Sun-Times, Sunday April 3rd

CPD Gavel Picture

Terry Hillard

Wow, this is exactly the type of attitude that is needed at the top of a major metropolitan police agency.  Now we know why Hillard took such a tough stand on rouge operators and brutal members within the Chicago Police Department while he was the Superintendent of Police.  Oh wait, that’s right, he didn’t do this.  Must be nice for Hillard to be on the outside looking in getting big bucks to instruct others about how to fix rouge operations when he made no such efforts while he was the man in power.  If you want a man/firm that has a history of leading by example then I cannot imagine why anyone would pay this firm to consult on such issues, unless of course you are trying to find experts in burying complaints and ignoring communities.

Hillard was made Superintendent for two reasons:

  • First, he would not make waves and would make sure he followed orders from the Daley administration.
  • Second, because Mayor Daley was looking for a black face to help him convince communities of color that he was serious about creating a less abusive police force.

Weis P.R. Event - ShootingWeis’ deterrence capabilities

The media coverage (CBS News Report here) about a shooting in Englewood while Superintendent Jody Weis was hosting a P.R. event was rather pathetic.  Cue the collective outrage: “Can you imagine the gull of an individual to shoot at someone while the Superintendent was hosting a P.R. event just a few blocks away?”

  • First, I doubt the shooter had any idea the PR event was taking place.
  • Second, why would he/she care?  I mean if you have already made a decision to try to kill someone, one would think that the Superintendent being a few blocks away talking to reporters would not be a deterrent.
  • Third, if you were in a very violent neighborhood that is home to such a large number of shootings wouldn’t you expect a shooting to occur while you are there, at least to some degree?
  • Forth, the biggest disappointment would be that the media still attends these useless press conferences and does not force the Superintendent into commenting about the fact that this exact thing has been done for the last 50 years with no impact.  If Weis does not expect a huge impact why do them?  It seems like the mayor, the Superintendent, and some community leaders want to provide the façade of trying to do something while they are doing the exact opposite.
  • Fifth, CJP’s main argument stands:  It’s about jobs and education.  No press conference is going to make a difference, ever!  With the exception of one announcing that in the next couple of weeks 10 new factories will be opening offering tens of thousands of low and no skill living wage jobs.  Short this, there should never be another press conference or march involving city leaders.  Stop talking and start doing something, like maybe use the ½ billion dollars a year in Tif money to bring these types of jobs to the west and south sides of our city.

The Irony of Warm Weather

Warm weather is interpreted differently in different parts of this city.  I doubt the residents in the underserved communities throughout Chicago are appreciating the weather as much as those who live in Lincoln Park, Lakeview, or Wrigleyville.   Unfortunately, in our poorest neighborhoods the violent crime rate rises along with the temperature read out on the thermostat.  Twenty years into the Daley administration and the administration’s impact on this disparity has been felt – the disparity has only increased.  Secret budgets…Tiff districts that suck money from poor areas to spend money to beautify the loop with our nice potted plants… a ½ billion dollar park in the loop for the tourists and white Chicago… these expenditures in part also help to explain why chronic unemployment and police drug interdiction efforts are concentrated in communities of color throughout Chicago.   It’s a tale of two cities: one fashionable, fun, and relatively carefree, while the other is mired in poverty, unemployment, and violence.  The next time you are enjoying a nice day at the beach or just walking around shopping in one of those Northside neighborhoods, don’t forget about the inequality and violence that plague other parts of the city while everyone else enjoys the weather.

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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