Public Watchdog.org

The Harsh Truth: Nobody Does Everybody’s Job

07.31.14

The sign on President Harry S Truman’s desk read: “The Buck Stops Here.” 

That sentiment was directed at what was a common practice among government bureaucrats back then, and remains a common practice today: buck-passing. Shirking accountability by finding someone else to blame for what was done wrongly, or not done at all.

In the 60 years since Truman left the White House the ranks of the bureaucrat class have swelled substantially, and the bureaucrats themselves have become far more sophisticated at buck-passing. They regularly attend “professional” conferences where they are taught to sing from the same hymnal, so to speak, when it comes to dealing with elected officials and the taxpayers who pay their salaries.

We can’t say for sure, but we suspect they learn one or more variations of the “Everybody, Nobody” story:

There once were four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. 

When an important job arose, Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. 

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. 

Somebody got angry about that because it should have been Everybody’s job. 

Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. 

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

That story came to mind when reading Police Chief Frank Kaminski’s reaction to the July 12 Hinkley Park incident as being “a community problem” rather than a policing problem, which we wrote about in our July 25 post. Since then, Deputy Chief Lou Jogman added a couple of additional twists to the it’s-not-our-job theme, as reported in yesterday’s Park Ridge Journal (“Police: Not Much Officers Could Do To Prevent Beating,” July 30):

“We can’t go in and kick kids outs,” said Jogman, referring to the roughly 200 kids who gathered in Hinkley Park on July 12 for no particular or apparent reason.

Jogman went on to give a variety of other reasons why his department couldn’t do much to prevent that incident, including: the additional demand on the City’s limited police force by the Taste of Park Ridge; the Taste’s closing early that night due to an approaching storm; and the Park District’s arguable failure to anticipate Hinkley’s serving as a gathering spot for youths that night. He also noted that the police are not able to babysit parks.

On that last point we agree with him.

But it’s not “babysitting” to pay some extra attention to 200 teens milling around a park for no apparent reason as night is falling. Especially if, as we have heard, Park District employees made two calls to the police about misbehavior by the assembled multitude in the hours leading up to the incident – to which the police responded but left the status quo intact.

And it’s not “babysitting” to provide what’s called “police presence,” such as by spending some time walking around and asking a lot of who, what, when, where and why questions. That’s a big part of the “community policing” currently in vogue, as is assessing the circumstances and  anticipating potential problems.

Besides the reactions of Chief K and Deputy Chief J, two members of the community have endorsed the “community problem” explanation, or excuse, in letters to the editor of the Park Ridge Herald-Advocate.

Social worker Laura Smail believes that “[p]arents and other adults, including business owners, should be learning and demonstrating effective ways to engage, interact and encourage teens to make good choices and meet expectations for civil behavior.” Tricia Williams, for her part, sees what occurred at Hinkley as “not a teen or police problem but actually a community problem and we need to work on it together without blaming any one group.”

When what happened at Hinkley Park occurs in a community such as ours, there’s reason to wonder whether parenting might have contributed to the thugery, punkishness, callowness and cowardice on display in the video of the incident. But there’s an equally good reason to wonder about the efficacy of all those social services provided to our youth, both in the schools and outside them, including the anti-bullying forums, seminars and workshops; and programs such as “Caught Being Good.”

What should not be lost in translation or in prevarication, however, is the lesson of the Everybody, Nobody story. Nor should we forget that various people have special tasks that are not, and should not be viewed as, fungible or randomly assignable to others in the community.

The parents of those 200 youths at Hinkley that night, including the three combatants, have not taken oaths to serve and protect the people of this community. The parents are not being paid to do that. And the parents do not expect, nor do they deserve, the particular respect reserved for those who have taken that oath, are paid to do that job, and do it well.

Which is why the public safety buck needs to stop with the police.

Just like the public education buck needs to stop with the teachers and administrators, the sewer and water buck needs to stop with the Public Works Dept., the Library buck needs to stop with the Library Board, etc. It’s not up to parents, non-parents, taxpayers, homeowners, renters, or ordinary folks just passing through, to take up these bucks and make them their own.

So when Tricia Williams makes a recruiting pitch for the Park Ridge Parent Patrol where parents join the police on patrol from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. on weekend nights – on the theory that it “allows teens to see parents and police working together to keep our community safe” – we have one simple question:

Where was the Parent Patrol around 9:45 p.m. on Saturday night, July 12?

To read or post comments, click on title.

53 comments so far

The online Advocate is reporting that the police are now admitting they visited Hinkley twice that night before the beating but didn’t break up the group of 200 teens because there were no signs of illegal activity, and they have a right of assembly.

I thought the right of assembly is for purposes and activities tied to freedom of speech. Did I miss something about any of those kids giving a political speech, or were the 200 kids assembled there to make a public statement about peace in Ukraine, or world hunger?

Right of assembly sounds like just another excuse, to go with it being a community problem and not a policing problem. Will any of our elected representatives call the chief on these excuses?

EDITOR’S NOTE: That’s how we understand the right of assembly. And, no, we didn’t see or hear anything about any political speeches, or that the 200 kids linked arms and sang “Kumbaya” and “Give Peace a Chance.”

What a crock of crap from Kaminski and Jogmen! There were enough police to stand around on street corners, bull[roaring], but not a couple to send over to the park where 200 teens had already been causing trouble? And anyone with any common sense (Kaminski) should have pulled officers from their “crosswalk duty” and SENT them to monitor 200 teens that had already been reported for causing trouble.

And we pay these guys? For what? Deflecting their responsibility back onto us?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry for the edit, PR Res, but every so often we remind ourselves that we have publishing standards we should try to uphold. 🙂

Maybe all those years of “it’s for the kids” propaganda the teachers and administrators have been using so effectively to maintain their carte blanche control over the educational system and quash parent/taxpayer dissent has brainwashed the police as well, especially when it’s for a lot of kids in one place at one time.

And we have to wonder how the police would have reacted had they received two calls about 200 adults milling around Hinkley Park for no apparent reason.

Pubdog you are correct. Police presence (on foot or bike preferably) in an area where a large group of teens were known to be congregating is important. Maybe the teen lighting off illegal fireworks would not have done so if a police officer was within eyesight. Maybe one or more of the kids that threw punches would not have done so if a police officer was within eyesight. Our town is relatively small and has a low crime rate so I cannot imagine that there were so many calls that night that a few officers couldn’t have been on foot bike or patrol car nearby.
Also I wonder if Ms. Williams is even a parent patrol volunteer? If she were she would know the purpose of that program and how it works

http://www.parkridge.us/police/parent_patrol_program.aspx

No evidence of underage drinking then no parent patrol called to scene.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Frankly, we wouldn’t mind being wrong on some of these points because we do understand the need for a high-quality police force; and we do respect the men and women who live up to their oaths and do their jobs well.

Thanks for pointing out the “underage drinking” focus/limitation on Parent Patrol activities. In light of the July 12 incident, maybe that’s a bit too narrow a focus.

In that light, however, we wonder whether any of the officers called out to Hinkley prior to the incident checked out the trash cans in the park before concluding there was no evidence of underage drinking. This editor recalls many visits to our various parks on Saturday and Sunday mornings and finding the trash cans full of beer cans and wine bottles, presumably not left there by the neighboring homeowners who were sneaking a drink in the parks so their kids wouldn’t see them.

PW: “And we have to wonder how the police would have reacted had they received two calls about 200 adults milling around Hinkley Park for no apparent reason.”

This is the key point to me. The police should have maintained a unit of two officers around the park, simply because the SIZE of the crowd dictated it was the prudent thing to do (as is done at other large events around town). But we all know this force has a history of making anything but prudent decisions, both with taxpayer money and their actions (or lack thereof). I don’t blame individual officers as much as Kaminski, because you are absolutely correct that the buck stops with him.

Now, the idea that ALL of the teens should have all been immediately kicked out the park is completely off base. If the park wasn’t past its open hours and the majority of the teens were acting peacefully and not breaking the law, then it is completely within their rights as citizens to enjoy the park how they please, whether that be talking, doing BMX tricks or yo-yoing. Those trying to use this incident to further their anti-teen bias are completely missing the point. If large groups can only gather in parks for very narrow purposes now (organized team sports or political protests), then those grounds cease to be a “public park” in any sense that I am willing to pay taxes for.

Had any officers been on scene they would have quickly been able to properly deal with any offending individuals who decided to use illegal fireworks or damage property. It’s no different than if they had to remove a drunk 48-year-old at the TOPR or Concert-in-the-Park because he was disrupting the peace. No one would be arguing they should send every other baby-boomer home along with him, just to be safe. What ridiculous, lazy thinking.

One last point is that Laura Smail also accidentally hit the nail right on the head with her point that “[p]arents and other adults…should be learning and demonstrating effective ways to engage, [and] interact” in relation to teens. She just didn’t intend it the way it should really be taken, which is that adults (whether they are currently carrying a concealed weapon or not) should NEVER decide that using aggression and physical violence towards teens who might be acting rowdy or breaking the law is an acceptable solution. This isn’t the wild west or the 1950’s anymore. The proper solution is always to make every attempt possible to peacefully remove yourself from the heated situation, not purposefully inflame it any further, and walk away (no matter what mean things the teens may yell at you). Then you call the police and hope they can fit it in their schedule to at least respond. This holds just as true in bad urban neighborhoods as it does in PR. Hot-head dad is very lucky he didn’t try to teach a lesson about fireworks (ie: shove around a teen around) in the Cicero/North Lawndale area, or at Six Flags for that matter!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Let’s not get carried away, DA.

We don’t believe anybody has suggested that “ALL of the teens should have all been immediately kicked out the [sic] park,” nor are we aware of any “anti-teen bias” being expressed here.

As for your obsession with the idea that the victim of the beating on July 12 was drunk, or a “hot-head,” or attacked these angelic youths so as to have provoked them into defending themselves by punching and stomping him, we have yet to see any evidence of that, credible or otherwise, either in the video or elsewhere. And the circumstances you suggest are currently belied by the fact that the dad was not charged, while the three angelic youths are facing aggravated assault and mob action charges.

But you’re doing a pretty good job of channeling Johnny Cochran.

PW, Your entire thesis that this incident is the fault of the PR police doesn’t lend any credibility to the way they’ve dealt with it in the aftermath (ie: who they’ve decided to press charges on, who they’ve placed the blame on for allowing it to happen and any other little gems they’ve been quoted as saying in the papers).

Anyone who’s ever seen a fight occur in any context, any time, any place in the world knows that it takes two or more willing participants to commence. Yes there is usually a loser as well, but to call them a victim is a stretch. Maybe a “victim” of their own lack of self-control. Unless you are sticking with the “poor old dad minding his own business, jumped by multiple youths in the park” story, in which case the video evidence is in complete conflict.

I never said that particular dad was a drunk, but I did point out that if a man his age was drunk in the park during a concert and acting out, not a single person in this town would talk about how the police should have done something about the aggregate of adults in that park beforehand.

I didn’t particularly set out to defend teens here, but when I see them being labeled with words like “thugery, punkishness, callowness and cowardice” it makes me wonder why calling the dad a “hot-head” isn’t totally apt.

You also have to ask yourself this: if these hooligan teens are the PR equivalent of the Chelsea Headhunters, then why did it take the dad’s arrival to spark an actual violent fight? Fact is, you either have to accept that 1) they were acting perfectly civil and peaceful during the time when the police made two checks on the park before the dad arrived, and therefore view him as possibly being responsible for some of what happened or 2) believe these are simply dangerous, violent teens and the PR police were entirely too incompetent to realize that when they responded to earlier calls.

The truly embarrassing thing IMO is that short of leaving a patrol on duty at the park to prevent the whole thing, if the responding unit had properly assessed what had happened and charged both the teens and the dad with disorderly conduct/disturbing the peace, then this story never would have gotten dramatized and blown out of proportion to “VIOLENT TEENS ATTACK DAD IN PARK RIDGE” in national headlines and no one would be facing felonies.

EDITOR’S NOTE: DA:

No, we have not said that “this incident is the fault of the PR police.” We have suggested that the police may not have been sufficiently pro-active in allowing 200 youths to remain congregated in the park for no apparent purpose after at least two complaints were received. That doesn’t mean their investigation of the incident was incompetent.

And, no, fights don’t always “take[ ] two or more willing participants to commence.” More than a few involve an unwilling participant who decides that self-defense is preferable to, or the safer alternative to, outright flight. The video evidence is not “in complete conflict” with self-defense by the dad, nor does it establish him as a “hot-head” instigator, no matter how well that characterization fits your idealized scenario.

And, no, we don’t “have to accept that…[the 200 youths] were acting perfectly civil and peaceful” when the police came by earlier,” or that “these are simply dangerous, violent teens.” Since that incident a few years back where a couple/few officers tuned up that kid in the back of the squad car, resulting in a $185K court settlement, the police sometimes act as if they’re walking on eggshells when dealing with youth, especially those youths who can muster a lot more bravado when part of a large group than in one-on-one situations.

Lastly, no state’s attorney in his/her right mind would bring a “disorderly conduct” or “disturbing the peace” charge with this kind of evidence. Had THAT happened, the video would be equally viral with the national headlines reading: “IN PARK RIDGE, THIS IS WHAT’S CALLED ‘DISTURBING THE PEACE’!”

It seems to me that whether the dad was an “instigator” or aggressor will depend on what went on before the video started, including the alleged (see, I can talk that legal stuff too) firecracker toss and its aftermath.

After reading DA’s comments, this is another one of those situations where anonymity fuels commentator “bravado” the way crowds fuel it in young punks.

EDITOR’S NOTE: That’s exactly what we were thinking, Bnon.

Of course this post and comments reflect an anti-teen bias. Human beings of all ages congregate “for no apparent reason” because we are (at least most of us are) social animals. Solitary confinement is, in and of itself, a punishment, remember? And teens are at the stage of life where they are slowly weaning themselves from their families of origin as a necessary step to being on their own and forming their own families with their own spouses and children. So teens have arguably more reason than anyone except perhaps widowed seniors to hang out with peers “for no apparent reason.” Parents of young kids — both the parents and the kids — may be enough for each other, but that’s just a stage of life. It’s ignorant to say all large groups of Americans should be dispersed, it’s smart to say any misbehavior should be immediately stopped by the authorities. I agree if there were two calls from Park District pool staff to get police attention to the Hinkley park, that the police should reasonably have deployed two uniformed officers to stroll the park — especially if, as the story goes, the police were the ones who sent the kids out of the Taste environs. Hinkley or Cumberland Park are the two most logical places they’d end up.
The two ladies who said what to do with teens is a community issue are right, but I can’t get past the fact that so many teens stood by or worse, cheered on, the miscreants. The three badasses, ok; they’re handled. But what about the character of the rest of ’em? It haunts me. And one more thing: The incident was sparked, literally, by teens throwing fireworks at the dad and nearby girls. If he didn’t rebuke them, he’d have had to be made of stone. As a parent, I’ll bet he reacted as much or more for the sake of the girls as for his own safety. Turning a blind eye (no pun, I hope) to illegal fireworks has become a standard police practice in our community and many others. Most illegal users of fireworks are taxpaying, property-owning adults, as far as I’ve observed. So there’s a fine line here: It’s bad when kids do it, but it’s OK when adults do it and their youngsters fill the emergency rooms?
Let’s focus on civil behavior, regardless of age group. And if alcohol or other drugs were involved with the firecracker-throwers or the cheering section, let’s take that a bit more seriously, too. But don’t blame humans for wanting to hang out together for no apparent reason. It’s how we all roll.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ah, yes, let’s award teens “victimhood” status…because the poor dears are so, so oppressed and abused here in Park Ridge.

Are you equating adults shooting off illegal fireworks in their own backyards v. teens shooting off illegal fireworks among 200 other in a public park? If so, how many youngsters “fill the emergency rooms” at Lutheran General from the former v. the latter?

For those who subscribe to Hillary Clinton’s it-takes-a-village approach to child rearing, the dad’s “rebuke” of the ne’er do wells would seem to be required rather than optional; or, according to DA, the instigation of trouble by a possibly drunken hot-head dad.

200 teens milling around a public park “for no apparent reason” is not simple “socializing” – which is one reason you don’t see adults doing that, even younger adults (25 and up); and which is why you rarely even see teens doing that. 200 teens milling about also is not the flip-side of “solitary confinement,” so mentioning solitary is just silly.

I never leave a comment but do enjoy the read, people blame the police. People blame the teens. People blame the parents. Some people blame the parent patrol (what a stretch) do you really suggest that the people who actually care about this community enough to give their time to help out and by the way aren’t trained in dealing with mobs of people, don’t carry a gun, do not get paid to serve and protect our fine community should be the ones called to deal with 200 teens? You shouldn’t judge unless you are one of these people who help spend their time (without pay) to help our town.
It’s my humble opio. That the blame does fall on the police, teens and parents. To stretch your blame game on anybody else is just plain crazy.
As a parent in this town I can only hope that this incident will bring awareness to everyone. To parents to know what your kids are doing and who they hang out with. To police to not take mobs of teens lightly. Be there, be present for the community safety as well as the teens safety.
So as adults, the blame game happened. Police are aware. Parents are aware. We should take from this sad situation our lessons…
PR Mom, my first comment posted so don’t beat me up to badly 🙂

EDITOR’S NOTE: PR Mom:

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you’ll likely remember reading one of our favorite quotes from the late legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden: “Don’t mistake activity for achievement.”

We’re all for volunteerism, but there seems to be a lot of people who view volunteer activity as an end unto itself – kind of like busy-work – with no thought given to whether there’s any actual achievement from that activity. We consider that just a waste of time.

But, hey, if it makes people happy, it’s all good – so long as they don’t expect a parade for it.

The whole incident is a black eye to the city of PR. More importantly, approximately 8 years ago the Park Board voted to add a full-time Police Officer to the Budget who’s sole responsibility was to monitor the parks from 4pm to midnight….unfortunately about 3 years ago the Park Board voted to cut the position from it’s budget. While one would think the incident may have been averted had the cut not been made we’ll never know. The Park Board must have thought building the new pool was more important.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Park District had a full-time City police officer assigned to it beginning prior to 1997, but it literally was just one – which the Park District (i.e., the taxpayers) paid for but which yielded little in the way of measurable results because he could only be in one place at any one time.

Then (as we recall) the Park District switched to paying the cost of one City police officer, but those services were purportedly provided by the regular police patrols. At some point (3 years ago?) the Park Board decided that the District was getting nothing more in the way of policing than the residents deserved without a separate charge, so the separate payment was stopped. And that occurred well before the District wasted $8 million on a 3-month/year outdoor whatever.

Whether one designated officer could have averted the July 12 incident is a lot like predicting the result of Russian roulette, except instead of one bullet and six chambers the Park District would have had one officer and twenty parks.

First off if starts at home. I also think it was idiotic for no police presence there. Not saying they need a babysitter but really? The PRPD could not see the storm brewing? How many PDs were 2 blocks away at the taste?

I actually think that they are afraid to deal with the youth around here due to the suit brought forth a few years ago for the tune up that was given.

I challenge the people accusing commenters of “anti-teen bias” to spend some time at Hinkley on a couple evenings. I have. Here’s what you will find:

* Hoards of teens from about 10-19, wandering around
* Kids staring down adults in a menacing way that shouldn’t happen in Park Ridge. Don’t say this is an over-reaction. Why should a mom with toddlers feel unsafe at a park in our own town?
* Underage Smoking
* Foul-mouth kids “m-fn”, and using racial epithets. White kids from the suburbs using f this and N that, doesn’t seem harmless to me.
* Trash everywhere. Look by the skateboard park. Cans, cig butts, wrappers.
* Baseball Fields being stomped on and damaged. Grass being ripped up.
* 20-30 teens hanging by a swing set cursing.

So instead of opining, check out who you are defending and blaming.

However, what legal authority can be exerted? Is swearing or using racial epithets illegal? It’s an ugly group of kids, that need a lesson. Cops do go in there, I’ve seen it. Unless arrests happen, or parents awake from their coma, this won’t end.

I bet if the parent patrol goes in, I bet they’d get M-fd, as I’ve witnessed already to other adults.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve heard that from many adults – parents and non-parents – and have experienced it ourselves. And it’s almost always where they have a decided numerical or physical advantage.

We would not say it’s a majority of Park Ridge kids, and we suspect some/many of them aren’t even from Park Ridge. But there is a notable coarseness about them that pays no heed to “civil” conventions (e.g., lewd/profane comments, especially around women and children; underage drinking; littering).

We don’t think “arrests” need to happen. Just start making an example of a few of the more brazenly unruly ones by hauling them to the station and telling their parents to come get them might cause some attitude adjustment without the stigma of a criminal record.

Or maybe just arm the Parent Patrol, and expand the “Caught Being Good” program to teens and college kids. 🙂

I haven’t seen anyone come on here and defend the lack of police “monitoring” in Hinckley Park that night. It should be clear that a ball was dropped here and it does anger me that Kaminski (an adult who should admit when he was wrong – if we’re doing the teen vs adult thing) will not own that. It’s hard for everyone to admit when they’ve made a mistake – but really Chief?

That being said, I would just like to remind everyone that “teens misbehaving” has been happening since the dawn of man. Or at least since Socrates time (300BC). And who was running around with swords, tearing apart the peace of fair Verona? (Shakespere 1500) And why do we send 18 yr olds off in 2014 to war (to kill other 18 yr olds)?

I point this out not to in anyway dismiss the actions of the teens in the park that night (including the ones that cheered or did nothing), but just to put some perspective on this issue of teen-bashing. Kids are no worse today than in the past (read Socrates quote on teenagers) and I’m not saying that we shouldn’t teach, expect, and insists that children learn to behave in our society, where violence is no longer an acceptable norm.

But they are teens and it is to be expected and it’s not so much that they “misbehave”, but rather what do the adults do when it happens.

And Chief Kaminski did the wrong thing.
And now he won’t even acknowledge it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry, PR Res, but “teens will be teens” doesn’t cut it when it comes to a 3-on-1 beat-down accompanied by chants of “U-S-A!” And we don’t give a rat’s derriere about how they behaved in Socrates’ or Shakespeare’s time, unless you also want a return to hemlock drinking and the stocks, respectively.

We also didn’t see any Iraq or Afghanistan veterans in the video, so the comment about 18 year olds going off to war seems about as relevant as 18 year old Ricky Nelson hanging out at the malt shop. (Google it if it pre-dates you)

Behavior, including (or especially) teen behavior, will always decline to the lowest standard people will accept. Which is one reason we have a police department.

PW, my point exactly. 200 rowdy teens + no police = TROUBLE

I referenced the past because it should have be obvious to the plice that YOU DON’T LEAVE 200 ROWDY TEENS UNSUPERVISED IN A PARK.

We expect better behavoir than was demonstated that night, but (with raging hormones, immature brains, peer pressure, and lack of level-headed reason) we shouldn’t count on it.

And, am I going too far to suggest that, after Kaminski’s comment about not having enough officers to cover that park that night, that’s he making a play to secure more tax dollars to hire more personnel?

I say we get a Chief that uses his personnel more effectively.

I don’t think I know enough to hang blame on the police quite yet, but when the chief’s first comment is that what happened at Hinkley is a community problem I start thinking cover-up. And when his deputy says pretty much the same thing, I’m pretty sure of a cover-up.

Bnon 12:14, you make a good point that what happened before the video will be the only other evidence that pertains to this case in any meaningful way. Since no one was rushed to Lutheren General with firework-related injuries, the firework angle makes a flimsy defense for the dad to engage in disturbing the peace/disorderly conduct, in this case by fighting or challenging someone to fight in a public place. Seeing as how all the eyewitness testimony will be from those same teens who most everyone here seems to think are little thug monsters, then I’m not sure how well it’s going to support the dad’s “poor victim” testimony. As an Anon posted on the other thread about this incident:

“The poster analyzing the video and stating the video clearly showing a 48 year old man starting a fight in a public park has created a scenario that seems to coincide. with what some of the kids at Hinkley say happened-words were exchanged and the dad shoved one of the alleged offenders first.

That is why there are lawyers and courts. There are plenty of witnesses to interview along with the 4 people involved in the fight. The facts will be agreed upon-hopefully-and appropriate punishment will be determined.”

I’m just here to look at the only facts and evidence that have come to light and comment on what I see, especially since most of you seem so unwilling to take a truly critical eye to the way this story is being viewed since Jennifer Johnson first wrote her sensationalist, biased piece about it a couple weeks ago, which also conveniently ignores what happens in the first 3 seconds of the video. But with the strongest evidence showing the adult making first contact (argue this all you want PW, but it doesn’t change what happens in the first seconds of the video), the felony aggravated assault charges against the teens are absolutely unwarranted. I have not seen once piece of credible evidence that the teens had been beating on the dad prior to the video, but please lets have it, if it exists. Not to mention that to further cloud the issue, many here keep posting unrelated anecdotes from situations involving completely different teens, in completely different situations, on different days (as if the entire population of teens in PR can be generalized as treated as one collective group) just to further sway sentiment against these particular teens.

Finally, I can assure you I don’t have nearly as much bravado as this 48-year-old man did that night. In fact I’ll end my entire involvement in this discussion with an unrelated anecdote of my own that proves just how little bravado I have: last night my girlfriend and I were taking a walk near the hill in Centennial park after dark when a firework went off somewhere over our heads up on top of the hill and I completely FAILED to start a verbal altercation or pick a fight and shove a single one of the six 13-15 year olds who I later spotted riding their bikes down the hill and right past us! I mean I could have totally shoved one of them right off his bike and most likely gotten away with it and have had the entire town’s sympathy on my side since I’m the adult and teens shouldn’t be having any fun with fireworks ever!

EDITOR’S NOTE: The point of the July 25 post was whether the police could/should have done a better job in dealing with the group of 200 youths in Hinkley Park about whom 2 complaints had been called in – BEFORE the incident occurred, so as to have PREVENTED the incident.

All the other speculation about the actual start of the altercation – which the video does not appear to capture, considering that it starts with the dad and white-shirt already eyeball to eyeball and likely with hands/arms already in contact, to say nothing of yellow tank-top and the blue-shirted juvi – is just that: speculation.

“Hoards” of kids in a public park. Terrible. Teens staring down adults. Really this offends you? This is how teenagers general deal with adults including their parents on a daily basis. They are not singling out the PR mom walking in the park with her young children-who themselves will be teenagers some day staring down adults.

Here are a few more things to consider:

1. When little league games are going on, there are some parents drinking from little red cups. They go back to the cooler to refill the cups. They then after drinking whatever it is they are hiding in the little red cups and the game is over, get in their cars and drive their kids home. Never seen a police officer at Hinkley to stop the drinking. Maybe the empty liquor bottles in the trash are from these parents.

2. There are adult softball games on the fields at Hinkley. There are also adults who have basketball games at Hinkley. Maybe the empty liquor bottles in the garbage cans are from these folks.

3. Since when do the PR police do anything about firecrackers or fireworks? Having lived here for over 20 years, there has not been a 4th of July holiday that did not involve plenty of illegal fireworks going off all over town. Just this past 4th of July, a house across from Roosevelt school had a great show three nights in a row. It was just as good at the legal one at Maine East. Since it went on three nights in a row-presumably the police don’t take action against illegal fireworks.

4. Some of those “horrible” teens at Hinkley the night of the fight said no firecracker was thrown at the dad. Words were apparently exchanged between the kids and the dad and then the dad shoved a kid and then the kids wrongly and stupidly assaulted the dad while a group of teens instead of trying to stop a fight egged it on. Bad decisions for which appropriate punishment will be determined when all the facts are known.

5. Since when and why do police officers consider patrolling neighborhoods including parks “babysitting”? If some of the police don’t want to do their job let’s hire some that will.

6. A police chief and his asst. telling parents that they need to know where their kids are 24 hours a day as a legitimate policing strategy really seems like passing the buck. Of course we as parents want to know where are kids are when they are not with us. Most parents do the best that we can short of installing a tracking chip in their kid’s shoulder. But part of growing up is learning about truth and trust and making good choices. Did Chief K know where his kids were at all time? How about all the posters calling all the teens in the park that night at Hinkley all the offensive names?

None of these comments are meant to defend the kids at the park or the ones in the fight. But many people on this site are condemning these couple hundred kids without having all the facts available. And the police’s excuses for how they handled the events of that evening and their apparent policing strategies leave still more unanswered questions.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We, too, have seen the “little red cups.” But stop and think for a second: if the parents are sneaking booze in those little red cups during the games, are they then going to go back to their cars, pull out the empty bottles, and throw them in the trash?

Franly, we see nothing “good” in 200 “kids” just hanging out in basically one large group. And we’ve never heard any police officer say he/she does, either. As we noted earlier, even 200 adults just hanging out in one large group at Hinkley deserves some police attention. Add in two called-in complaints before the incident and it indeed sounds like the police need some new “strategies” for dealing more effectively with these “babysitting” situations.

Any idea why the Finance Director quit? Heard discussion that there has been 100% turnaround in finance in 2 years, now the director.

Think it’s time for residents to question that maybe it’s the CC that are pushing good people out?

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have not heard that the Finance Director “quit.”

But from what we saw and heard over the past 5-8 years, the Finance Dept. was perhaps the worst department of the City, loaded with employees educationally and experientially unqualified to do their jobs. For approximately 2 years it had a director worthy of the title and the salary, whom we wrote about in our 12.21.12 post, whose legitimate demands sent at least a few of those over-their-skis employees heading for the exits. And that was a good thing for the taxpayers.

In our opinion, over the years the mayors and City Councils have been far too tolerant of unqualified and unmotivated public employees – just like the Park Board and the School Boards have been in their own bailiwicks. Consequently, in most instances public employees quitting, if that’s what is occurring, should be the least of the taxpayers’ worries.

For starters get rid of that albatross they call a skate park. It’s an accident waiting to happen not to mention it attracts people that could be somewhere else being more productive.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re no fans of the skate park, but it does provide a legitimate recreational activity. From what we’ve seen and heard, however, it should get a bit more police attention than it does.

doesn’t it seem odd how the PD wants better facilities are unwilling to acknowledge any possible wrong doing?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Everybody wants bigger and newer, especially when they aren’t the ones paying for it in anywhere near the proportion they will be benefiting from it.

Anon 3:23- You think it’s ok for a white teen to see an adult and say “what are you looking at m-fn N****”?

Do you think it’s ok for them to interrupt practices and game for people that have PAID for organized activities?

Quit the blinders and go see for yourself. Who gives a sh** about little league cups, as long as no one is bothering anyway. Do you know of any beatings that have occurred in Park Ridge with 3 adults and a kid that you aren’t sharing?

Your obfuscation is so fn typical of why parents suck today. Blame everyone but your little over-trophied brat. Where in your delusional tirade did you ask why the parents aren’t wondering what their little brat is doing?

The skate board park needs to come down. Who’s idea was it even to put it up? Or, only allow it for organized activities or those that pay to use it. I know little leaguers pay to use those fields, as do basketball, soccer, football, lacrosse….

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Park District chose to add it to its 10-year plan in June 2000, and the skate park was up and running less than 2 years later. This editor was on the Park Board at that time and suggested it be enclosed and that admission be charged, but the youths then advocating for its construction objected to such a plan; and a majority of that Board voted the plan down.

There have been reported drug issues involving the skate park since its opening, including just this past June. And in the Fall of 2012 the Park District identified the skate park as one of the two Park District properties with the highest incidents of vandalism and grafiti, making it one of the prime targets of the District’s security camera installation and upgrade project.

9:10 am-I don’t think a kid any color should use that language-ever. If you don’t like it-then say something to the kids or find out who their parents are and let them know what their “brats” are up to or call the police. Otherwise, ignore them move on and be thankful that is not your child or any of their friends behaving that way.

And this is the first summer in 15 years we have not had to go to one of the PR parks for a little league game. So we spent many years at Hinkley-even after the skate park was built which is used and enjoyed by many people who aren’t the hooligans many posters have declared the skate park users to be. Never once were we sworn at or stared at in a menacing way by teenagers in the park. Games and practices were not once interrupted by hoards of unruly brats/POS’s.

And I do give a sh*t about the alcohol being consumed from the red cups in a public park where they is not supposed to be drinking. Then after the game is over and some parents have been drinking for 2 or 3 hours they get in a car with their children and drive home. Who cares if they don’t blow at least a .08. Do you think it is ok to drink and drive? Is this a good lesson to teach children?

Lot’s of posters on this site have tried, convicted and sentenced these 3 teenagers before all the facts are known. In addition, now every teenager is Park Ridge has been labeled a POS or brat or whatever offensive names used here in the last week or so. And now we can add that their parents “suck”. The amount of hate being displayed by some has been eye opening.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Just because observations and opinions are unpleasant doesn’t make them hateful.

8:33. Park District management itself called the skate park one of its two most problematic facilities, but maybe those Park District folks are haters, too.

The state of Illinois has determined the .08 BAC makes a person legally unauthorized to drive a motor vehicle. As best as we can tell, nobody empowered you to set a different standard. So if you don’t like the little red cups, “ignore them move on.”

The court system will sort this situation out. But the viciousness with which the three punks beat and kicked the man even after he was on the ground was apparently good enough evidence for the state’s attorney to charge them with aggravated battery and mob action. But those folks at the state’s attorney’s office are probably haters, too.

Boy, are you old, PubDog! Large numbers of older yutes/young adults do congregate en masse “for no apparent reason.” But they do it in bars. Remember?
And kids behaving badly don’t spring from nowhere. As a longtime parent crossing guard, I can tell you that lovely stay-at-home mommies “MF-ing” crossing guards for daring to suggest the former not speed through the crosswalks, Starbuck’s splashing, are very, very common (in both senses of the word.) Some parents have even circled the block to come back and continue cursing out the crossing guard parents — in front of whatever young kids are standing right there. Even in front of their own mortified kids in the passenger seat. And a few have even gotten physical with crossing guards. Selfish, menacing, a**hole behavior is pretty standard. It’s seen as self-expression, manliness, just being honest, and standing up for ones’self, God help us. And our culture doesn’t say no to it, especially lately. Wanna go to a Cat Scratch Fever concert, PubDog? Or catch a little they’re- all-whores trash talk we reward so handsomely on hate radio? Bottom line: More police patrols in the parks at night, especially on weekends and in the summer. More activities in the parks at night: dances, concerts, competitions, stuff involving glow-necklaces. And a whole, heapin’ helpin’ of civil behavior convo, starting at home and going viral.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Perhaps, but we try to make up for it with a healthy dose of immaturity – just not the stupid kind on display at Hinkley several weeks ago.

If 200 “young adults” – or even 2 – showed up at Houlihans or any other local watering hole and simply loitered without buying anything, they’d be dispersed in a whole lot less than the hour or two they were allowed to loiter at Hinkley.

We have no intention of undertaking the remediation of the behavioral disorders of foul-mouthed mommies, daddies, or their spawn; nor to address the coarse, misogynistic and stupid lyrics of talentless rock and rap performers pandering to the tasteless. A

As for staging “circuses” for these wandering masses, so long as it’s done with private money they can hold chariot races (with glow-necklaced drivers) for all we care. But whatever is done, the police still have to step up and do their jobs at the level this community deserves.

You call out misogynistic, coarse and stupid rock and rap performers. But not hate radio performers?
Hmmmm…………….

EDITOR’S NOTE: Because “hate radio performers” and their TV doppelgangers on FOX and MSNBC have only a fraction of the listeners/viewers that the misogynistic, coarse and stupid rock and rap performers have. And the latter tend to influence more impressionable youths who will take those attitudes forward for another 50-60 years, as opposed to the older folks who listen to/watch “hate” anything but will croak out in 20-30.

Thank you for saying what I have believed for quite awhile now, that “hate” operates on both sides of the aisle. Listen to Sean Hannity and Lawrence O’Donnell, or Ann Coulter and Rachel Maddow, as I do every few months just to make sure they are still as terrible as they were when I last checked, and you’ll hear paid-to-play partisans demonizing their opponents becasue that’s what they are paid to do.

That’s the big difference of this blog from that kind of stuff. It calls out people by name for what they do or don’t, but it’s always issue oriented. The national talking heads could learn a lesson or two from you.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This editor doesn’t listen to talk radio and tries to avoid “hate” t.v. – but if he does watch, it’s only MSNBC to see how the other half thinks. 🙂

Thanks. We try our best.

Ann Coulter is to Rachel Maddow as Maleficent is to Zena, Warrior Princess.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Depriving both of them of a public forum would be addition by subtraction for this country’s collective IQ.

Both Ann and Rachel are absolutely unabashedly correct. You may disagree with their slants but their reasoning is spot on…..

EDITOR’S NOTE: Have another martini.

I was just thinking, while perhaps the PD couldn’t of break up the crowd, I would think that once a large crowd comes about in some place, they should at least watch over the area.

http://parkridge.suntimes.com/2014/08/05/park-ridge-police-chief-hire-security-change-rules-prevent-future-park-problems-like-beating/

I think the mayor has it correct that police staying around that area could have prevented the incident. No one is saying disperse the crowd if there is no legal cause for doing so but stay and monitor the increasing large group of post taste attending teens. Those teens would not have been so bold had an officer or two been within eyesight.

The aldermen quoted about having a cop remain at the park “not being an efficient use of police resources”?! Really…really? What better use of our police force in an affluent town with a low crime rate than having patrol officers actually patrol a hot spot area? I didn’t see any bank robberies, shootings, or other violent crimes reported in the police blotter that night. What possible more efficient use of police resources was he thinking about ? We have 5 patrol cars for each of the 5 areas patrolling and one that overlaps and patrols more broadly. We also have detectives. Would it not have been efficient to have the patrol car assigned to the area that includes hinkley to drive around the park several times and/or stop and walk through to monitor the potential hot spot that was developing ? Don’t disperse…say hello…see what can be seen in plain sight..let the teens (some who come from out of town and some who have parents that will never teach them basic social civility skills) know you are observing do they do comply with the law.

What more efficient use of police resources would have existed that night? Directing traffic away from the taste? Maybe “monitors” could have done that job so that our patrol men and women could …patrol our city.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Exactly. We suspect police could have “dispersed” that crowd by just walking among the youths and asking questions to 10-15 minutes. So unless a crime wave was spreading through some other area of Park Ridge – which nobody has argued – the police probably missed that opportunity.

And, yes, the “Citizens Patrol” likely could have handled most of the “policing” needs of Taste that evening.

“The aldermen quoted about having a cop remain at the park “not being an efficient use of police resources”. .
Which alderman said this? If so, what a crock of $&#@. I get it, we don’t need our police babysitting, but this was an incident worthy of police involvement. What did the police do in between the 3 times they were at the park?

EDITOR’S NOTE: That comment was attributed to Ald. Milissis (2nd) in the H-A article about Monday night’s Council meeting:

“He also felt that, while the department could have left an officer at the park after the first call, that wouldn’t have been efficient use of police resources.”

This does point out that managing police resources is a bit more complex than a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacks would have you believe.

I agree with everything that people have said about leaving an officer or having police walk around the crowd but we have the benefit of hindsight.

Can you imagine if the police had sent resources over the park, where they had seen no violations or fights taking place, but then a fight broke out between over served (there were many) patrons at or leaving TOPR.

We would be having this same conversation but in reverse…..”Why would they send police over to see teens in a Park when there were so many people who had been drinking at TOPR……etc….etc….”

EDITOR’S NOTE: And if wishes were horses, all beggars would ride.

Assuming that the police who showed up, twice, at Hinkley in response to phoned-in complaints had actually stuck around for awhile rather than driven away after what sounds like cursory checks, they would have been only two blocks away from TOPR had a fight broken out – and could have responded a lot more quickly than if they were cruising up at Busse and Oakton, or down at Dee and Talcott.

If the taste of park ridge had a potential hot spot in addition to hinkley park – how about this novel idea and efficient use of police resources alderman M? Have officers visit both spots the drive walk or bike ride between the two is certainly not prohibitive. The point is our police should be visible especially in hot spots which in our low crime town means areas like hinkley or the taste. Also doesn’t the city charge the organizers of the taste for use of city services? Is alderman M advocating favoring a privately paid gig (taste duty) or patrolling a hot spot park a short distance away. That kind of thinking in a position of power is freightebing to say the least. Our citizens need to be more careful who they elect.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Perhaps you’re a little confused about the role of our aldermen, including “alderman M” – whom we assume is Public Safety Committee chair Nick Milissis, and not Procedures and Regulations Committee chair Marc Mazzuca (also an “alderman M”) or Public Works Committee chair Marty Maloney (ditto). It’s not their job to manage staff, including the police chief and his department. That’s the job of City Manager Shawn Hamilton, who has been totally MIA on the July 12 incident since it occurred.

So if you truly are concerned about mistakes or inefficiencies in the policing of TOPR and Hinkley on the weekend in question, your complaints and questions should be directed in the first instance to the six-figure police professional, Chief K, and the six-figure management professional, CM Hamilton.

Didn’t the alderman (actually more than one)agree with the police chief that stationing a police person at hinkley would not be an efficient use if police resources? So should that alderman or aldermen also be criticized – if they have no responsibility in this issue why is the police chief providing a report to counsel on it? Also where is a copy of the report. I didn’t see it posted with council materials?

EDITOR’S NOTE: We AGREE that “stationing a police person” at Hinkley would not be an efficient use of police resources, so we’re not about to criticize an alderman we agree with on that point.

As for the “report,” that will be one of the topics of this coming Monday’s post.

What were the times that the police went to Hinkley? What did they do in between those times? I’m going guess they were just cruising around. Wouldn’t you think there were also extra police on duty considering the Taste? I would also like to note I was attending the Carnival that just passed and there were 5 police there on the Friday evening alone.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Chief K reported that “2 units” (squad cars) went to Hinkley at 7:58 p.m. in response to a report of fireworks; and 3 units and a supervisor responded at 8:33 p.m. No further information about other calls or demands on staffing were

At 9:15 there was a third report of a “man with a gun, shots fired” at Hinkley, which was the incident.

If a police person at hinkley was not efficient it certainly would have been an ounce of prevention. Still having a hard time following Ald m (the only one that made the bonehead comment) logic about what more efficient use of patrol personnel was to be had that night? That armed robbery across town? Monitoring the red light camera? Hinkley was a hot spot – if taste was too why not have a police presence in both spots? Do we only have Andy and Barney patrolling. If Ald m has no responsibility or authority or influence over staffing police why open his mouth on the topic? To remove all doubt of what is thought of him?

EDITOR’S NOTE: There is a difference between a “police presence” and stationing someone at Hinkley. Listen to the video of Chief K’s presentation at last Monday night’s meeting – from 30:55 to 1:06:15 – for his explanation of what the police did and why.

After watching the video it seems the mayor has it correct and the public safety alderman is just missing the point. No one is advocating for having a patrol car “parked for hours on end” besides it was almost time for park to close so really less than an hour not hours on end when the incident occurred. Also two prior calls and the deputy chief said the number of kids increasing with each police call. Apparently we had the usual 5 patrol cars and one sgt patrolling and “two additional officers” at the taste and police chief on his own time there. Why the additional police at the taste? I assume bc it is a large gathering of people in a relatively small area and potential alcohol consumption to add spice to the mix. Someone determined that the taste needed a little extra help that night in terms of police being and staying at the location yet the public safety alderman does not think it efficient to have a patrolman at hinkley when two prior calls were made, two units responding the first time, three and supervisor the second (if chief and alderman statement that we do not have enough police to monitor such situations was true why did 4 officers have the time to respond to the second call?), increasing number of kids being observed with each call to the park and the park getting close to closing time.

Also seen from posts above that the carnival (post hinkley incident event) had extra police hanging out (ie being stationed) at the carnival event. So how is the chief or the public safety alderman justified in saying that it would not have been efficient use of police resources that night to have an officer at hinkley?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Although we believe the police fell well short of the optimal handling of lead-up to this incident, neither the first two calls nor the incident itself – at 7:58 p.m., 8:33 p.m. and 9:15 p.m., respectively, according to Chief K – occurred reasonably close to the skate park’s 10:30 p.m. closing time.

And it’s just plain dishonest to compare the policing of a staged event like a carnival with a spontaneous gathering of kids at the park.

Park ridge is seven square miles with 5 patrol cars and one supervisor (total 6) patrolling. That is not enough manpower to discover and monitor a spontaneous gathering which occurred over hours? What more efficient use of police resources does the chief, alderman public safety and now you think existed that night that a patrolman couldn’t have hung around (not hours on end) even until 10:30?

EDITOR’S NOTE: We don’t know – we’re still waiting for Chief K to provide that kind of information, although he doesn’t seem to be all that inclined to do so.

http://parkridge.suntimes.com/2014/06/18/kids-descend-uptown-police-respond-plan/

Apparently it’s is not a “unique” or isolated incident. Prior complaints -not just that same night- have been occurring. In this relatively low crime rate town should preventive police work be employed?
I heard a call for park district monitors – would that have prevented anything or just been another person calling the police to respond – which occurred three times that night. Police need to use their resources efficiently yes but more importantly effectively to anticipate problems (youth gathering in large numbers apparently a pre existing problem at or near uptown) yet no community policing efforts to minimize the mischief that often pops up during these otherwise lawful gatherings. Don’t disperse them – but watch them in the areas you know they occur. We can lecture parents all day long about having their kids make the right choices and many listen but most just don’t give a damn. If we could convince all parents to lecture on what is right and if kids always listened to their parents lectures – we would be able to turn our police force into some other community benefitting group ( emergency basement bailer-outers or some other problem plaguing park ridge). Until that date occurs when all parents teach the right lessons and all kids listen we need our police force to engage in community policing efforts to anticipate as best they can problems and help prevent them.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Now you’re coming around!

“Community policing” is about VISIBILITY. From the accounts we have so far, however, it sounds as if the police tried to be INVISIBLE that night by responding to calls but apparently disappearing as quickly as possible so as not to be the targets of certain of those youths who are “very disrespectful” and “rude, especially to the police.”

I have been told that the kids have been hanging out there like this at Hinkley during the taste for the past few years? It’s kind of their thing to do. Anybody out there know of this?

I’ve been with you the whole time on the police visibility issue and seems even Ald Sweeney and the mayor are on board. Ald public safety apparently needs some more lessons on community policing however since his comments put him in the camp of nothing could have prevented this it was a “unique” (I think he meant isolated and never before occurring) event. Though the sub times piece above and experience driving through or near the uptown area during summer tells us that teens do gather in numbers that tend to intimidate stores owners soccer moms and even dad’s not looking to get a boxing lesson from younger and less heart attack prone males. Someone needs to school our police command and out public safety aldermanic Liason please.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As we’ve repeated said before, it’s the police department that has to figure out how to deal with these kids because that’s the full time job they are being paid to do. And the basic tenet of “community policing” is visability, which does not seem to have been practiced to the necessary extent on July 12, and perhaps other times as well.

Yes it’s the police department that has to figure out how to deal with this. Isn’t it hard to come to an agreement on the issue when the Alderman in charge of the public safety committee agrees with what the police did? Which is essentially nothing.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, it is. And from what we can tell, that alderman may have been sold a bill of goods by the very politically adept chief of police.

Why are we electing people that feeble minded enough to be “sold a bill of goods” from anyone? Didn’t seem the mayor, or Ald Sweeney or the others (except maybe Ald knight based on his comments) bought what chief k was selling. Seems your a big fan of Ald public safety. Talk to him please. We need leadership heading up that committee at this time if we can’t count on the chief to do it. Who picks the chief? Who is the chief accountable to?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Chief K is supposed to be accountable directly to the City Manager. Did you hear CM Hamilton ask any questions of Chief K Monday night? Have you heard or read about CM Hamilton asking Chief K any questions at any time about this incident?

And we agree with both Alds. Milissis and Knight that there is no need to hire another full-time sworn officer to monitor Hinkley.

Funny, but I was thinking the 2nd ward was sold the bill of goods……

EDITOR’S NOTE: And by that you mean what exactly?

Here’s another one for our public safety committee and or police to comment on. There has just been another incident Saturday of a person exposing himself to a group of young girls. This time near the country club. Same description as the person who did it on July 28th, even wearing the same backpack and same mannerism of doing it. What would be an efficient use of police force to catch this person?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Well, it probably isn’t assigning a squad to trail every group of young girls walking around Park Ridge.

Does cm pick the chief? And cm is responsible to who?
Knight and milissis also feel nothing the police did was wrong or could have prevented the occurrence. You agree with them?

Maybe cm Hamilton was sold same bill of goods sold to Ald public safety. Why only so negative on cm and not public safety Ald leading charge in asking chief what happened?

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s irrelevant who picked/hired Chief K, only who is responsible for managing him. And that’s the CM, who is paid $160K+/year to do that job v. the aldermen who are paid $1,200 NOT to manage Chief K.

We didn’t understand either Ald. Milissis or Ald. Knight to say what you attribute to them, so we can’t agree with your characterization of that.

Ald public safety didn’t ask any question of the chief but seems to have lulled the cm into a sense that everything done by chief k that night was fine. We should trust Ald public safety. He wouldn’t sell a bill of goods to us or his 2d ward. Just ask the 2d ward

In your zeal to cover for Ald public safety you missed the point. How about assigning a squad car to patrol neighborhoods where a person fitting same description did the same thing not too long ago. Just like the hinkley incident. Group of kids not too long ago causing problems near uptown. Chief institutes the uptown youth plan to maintain more visibility. Why didn’t any of the aldermen mention that? Had a cop been around hinkley or patrolling the neighborhood maybe the repeat incidents would not have occurred.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s nothing like the Hinkley incident.

No valid comparison can be made between: (a) the police actually making two visits to Hinkley in one evening in response to telephone complaints about an increasing number of youths congregating in the Park for no particular reason in a less-than-three-hour time period, and (b) the police not being able to catch one individual flashing young girls in two separate areas of Park Ridge over a several day period of time. In fact, it’s simply stupid to even suggest such a comparison.

To answer anon 8:10:14 according to Ald public safety nothing can be done to catch this person because things just spontaneously and “uniquely” happen that the police are powerless to anticipate or prevent. Or maybe some other governmental entity should hire part time monitors to patrol our streets to call the police if they see something wrong.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We didn’t happen to hear or read such a comment from the Public Safety Committee chairman, and this post isn’t about some guy flashing young girls and then running away.

Nor do we think thoses incidents are comparable to three teenagers committing aggravated battery and mob violence on a 48-year old man in Hinkley Park while scores of their “peers” watch, chant encouragement and video it.

Replay the video and listen to alderman public safety’s ringing endorsement of all the “solutions” presented by the (as you label him) politically adept chief. Ald m begins at 57:00. First he agrees with chief that a park district hired monitor to notify officers of problem should be done for future (what more would monitor do than call police? Which was done 3 times that night); he says it would be “very wasteful” to have officer there for hours on end (no one is saying hours on end but how about between second call and third at minimum “2 hours on end?” Is that wasteful?), he goes on to say this is not an epidemic but a unique situation (channeling chief k’s implications) but then goes on to say the park “always has crowds” and was built to attrack groups of kids (you mean so its a place well known that large groups gather?- but I thought this was unique?) he then says (again similar to what chief k is telling us) “nothing needs to change” (really? Really? How about changing police visibility? Or actually implementing the “upton youth plan” the police announced months ago?). Here is a wonderful quote of Ald public safety at about 58:42 “police response was appropriate” again echoing the chief that with each call police responding was “elevated”. He (I mean Ald public safety – bc the line between his comments and chiefs completely blurred since they are agreeing on soo much) goes on to say “police can only enforce what is on the books” (great grasp of the obvious) and like the chief agreed that the park district needs to change its rules. At 59:00 another great quote “nothing police could have done to move the kids out” unless he says the police got aggressive (really? Nothing to do but get aggressive? This from our public safety alderman?! How about police being overly polit and non aggressive and walking through the crowd. Saying hello letting kids know they are watching and have a presence giving the kids the impression that they may stay a while just to observe (last I checked the constitution let’s police do that) ) At about 1:00:00 he says “I do not think this translates to increased staffing or CHanGE of ANY police procedure” (you know what they say about doing the same thing yet expecting a different result next time ). He admits he usually sees 60-70 kids there regularly even now. At 1:00:38 he agrees with chief again that it was not reasonable for police to have remained (in any fashion) after the first call. Says officers would have had to say there waiting for something to happen. (What about actually community policing as preventative matter rather than just sitting there or sitting somewhere else that night? Where did officers go after each call? Responding to a call or patrolling or “sitting somewhere waiting for something to happen”) Agrees with chief that park distruct needs to hire monitors and park district needs to empower the police with new rules.

Seems Ald public safety and chief comments are very much similar. Stop being so critical just of those that don’t generally agree with you. Call a spade a spade. Ald public safety whether the buck stops with him or not is just plain wrong in agreeing with the chief on how this was handled.

EDITOR’S NOTE: You raise a lot of good points, some of which jibe with today’s new post.

As for your criticism of “Ald. public safety” and your wanting us to “[c]all a spade a spade,” you want to use this situation to pillory Ald. Milissis while effectively letting the two six-figure City employees whose JOB it is to deal with these matter, Chief K and CM Hamilton, skate away. Sounds like you’re agenda is less about any civic-minded spade-calling and more about waging an ad hominem 2nd Ward-political war.

Based on the last few posts, it sounds like the police here are understaffed or staffed at a minimum. I can’t recall in the last 5 years seeing a police car drive down the street I live on. Maybe once, and I think that was after a rash of burglaries last year.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Saying you’re under-staffed is the constant lament of the government bureaucrat.

Actually I think chief CM and all aldermen bear responsibilty to fix what went wrong and you seem hell bent on allowing aldermen (wonder if you would if it were a different Ald speaking out) that agree with chief (therefore they are not helping to fix the problem ) to skate on the issue. I admit chief needs to take responsibilty and CM. Can’t you admit the aldermen agreeing with chief that nothing went wrong should be called out on it and asked to change their statements which will give chief support to stand tough and or convey to public that this could not have been prevented?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Now you’re playing a version of Chief K’s game: it’s EVERYBODY’s problem.

Chief K is the police guy who is paid six figures to be the police guy. If the police screwed up it’s on him. And Hamilton is paid six figures to be Chief K’s boss, so if Chief K isn’t doing his job it’s on Hamilton.

But maybe the police did everything right and exactly the way Chief K wants us to believe it was, with the ROs doing a diligent check of the area before having to run off to real crimes, accidents, etc. Unfortunately, so long as Chief K fails/refuses to document that information and tries to direct attention and accountability elsewhere, he continues to feed doubt.

So far the aldermen seem to be intimidated by the chief. That’s disappointing, but it doesn’t – by itself – mean that they are wrong about what occurred. On the other hand, they should pull their heads out of the sand and demand complete answers FROM HAMILTON, who already should have had them if he didn’t have his head somewhere else.

Ok. Read your current post and while in your comments above you were protecting Ald including Ald public safety you did lay some blame for the rubber stamping and others remaining quiet and conceded that council should bear some responsibilty. You now have my approval. Sleep tight, I know it was keeping you up 🙂

If you want to see Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in action, watch any government body try to judge, limit or otherwise deny police. Individuals who are lefties become the police’s biggest supporters, those who are righties get very sentimental about the job’s dangers, and all of this is entirely understandable. If we aren’t physically safe, everything else — shelter, food, sex, affinity/community and self-actualization means jack. Abuse of power is everywhere, neglecting to employ one’s legitimate authority is, also. Follow the Constitution and trust but verify sounds like a sensible route to me. Of course, I’m sitting here safe and sound; easier said than done. Let’s help each other do a better job of anticipating and coping, and not let the focus devolve onto C-Y-A-ing. I like the suggestion a commenter had: When a bunch of kids — say, more than 20? — are convening and the police notice it or are told about it, send a couple of uniforms to just stroll through the proceedings and hang out on a nearby park bench. A few times of this and I would bet the message will get through.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We believe food, shelter and sex trump safety in priority, but that’s not a conversation we need to have here in Pleasantville.

As to your last sentence, exactly right.



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