Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Crime News Update

Editor's note: The crime news reported by the Southwest Chicago Post---taken directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports---is not by any means an exhaustive catalogue of all crime reported in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District. For example, it typically does not include news of crimes committed in the eastern and southern sectors of the district---because the Southwest Chicago Post's coverage area is primarily the neighborhoods that border Midway Airport and secondarily because including the relatively large volume of crime news from elsewhere in the district would be a logistical challenge. We make this note to offer a little helpful perspective and remind everyone that while crime is definitely a concern in all parts of the district (as it always has been), crime remains relatively low overall in the western section of the district. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

* * *

Elderly woman shot on her own porch
A 68-year-old woman was shot in the hip as she stood on her own porch in the 6300 block of South Kilpatrick at about 5:40 p.m. Monday, June 19. Police said the victim is in good condition and that she refused medical attention. She told police that she heard shots and felt pain. Police offered no description of the shooter. As of Tuesday morning, no one was in custody. Detectives are investigating.

Men beaten in argument over girlfriend
Two men—a 20-year-old Back of the Yards man and a 19-year-old Gage Park man—were beaten with a crowbar during an argument outside a birthday party at 4800 S. Kedvale at 2:40 a.m. Sunday, June 18. The victims told police they were attacked by another man at the party who accused one of them of jostling his girlfriend. The victims drove themselves to St. Anthony Hospital, where they were treated for head and body injuries. The girlfriend of one of the victims gave the police information about the attacker, who is said to hang out near 66th and Kildare.

* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 811 (see map), come to Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 20 and attend your monthly CAPS meeting. Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.

Robber threatens to kill Walgreens cashier
The Walgreens at 4385 S. Archer was robbed at gunpoint at 5:09 p.m. Saturday, June 17, with a lone gunman making off with $1,735 cash. A 20-year-old cashier told police that when her register drawer was open briefly as she sold the robber a pack of gum, he pulled a pistol and said, “Don’t move or say anything, or you will be killed and I’ll kill everybody.” She handed over the cash, and the gunman fled the store. He was described as a black man age 20-30, about 6-foot-2 and 245 pounds, with a dark complexion. He wore a red baseball cap with a white brim, a white long-sleeved shirt and black pants.

Beaten, robbed as he tried to sell cellphone
A 33-year-old Englewood man was beaten and robbed in a T-Mobile parking lot at 5897 S. Archer at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 13. The victim told police he was using a cellphone app to sell his cellphone and had agreed to meet a buyer at the site. Three men arrived and demanded his cellphone. When he refused, they beat him and stole his phone and wallet. They then sped away in a teal Dodge minivan, west on Archer. They were described as Middle Eastern men ages 26-30 with beards.

Robber wants cellphone; takes SUV, too
A 19-year-old Archer Heights woman was robbed of her SUV as she walked down a sidewalk in front of 4700 S. Tripp at 2:30 a.m. Thursday, June 15. The victim told police that a man walked up behind her and demanded her cellphone. She refused and in the ensuing struggle, the robber snatched her phone and vehicle keys. He then got in the SUV and sped away. He was described as a Hispanic man about 5-foot-6 and 130 pounds, wearing a maroon shirt and dark blue jeans.

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Robbed at gunpoint in her own vehicle
A 50-year-old Archer Heights woman was robbed at gunpoint as she sat in her vehicle parked in the 5100 block of South Keating at 11:45 p.m. Monday, June 12. The victim told police that two men approached. One tapped on her window with a handgun as the other opened the passenger door and snatched her purse, which contained a cellphone, credit cards and other items.

Rock-star guitars swiped in home burglary
Burglars forced open the front door of an apartment in the 5200 block of South Lockwood and stole two guitars autographed by rock star Joe Walsh, a black leather jacket and $65 in quarters. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 53-year-old man, at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, June 15.

Neighbor sees burglar, does not call police
A burglar pried open the door of a residence in the 4200 block of West 76th Street and stole $12 cash. The crime occurred at about 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 15 and was discovered by a neighbor who called the victim, a 35-year-old man, but not the police. The burglar, who broke and fled out a front window, was described as a black man with a light complexion and a thin mustache. He wore a black hoody and black sweatpants.

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Handgun stolen from unlocked vehicle
A 48-year-old North Side man told police that someone entered his unlocked vehicle and stole his 9mm Glock handgun. The crime was discovered by the victim at about 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 15 after he walked out of Cocula Mexican Restaurant, 5241 S. Pulaski. He added that he had earlier been at a gun range. He reported the crime two days later.

Tools taken from work van on 47th Street
Two burglars broke into a work van parked in the 4300 block of West 47th Street and stole about $1,000 worth of tools. The crime occurred at 12:28 p.m. Saturday, June 17 and was witnessed by the victim, a 22-year-old Archer Heights man. The offenders fled in a 2015 gray Nissan Altima, headed east. They were described only as black men—one wearing a purple T-shirt and beige shorts, the other wearing a dark blue T-shirt and blue jeans.

Burglars hit garage on Lawler
Burglars forced open the service door of a garage in the 4800 block of South Lawler and stole a bicycle, a pair of Nike athletic shoes, a radio and two boxes of tools. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 25-year-old man, at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 14.

Burglars hit garage on Lawler
Burglars broke into a garage in the 4800 block of South Lawler and stole a lawnmower and a weed trimmer. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 67-year-old man, at 1:15 p.m. Thursday, June 15.

No sign of forced entry in Garfield Ridge burglary
Burglars entered a vacant house in the 5500 block of South Oak Park and stole a TV, a diamond, a laptop computer and a motorcycle chassis. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 53-year-old Bridgeview man, at about 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 14. There was no sign of forced entry.



# # #

Monday, June 5, 2017

Crime News Update

Editor's note: The crime news reported by the Southwest Chicago Post---taken directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports---is not by any means an exhaustive catalogue of all crime reported in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District. For example, it typically does not include news of crimes committed in the eastern and southern sectors of the district---because the Southwest Chicago Post's coverage area is primarily the neighborhoods that border Midway Airport and secondarily because including the relatively large volume of crime news from elsewhere in the district would be a logistical challenge. We make this note to offer a little helpful perspective and remind everyone that while crime is definitely a concern in all parts of the district (as it always has been), crime remains relatively low overall in the western section of the district. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

* * *

Suburban man shot on Mozart
A 19-year-old man from suburban Cicero was shot in the ankle as he stood in front of 6237 S. Mozart shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday, June 4. Police on patrol heard shots fired and found the victim at the Citgo gas station at 63rd and California. The victim was bleeding and appeared intoxicated, police said. An 18-year-old North Side woman with the victim told police that the shooter sped away in a black van. There was no further information. Police described the victim and witness as uncooperative and hesitant. The victim was taken by CFD ambulance to Holy Cross Hospital, where he was listed in good condition.

Hog-tied, hit and robbed in his own living room
A 30-year-old Chicago Lawn man who invited two women to his home for drinks was instead beaten, hog-tied with an extension cord and robbed shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday, May 28. The victim told police he saw the women in a car near a gas station at 31st and Cicero. Heading south in traffic, he waved to get their attention, and they pulled over near 47th and Cicero. He invited them to his home in the 7300 block of South Richmond, and they followed. In his living room, the victim noticed the two women pacing, talking on cell phones and whispering to each other. Suddenly, a man burst in the back door, hit the victim on the head with a pistol and demanded his money. He took the man’s cell phone, Armani watch and wallet, $250 cash and car keys before restraining him with the extension cord. The three then left the home. A short time later, the victim managed to wriggle free, just in time to look out his back window and see the attacker stealing his vehicle from the garage. The victim contacted police. He suffered a bruise and swelling on his forehead, but refused medical attention. The attacker was described as a black man age 30-35, about 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, with brown eyes and a light complexion. The other two were described as black women age 20-30, about 5-foot-6 and 160 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.


* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 815 or 821 (see map), come to St. Bruno School (south entrance) at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 7 and attend your monthly CAPS meeting. Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.


Phone, pants swiped by attackers
A 61-year-old Vittum Park man was beaten and robbed of his pants and cell phone by a group of attackers near 55th and Pulaski shortly after midnight Sunday, June 4. The victim was found by police running east from 55th and Pulaski, in his underwear. He was taken by police to Holy Cross Hospital, where he was treated and released. The victim appeared unable to provide a significant description of the attackers.  

Music chat leads to punch in the face
A 21-year-old Chicago Lawn man was punched in the face and robbed as he stood on a sidewalk at 3200 W. 61st Place at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 4. The victim told police that he was talking with another man about music when suddenly the man started hitting him. He took $40 cash from the victim’s front pocket and ran away east on 61st Place to Troy, then north on Troy. The victim was taken by CFD ambulance to Holy Cross Hospital, where he was treated and released. The robber was described as a black man age 20-25, about 5-foot-6 and 150 pounds, with brown eyes, a dark complexion and black hair in an Afro style. He wore a beige T-shirt and black jeans.


* * *

The public is invited to the unveiling of a ceremonial street sign honoring the Clearing Night Force, set for 9 a.m. Friday, June 9 at the corner of 62nd and Merrimac.

The crime prevention group was founded in the wake of a double homicide that shook the community in 1995. Two local teenage girls were shot and killed when the parked van they were sitting in was fired upon in a battle over gang turf. A monument to those girls can be found near Hale School.

Today, the Clearing Night Force patrols streets, alleys, schools and parks, looking for signs of crimes in progress or other indicators of criminal activity, like graffiti.


Event link at https://www.facebook.com/events/429438597412378/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%224%22%2C%22feed_story_type%22%3A%22370%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D

* * *

Egged, then robbed at knifepoint
A 32-year-old Alsip woman was robbed at knifepoint as she tried to get into her vehicle, parked near 72nd and Springfield, at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday, May 30. The victim told police that two thugs approached, threw eggs at her and demanded her purse. When she refused, one put a knife to her arm. A struggle ensued, and the robbers managed to snatch her wallet, which contained $300 cash, before running away. The victim refused medical treatment. One robber was described as a Hispanic man age 30-32, about 5-foot-6 with a light complexion. The other was described as a black man age 30-32, about 5-foot-7 with a dark complexion. Both attackers wore black hoodies.

Garage fire was arson, authorities say
Authorities said that arson was the cause of a fire that damaged two garages in the 5200 block of South Menard just after 4 a.m. Friday, June 2. They said that a fire deliberately set in a City of Chicago garbage cart set one garage ablaze and damaged another. CFD crews extinguished the fire, and no one was hurt in the incident, police said.


* * *
Save the date, round up the kids and their bikes, and head over to Wentworth Park, 57th and Narragansett, for a bicycle safety inspection event and community cookout--set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 17. Sponsored by the CPD Chicago Lawn (8th) District CAPS Office and the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch. Raffles, prizes and more! See you there?

* * *

Computer, jewels swiped in Kedvale heist
Burglars forced open the back door of a home in the 4600 block of South Kedvale and stole a computer and assorted jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 64-year-old woman, at 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 31.

Rear window is key to stealing computer
Burglars forced open the rear window of a home in the 6000 block of South Massasoit and stole a laptop computer. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 51-year-old woman, at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 30.


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Bikes, power washer taken from garage
Burglars entered a garage in the 5400 block of South Rutherford and stole two bicycles and a power washer. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 41-year-old man, at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, May 30.

Elderly woman’s home burglarized
Burglars broke the back window of a home in the 5300 block of South Keating, entered and stole a computer, assorted jewelry and $1,000 cash. The crime was discovered by the victim, an 88-year-old woman, at 11:30 a.m. Friday, June 2.

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Unlocked window may have given burglars access
Burglars entered a home in the 4900 block of South Keating and stole three gold necklaces and about $950 cash. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 24-year-old man, at 2 p.m. Friday, June 2. Police said they saw no sign of forced entry but said one window in the dwelling does not lock.

Tequila, cash, drill missing from home
Burglars forced open the rear door of a home in the 5600 block of South Kostner and stole a power drill, two bottles of tequila and $1,300 cash. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 57-year-old man, at 4:40 p.m. Friday, June 2.

Overhead door is access point for garage burglars
Burglars forced open the overhead door of a garage in the 4600 block of South Komensky and stole a power saw and a woofer/amplifier set. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 30-year-old man, at noon Sunday May 28, but he did report it for four days.

Tools, saw stolen from garage
Burglars entered a garage in the 3600 block of West 66th Street and stole a power saw and two sets of mechanic’s tools. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 43-year-old man, at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 4. There was no sign of forced entry, police said.

No sign of forced entry in garage heist
Burglars entered a garage in the 3600 block of West 55th Place and stole a lawn mower, a toolbox and tools, and a cooler. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 51-year-old man, at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 3. There appeared to be no sign of forced entry.

No loot for burglar scared off by neighbor
A burglar fled empty-handed after a neighbor spotted him breaking into a garage in the 5000 block of South Laporte at 4:45 a.m. Thursday, June 1. The victim, a 71-year-old man, told police that the garage door was damaged but nothing appeared to be missing.




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Thursday, June 1, 2017

‘He taught us how to live’--eight years later, West Lawn teen still inspires others

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post


Eight years after a teenager from West Lawn lost his battle
Andrew Smialek in high school.
with cancer, the memory of his magnetic personality still brings smiles to the faces of his family and friends.

They also continue, in his name—Andrew Smialek--to bring smiles and hope to teenagers struggling with cancer and blood diseases.

Their main fundraiser, the eighth annual “Walk It Out For Andrew” (WIOFA) 5k walk, is set for Saturday, June 17 at West Lawn Park, 4233 W. 65th St. All are invited to the fun, family-focused event.

Check-in is at 10 a.m., and the walk starts at 10:30. It lasts 45-60 minutes, and then an upbeat celebration—including food, games, raffles and live music--runs until about 2 p.m.

Pre-registration is now closed, but all are welcome to simply show up to the event, pay a $30 registration fee and walk with others. For details, visit wiofa.org.

“Andrew was a spark plug, the type of guy who always lightened the mood and brought joy to others, even through his [5 ½ year] battle with cancer,” said his friend, Dan Ciaglia. “When he walked into a room, you knew he was there—even if you didn’t see him right away.”

Ciaglia, today a marketing executive for Easterseals, grew up with Smialek in West Lawn, attending the same schools—St. Mary Star of the Sea and then St. Rita High School.

He serves on the board of the non-profit Walk It OutFor Andrew, which leads an annual effort to raise at least
$20,000 to fund the Teen Hematology and Oncology Support Group at Advocate Children’s Hospital, at both its Oak Lawn and Park Ridge campuses.

The support groups organize activities for patients, such as attending Chicago Blackhawks and White Sox games, downtown dinners and other fun outings. The outings “are essential in helping the teens regain a sense of normalcy and provide a fun, social and supportive escape from the harshness of treatment,” according to a WIOFA statement. As the sole sponsor of the groups, WIOFA covers all costs associated with the trips.

“These trips give kids a chance to step away from the hospital, to enjoy themselves and have their spirits lifted, to just be kids for a second,” Ciaglia said. “That’s what Andrew wanted--to just feel like what he was, a normal kid.”

About Andrew

Smialek was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2004, barely a month after graduating from St. Mary Star of the Sea School. By all accounts, he bravely fought the disease all through his years as an active student at St. Rita High School, finally succumbing in November 2009, while he was a freshman at DePaul University.

His family and friends say that he will always be remembered for his strength, courage and, above all, love for life. Smialek never let his struggles bring him down, his family and friends have said, and he consistently brought joy to all who knew him.

“That’s the type of person Andrew was,” Ciaglia added. “All through his fight with cancer—the remission, the return [of the disease], he never gave up. He lived life with a passion, like he was determined to make every day count, and he did. I think he lit a fire in everyone who knew him. He died, but before he did, he taught us how to live.

Andrew's friends--talented, dynamic and big-hearted--have produced videos in recent years about the "Walk It Out" effort. Here are a few of them:






 



# # #

Clearing Teen Heads for ‘Wild’ Vacation

Works in exclusive ‘scholars’ program at Brookfield Zoo

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

“What I did on my summer vacation” appears certain to take on an interesting—and in a way, wild--twist for a Clearing teenager this year.

Madison Stremplewski has been accepted into the King
Madison Stremplewski with a Brookfield Zoo wallaby.
Conservation Science Scholars program at Brookfield Zoo, an exclusive initiative that accepts only about 30-40 teenagers a year.


The Chicago Zoological Society’s Teen Conservation Leadership Conference, part of the Chicago Zoological Society's King Conservation Science Scholars program, provides an opportunity for teens ages 14 to 19 to learn about careers that will connect them with wildlife and nature.
It takes place July 11-12 at the Illinois Institute of Technology and at Brookfield Zoo on July 13.

“I really like living by animals,” Madison said. That includes Gracie, a year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback dog. She shares Gracie with her sister Ava, 10, and brother, Cole, 3.

“I’ll be working with animals in the future, so this is pretty cool,” she said. “I’m honestly really excited to start.”  

Madison, who turns 14 next month, went through a competitive process to be admitted to the program—including an application, letters of recommendation and getting through an interview. 

“We were so happy, so excited when we learned Madison
was accepted into the program,” said Jennifer Stremplewski, Madison’s mom. “We were worried because it is such a competitive program.”

Madison found out she was accepted into the program by doing something all kids her age do, looking at her cell phone. 

“I knew two other kids who applied and they found out they were accepted a couple of weeks ago,” she said. “When I looked at my phone and saw the message, I thought, ‘Oh, wait. I got in.’ I was pretty excited.”

Later in July, Madison will begin a permanent schedule at Brookfield Zoo. She hopes to complete at least 300 volunteer hours there in a year, far more than the 120 required.

“I’m really interested in the program. The more I do, the more I will get out of it, the more I will learn,” Madison said.

While 300 hours sounds like a lot of volunteer time, Madison said she believes she can accomplish her goal-even if she is starting as a freshman at Marist High School in the fall.

“I will try to do 60 hours over the summer and when I get into high school, I will work on the weekends. I will prioritize-homework and zoo. It really shouldn’t be that bad,” Madison said. 

Part of the scholars program requires Madison to talk to zoo guests, children and adults, about the various animals in the exhibits. Her mom thinks this educational aspect of the program will appeal to Madison.

“She likes the educational piece, the teaching component. She loves working with children,” Jennifer Stremplewski said.

Like many people, Madison isn’t comfortable with public speaking. Yet, the educational piece of the volunteer work will have her talking often to mixed group of people. 

“My public speaking skills aren’t great. I’m hoping I become a better speaker. Talking to people about different topics will hopefully make me a more confident speaker, “ Madison said.

Opportunities are plenty for Madison and other scholars. She plans on volunteering at the zoo throughout her high school career. When she turns 16, she can submit research she has done to apply for paid positions offered only to the scholars. 

Both Madison and Jennifer acknowledge they appreciate the college readiness class offered by the program.

“It’s hard to say exactly what direction Madison will take with this,” her mother said Tuesday afternoon. “She really likes dolphins, so there’s a chance she may go into marine biology, but who knows? When you’re that young, the future is wide open.”

# # #

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Popular Entertainment Acts to Take the Stage at St. Joseph Carnival, June 1-4th

Old favorites and hot new entertainment acts can be
found on the main stage lineup for this year's carnival at St.
Joseph Parish, just 1/2 block west of 56th and Harlem.


Taking the stage from 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday, June 1 will be Kashmir, one of the nation's top Led
Zeppelin tribute bands.

Strung Out, which bills itself as “Chicago’s Ultimate 70’s musical experience playing an incredible treasure trove of classic 70’s music that other bands overlook,” is first up on Fri-
day, June 2, playing from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Closing out Friday’s live entertainment from 9 p.m. to
midnight will be Maggie Speaks, arguably the most successful cover band ever to come out of Chicago.

On Saturday, June 3 a succession of some of the Chicago area’s best disc jockeys will spin a variety of Top 40 favorites to hot house mixes from 3 p.m. to midnight.

Sunday promises a bit of something for everyone.

The Ampol Aires polka band will play from 2 to 4 p.m., followed by Reino Norteño from 5 to 6 p.m.

Hillbilly Rockstarz will close out the carnival from
7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Hillbilly Rockstarz bills itself as "Chicago's very
own country super group, specializing in covering the latest hits in country music, along with many of your classic favorites" and will cover a pickup truck's worth of today's country hits, as well as covers of favorites by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Patsy Cline.

St. Joseph Carnival hours are 6 to 11 p.m. Thursday, June 1; 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, June 2; 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday, June 3; and 2 to 10 p.m. Sunday, June 4.


In addition to musical entertainment, the four-day event features carnival rides, games of skill and chance.

All are encouraged to bring hearty appetites. In
addition to familiar favorites like cotton candy, lemonade and ice cream, several local restaurants and other food vendors will sell such taste-tempting delights as pizza slices, Italian beef and sausage sandwiches, Maxwell Street-style Polish sausage, hot dogs, corn dogs, meatball sandwiches, eggplant sandwiches, chicken parmigiana, barbecue chicken sandwiches, chicken fingers, steak tacos, marinated pork tacos, chicken tacos, taquitos and fajitas, pork stew, rice and beans, empanadas, funnel cakes and more.

Wristbands that offer discounts on carnival rides are still available. For more information, call the St. Joseph Parish rectory at (708) 458-0501 weekdays.

The Carnival Committee at St. Joe's is encouraging
everyone to stop by and have a great time: parishioners, alumni, friends of the school and parish, as well as everyone in the larger community. That's you!

# # #

How About Letting Cops Do Their Jobs?

Opinion by John T. "Red" Ryan


ONE IS FORTUNATE to a few good friends, true friends that is. In our case we have Tom Mc Kenna. We really go back a long ways, to the second grade in 1953, to be exact. We were together at St. Theodore Grammar School, St. Rita H.S., the City Colleges;  Wilson & Bogan Branches (now renamed Kennedy-King & Richard J. Daley respectively).  We were in Boy Scouts, Altar Boys, Robert E. Wood Boys Club, softball teams and even coached grade school football and basketball. We each would ultimately put in 30+ years spent in the ranks of "the Glorious Blue"; better known as the Chicago Police Department. We did many other things together and remain close friends to this day.

WHEN WE HAVE discussions on topics such as politics and current events of the CPD, he had used an old quotation about the Media's interpretation of  certain situations. In certain occasional stories, the press boys offer complex, often highly theoretical, explanations of a particular incident.  When one of us notes that there is a simpler answer, Tom would often quote some old adage that goes; "Genius is the Ability to Detect the Obvious." 

WELL WHEN ONE contemplates that statement, it becomes very clear and truthful.  In its  simple and straightforward form, it nails it. It brings to mind that Hans Christian Anderson fable about "The Emperor's New Clothes." We've all heard that one and gotten the moral; that one's being the human trait of having reluctance in admitting lack of knowledge and fear of ridicule for not being "with it." (Remember in the end it's a young boy who sort of "sees through" the tailor's scam. )

WE FIND THAT the same principle can be applied to some of our current events. This business of the Chicago Police Department's being charged with the serious defect of institutionalized racism, inability to relate to the communities they patrol and providing under-service to same would properly be cited as classic examples of modern day counterparts of  that story of the invisible duds. In all fairness, we cannot just limit this broad based criticism of police departments to Chicago. Over the past 4 or 5 years, the Justice Department of the Obama Administration has made such charges in many communities, wherever there was civil unrest. Under Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, the Police Departments in Ferguson, MO., Baltimore, MD. and New York City (Staten Island), NY. have all been so maligned.       

IT SEEMS THAT each of these instances ultimately ends up with condemnation of the  local police, recommendations from the Feds, proposals of "new" training for the cops and the broadening of recruiting of cop candidates. They appear to  ignore the present minority and female representations that have been in place for some years. In reality, the sum total of all these actions by the Obama Justice Department was nothing less than a move to take over local police departments and federalize all police work.   

RATHER THAN HAVING the police department used as a political football, let's face up to the truths. It is the job of the cops to deal with both the lawless behavior of some and at the same time, guarantee the rights of all. Police departments do know how to handle these situations from experience. Why do the pols continually put the blame for these civil disruptions on those who are charged with the task of doing something about it?  Do they also blame  Firemen for fires, water departments for drought, etc.? It makes about as much sense.

NOW IN GETTING back to our original premise, why don't our elected "leaders" stop giving into these coalitions of radicals, career criminals and quasi-religious privateers and indeed  "....detect the obvious". Namely, let the police do their job and try backing them up while you're at it! Remember, all of the rest of the (law abiding) population also votes and deserves better than they're getting! Can't these folks see that?

DAMN, WHERE'S THAT boy from "The Emperor's New Clothes" when you need him?
              
~ ~ ~

John T. “Red” Ryan is a retired Chicago police officer and Garfield Ridge resident.