Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CAPS Meeting Tonight

A reminder that the regularly scheduled Beat 2312 CAPS meeting is this evening, from 7-8pm, at the Inspiration Cafe Engagement Center, next to Cafe Too (4715 N Sheridan). CAPS is where the police and community meet monthly to discuss what's been going on in the neighborhood. It's not intended to be a rally, or a gripe session, but an ongoing process towards solutions. Please feel free to attend this evening to discuss the latest happenings and to work on ways to make things different through community participation.


  1. Anyone can attend a CAPS meeting, there are a public forum. Several questions to ask the white shirts tonight, and preferabley the highest ranking white shirt.

    1. Where are our Gang Teams? Do not let them tell you they still work in the district. They are now working out of Area 3 and then detailed out the south and west side or 024 Dist. VL, GD's Stones and every other gang in 023 are very aware of this.

    2. Why does the 3rd Watch Watch Commander insist on putting 75% of his cars down on BS mission? As a result cars are not available when you call 911. OEMC will hold call(s)due to no cars being available. Calls are being held 10, 15 and sometimes 20 minutes before being dispatched.

    3. Why do you have a car detailed to a parking garage at Whole Foods? Couldn't that officer be better utilized in the 10 sector? Not to mention the waste of tax money.

    4. Is the district severely undermanned? Midnight works with a skeleton crew. Most cars are 10-99, which is a single man car, due to manpower issues.

    They will not like your questions, but they need to be asked. The good people of Uptown pay taxes are are being cheated of police services.

  2. "Why does the 3rd Watch Watch Commander insist on putting 75% of his cars down on BS mission? As a result cars are not available when you call 911. OEMC will hold call(s)due to no cars being available. Calls are being held 10, 15 and sometimes 20 minutes before being dispatched. "

    What BS mission would you be referring to?

  3. Can tif funds be used towards increasing police hours and recruiting new officers? If so, I know as a taxpayer I would feel proud to have my taxes go towards something that would have a direct effect on crime and arrests in Uptown. Why aren't we given the option to vote if we want our taxes to go to Police or Wilson Yard? I guess once an alderman gets elected whatever they say goes? Lastly, is there a process for impeaching an alderman? It seems there absolutely should be since she gets paid. You're at risk of getting fired from any other paying job in America, why not fire an alderman?

  4. The reason there is a car detailed [near] the parking garage at Whole Foods is b/c of the ongoing harassment/violence issues resulting from the large groups of young people hanging out near that corner. I don't think it is a "waste of tax money" to protect the residents who have to walk by that corner daily. I know there are serious issues in Uptown and think more can be done by police in that area, but there is definitely a need for the presence at Whole Foods.

  5. CBS2 is setting up on the corner of Leland/Sheridan right now to do a CAPS meeting story.... oh Helen, this time, the story just wont go away.... but we truly do hope you come and join us in a civil discussion at 7pm!

  6. wrigley resident-

    As someone who shops at Whole Foods fairly regularly, I have never found the location particulary violent. Also, I always assumed that the police car was stationed there to prevent parking violations since the car is always parked undergound in the lot with an officer sitting in it -does not seem to do much to prevent harassment on the street. Finally, there is a large police station right next store to Whole Foods. For a police deparment that is greatly understaffed, it does seem like a waste of manpower.

  7. Kenmore Resident asked:
    Can tif funds be used towards increasing police hours and recruiting new officers?

    The answer is no.
    And then on top of that slap in the face remember that TIF’s take money away from Chicago’s operating budget, schools, parks, etc. With the Wilson Yard TIF in 2007 68% of all property taxes that were collected went to Ald. Shiller to do with as she pleased. In 2007 that was over 8 mil. from the WY TIF alone that could of and should of gone to the police, schools etc. There are over 160 TIF’s in Chicago siphoning off hundreds of millions of dollars. Read up on the problem and vote Daley and Shiller out. Everyone in Chicago and Cook County is negatively affected because of this TIF abuse not just those who live within a TIF.

  8. Uptown Lady is technically correct. Practically, though, under this Mayor and this Council, TIF dollars are routinely siphoned off for all sorts of operating expenses, most notably the Department of Planning, which appears to be funded by TIF dollars. Expect this trend to continue and grow, especially after the parking meter dough runs out.

    Btw, stay tuned for a big announcement tomorrow. As many of you know, I chair the near north chapter of IVI-IPO. Tonight, we filed suit against the City. Details to follow tomorrow. As proud as I am of IVI-IPO, its members and our legal partner, I am terribly saddened to think that basic governance is no longer rconducted in City Council or statehouse chambers--but negotiated in the courtroom.

  9. Suzanne,

    Just remeber who pays for judgements against the City. It isn't politicians, it is the taxpayers.

  10. Could someone provide some more explanation on how an alderman can either help or hinder the police in fighting crime and/or gang activity? What does Helen Shiller not do to help patrols or other improved policing in our ward?

  11. leonista - they're our voice at city council meetings where more attention to our nice ward can be demanded. also, officers have revealed off the record that they've had political pressure to lay low in our ward.

  12. Magical City Guy: Good reminder but not all suits seek money damages. Often, as in this case, the request is for declaratory relief. And boy, don't we need some of that . . . ;-)

  13. leonista,

    Here is an entry from 'Sassy' in the UU entry just below this one.

    "In many ways I think you are right, Feldmanis. But three things she can do: 1) deal with the police funding and shortage issue at the city council level; 2) demand that none of her district's officers get reassigned; and 3) adjusting her stance somehow regarding the police. She says one thing but the fact that her supporters are on CopWatch and her son takes cases against cops at the very least suggests something different to the officers working in her ward. They say as much so this problem need to be dealt with in some way. I don't know where common ground can be found given her political views on policing and the CPD in particular.

    On the other hand, she is on the right track with the social supports aspects of crime prevention. Its just the time horizon for results is very long on that one and there is usually no money to conduct evaluative studies to see how effective any of these programs are in achieving their goals of getting people to reevaluate the direction of their lives."

  14. Alderman Schiller can do her part by beautifying the area and providing the much needed improvement of many of the stores and parks in the area that are prone to Violence. Has anyone seen the S-L Pantry? Would you be comfortable going in there to buy your groceries? I wouldn't

  15. You know what else she can do? She can advocate for much-needed renovations to ward el stops, and for filling surrounding retail space.

  16. I am sick and tired of hearing that the crime in this ward is not her fault. IN FACT IT IS. It is irresponsible to fill the ward with as many low income housing/shelters, etc. She chose to ignore that for her own personal agenda. There is a reason the city of Chicago wouldn't put more low income housing into this ward. But she decided it is what the area needs, regardless of what her constituents said was positive for the neighborhood.

    Lets not play into her game and pretend like she truly cares about the crime in our ward. In fact, it helps her by causing blight. All those empty store fronts that have been empty for years...not by coincidence. The cameras and cops are around so she puts on the political "I care about Uptown" act until they leave....and they will.

    Stay focused people. Write to CNN and voice your concerns. Tell your friends in the area about what she is doing. There are a lot of clueless people in our ward that think she is effective (she knows she doesn't have your vote). She has scared them into thinking they will be living in Lincoln Park 6 mos after she is gone. The truth is, we will be cleaning up the terrible urban planning she has done for years to come.

    Still not sure how this woman has made it for 20 years.

    Your next Daley!!!

  17. Good question Leonista. I’m sure many have wondered the same.
    Read the book DESIGN OUT CRIME. It details how crime can be reduced by using good urban planning practices; good lighting, placement of retail to be the eyes on the street etc. Then look at the many foolish decisions that Shiller has made in the development of the ward and you will understand. The examples are too numerous but here are some:
    1. Allowing Aldi’s to put their entrance in the back.
    2. Not demanding that the CTA clean up their store fronts at Broadway and Wilson and not insisting on proper street lighting. (UU with their pictures of dark dark Broadway finally embarrassed the CTA into half-hearted action.)
    3. Wedging the senior’s parking lot at Wilson Yard between the Target, the 7 story low-income family building and the noisy el on the west side. Who’s going to hear any cry for help? Those seniors will be sitting ducks.
    4. Concentrating poverty in a one square mile section. (Too many single parent at-risk families all in need of support.)
    I know there are dozens more examples - just wanted to give you a flavor.

  18. Thank you all for answering my question!

  19. In case anyone were really interested:

    No one from the alderman's office was present at tonight's CAPS meeting.

  20. ABC 7 just commented on tonight's meeting, versus
    "Alderman Shiller fleeing the scene" (I'm paraphrasing) from yesterday.
    Great coverage.

  21. Sorry Yo, there was a representative, she was on the news at 10 (NBC I think). The press spoke with her after in a mini-conference. She just didn't speak up when representatives were being announced. I don't think I would want her job either, it's got to be tough.

  22. There were two folks from the alderman's office there tonight. They didn't step up when Richard (beat facilitator) asked if representatives were there. When he asked, Heather Steans raised her hand, Brian from Greg Harris' office was there and a rep from the Commissioner's office was there. Later, someone asked pointedly if someone was there from Shiller's office and two girls raised their hands. Someone told me the one girl's name was Kareema (sp?).

    When a resident asked what Shiller's office is doing, Kathleen Boehmer very diplomatically said the police is communicating with the alderman's office about cutting down branches on trees to cut down blind spots for cameras, etc. She didn't say anything about the alderman's office actually doing anything or communicating with the police. It was very one-sided "We are communicating with the alderman's office..."

    Later, I saw the news media hound Shiller's reps for interviews. Should be interesting to see what ends up on the news.

  23. Micheala from the Alderman's Office was on the news. I've actually found her in the past to be very responsive to my e-mails. And she showed up! That's half the battle. Props to Micheala.

  24. Also - awesome that Heather Steans was there. No representative. Actually our State Senator. Way to go, Heather!!!

  25. Mishilla (sp?) was there. She said that the alderman didn't come because when she goes to events like these there is a "small political faction that shouts her down." I am sure the video will be up soon for the exact quote.

  26. 2 squad cars had 2 men on Leland west of Sheridan at around 7:30 p.m. today. Seemed minor, though. Anyone know anything about that? The neighborhood seemed to have a lot of police presence this evening---much more than usual.

  27. the only downfall that I can see happening is that they do that quick fix and really up police patrols in bad area's and then once it is quiet for a few weeks...it will fall back to the same old story again. I hope someone can do something to really make a change for the sake of our area.

  28. Shiller did have 2 representatives at the CAPS meeting. One was Shiller's scheduler, who made the following claims:

    1) Alderman typically do not attend CAPS meetings.
    2) Alderman Shiller does not come to CAPS meetings or other community meetings like block club meetings because the people at these events always turn the conversations into a political issue.
    3) I also overheard the scheduler mention to WGN that Shiller has a standing Tuesday evening meeting and that is specifically why she did not attend. I wonder what might be.

    When asked by another resident why Shiller does not attend CAPS meetings or block club meetings, the scheduler asked if Alderman Smith attends them. The resident said occasionally, which is more than what Shiller does.

  29. Greg Harris's rep, Brian Curtin, is at nearly every meeting I go to in Uptown. CAPS is just the beginning.

    If a State Representative can arrange to have someone from their office at local CAPS meetings, don't you think the alderman of a much smaller area could do the same?

    If she cared, that is.

  30. I stand corrected. Just going off what I heard on a different report.

    My apologies.

    And, I'm sure folks do shout down Shiller when she attends. Too bad she took a job as an elected official.

    Of course, maybe she might think about why she's constantly shouted down and take actions to correct the situation. Actions that don't include not attending.

    Michella was the rep who attended the last town hall meeting, and I've dealt with her before.

    She's extremely polite and helpful.

    I'm now wondering if Helen's standing meeting is the reason she's out of town, as her office communicated to the media, earlier today.

    And, unless this meeting were earth-shatteringly important, she should have canceled it.

    I'm sorry, but there is simply no excuse for ignoring your constituency - especially taking the current situation into consideration.

    Again, a good public servant takes the heat and works with it. If every meeting she attends turns into a shouting match, then maybe she needs to recognize that maybe she's not doing something right.

    No secret that Heather Steans is not on my "happy list", but at least she's got the grapes to get in front of people.

    Well played, Heather.

  31. TrumanSquareNabr....Exactly!!

    Plus, remember last summer...it was State Rep. Greg Harris and State Senator Heather Steans who intervened to call a "Public Safety Meeting" for Uptown that 400+ people attended at Truman College. This was in direct response to community concern about gang violence, and the fact that it fell on deaf ears at the alderman's office...so we turned to our State reps, and they delivered.

    Alderman Shiller wasn't even going to attend that meeting and then at the last minute changed her mind and sat in the audience. When a resident asked the panel on stage "where's the alderman?", they pointed her out in the audience and she stood up and said "it's not my issue."

    Fast forward a year later and it's still not her issue, though she'd now like the press to think it is.