WBEZ | policing http://www.wbez.org/tags/policing Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Are there enough cops for Pride, Market Days? http://www.wbez.org/news/are-there-enough-cops-pride-market-days-107902 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/5879594086_819c447e82_z.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 414px;" title="Chicago Police patrol a Lakeview alley after the parade. (Flickr/nathanmac87)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F98738729" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Updated 12:00 a.m.</em></p><p>Given the recent Supreme Court ruling overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, many are expecting a record turnout for the Annual Gay Pride Parade this Sunday in Chicago&rsquo;s Lakeview neighborhood. Prediction: There&rsquo;s going to be a lot of revelry (there always is), but in the run up to the event, there are questions about how much street crime could occur over the weekend, and what&rsquo;s being done to prevent it.</p><p>And those questions are raised as a handful of stabbings tainted last weekend&rsquo;s Pride Fest, a street festival that once ran in tandem with the Annual Gay Pride Parade. In one case, a person was found stabbed early Sunday morning just north of the fest area. <a href="http://wgntv.com/2013/06/24/3-injured-in-separte-stabbing-attacks-in-lakeview/">Also, two people were attacked</a> at the Belmont Red Line &ldquo;L&rdquo; station while trying to detain an alleged cellphone thief.</p><p>The following Monday, many <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/06/24/stanley-cup-2013-thousands-of-fans-fill-streets-of-chicago/">took to the neighborhood&#39;s streets</a> to celebrate the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup. Several storefronts had their windows broken.</p><p>A neighborhood blog <a href="http://crimeinboystown.blogspot.com/">crimeinboystown</a> noted the incidents, though the sourcing (unnamed witnesses and local scanner broadcasts) is sketchy.</p><p>Still, the numbers suggest the area&rsquo;s become a magnet for thefts and robberies and, at times, aggravated battery with a weapon as well.</p><p>Earlier this year, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-02-07/crunching-lakeviews-crime-numbers-police-start">we looked at the crime stats </a>in Lakeview &mdash; just as Chicago police had rolled out the &ldquo;Entertainment Detail,&rdquo; a re-organized patrol designed to watch the city&rsquo;s nightspots during weekends and nights. Our analysis suggested decreases in some Wrigleyville/Boystown crimes, but sharp increases in robberies &mdash; <a href="http://wbezdata.tumblr.com/post/44257873024/cta-sun-times-get-in-data-fight">due in part to smartphone thefts</a>.</p><p>While a lot of ire has been raised in recent years about aggravated batteries in the area (<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/divided-boystown-88832">particularly stabbings</a>), none of the incidents resulted in a homicide during the event. And the community ranks among those with the least homicides in the city, averaging 0-3 annually.</p><p><strong>What goes into security planning</strong></p><p>When interviewed in February, Cmdr. Elias Voulgaris said the focus of the Entertainment was on violent crimes, he said, particularly muggings. He added that violent crime could be cut by clamping down on public drinking and urination.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/5879483658_8874026b5a_z.jpg" style="float: left; height: 234px; width: 350px;" title="Chicago Police stand watch over the 2011 gay pride parade. (Flickr/nathanmac87)" />&quot;It all comes down to quality of life issues. [People] have to respect the residents and cut down on public drinking, urination and damage to property,&quot; he said.</p><p>The city <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2013/02/15/tighter_parade_restrictions_could_l.php">recently doubled the fines</a> from $500 to $1,000 for drinking within 200 feet of a parade route.</p><p>Hank Zemola is the CEO of Chicago Special Events Management, which has run many of the city&rsquo;s events since 1988.</p><p>When asked about the crime incidents following Pride Fest, he said they had worked with the city, aldermen and community members to make sure the neighborhood is adequately patrolled by Chicago police officers and private security, many of which, are off-duty police officers.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of forethought and development and historic information that goes into how they&rsquo;re deployed,&rdquo; he said referring to policing plans during and after events.</p><p>Zemola&rsquo;s company is hired on behalf of neighborhood and business groups. His events roster includes Lincoln Park Arts &amp; Music Festival, Northalsted Market Days, Taste of Greektown and Oktoberfest, to name a few.</p><p>When asked about whether the city and the groups had enough police to adequately provide security for events, he said they did and that events were staffed according to expected crowd size.</p><p><strong>So, how big are the Lakeview crowds?</strong></p><p>Zemola and others are required to submit crowd estimates of an event such as a street fair to get the necessary permits. For parades, such as the upcoming Annual Gay Pride Parade, organizers have to submit the number of participants and a route.</p><p>The Chicago Pride Parade is now on its 43rd year, and has been organized every year by Chicago resident&nbsp;Richard Pfeiffer.</p><p>Pfeiffer said the estimates were done by the Chicago Police Department.</p><p>He said it was the police that came up with the 850,000 number from 2012. &quot;The police are primarily in charge of crowd control [for parades],&quot; he said.</p><p>Regardless, he&#39;s still expecting a big turnout because of the recent High Court ruling and how Illinois lawmakers punted on passing same-sex marriage before the legislative session ended.</p><p>&quot;Well, I think you&#39;re going to have more people here, because two things happened in the last month. Illinois state did not pass same-sex marriage and there was a little disappointment at that point and a little anger by some people. But now with DOMA there&#39;s more of an up feeling,&quot; Pfeiffer said.</p><p>&quot;So the parade like all years will be a little bit political, a little bit social.&quot;</p><p>But the Pride Parade is not the only big draw for Lakeview.</p><p>Let&rsquo;s look at Market Days. The high-profile street fest takes place in August and is touted as one of the largest in the Midwest. According to the festival&rsquo;s sponsors, the Northalsted Business Alliance, the event is <a href="http://www.northalsted.com/pages/northalsted_market_days_/29.php">expected to attract over 100,000 people</a> over two days. On <a href="http://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1169982">the vendor registration site</a>, the estimate is 150,000 people. These numbers would seem to gel with media accounts from previous years.</p><p>But they don&rsquo;t seem to gel with the crowd estimates given to the city. The crowd estimate for the 2013 Market Days was listed as 35,000, which was also the estimate for the previous year.</p><p>So which number is right?</p><p>Zemola said the events require proof of insurance before they&rsquo;re approved. Insurance companies use them to determine policy prices. To ensure those estimates are correct, the insurers will send auditors to count the crowd.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re marketing numbers,&rdquo; Zemola said.</p><p>At times, special event organizers have to dole out additional funds to the city if more police are required to monitor an event. Zemola strongly denied that planners intentionally underestimate numbers in order to avoid higher security costs.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s no police cost by numbers,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s no reason to low-ball and there&rsquo;s certainly no reason to high-ball.&rdquo;</p><p>According to Zemola, they plan to hire 36 off duty police officers during Market Days in addition to Chicago Police. He said that after events, organizers will pay for private security to patrol the streets for those staying to patron the neighborhood&rsquo;s bars.</p><p>Zemola said the marketing numbers can help attract people to an event as well as much-needed sponsors. He said that even the Pride Parade, which had crowd estimates of 850,000 last year probably had closer to 250,000 people.</p><p>&ldquo;Those are crazy numbers,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Think of the population and physical space. It would be impossible to have those many people lined up and down the streets.&rdquo;</p><p>On Friday, the mayor&#39;s office&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/press_room/press_releases/2013/june_2013/statement_from_mayorrahmemanuelontodaysrallyandparade.html">issued a release stating</a>&nbsp;that over 2 million people attended the Blackhawks victory parade and rally downtown.</p><p>(Consider: The city&rsquo;s population is estimated to be at 2.7 million people. A figure of 850,000 would indicate a crowd equal to nearly a third of the city&rsquo;s population descended on a single neighborhood for single parade and a figure of 2 million would be more than 2/3rds the city&#39;s population.)</p><p>When asked about the disparity in the Market Days crowd numbers, the event sponsors say the numbers aren&rsquo;t reflective of those in the area.</p><p>&ldquo;The crowd numbers used in advertising materials reflect what we estimate is the total number of visitors over the course of the weekend to the neighborhood,&rdquo; said Jennifer Gordon, spokesperson for the Northalsted Business Alliance, the group that sponsored Pride Fest and Market Days. The group hired Zemola&rsquo;s company to plan and execute both events.</p><p>&ldquo;[The estimate] includes people who shop, dine and visit service providers on the street outside of regular festival hours and those that visit the area businesses outside the footprint of the festival,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Sponsors value the benefit of being recognized beyond the borders of the festival by attracting the eyes of those visiting the neighborhood.&rdquo;</p><p>Regardless of the numbers, the crowds for special events are still large, and almost always result in some type of crime. Whether that crime, regardless of level, is acceptable to residents or attendees remains to be seen.</p><p>In 2008, four people were shot at the Taste of Chicago. One of those victims <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/national_world&amp;id=6245977">died from his injuries</a>. Since then, the event has been scaled back and beset by <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/14/taste-of-chicago-struggle_n_1673401.html">financial problems and dwindling attendance.</a></p><p>Zemola said it&rsquo;s getting expensive for Chicago to put on events, especially as the <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-04-06/entertainment/chi-chicago-street-festivals-20120405_1_street-festival-biggest-festivals-fee-exemptions">city cuts back on subsidies and services</a>, but is happy to tout the events as tourism draws.</p><table border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 620px;"><tbody><tr><td colspan="4"><strong>2012 Pride weekend crime in Lakeview&nbsp;</strong><br /><em><strong>Source</strong>: Crime data from <a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/2012-Pride-Crimes/9a82-shru">data.cityofchicago.org</a>.&nbsp;</em><hr /><em><strong>Methodology</strong>:&nbsp;</em><em>Crimes reflect incidents during the weekend of pride (<strong>Friday</strong>, June 22, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. - <strong>Monday</strong>, June 25, 2012 at 6:00 a.m.) The times and dates were chosen to reflect increased tourism and bar-crowds to the neighborhood during the whole weekend, particularly in the late to morning hours.&nbsp;</em><hr /><em><strong>Map</strong>: There were 133 total crimes for Lakeview during Pride weekend. The map displays ones to public safety and excludes burglaries, trespasses, fraud and others. The full list of crimes can be found <a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/2012-Pride-Crimes/9a82-shru">here</a>.</em></td></tr><tr><td style="background-color: rgb(208, 166, 121);">Route staging area</td><td style="background-color: rgb(123, 161, 191);"><strong>--- Pride route ---</strong></td><td colspan="2" style="background-color: rgb(129, 161, 115);">Parade disbanding area</td></tr><tr><td style="background-color: rgb(204, 0, 51);">Batteries and assaults</td><td style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 204);">Thefts and robberies</td><td style="background-color: rgb(102, 102, 255);">Damage to property</td><td style="background-color: rgb(255, 0, 0); border-color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>Sexual Assault</strong></td></tr><tr><td colspan="4"><iframe frameborder="0" height="750" scrolling="no" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/INTERACTIVE+DATA+PUBLISHING/2013+Projects/June/PrideCrime/PrideMap.html" width="620"></iframe></td></tr></tbody></table><p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"><a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/150602157/Chicago-Pride-Parade-2013-Permit" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Chicago Pride Parade 2013 Permit on Scribd">Chicago Pride Parade 2013 Permit</a> by <a href="http://www.scribd.com/WBEZ915" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Chicago Public Media's profile on Scribd">Chicago Public Media</a></p><p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="0.773584905660377" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_24918" scrolling="no" src="http://www.scribd.com/embeds/150602157/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-2bdchnto7p12idhpk4g9&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"><a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/150602191/NorthHalsted-Market-Days-Permit" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View NorthHalsted Market Days Permit on Scribd">NorthHalsted Market Days Permit</a> by <a href="http://www.scribd.com/WBEZ915" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Chicago Public Media's profile on Scribd">Chicago Public Media</a></p><p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="0.772922022279349" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_2142" scrolling="no" src="http://www.scribd.com/embeds/150602191/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-23rp7zdosl4abtc5nrlx&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"><a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/150602071/Chicago-Pride-Fest-Permit" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Chicago Pride Fest Permit on Scribd">Chicago Pride Fest Permit</a> by <a href="http://www.scribd.com/WBEZ915" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Chicago Public Media's profile on Scribd">Chicago Public Media</a></p><p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="0.772922022279349" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_95603" scrolling="no" src="http://www.scribd.com/embeds/150602071/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-uppcrznuwc1jaurqaz8&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Elliott Ramos is a data reporter and Web producer for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://www.twitter.com/ChicagoEl">@ChicagoEl</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 14:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/are-there-enough-cops-pride-market-days-107902 Has the idea of ticketing pot gone up in smoke? http://www.wbez.org/news/has-idea-ticketing-pot-gone-smoke-104861 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F75347126" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Did Chicago&rsquo;s change in its marijuana law work?</p><p>That&rsquo;s what the Chicago&rsquo;s City Council and Mayor Rahm Emanuel will have to ask themselves as the tally of last year&rsquo;s &ldquo;pot tickets&rdquo; <a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/Cannabis%20report%2001%2011%2013.xls">trickled in last week</a>. &nbsp;</p><p>If you don&rsquo;t follow Chicago&rsquo;s highly-scrutinized politics of pot, let&rsquo;s rewind. Back in June 2012, City Council <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/crime/13441629-418/city-council-pass-pot-possession-ticket-ordinance.html">voted 43 to 3</a> to effectively decriminalize the possession of small amounts of pot. So, by August of last year, Chicago police had the option of treating such possession as a ticketable offense &mdash; not just an arrestable one.</p><p>Backers hailed the change as a way to divert police resources to where they&#39;re most needed.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I commend the City Council for passing this ordinance that will hold people accountable while freeing up police officers to focus their time and efforts on crime prevention,&rdquo; Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement, issued after the law&rsquo;s passage.&nbsp;</p><p>If you don&rsquo;t follow the logic, here&rsquo;s the rationale for the policy change.</p><p>In 2011 the Chicago Police Department tallied <a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Total-2011-crimes-with-arrests/k636-wcu7">95,774 arrests </a>for <a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Total-crimes-for-2011/fh2g-jvns">an estimated 350,374 crimes,</a> which ranged from murders and shootings to burglaries and assaults, according to city data. That same year, the Chicago Police Department <a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/2011-arrests-for-cannabis-under-30-grams/k7km-eb5b">made 20,082 arrests for possession of cannabis</a>&nbsp;for amounts under 30 grams. In other words, nearly one out of every five arrests made by Chicago cops that year involved possession of small amounts of pot.&nbsp;</p><p>Aldermen and others argued that the sheer number of pot arrests distracted the department from the city&rsquo;s ongoing battle against violence. They also weren&rsquo;t happy that pot arrests disproportionately swept up black youth. In a scathing editorial, Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) claimed &ldquo;White people smoke marijuana as much as black and Latino people, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joe-moreno/decriminalize-marijuana_b_1064273.html">yet 78% of those arrested in Chicago are minorities. 90% of those convicted are minorities</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>And, there was another argument: Ticketing weed-smokers could both save and raise some serious cash.</p><p>On the savings front, proponents of decriminalizing pot-possession pointed to the cost of arresting and prosecuting offenders. <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/marijuana-busts-costing-taxpayers-millions-a-year/Content?oid=4757570">The Chicago Reader reported </a>that Cook County spent nearly $78 million on arrests and prosecutions. All that for questionable results, as the conviction rate was abysmal, even by Mayor Emanuel&rsquo;s own admission.</p><p>&ldquo;We cannot afford to take our officers off the streets for hours at a time only to see over 80 percent of the marijuana cases dismissed in court,&rdquo; the mayor said after aldermen passed the ticketing amendment last year.</p><p>Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy estimated that the new ordinance would free up more than 20,000 hours of police time each year, the equivalent of about $1 million in savings,<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-28/news/ct-met-chicago-city-council-0628-20120628_1_pot-possession-possession-of-small-amounts-pot-tickets"> the Chicago Tribune reported</a>.</p><p>In that same article, the Chicago Tribune said the mayor&rsquo;s office refused to give an estimate on ticket revenues, but City Hall stressed savings in man-hours and cops&rsquo; overtime. The paper, using 2011 data, estimated the city stood to raise anywhere from $4.5 million to $9 million. Alderman Danny Solis (25th) was one of the bill&rsquo;s sponsors, and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/02/decriminalizing-marijuana_n_1071181.html">argued that the city could take in as much as $7 million</a>.</p><p>So, as City Hall looked through its crystal ball last summer, it saw a seemingly small change in local pot policy accomplishing quite a bit: the policy would free cops to do more important work, it would put a dent in violence, and it would boost city coffers.&nbsp;</p><p>But now that real data are trickling in about the policy, maybe that vision was unrealistic.&nbsp;<br /><br /><strong>The tally</strong></p><p>Two sources have been tracking the number of tickets issued for cannabis since last August. The first &mdash; the Department of Administrative Hearings &mdash; is tasked with handling citations, including ones issued for possession of cannabis. Responding to a WBEZ Freedom of Information Act request, that <a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/Cannabis%20report%2001%2011%2013.xls">department said there were 380 tickets issued for cannabis in 2012 between the time the law went into effect and Dec. 31.</a> The other source &mdash; the Chicago Police Department &mdash; said that total stands at 395.&nbsp;</p><p>The Department of Administrative Hearings was not immediately available, but here&rsquo;s a stab at clearing up the discrepancy. The CPD figures are more up to date than those available from DAH (via FOIA) or the city&rsquo;s data portal site, as the police can access records that contain more refined categories. However, we use the figure of 380 because &mdash; as the police department says &mdash; after a ticket is issued, tracking is actually up to DAH. &nbsp;</p><p>The city&rsquo;s data portal site only lists pot possessions for amounts greater or less than 30 grams, and does not differentiate arrests made for persons possessing under 15 grams, the amount the ordinance sets as the limit that the police can issue tickets.</p><p><span id="cke_bm_228S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_229S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>(The map below details locations of arrests for pot possessions as well as the locations for tickets issued.)&nbsp;<span id="cke_bm_229E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_228E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></p><table border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 620px;"><tbody><tr><td>&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/insert-images/green-dot.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 11px; float: left;" />&nbsp;2012 Pot arrests for 30 grams or less</td><td><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/insert-images/red-dot.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 11px; float: left;" />&nbsp;2012 tickets issued for cannabis under 15 grams</td></tr></tbody></table> <style type="text/css"> #map-canvas { width:620px; height:450px; }</style> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://maps.google.com/maps/api/js?sensor=false"> </script><script type="text/javascript"> var map; var layerl0; var layerl1; function initialize() { map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById('map-canvas'), { center: new google.maps.LatLng(41.84069871687881, -87.66973954199221), zoom: 11 }); var style = [ { featureType: 'all', elementType: 'all', stylers: [ { saturation: -99 } ] } ]; var styledMapType = new google.maps.StyledMapType(style, { map: map, name: 'Styled Map' }); map.mapTypes.set('map-style', styledMapType); map.setMapTypeId('map-style'); layerl0 = new google.maps.FusionTablesLayer({ query: { select: "'col19'", from: '1HuVKh5nm5J192bYb-iIokd8HKM7HmwMk30THeoY' }, map: map, styleId: 2, templateId: 2 }); layerl1 = new google.maps.FusionTablesLayer({ query: { select: "'col4'", from: '1IGuRkzE2NErZ4reuitAFpk9QruIkOlK946uXvOY' }, map: map, styleId: 2, templateId: 2 }); } google.maps.event.addDomListener(window, 'load', initialize); </script><div id="map-canvas">&nbsp;</div><p>Regardless, how do the numbers stack up compared to City Hall&rsquo;s stated goals?&nbsp;</p><p>Right now, it looks like city&#39;s got some catching up to do when it comes to replacing marijuana arrests with marijuana tickets. Of all police actions relating to possessing small amounts of pot, just 2 percent are from tickets, while the other 98 percent stem from arrests.&nbsp;</p><p>Administrative judges found that 138 of those 380 issued tickets came to nothing, meaning the people ticketed were ultimately held not liable, and the fines were dropped.&nbsp;</p><p>The bottom line is that the city&rsquo;s coffers didn&rsquo;t exactly swell, as the tickets that did stick netted just $98,000.&nbsp;</p><p>Pot arrests did plunge after the law went into effect, but there wasn&rsquo;t a one-for-one replacement of tickets for arrests. As if by an occult hand, marijuana arrests had been going down (on average, 2 to 4 percent per month) in Chicago prior to the City Council&rsquo;s change in policy. However, one estimate puts the drop in pot possession arrests in August 2012 at nearly 45 percent, compared to the same month in other years.</p><p>&ldquo;Since the ordinance went into effect, arrests for possession of 10 grams or less of cannabis accounted for a total of 4,745 arrests and the issuance of 395 administrative notices of violations (ANOVs), as compared to 7,772 arrests for the time frame 4 August through 23 December 2011,&rdquo; said the police department&rsquo;s Melissa Stratton.</p><p>That&rsquo;s a drop of 3,027 arrests year-over-year for that period. But, again, DAH only dealt with 380 tickets by the end of 2012.</p><p><strong>The policy on the ground&nbsp;</strong></p><script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/static/modules/gviz/1.0/chart.js"> {"dataSourceUrl":"//docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/tq?key=0AoxVpL8Zenp3dDlILU9XcVRXaW1HTDFfeElQMXVEVEE&transpose=1&headers=1&range=A21%3AM23&gid=0&pub=1","options":{"titleTextStyle":{"bold":true,"color":"#000","fontSize":16},"vAxes":[{"title":null,"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"logScale":false,"maxValue":null},{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"logScale":false,"maxValue":null}],"series":{"0":{"color":"#ff9900"},"1":{"color":"#4a86e8"}},"title":"2011 vs. 2012 arrests for marijuana under 30 grams","booleanRole":"certainty","animation":{"duration":500},"domainAxis":{"direction":1},"backgroundColor":{"fill":"#f3f3f3"},"legend":"in","theme":"maximized","hAxis":{"useFormatFromData":true,"title":"","minValue":null,"viewWindowMode":null,"viewWindow":null,"maxValue":null},"isStacked":false,"width":611,"height":309},"state":{},"view":{},"chartType":"ColumnChart","chartName":"Chart 2"} </script><p>The shortfall in marijuana tickets is likely due to how the new policy was implemented. Shortly after the law&rsquo;s passage, the police department issued a special order (related to the <a href="http://directives.chicagopolice.org/directives/data/a7a57bf0-138bed43-c9313-8bf2-7f918339589acc06.html?ownapi=1">alternative cannabis enforcement program</a>) that laid out how to issue tickets. The gist was that cops could issue tickets in some circumstances, but make arrests in others.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Our officers enforce the marijuana law as part of their daily duties. While issuing a citation for marijuana possession under 10 grams saves time for our officers, in certain situations our officers are required to make a physical arrest,&rdquo; said Melissa Stratton, Director of News Affairs at the Chicago Police Department.&nbsp;</p><p>The amendment that makes pot-ticketing possible in the first place spans three pages, but the CPD special order comprises nine. One page details &ldquo;aggravating factors&rdquo; that could lead to an arrest.&nbsp;</p><p>The first is whether subjects are &ldquo;in the act of smoking cannabis.&rdquo; This means residents caught in the act get the cuffs instead of getting a ticket. Other factors that bump possession from a ticket to an arrest include driving while under the influence. Smoking on school grounds, in parks and at beaches will also get you arrested.</p><p>Stratton said the presence of personal identification makes a difference, too. Tickets require subjects to present ID. If a subject doesn&rsquo;t have one, he or she is arrested instead.&nbsp;</p><p>And, the amount of pot involved matters, too. Exactly how much will bump an infraction from a ticket to an arrest? Anything over 15 grams. For comparison, consider that a typical joint weighs between 0.2 and<a href="http://hightimes.com/legal/jgettman/5867"> 0.8 grams</a>. A little arithmetic suggests somebody could carry the equivalent of 15-20 joints and still be under 15 grams. &nbsp;</p><p>But, again, arrest rates suggest officers aren&#39;t making the most of their power to bump some ticketable infractions into arrests. The reason may be that cops are just opting to make fewer arrests, albeit surreptitiously, as <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/marijuana-busts-costing-taxpayers-millions-a-year/Content?oid=4757570">reported by the Chicago Reader&rsquo;s Mick Dumke last October</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;The numbers suggest that at first some officers tried the ticketing process. In the first week of the new policy, 27 tickets were issued citywide. By week six, though, the number had fallen to eight,&rdquo; he wrote then.</p><script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/static/modules/gviz/1.0/chart.js"> {"dataSourceUrl":"//docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/tq?key=0AoxVpL8Zenp3dDlILU9XcVRXaW1HTDFfeElQMXVEVEE&transpose=1&headers=1&range=H29%3AT31&gid=0&pub=1","options":{"vAxes":[{"useFormatFromData":true,"title":null,"minValue":null,"logScale":false,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null},{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"logScale":false,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null}],"titleTextStyle":{"bold":true,"color":"#000","fontSize":16},"booleanRole":"certainty","title":"2012 Pot arrests (under 30 grams) and tickets (under 15 grams)","height":291,"animation":{"duration":500},"backgroundColor":{"fill":"#efefef"},"legend":"in","theme":"maximized","width":616,"hAxis":{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindowMode":null,"viewWindow":null,"maxValue":null},"isStacked":true},"state":{},"view":{},"chartType":"ColumnChart","chartName":"Chart 1"} </script><p><strong>Is this what City Council wanted?&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s not racking up that many pot-related tickets, but in some ways aldermen are getting one thing they hoped for: police seem to be easing back on pot arrests.</p><p>However, the change in policy promised more than that. Recall that idea of distraction; if police would only spend less time chasing weed-tokers, they could spend more time fighting violent crime.</p><p>That remains to be seen. Murders continued to climb after the close of 2012&rsquo;s long, hot summer of violence and, by year&rsquo;s end, the homicide tally reached <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2012-chicago-murders/explore-data">a recent high of 507</a>. Shootings were up, too.</p><p>Gun shootings, or aggravated batteries with a firearm, <a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Aggravated-batteries-with-guns-for-2011/x7uk-43yx">reached 1,737 in 2011</a>. Police made <a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Arrests-for-2011-shootings/knm6-2pk4">148 shootings-related arrests</a>, leaving the arrest rate for that year at 8.5 percent.</p><p>The picture was different in 2012. The city saw <a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/2012-shootings/24f8-4jii">1,884 such incidents last year</a>, but police made j<a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Arrests-for-shootings-in-2012/as4b-d2qp">ust 93 shooting-related arrests</a>, with an attendant arrest rate of 4.9 percent.</p><p>The mayor&#39;s office deferred to the police department for comment on the tickets. Calls to several aldermen were also not returned.</p><p>It may be ironic that a City Hall that meticulously tracks &nbsp;&mdash; and often touts &mdash; numbers related to garbage pickups, snow-zone towing and other minutia hasn&rsquo;t weighed in on whether its major change in drug policy has made the city safer or richer.</p></p> Wed, 16 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/has-idea-ticketing-pot-gone-smoke-104861 Long Hot Summer: Understanding the crime stats fueling Supt. McCarthy and his long-term strategy http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/long-hot-summer-understanding-crime-stats-fueling-supt-mccarthy-and-his-long-term <p><div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/6903820882_8b7dd3dce4_z.jpg" title="Stop The Violence mural on the 1800 Block of North Drake Avenue. (Flickr/Jeff Zoline)" /></div></div><div><em>Summer after summer, Chicagoans are consumed by violence and a seemingly exponential murder rate. And, it seems, summer after summer, we talk about the need for whole families, better education, jobs and police boots on the ground&mdash;yet, the cycle continues. This year, </em>Afternoon Shift<em> hopes to move beyond the headlines in hopes of better understanding the violence&mdash;it roots and possible remedy&mdash;through frank, forward-thinking, holistic conversations in a series we&rsquo;re calling, </em>Long Hot Summer.<br /><div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F53072108&amp;auto_play=true&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;color=ff7700" width="100%"></iframe></p></div>Police superintendents weren&rsquo;t always slaves to crime statistics, but CompStat changed all that. The system, which collects data on everything from curfew violations to murder, generates reports on crime trends within a geographic area. Once the numbers are crunched, ranking officers are called to the carpet to field questions from their command staff and chief, who will undoubtedly be probed on the numbers by the mayor &mdash; and citizens &mdash; of the city he&rsquo;s been charged to protect.</div><p>The system came into vogue in the mid-1990s after New York City&rsquo;s police commissioner, Bill Bratton, implemented CompStat to increase accountability in the department. During Bratton&rsquo;s roughly two-year tenure, the murder rate halved. And so, when Bratton left, CompStat and its emphasis on accountability remained. Garry McCarthy was a captain in Bratton&rsquo;s army at the time and made a name for himself at Bratton&#39;s CompStat meetings. Soon enough, he was running them.</p><p>Crime statistics have been the sharpest tool in McCarthy&rsquo;s belt as he&rsquo;s crafted a once unimaginable career. Before coming to Chicago, McCarthy was the top cop in Newark, New Jersey, where he helped reduce the murder rate by roughly a third.</p><p>Supt. McCarthy and his meteoric career are <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/August-2012/Garry-McCarthy-Under-the-Gun/" target="_blank">profiled</a> in a piece by Noah Isackson the August issue of <em>Chicago </em>magazine. All eyes are on the superintendent as he combats the immediate concerns of a rising murder rate with a long-view strategy. He&rsquo;s also battling a broader misinterpretation of the numbers, according to crime expert <a href="http://www.law.yale.edu/faculty/TMeares.htm" target="_blank">Tracey Meares</a>. She says it&rsquo;s inaccurate to say that Chicago is dangerous&mdash;because the city as a whole is not dangerous.</p><p>That said, Meares explained that the city, specifically areas of high crime like police districts 11 and 7, are incredibly dangerous, lethal even, for a select network of people. Meares pointed to the work of one of her frequent collaborators, Andrew V. Papachristos to sharpen the point. In 2011, the sociologist wrote a piece called &ldquo;<a href="http://www.papachristos.org/Publications_2_files/The%20Small%20World%20of%20Murde_v8_10dec.pdf" target="_blank">The Small World of Murder</a>,&rdquo; wherein he explained that 70 percent of the homicides in the 11<sup>TH</sup> Police District occurred in a network consisting of only 1,500 people, all with criminal records. For people in this network, the odds of being a homicide victim is 30 out of every 1,000 people. To further underline his point, Papchristos pointed out that the risk of stepping on a land mine in Afghanistan is less than 10 out of 1,000&mdash;meaning it is safer to walk around a real war zone than it is for young men in this network to walk around West Garfield Park.</p><div>&nbsp;<p>&nbsp;</p><p>So then what is the risk for West Garfield Park&rsquo;s other 80,000 residents? When the network is removed, the odds drop to 1 in 1,000. Meares says this context is imperative to understanding crime statistics and McCarthy&rsquo;s long-term strategy, which is bolstered by Meares&rsquo; ideas about legitimacy. The Yale Law School professor is helping Chicago&rsquo;s police chief craft his strategy and train his troops. She joined <em>Afternoon Shift</em> to share her sage advice for fighting crime in Chicago.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 16 Jul 2012 14:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/long-hot-summer-understanding-crime-stats-fueling-supt-mccarthy-and-his-long-term County won't charge unincorporated areas for policing yet http://www.wbez.org/story/county-wont-charge-unincorporated-areas-policing-yet-93775 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-04/Preckwinkle police task force.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After much criticism, the Cook County Board President is backing off a controversial push to tax unincorporated residents for police services. Instead, Toni Preckwinkle announced Friday she's creating a task force to examine other options.&nbsp;</p><p>"Our effort is to figure out how we're going to deal on a case by case basis with the unincorporated parts of this county and to come up with a plan that we can incorporate into next year's budget," Preckwinkle said.</p><p>Solutions include the creation of special service areas, contracting for services with adjacent municipalities or incorporation.</p><p>Two percent of Cook County's residents live in unincorporated areas. But charging them for police services could net up to $11 million dollars.</p><p>While that's not much when sized against the $315 million dollar shortfall the county faces heading into 2012, the Civic Federation's Laurence Msall said this task force may be the starting point for recovering even more money.</p><p>Msall is one of 13 members on the new task force and cites <a href="http://civicfed.org/sites/default/files/CookCountyModernizationReport.pdf">a study</a> his organization released last year on modernizing Cook County.</p><p>"The magnitude we've been able to identify in our 2010 study was about $70 million dollars of county expenses can be drawn to providing the broad municipal services," Msall said.</p><p>Beyond police protection, he said that includes the inspectors the county provides to maintain zoning, liquor control and animal control.</p><p>Msall said there are myriad ways to solve the county's problem of unincorporated areas receiving free services by default, and he's not ruling out a push for new legislation.</p><p>Current law does not allow the county to force unincorporated areas to incorporate.</p></p> Fri, 04 Nov 2011 17:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/county-wont-charge-unincorporated-areas-policing-yet-93775 County commissioner pulls bill to free inmates wanted by ICE http://www.wbez.org/story/county-commissioner-pulls-bill-free-inmates-wanted-ice-89730 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-27/Garcia.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Legislation that would have required Cook County to free some jail inmates wanted by immigration authorities is dead for now.<br> <br> Commissioner Jesús García, D-Chicago, withdrew his bill at Wednesday’s County Board meeting. “We want to rethink it,” he said afterwards.<br> <br> The measure would have made the county the nation’s largest jurisdiction to end blanket compliance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers. Those are requests by the federal agency for local jails to keep some inmates 48 hours beyond what their criminal cases require.<br> <br> García’s bill would have ended the county’s compliance unless the inmate had been convicted of a felony or two misdemeanors and unless the county got reimbursed.<br> <br> Board President Toni Preckwinkle said she would back releasing some inmates wanted by ICE but wants to hear from State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. “We hope to have a written opinion from the state’s attorney that will allow us to proceed,” she said after the board meeting.<br> <br> A letter from Alvarez to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office back in 2009 said the jail “must comply with any ICE detainers.”<br> <br> But ICE officials in recent months have said there is no legal requirement for jails to comply. Dart told WBEZ this month he planned to ask Alvarez for an updated opinion.<br> <br> Alvarez’s office hasn’t answered WBEZ’s questions about whether she will revisit that opinion.</p></p> Wed, 27 Jul 2011 21:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/county-commissioner-pulls-bill-free-inmates-wanted-ice-89730 Bill would free Cook County inmates wanted by ICE http://www.wbez.org/story/bill-would-free-cook-county-inmates-wanted-ice-89634 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-26/cook-County-Jail-2_Flickr_Zol87.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A Cook County commissioner is quietly proposing an ordinance that would require the county’s massive jail to release some inmates wanted by immigration authorities.</p><p>Sponsored by Jesús García, D-Chicago, the measure would prohibit the jail from holding inmates based on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement request unless they have been convicted of a felony or two misdemeanors, and unless the county gets reimbursed.</p><p>The legislation’s preamble says complying with the ICE requests, known as detainers, “places a great strain on our communities by eroding the public trust that local law enforcement depends on to secure the accurate reporting of criminal activity and to prevent and solve crimes.”</p><p>The jail now holds detainees requested by ICE for up to 48 hours after their criminal cases would allow them to walk free. Sheriff Tom Dart’s office says the jail turns over about a half dozen inmates to the federal agency each business day.</p><p>Dart this month <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/sheriff-mulls-freeing-inmates-wanted-immigration-charges-89233">told WBEZ his staff was exploring legal options</a> for releasing some of these inmates. The sheriff said his review began after he noticed that San Francisco County Sheriff Michael Hennessey had ordered his department to quit honoring certain ICE detainers beginning June 1.</p><p>If Dart’s office follows Hennessey’s path or if García’s legislation wins approval, Cook County could become the nation’s largest local jurisdiction to halt blanket compliance with ICE holds.</p><p>“Cook County would be a counter pole to Arizona’s Maricopa County,” says Chris Newman, general counsel of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, a Los Angeles-based group that opposes involving local authorities in immigration enforcement.</p><p>García’s office didn’t return WBEZ calls or messages about his legislation. The offices of Sheriff Dart and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said they had seen the bill but declined to say whether they supported it.</p><p>A spokeswoman for Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said late Tuesday her office had not been consulted about García’s proposal. A 2009 letter from Alvarez to Dart’s office said federal law required the sheriff to comply with “any ICE detainers.”</p><p>In recent months, however, immigration authorities have acknowledged that local jails do not have to comply with the detainers.</p><p>ICE spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa, asked for comment about García’s legislation, sent a statement calling the detainers “critical” for deporting “criminal aliens and others who have no legal right to remain in the United States.”</p><p>“Individuals arrested for misdemeanors may ultimately be identified as recidivist offenders with multiple prior arrests, in addition to being in violation of U.S. immigration law,” the ICE statement said. “These individuals may have been deported before or have outstanding orders of removal.” Jurisdictions that ignore immigration detainers would be responsible for “possible public safety risks,” the statement added.</p><p>García’s proposal is on the county board’s agenda for Wednesday morning. Possible steps by commissioners include referring the measure to committee or approving it immediately.</p></p> Tue, 26 Jul 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/bill-would-free-cook-county-inmates-wanted-ice-89634 Dart slammed for mulling release of inmates wanted by ICE http://www.wbez.org/story/dart-slammed-mulling-release-inmates-wanted-ice-89317 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-18/Dart-Craigslist-M-Spencer-JPG.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Supporters of tougher immigration enforcement are criticizing Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart for seeking legal options enabling the county’s massive jail to quit holding some inmates wanted for immigration violations.<br> <br> Dart <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/sheriff-mulls-freeing-inmates-wanted-immigration-charges-89233">told WBEZ</a> last week his department was looking for a way to end its blanket compliance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests that detainees be held 48 hours beyond what their local criminal cases require. The holds, financed by the county, help ICE take custody and begin deportation proceedings. Dart says the jail’s role erodes community trust in local law enforcement, discouraging witnesses and even victims from cooperating with police.<br> <br> Ira Mehlman, spokesman of a Washington-based pro-enforcement group called the Federation for American Immigration Reform, is not convinced. “This idea that turning people over to immigration authorities — who have already been picked up on suspicion of some crime — is somehow going to cause this massive chill just doesn’t hold water,” says Mehlman, who accuses Dart of “putting politics ahead of community safety.”<br> <br> The WBEZ report has also led to a torrent of comments on the station’s Web site. The visitors have labeled Dart everything from a “fool” to a “traitor.”<br> <br> But Dart’s review is also winning praise. “Sheriffs throughout the country are revisiting their policies with respect to the ICE holds,” says Fred Tsao, policy director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. “The criminal justice system already distinguishes between people who can be released with no threat to public safety and those who cannot.”<br> <br> San Francisco County Sheriff Michael Hennessey on June 1 <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/San_Francisco_policy_on_ICE_detainers.pdf">quit honoring</a> ICE requests for holds of inmates arrested for certain traffic infractions and other low-level offenses if a background check finds no felony convictions and meets other requirements. Since then, his department has released four inmates with ICE detainers, according to Eileen Hirst, the sheriff’s chief of staff.<br> <br> ICE officials acknowledge that local jails have no legal requirement to comply with the detainer requests.</p></p> Mon, 18 Jul 2011 18:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/dart-slammed-mulling-release-inmates-wanted-ice-89317 Sheriff mulls freeing inmates wanted on immigration charges http://www.wbez.org/story/sheriff-mulls-freeing-inmates-wanted-immigration-charges-89233 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/archives/images/cityroom/cityroom_20090908_tarnold_9361_Sher_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>On any given day, the Cook County Jail holds hundreds of inmates picked up on criminal charges who also happen to be wanted for an immigration violation. Sheriff Tom Dart’s office keeps them up to 48 hours beyond when the criminal cases would allow them out. That’s to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency known as ICE, to take them into deportation proceedings. Now Dart tells WBEZ he’s reconsidering that policy because it could be compromising public safety. We report from our West Side bureau.</p><p><br> SOUND: Keys open a jail door.<br> <br> Beneath the Cook County criminal courthouse, one jailer pulls out keys and unlocks a door. Another, Officer Carmelo Santiago, leads the way.<br> <br> SANTIAGO: We’re going through this tunnel that connects us from the courthouse to the jail. This way is where the detainee is going to be coming.<br> <br> We step around crusts of sandwiches that the day’s new arrivals got for lunch.<br> <br> SANTIAGO: And this is the receiving process.<br> <br> SOUND: Entering the receiving area.<br> <br> The smell of unwashed feet wafts from chain-link pens full of inmates who’re waiting to be processed. Santiago shows me the paperwork of a Mexican national busted last night in Chicago.<br> <br> SANTIAGO: This individual was arrested for driving on a revoked or suspended license on a DUI.<br> <br> A lot of immigrants who drink and drive end up in this jail. That’s because Illinois considers DUI a felony when the motorist lacks a valid driver’s license. And the state doesn’t allow any undocumented immigrant to get one.<br> <br> SANTIAGO: He was issued a bond from the court for $15,000.<br> <br> Santiago points out that the defendant could walk free for just $1,500. Except, his file shows something else.<br> <br> SANTIAGO: This specific individual has a detainer that was placed on him through immigration.<br> <br> MITCHELL: This man can post bond or not [and] he’s going to end up in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement?<br> <br> SANTIAGO: That is correct.<br> <br> Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says he doesn’t like holding on to inmates like this one for ICE to take away. He says these holds make it harder for local police to fight crime. Residents see cops and start thinking about the threat of deportation — the threat to the criminals, maybe even to themselves.<br> <br> DART: It does not lend itself to a sense of community where people will gladly come to you with information about crimes, get involved as a witness, even come forward as a victim, frankly.<br> <br> Over the years Dart has taken steps to reduce the jail’s role in immigration enforcement. The sheriff’s office says it no longer calls ICE with information about inmates. The sheriff no longer allows ICE agents in holding cells near bond courtrooms. The jail has put up big signs — in English, Spanish and Polish — that tell new inmates they have no obligation to answer questions about immigration status. But Dart says something has him in a bind. Every day ICE requests that the jail hold certain inmates two extra days so the agency can put the detainees into deportation proceedings. The jail ends up turning over about a half-dozen inmates to ICE each day. Two years ago, Dart quietly sought some legal advice from Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s office.<br> <br> DART: The opinion was really unambiguous. It said I had to comply with the detainer. So, when the detainer was placed on somebody, I had to give the ICE officers 48 hours to come and pick somebody up and that it was not in my discretion.<br> <br> MITCHELL: Could you ignore the state’s attorney’s opinion?<br> <br> DART: Then I open myself up personally to civil liability.<br> <br> Dart says that could include damages for someone hurt by a released inmate or the legal defense if an anti-immigrant group filed suit . . .<br> <br> DART: . . . which is not something that myself or my five children signed up to do. And I open our office up to unbelievable amounts of liability.<br> <br> But some immigrant advocates are pressing Dart about the ICE detainers. They confronted a few of his top aides at a meeting a few weeks ago. Reverend Walter Coleman got to question a sheriff’s attorney, Patricia Horne.<br> <br> HORNE: It’s a legal document just like an arrest warrant, which we, under law, have to recognize.<br> <br> COLEMAN: Under what law?<br> <br> HORNE: Well, in this case, under federal law.<br> <br> COLEMAN: There is no federal law. You cannot cite me the statute or the chapter or the section. You know that that’s the truth and we will not sit here and be lied to like this.<br> <br> It turns out ICE isn’t citing a statute either. Lately federal officials have acknowledged that local jails don’t have to comply with immigration detainer requests. Last month the San Francisco County Sheriff’s Department quit honoring the requests for certain inmates. Here in Cook County, Sheriff Dart says that’s got him wondering again whether he has to comply with the 48-hour holds. He tells me he’s planning to ask the State’s Attorney’s Office for an updated opinion. He could do that quietly again and most people wouldn’t even know. But Dart doesn’t always operate quietly. You might remember that, twice over the last three years, the sheriff has ordered his deputies to suspend enforcement of foreclosure evictions.<br> <br> MITCHELL: You run one of the country’s biggest jails. Would you really be willing to become a national lightening rod on the issue of immigration enforcement?<br> <br> DART: Well, there is this notion of justice that we’ve always felt very strongly about in this office. And whether it’s dealing with people who we felt were being dispossessed of their houses in the mortgage crisis. So we stopped. It’s the same issue here, where we are attempting to do what is right and just.<br> <br> But Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Greg Palmore has a warning for any sheriff who lets inmates walk free despite an immigration hold.<br> <br> PALMORE: Though ICE has not sought to compel compliance through legal proceedings, jurisdictions who ignore detainers bear the risk of allowing that individual back into the public domain before they were thoroughly vetted to insure that this individual doesn’t have anything outstanding that warrants us to move further in that particular case.<br> <br> Sheriff Dart acknowledges there could be a downside to ignoring immigration detainer requests. Let’s say ICE knows the inmate arrived in the country under an alias or is violent — and the information didn’t appear in the jail’s background check. But Dart says letting some immigrants out of jail even though ICE wants them could be worth the risk. It might help remove the deportation issue from everyday policing. The sheriff says that could make streets in Cook County safer.</p></p> Fri, 15 Jul 2011 23:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/sheriff-mulls-freeing-inmates-wanted-immigration-charges-89233 Top cop: Chicago won’t redraw beat maps anytime soon http://www.wbez.org/story/beat-realignment/top-cop-chicago-won%E2%80%99t-redraw-beat-maps-anytime-soon <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Jody_Weis_by_Getty.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago may not have enough cops in its highest-crime neighborhoods, but police Supt. Jody Weis says the city won&rsquo;t redraw patrol maps anytime soon.<br /><br />Realigning the city&rsquo;s 285 beats would shift officers and cars to where they&rsquo;re needed most, an idea popular with some aldermen on the city&rsquo;s South and West sides. Weis himself had been talking it up for two years.<br /><br />But aldermen in low-crime areas voiced fears that they would lose protection. And the Fraternal Order of Police said its contract constrained where the city could assign officers.<br /><br />Now Weis is talking about a different approach. At a Chicago Police Board meeting last Thursday, the superintendent said the city would not redraw beat maps, at least for now. &ldquo;We certainly don&rsquo;t intend to do that until the wards have been redrawn,&rdquo; Weis said, according to the meeting <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Chicago_Police_Board_public_meeting_20110217.pdf">transcript</a>.<br /><br />What do political boundaries have to do with policing? WBEZ on Tuesday asked Weis spokeswoman Lt. Maureen Biggane, but she didn&rsquo;t answer.<br /><br />The police department, meanwhile, is sticking close to the status quo. In a written statement, Biggane said that includes sending mobile units to high-crime areas &mdash; an approach she calls less costly than realigning the beats.<br /><br />&ldquo;None of these methods entail realigning districts or beats,&rdquo; Biggane wrote. &ldquo;However, the process is continual and fluid. Additional data, including recent Census Bureau figures, will be taken into account as the process moves forward.&rdquo;</p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 21:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/beat-realignment/top-cop-chicago-won%E2%80%99t-redraw-beat-maps-anytime-soon