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As Cassidy Alexander stood on the stage, chatting with a national icon — her work being displayed in a giant slide show — she finally was receiving what she had avoided: recognition.
It was a surreal and almost embarrassing moment for the Aurora artist, but deeply gratifying. She was on stage at the Hilton Hotel with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley to receive an award named after his father. It was a public thank you for the eight portraits she painted of Chicago officers killed in the line of duty.
The next few months of warmer weather will be crucial for Jody Weis, whose job running the police department is as close as it gets to “Mission Impossible” in Chicago.
Ever since he took over the department in early 2008, Superintendent Weis’s assignment has been to calm police officers who are angry at many things, including working without a contract since 2007 and a federal misconduct prosecution that put a Chicago policeman in prison with a 40-month term.
Morale problems facing the chief will not be helped by a federal arbitrator’s recommendation Friday that the police get a 10 percent raise over five years, far less than the 16 percent Mayor Richard M. Daley offered during contract talks in 2008.
Mayor Richard Daley today ordered a review of Chicago Police Department management that he said is designed to ensure more officers are returned to street duty.
“There’s a variety of things we’re looking at in terms of management, but the key is police officers on the street,” the mayor said at City Hall news conference.
The police review came as the mayor announced a 6 percent budget cut for city departments, except for those dealing with “critical safety operations.” The cuts also will not affect “service delivery,” Daley said.
The Chicago Police Department will flood the streets with police officers to prevent the traditional summer crime surge — even though slower than expected hiring has left the city 500 officers short of authorized strength, officials said Tuesday.
Mayor Daley’s 2009 budget counted on saving $10 million by slowing police hiring to a crawl — with only 200 officers hired all year.
But, Police Supt. Jody Weis acknowledged Tuesday that there has been only one class of 45 officers in the police academy this year and no other classes have been scheduled.
That has left the Police Department roughly 500 officers short of authorized strength, he said.
“We have to work within our financial means. The city is going through tough times right now,” Weis said, during a joint news conference with Daley at Davis Square Park, 4430 S. Marshfield.
“We’re waiting for some federal money to come in that will hopefully allow us to [hire] some more officers. But, who knows when that’s gonna come.”
As a result, Weis has been forced to make the most of the police personnel he does have by reducing the number of administrators.
Up to 500 officers currently assigned to desk duty will each spend one week on the streets this summer — 50-per-week. And 148 additional desk jockeys will be permanently reassigned to the streets.
They will be supervised by 20 new lieutenants and 30 soon-to-be-promoted sergeants. The 45 recruits soon to complete their training will provide security at Taste of Chicago, neighborhood festivals and parades, minimizing pressure to reassign officers from already-depleted districts.
The Police Department’s Mobile Strike Force will be expanded by 50 officers and supervisors and a new strike team will be created to conduct surveillance in “potentially violent areas” — with personnel drawn from neighborhood districts, the Gang Intelligence and Gang Enforcement Units.
As always, Daley promised to strictly enforce the city’s rolled-back curfew — 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday — for young people under 17. And he appealed to parents to take responsibility for their children.
“It’s not up to the police to keep our kids out of trouble this summer; it’s up to every one of us — especially parents,” Daley said.
Idaho State Police Lieutenant Eric Dayley has been promoted to Region Five Captain, to replace retiring Captain Ed Gygli.
Dayley started his career with ISP in January of 1984 as a trooper in Blackfoot. After three years there he transferred to the Region Five Office in Pocatello and has been in Pocatello since then. He has spent most of his time with the department in patrol but was the lieutenant over both patrol and detectives for approximately 2 years from 2002 to 2004.
Dayley earned a Bachelor of University Studies degree from Idaho State University in 1996 and attended the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command in 1997. Most recently Dayley graduated from the 222nd session of the FBI National Academy in 2005.
He replaces Captain Ed Gygli who retired from the force after 28 years of service.
The promotion will be effective August 24. Dayley will then be responsible for managing enforcement and support operations in region five.
Evanston officers rock!!!!
Several Evanston police officers rescued two swimmers who nearly drowned in Lake Michigan on Sunday night after the victims were heard screaming in the water.
At 11:57 p.m., officers responded to Lee Street beach for reports of two people in the water screaming for help. The darkness prevented the officers from seeing the two people in distress, but continued calls for help prompted police to enter the water with rescue disks and pull the victims to shore, according to a release from the Evanston Police Department.
About 50 feet off shore, a male swimmer was being battered against the metal breakwater by the large waves and was pulled to shore by a rescue disk, the release said.
Additional officers then responded to the scene and the search continued for the second victim, who they found a short time later about 100 yards off shore having trouble staying afloat. She was also pulled to shore with a rescue disk.
The two were then tended to by paramedics and were later cited with a city ordinance violation for swimming on a closed beach. The swimmers were identified as Jeffrey Greenberg of West Dundee and Heather Sue Muffett of Hammond, Ind., the release said.
Police officers Mikhail Geyer, Jeffrey Faison, Mathew George and Enjoli Daley were involved in the rescue and Geyer was treated and released from a local hospital for ingesting a large amount of water.