Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chicago Cops Having too Much Fun?

Chicago, IL--The big story at the local Fox TV station is cops engaging in solid public relations efforts. You cannot gain the cooperation of the public until they trust and like you. Cops are not made of stone and need to socialize too while working the mean streets.

Unless the cops have failed to respond to some service call I see nothing wrong with having their pictures taken with friendly citizens. It seems here the real issue is the citizens just happen to also be attractive ladies. Had they been less attractive those photos would not have made news.

The same cops would have been considered wonderful had they posed with children that were being shown the patrol vehicles and equipment. How’s this different?

9 comments:

Blakwing said...

I saw this story and I thought "big fu**ing deal".. So the Cops posed for some kids having fun. I remember standing to a wedding in the last couple years where we took a detour and went to a older firehouse.. The Photog got out and made on the spot arrangements for the Bride, Groom and bridal party to have pictures taken there and on the fire truck.. They even brought out a couple jackets and helmets.. There was nothing wrong with it. It was good PR for the Fire Dept and made everyone happy.

When driving to one of our Bullitt National events I stopped in Bullitt County KY for gas and a couple County Cruisers pulled up.. I asked the cops if I could get a few pics with their cars and mine.. Not only did they allow me to do it they moved the squads for me so I could get better pictures.

On several of the motorcycle boards I frequent there are numerous pictures of board members getting pulled over for whatever infraction caused them to be noticed.. and there are pictures where the cops are mock "cuffin and stuffin" the guys.. holding up silly signs and the like.

There is absolutely ZERO harm in this. And in a culture where Cops are all too often branded as the scourge of all that is decent and human I think this actually does some good in relations between the Police and the public.

Rod Bernsen's Street Stories said...

As a former Fox News reporter in Los Angeles for a dozen years and a retired LAPD sergeant I am outraged at this story which is really a non-story!
Had the young ladies been unattractive or god-forbid Black would this be on the air? NO. What made this story is how attractive the women are-- sex still sells for today's tabloid press-- and people ask me if I miss being a television reporter.
If every time I was disciplined because an attractive woman or man who took a picture with me in uniform l wouldn't have been on the job for 17-years.
SHAME ON FOX-- this is obviously a "sweeps" piece that has all the right elements-- cops and sexy women-- all except the most important: NEWS VALUE.
God, I am so grateful I am now longer a cop or a reporter.

Jim McMahon said...

( Page 1 of 3 )

________________________________________
From: McMahon351@aol.com
To: geoff.dankert@foxtv.com
Sent: 6/16/2009 4:24:58 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: Chicago Cops on Patrol?
________________________________________
From: McMahon351@aol.com
To: news@foxchicago.com
Sent: 6/16/2009 4:17:50 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: Chicago Cops on Patrol?
________________________________________
From: McMahon351@aol.com
To: ward32@cityofchicago.org
Sent: 6/16/2009 3:58:25 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: Chicago Cops on Patrol?


To: Scott Waguespack
32nd Ward Alderman
2657 N. Clybourn
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-1330
(773) 248-1360 Fax
ward32@cityofchicago.org


I just finished watching the video of “Chicago Cops on Patrol?”
http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/money/local_money/Police_Officers_Taking_Pictures_With_Women which was aired by FOX News Chicago showing women posing for pictures with some Chicago Policemen. In this report, you stated that you “would think that the Police Department would be all over it, and looking at it as a management issue and something that they have to take seriously.” You can’t be serious, can you?

Then this reporter goes on to say how they “were surprised when they received a series of photo’s, showing on duty Officers flirting with women,” and got “the photo’s from a frustrated club worker.” My favorite one is the picture of a blonde girl sitting on the Policeman’s lap with a big smile on her face, as the reporter interjects some sensationalism into this by saying; “her hands within easy reach of the Officers gun,” as if this woman posed a threat to anybody. I don’t know about anyone else, but she sure doesn’t look too dangerous to me, and the Cop certainly looks like he’s capable of taking care of himself, or anyone else that tried something stupid with him for that matter.

Jim McMahon said...

( Page 2 of 3 )

All I can say is, it must be a very “slow news week” for any network to air something devoid of any substance at all, and as trivial and innocent as people getting their pictures taken with some Cops. These are harmless pictures, what’s the big deal? In my opinion it’s good public relations, and from people that by rights, shouldn’t even give anyone the time of day until they get a current contract. I’m fairly certain that all of these pictures were not taken in the past few days, so at least FOX News had the common decency not to stab the Cops in the back until after they buried one of their own a little more than a week ago after being murdered while protecting the citizens of Chicago. That must be their interpretation of “Fair and Balanced” reporting.

Please look up from this letter for a moment, look up at the walls of your office or home. Chances are pretty good that they have pictures of you posing with some kind of public official that for some reason or another you view as special. It might be another Alderman, the Mayor, a Superintendent, a Commissioner or some other “big shot.” Am I right? If you’re anything at all like other politicians I’ve seen, you bask in the attention of the powerful people that are falsely convinced that they are more important, or somehow better than the rest of the citizens of Chicago,….well…….they’re not!

Although many of our politicians consistently demonstrate how low of an opinion they have for the rank and file of the Police and Fire Departments in Chicago, and rarely miss an opportunity to make them look bad to the public, their attempts are futile. I don’t suppose it has ever occurred to those important politicians that perhaps some people want to get their pictures taken with our public servants because in the real world where the rest of us live, people that are capable of thinking for themselves look up to them with admiration. It seems to be a common misconception amongst the politicians in this city that the people of Chicago work for the politicians, when in fact the politicians work for the people! They put you in office to represent them, and they can remove you just as easily during the next election. The voters know who they can depend on and who’s in their corner, and it’s NOT the politicians.

I’m aware of the fact that you did not launch this campaign against these Policemen, which serves no practical purpose other than to portray them in a negative fashion and possibly cost them some money from disciplinary actions and cause unnecessary embarrassment to their families. And at the conclusion of this segment you did mention that every time you have looked, the Police were doing their job, and that’s good, just not good enough. I know you have only been the 32nd Ward Alderman for a little over 2 years, but you have enough experience with politics and should have enough common sense to know when you’re being played for a fool.

Jim McMahon said...

( Page 3 of 3 )

You should’ve done more, you should’ve ran this reporter out of your office the moment you looked at those pictures and realized where he was heading with this. You should have directed him to stop wasting your time and to leave the working stiffs alone and go after a real story. If he wants to play “Investigative Reporter” he should be going after the crooked politicians and their cronies that are responsible for fleecing the city pension funds out of millions of dollars. If he wanted to report something newsworthy, Chicago has a lot more than its fair share of crooks and he wouldn’t have to dig too deep to find dirt on these conniving thieves. And he might even earn some credibility by exposing these crooks to the public for what they are.

Besides all of this, no reporter worth his salt should ever conduct any investigation, about anything, from a “frustrated” anybody that doesn’t have the courage or moral fabric to go on the record to back up his allegations. Because he’s probably “frustrated” due to his lack of intelligence, talent or guts that it takes to do these jobs that he’ll never have.

Jim McMahon
Retired Lieutenant
Chicago Fire Department
mcmahon351@aol.com



YOU CAN VIEW THE REPLYS AND COMMENTS AT:
www.jimmcmahonchicago.blogspot.com

Jim McMahon said...

( Page 2 of 3 )

All I can say is, it must be a very “slow news week” for any network to air something devoid of any substance at all, and as trivial and innocent as people getting their pictures taken with some Cops. These are harmless pictures, what’s the big deal? In my opinion it’s good public relations, and from people that by rights, shouldn’t even give anyone the time of day until they get a current contract. I’m fairly certain that all of these pictures were not taken in the past few days, so at least FOX News had the common decency not to stab the Cops in the back until after they buried one of their own a little more than a week ago after being murdered while protecting the citizens of Chicago. That must be their interpretation of “Fair and Balanced” reporting.

Please look up from this letter for a moment, look up at the walls of your office or home. Chances are pretty good that they have pictures of you posing with some kind of public official that for some reason or another you view as special. It might be another Alderman, the Mayor, a Superintendent, a Commissioner or some other “big shot.” Am I right? If you’re anything at all like other politicians I’ve seen, you bask in the attention of the powerful people that are falsely convinced that they are more important, or somehow better than the rest of the citizens of Chicago,….well…….they’re not!

Although many of our politicians consistently demonstrate how low of an opinion they have for the rank and file of the Police and Fire Departments in Chicago, and rarely miss an opportunity to make them look bad to the public, their attempts are futile. I don’t suppose it has ever occurred to those important politicians that perhaps some people want to get their pictures taken with our public servants because in the real world where the rest of us live, people that are capable of thinking for themselves look up to them with admiration. It seems to be a common misconception amongst the politicians in this city that the people of Chicago work for the politicians, when in fact the politicians work for the people! They put you in office to represent them, and they can remove you just as easily during the next election. The voters know who they can depend on and who’s in their corner, and it’s NOT the politicians.

I’m aware of the fact that you did not launch this campaign against these Policemen, which serves no practical purpose other than to portray them in a negative fashion and possibly cost them some money from disciplinary actions and cause unnecessary embarrassment to their families. And at the conclusion of this segment you did mention that every time you have looked, the Police were doing their job, and that’s good, just not good enough. I know you have only been the 32nd Ward Alderman for a little over 2 years, but you have enough experience with politics and should have enough common sense to know when you’re being played for a fool.

Jim McMahon said...

(Page 1 of 3)

RESPONSE FROM 32ND WARD ALDERMAN
From: 32ndward@gmail.com
To: mcmahon351@aol.com
Sent: 6/16/2009 9:30:25 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: foxnews

Lt. McMahon - I just wanted to let you know I received your fax letter today and read it carefully as you suggest.

I actually have a very high opinion of police officers despite what you might think.

I spoke to two Police officers before I spoke to FOX to get advice, knowing that had I decided to avoid FOX, that could have led to a more negative story. I also spoke to department officials to get their take and asked for suggestions. They said it was a management (personnel) issue.

It is clear to most everyone I spoke to that a nightclub operator set the officers up, I knew this beforehand and therefore thought I could , and did, preempt some of the issues that were not seen on the TV report. I decided that I would try to portray the incident in a better light and what you did not see was the entire conversation with FOX, including a discussion I prompted about the recent pension raids by Mr. Vanecko with the assistance of the pension board.

Yes, I said it was a management issue. And yes, I did say it was an anomaly in all the interactions I have had with police officers over the past two years as Alderman (and before).

Your perspective that reporters should be run out and go after a real story is commendable, but when was the last time you remember that working? It rarely works, if at all.

So, I took the opportunity to try to defend the Police department, and if that offends you, that is unfortunate.

When I speak to officers, we discuss the issues of the pension and I have been working on ways to create more accountability for the pension funds and city budget. And I think it would be great to the get two contracts that have been on the table and waiting for over two years, I just need 25 aldermen to think the same way, or a Mayor willing to do the right thing.

On a related note, I have one photo on my office wall - of a brother and his friends serving in Iraq/Afghanistan - and that is it.

Thanks for your letter, have nice day.
Scott Waguespack
--
Alderman Scott Waguespack
32nd Ward
2657 N. Clybourn, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph: 773-248-1330
To receive our bi-monthly e-newsletter, please send us an email to 32ndward@gmail.com and we will sign you up!
www.scottforchicago.com

Jim McMahon said...

(Page 2 of 3)

REPLY FROM McMAHON
________________________________________
From: McMahon351@aol.com
To: 32ndward@gmail.com
Sent: 6/19/2009 9:33:26 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: Re: foxnews

Alderman Waguespack,

Thank you for responding to my letter. If your explanation of the circumstances surrounding this issue are factual, and you only agreed to interview with FOX News - Chicago because you felt it was in the best interest of our Police Officers, then please accept my apologies. My anger was not meant to be directed at you personally, it was rather to express my disdain with the entire mainstream news media and the corrupt politicians that seem to dominate our public offices here in Chicago. Neither one of these groups care nearly as much about the truth or accuracy of allegations against our public servants, as they do about getting a story or an opportunity to advance their careers or their agendas.

These irresponsible actions are reckless and damaging to the good reputations of honest people, and reflect negatively on them in the eyes of public opinion. The vast majority of all the men and women that are out on the streets of Chicago doing their jobs are dedicated, hard working individuals that consistently try to do the right thing under some of the toughest possible conditions. I’m sure that the rank and file of the CPD will be glad to hear that you “have a very high opinion” of them, but actions speak louder than words. It would be much more convincing if the next time some little snitch reporter marches into a Ward Office with a handful of pictures and unverifiable accusations of misconduct, that they would immediately be given the “bums rush” right out the front door and told to go find a real job. You also mentioned if I ever “remember that working,” and my answer to that is “no I don’t.” But it’s possible that the reason it “rarely works,” could simply be attributed to the fact that it is even more rarely done. After all, you don’t work for the media, you don’t work for the Mayor, you don’t work for any city department, you do work for the people of Chicago that elected you to represent them. There’s not a thing in the world preventing anyone from setting the precedent of standing behind our Police Officers for a change and insisting that they receive the same respect the politicians and every other person in Chicago expects. Who knows, this just might put an end to most of this kind of unscrupulous behavior from the media, and they’d be forced to go out and find some real newsworthy corruption to report on.

Somehow, the mindset has become commonplace in our society that the members of the Police and Fire Departments be held to a higher standard than everyone else, and then relentlessly attacked for every minor infraction that occurs in their lives, either on or off duty. Well it’s not, they put their lives on the line every single day to protect us all, and deserve much better than that. I don’t see anyone following any of the politicians around to see if they had a glass of wine or a martini with their meal, maybe all the city officials, including Mayor Daley should have to submit to random drug and alcohol screening like the rest of the people that work for the city. Judging by some of the “goings on” that’s going on, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if some of them were impaired. It would be real interesting to see how a little exercise in “practice what you preach” would play out in Chicago.

Jim McMahon said...

(Page 3 of 3)

As for the party responsible for setting up these Policemen, I feel as their Alderman you should tend to the needs of the businesses in your Ward and personally see to it that they’re given plenty of the special attention that they felt they haven’t been getting.

Which would include assisting them with;
 Checking patrons ID’s
 Not exceeding occupancy limits
 Not exceeding hours of operation
 Proper liquor licenses
 Proper business licenses
 Proper emergency exits
 Currency of fire extinguishers
 Placement of fire extinguishers
 Working order of smoke alarms
 Working order of carbon monoxide detectors
 Working order of sprinkler systems if applicable
 Proper storage of flammables
 Strict adherence to all local fire codes
 Strict adherence to all local building codes
 Proper sanitation
 Smoking ordinances
 Not over serving their patrons
 No public alcoholic consumption
 No public intoxication
 No public disturbances

This list could go on and on, but paramount to all this would be making sure that the Police sit right in front of their nightclub to insure that nobody leaves there and attempts to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. I’d be more than glad to help you find the correct resources to facilitate these things……..all ya gotta do is drop me a line!

I'm aware that you are only one out of fifty Aldermen in Chicago and that you don’t call all the shots, but it amazes me how any member of our City Council could think that it’s acceptable to approve any cost of living raise for themselves prior to every other department having a current contract. That’s indicative of taking care of themselves above that of the people that they work for, and that doesn’t seem right to me at all. I am urging you to please talk with the other members of the City Council and ask them to insist that the Police and Fire Departments be given a raise along with a fair and equitable contract. This should go for any other city departments that have been put on the backburner too. They’re long overdue!

In closing, I think I can speak for everyone in Chicago when I express my gratitude to you for publicly speaking out against Mayor Daley today for guaranteeing billions of our tax dollars to insure profits to the Olympic Committee. We all know how much “His Highness” hates being disagreed with, and it doesn’t happen very often. This alone speaks volumes for your character and it took a lot of guts.......thanks, we really appreciate that! It’s great to hear that the only picture on your wall is one with your Brother and a few of his fellow soldiers. I honor your Brother’s patriotism and service to our country, and hope all of our loved ones will soon come home safely.

Sincerely,

Jim McMahon
Retired Lieutenant
Chicago Fire Department
mcmahon351@aol.com