Cliffs Notes and Spark Notes are basically quick reads, used by some to understand some of the tough subjects, such as Literature, Poetry, History, Film, Philosophy, Math, Health, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Sociology and many more subjects. Man I'm out of breath. For myself they are comparable to Baseball's Box Scores. The entire story is right there in that compact little box. One does not have to read the entire play by play to get the full story of the game. Granted you see a home run by Derek Jeter but it didn't tell you that Jeter's homer bounced off right fielder Jose Canseco's head and flew into the stands, but like most good things, one cannot have it all.
Although they are controversial, who among us has not indulged? Before I get into "Cop Notes" I think to be fair, I should give a quick rundown on the other two. CliffsNotes the older of the two (and the most widely imitated study guide) was founded in Nebraska in 1958 by Clinton Hillegass in a basement workshop. His quick study guides were so successful he sold the company in 1998 for 14 million dollars. The parent company today is John Wiley and Sons. Spark Notes sprung from a website originally called Spark. It was started by Harvard students, Max Krohn, Chris Coyne, and Eli Bolton in 1999. Between the two, most of the knowledge in the world in the above studies has been touched on in some form or another. Anybody who mastered them all, thru SparkNotes and or CliffsNotes would be a 50 years straight Jeopardy Champion.
Now we come to Cop Notes. There is no Harvard involved here for sure, nor a basement in Nebraska, but I can offer 33 years of experience and invite any interesting parties into a world that is seldom exposed in real life, unless it's in the headlines, like we are seeing these days in Chicago. Cops on trial, both in the courtroom, and make no mistake, also the court of public opinion.
There are no easy quick studies to explain a profession that at times can go from 99% routine to 1% sheer terror in a matter of seconds. Since it's inception 540 Chicago cops have been killed in the line of duty, since 1998 the number is over two dozen. The latest on February 13th of this year, Police Commander Paul Bauer was shot to death by an armed ex felon with an extensive record of felony arrests including armed robbery. He, (the shooter) was wearing a bullet proof vest.
A rather frightening trend has worked it's way into our society in recent years. The topic has been discussed and written about (War On cops) extensively. The Mayor of Chicago is on record saying that Chicago's cops have gone fetal and stopped policing on a proactive level. An alarming deduction by a guy who most cops think is responsible for that happening.
The ACLU in 2015 threatened to take the City to court because of what they claimed was profiling. Their contention was that Chicago's cops were stopping a disproportionate number of minorities. Indeed one could argue and nobody did, that several of Chicago's communities are made up of 95 to 98% minorities. A horrific failure brought on by over 60 years of failed politics and segregation. It would seem to be common sense that to profile the numbers of stops that were targeting minorities would have to have communities that were 1/3-1/3 -1/3 which is not the case. At any rate the City buckled and agreed to drop the field contact contact card which the officers filled out whenever a stop was made.
The best weapon street cops have against gangs and their affiliates is the street stop, a weapon that was preemptive and proactive in fighting crime. It was agreed by both parties including Chicago's supposed tough on crime Superintendent Garry McCarthy that the field contact card (which took all of 2 to 3 minutes to fill out ) would be replaced by a new extensive report called the Investigatory Stop Report (ISR) which at best, took at least 40 minutes to fill out and took patrol cops out of service for that entire time, just to inquire what suspicious persons were doing in an alley at 2 a.m. The new report was named by frustrated cops, the MAGNA-CARTHY. Almost immediately an explosion in violence hit the City with murder's and shooting's reaching epidemic proportions that remains to this day. Both Chicago newspapers calculated that after the agreement street stops by Cops in Chicago plummeted by over 80%. HELLO!
Since 2015 when that agreement went into effect over 2,441 souls have been murdered in Chicago and over 13,232 have been shot. The victims have included infants, toddlers seniors, and thousands of teens , no group or Community has been spared the grief of a loved one being shot down. The gangs are simply running around like free range chickens with little or no accountability. The Departments arrest and clearance rate is an abysmal 15 to 16% . Over 80% of the shooters and killers are never even arrested let alone convicted. The war in Afghanistan's killed and casualties pale, compared to Chicago's street violence.
There has been so much blubbering and posturing by so called community leaders. They have marched on 3 different expressways ,on July 6th protesters shut down the northbound lanes of the Dan Ryan, on 2 August they marched on Lake Shore Dr, again on 3 Sept a group marched on the Kennedy expressway. It was a pathetic circus like attempt to call attention to inner City violence by inconveniencing people miles and miles away from the violence, who had no power to stop anything except their cars, let alone inner city violence.
Thru all of this the City leaders remained like deer looking into headlines, totally clueless, refusing to look in mirrors and blaming the usual suspects, jobs, better schools, poverty, and the biggest suspect's were the Cops. Yea! the cops needed reforming. Cops are easy, just lay in the weeds, sooner or later one makes a mistake, or there is a controversy, and presto its the police again, not the killers they are living among. Everybody becomes a convenient scape goat rather then face reality.
Before I end this session of Bob's Notes I wanted to point out some things that maybe are not getting to the public. One is the 3 inch knife that so many people in the press are convinced is not a danger, (see the picture accompanying this piece, ) those of us who worked the street know that sometimes things are not as they look. If 3 inch knives are not a danger why is the airport TSA not allowing them on passengers. Judging from keyboards and nice comfy offices is an insult to those who have to serve and protect if not downright stupid.
Another fact you may not hear is that Divvy the Company that has the bike concession in Chicago has had 507 of their bikes WORLD WIDE stolen, READY! 500 of them in Chicago. Check out the Chicago Reader for that story. Finally a stickler for all cops in America and especially Chicago, there are only two things we humans cannot change if you happen to be fleeing a crime scene, one is HEIGHT and the other is SKIN color. Is it really asking to much to give those descriptions out when addressing a wanted suspect. Why are we so timid when it comes to describing criminals? More Cops Notes later. I hope.
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