On the one year anniversary of his death, Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer's words have still have me shaking my head.Paul Bauer was a Commander who never left the field. Sitting behind a desk and leading was certainly not his style.Death came while chasing down an armed 4 time felon wearing body armor after hearing a radio call of a man fleeing the Police. Paul left a gaping hole in all of our hearts and minds, but he also left something else. The August before he was killed he spoke out at a Community meeting saying words that very, very, few Command officers would utter given the political climate in Chicago, where angry Politicians hold careers in their hands.
"It is frustration that Police deal with on a daily basis as they try to make Communities safer. This has been going on for quite some time now and getting worse." He pointed out as an example a person arrested for a number of burglaries. "He's already out on parole for burglary. He needs to sit. It's like if you have kids. If you have no consequences for your actions, those actions are going to repeat again and again. Accountability for ones actions not an easy release back to society". He further stated "he was not talking about the person who steals bread to feed themselves or their families but career and repeat offenders." He lashed out with common sense plain talk. "Politicians should not be bragging about our jails being empty, he said humbly, that in his opinion, was nothing to boast about."
While local politicians are still boasting of empty jails,I have to ask the question, are they not alert enough to see what's happening right before their eyes? They will tell you over and over agin it's not the repeat offenders that are being released but offenders who commit petty crimes. At least two studies have shown in the last month of serious gun offenders and armed hijackers either released on minimal bonds or ankle monitors. Most wind up arrested again and again with little or no consequences or accountability,
Paul Bauers words exactly. A recent Investigative report by ABCs I team revealed some startling numbers that should have shook the City to it's core. There are more accused criminals being monitored by electronic ankle bracelets in Cook County then the entire Illinois Department of Corrections program Statewide. Anyone with the least bit of logic or reasoning can certainly see that's why the jails are empty. DUH! They are out in the Community running wild with impunity.
There are over 2,100 folks on ankle monitoring alone, separating them from the I Bonds and minimal bonds whose numbers are in the thousands. There is very little incentive to change criminal behavior, consequences and accountability are two words that do not exist, however I guess if the jails are empty that's sounds good when running for office. Now comes the startling part of the investigation. At least 300 of those being monitored are missing. In other words the County has no clue to the whereabouts of at least 300 criminals, gone, vanished, until arrested another day. Nearly 50% of those currently on ankle bracelets are CHARGED WITH EITHER GUN VIOLATIONS OR VIOLENT CRIMES. Indeed the jails are empty. The spin no longer can stand the stench test. People who commit crimes while armed with a gun are not petty criminals. To suggest that they are is either insane or criminal in itself.
Just this week Chicago was voted yet again the most corrupt City in America. Chicago politicians are convicted criminally at alarming rates. Since the sixties at least 34 City Alderman have gone to prison along with scores of other City office holders. At least 3 more have been recently arrested and are awaiting trial.While all this is taking place the City is suffering from a horrific epidemic of violence. No deflection or blame can change that fact, yet one hears every single day that change is badly needed, the calls for the same old so called change that never happens. There is a saying I believe for all of this and those who are clueless and fail to see the obvious. Paul Bauers words using common sense calling for accountability and consequences have clearly fell on deaf ears."To argue or try to reason with a person who has renounced reason is like administering medicine to the dead." Chicago's leaders and wanna be leaders are not dead but could use a good dose of common sense. Listen to what Paul Bauer said.
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