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Question of the day

Monday, Apr 26, 2010

* The setup

Two state representatives called on Gov. Pat Quinn Sunday to deploy the Illinois National Guard to safeguard Chicago’s streets.

Chicago Democrats John Fritchey and LaShawn Ford said they want Quinn, Mayor Richard Daley and Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis to allow guardsmen to patrol streets and help quell violence. Weis said he did not support the idea because the military and police operate under different rules.

“Is this a drastic call to action? Of course it is,” Fritchey said. “Is it warranted when we are losing residents to gun violence at such an alarming rate? Without question. We are not talking about rolling tanks down the street or having armed guards on each corner.”

What he envisions, Fritchey said, is a “heightened presence on the streets,” particularly on the roughly 9 percent of city blocks where most of the city’s violent crimes occur.

If this sounds familiar, it is. Rod Blagojevich had the very same idea a couple of years back.


Referring to the Kent State shootings in 1970, when National Guardsmen fatally shot four student protesters at a campus demonstration, [Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis] said that “when you mix military functions with law enforcement functions, there is sometimes a disconnect.”

Noting that the military does not operate under the same constitutional constraints as the police, he questioned how Chicago residents would react to soldiers raiding homes without warrants, and said that in his 25 years of law enforcement experience, he had never seen an example of military personnel working under local civilian command.

“The National Guard is very useful if we had a big earthquake or huge flood or a catastrophe like that, where we simply had to control folks,” he said, “But the problems we’re facing are illegal weapons, narcotics and gangs. And while I will always look out for as much help as we can, I don’t think the National Guard is the solution.”

* The Question: Putting aside the fact that Blagojevich came up with idea first, what do you think of it?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - centildem - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 5:28 am:

    this approach was also used in new orleans, post-katrina, for several YEARS after the storm and initial chaos. i think it worked rather well to help ease fears of citizens and to keep criminals in check somewhat. seeing national guardsmen driving down the street in their humvee feels a bit awkward, but it may be what is needed.

  2. - How Ironic - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 5:38 am:

    I think it’s a terrible idea. Unless Chicago has suffered some sort of natural disaster that didn’t make the news…the National Guard isn’t the answer.

  3. - Hank - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 6:44 am:

    This makes a nice presser on a rainy Sunday afternoon. These two would be among the first screaming bloody murder the first time the Guard had 10 kids laying face down on the pavement for suspicious activities. Let the CPD do their job

  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 7:09 am:

    I understand the sentiment, but we’ve been leaning on the national guard too hard for the last eight years in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    What I find interesting is that a couple of establishment Democrats are saying that Mayor Daley has lost control of 10% of his city. He need to have an answer for that.

  5. - Gregor - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 7:23 am:

    It doesn’t permanently solve the problem, it will only work, if it works at all, as long as the troops are deployed. Once the guardsmen are pulled, what would the city be doing differently?

    Also, these gang banging drug lords are just crazy enough they may open fire on guardsmen, THEN what are you going to do?

  6. - Amalia - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 7:34 am:

    Supt. Weis did a good job of explaining how the police are trained and perform to handle situations to fight violence
    and preserve evidence for criminal cases. The guard does
    not do this. We need to put offenders in prison.

    you may have put aside the fact that Blago had this idea
    in July of 2008, but will Fritchey get criticized the way
    Blago did?

    And, to the most important issue in my mind re the violence,
    and about which there seems to be only mild outcry…..the
    two day rape session of the intellectually challenged young
    woman by about 10 young men, only two who have been
    apprehended. This is one of the most outrageous incidents
    in Chicago in memory. This incident should be the subject
    of outrage by public officials. It is indicative not simply of
    violence but of animal like behavior by some who live around
    that building. who owns the building? do the offenders live
    at home? what are the police doing to get the rest of the ten?

    Where is outrage on that case, just that case? The victim and the community should be protesting about this alone. The guard
    is not the solution for two days of rape by 10 men.

  7. - really? - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 7:47 am:

    Why not send Illinois State Police before the guard? Just asking not being snarky.

  8. - ok - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 7:56 am:

    I seem to believe Fritchey being critical of Blago’s move back then.


    Plus, I believe there is a procedure for requesting national guard assistance. The Mayor would have to request it. Not Pat Quinn.

  9. - sideline watcher - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 7:57 am:

    That would be martial law. And there are tons of horror stories about how guardsmen as well as police treated unarmed civilians in the immediate days, weeks, and sometimes years after the storm. I have family there. The constitutional protections of law enforcement are there for a reason. Those protections protect all of us. Very scary proposition.

    Further…might I suggest that the rise in gang violence and violence in general can be correlated to the economy and the state’s inability to get its act together. When we fund anti-gang programs, and provide safe places for kids to go after school and on the weekends, and when we put dollars into the stopping the pathologies that create violent conditions in the first place…violence decreases. More cops coupled with more programs that go to these very issues saves communities.

    You can’t have it both ways. You can’t decry violence and death and then cut police and the programs that stop it. Head start and after school programs cost way less than juvenile detention and prison.

  10. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 8:04 am:

    First, if Ford and Fritchey were serious about this, rather than about grandstanding, they would have just picked up the phone and asked the Governor. This isn’t about solving the problem, it’s about grabbing a headline. Second, if concentrating effort in “hot spots” were the answer (and it probably is part of it), then Ford and Fritchey should have called upon Mayor Daley to deploy police that way, instead of the current political way in which the forces are deployed equally throughout the city. They don’t have the guts to do that, so they grandstand instead.

  11. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 8:05 am:

    –The Mayor would have to request it. Not Pat Quinn.–

    From the Illinois Constitution:

    (a) The Governor is commander-in-chief of the organized
    militia, except when they are in the service of the United
    States. He may call them out to enforce the laws, suppress
    insurrection or repel invasion.

  12. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 8:29 am:

    (20 ILCS 1805/83) (from Ch. 129, par. 220.83)
    Sec. 83. Whenever there is a tumult, riot, mob or body of persons acting together by force with attempt to commit a felony, or to offer violence to persons or property, or by force or violence to break or resist the laws of the State, or when such tumult, riot or mob is threatened it shall be deemed that a time of public disorder and danger then exists, and it shall be the duty of the Governor thereupon to order such military force as he may deem necessary to aid the civil authorities in suppressing such violence and executing the law.
    (Source: P.A. 85‑1241.)

  13. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 8:30 am:

    The above is from the Military Code of Illinois

  14. - Government Can Do Better - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 8:31 am:

    Why not fund CeaseFire and other effective violence prevention efforts adequately. Funds for these prorams are not renewed in the State of Illinois budget and will all end on June 30th.

    The National Guard? You’ve got to be kidding.

  15. - Former Card Carrying Repub - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 8:39 am:

    As the story pointed out, the violence is centered in a small portion of the city. Man, it’s a gang problem, one that is everywhere. And the mentality of a gang member, much like the terrorists, is of no consequence to themselves. I DO believe they would begin shooting at the Guard. Dealing with the gang problem is the issue. Sure, bring the Guard in and have them fully loaded, because they will need it.

    This is a social problem, not a gun problem. People kill people, not the guns. And the people doing the killing in Chicago are selfish and cowardly.

    I feel sorry for the police in Chicago. They are doing as well as they can against these thugs. But no amount of muscle and force can stop a thug because they have no regard for their own life.

  16. - just sayin' - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 8:49 am:

    Putting the Guard on the streets of Chicago would be embarrassing beyond belief. What a slap in the face to the cops and to Daley.

    That would be a world wide story. Would bring back imagages of riot torn U.S. cities in the ’60’s.

    Kiss the remaining convention business goodbye.

  17. - Disgruntled Goat - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 8:51 am:

    Maybe if Fritchey hadn’t been so quick to criticize Blago back in 2008, and instead worked with Blago to find a solution, the mess might not be as big as it is now.

    We need statesmanship, not gamesmanship, Fritchey.

  18. - just saying - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 8:54 am:

    Military and police…a disconnection?….how do you explain our current State Police Director?

  19. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 8:54 am:

    I didn’t see Fritchey or Ford at Operation First Casualty.

    Using National Guard troops that served in Iraq and Afghanistan to patrol the streets of Chicago seems a particularly bad idea.

    If politicians want to reduce crime here’s my three pronged approach.

    1. Properly supervise the Chicago PD and make them do their job professionally.

    2. Professionalize the Cook County State’s Attorney from hiring to everything else the office does.

    3. Prosecute political corruption. Don’t just wait for the feds to act. Crooked cops and crooked politicians need each other to exist. It’s much harder to be a crooked cop in a community where the politicians aren’t on the take too.

    Oh, and people in the community have to put effort into uplifting their community. There’s no point in dumping a bunch of money into a community where the people on the ground aren’t doing their part to maintain a certain amount of order and mutual respect.

  20. - anon - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 8:59 am:

    Weis is right. Military and law enforcement have different missions that are incompatible. Looks like some major political grandstanding to me. And it worked — drudge linked to the story on his blog. Great work!

  21. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:03 am:

    Goat, when did Fritchey criticize Blago about bringing in the national guard? Seems that the other stuff he criticized him for turned out to be right.

  22. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:04 am:

    What a wretched idea. As was pointed out, the National Guard isn’t trained for police work.

    The CPD is down (at least) hundreds of officers — one way the Mayor has chosen to deal with his budget problems. Being down that many officers has consequences.

    The real solution is to find the money to pay to staff (and train) an effective CPD, as well as other community and jobs programs that will reduce crime.

  23. - Joe Lake - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:05 am:

    Call out the National Guard? The two IL state reps are about as unbalanced as the Illinois budget. Joe Lake, Chicago (Bucktown)

  24. - alas... - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:15 am:

    Bring your business … your family … come to Chicago Illinois - we’ve called out the National Guard, seniors ride free, and we’re governed by Bozos!

  25. - Joe Kotlarz Fan Club - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:19 am:

    maybe if they used certain National Guard units that are trained and designed for military police functions, it may have some merit.

  26. - Joe Lake - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:20 am:

    And free hand hands for senior citizens?

  27. - OneMan - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:26 am:

    How about encouraging the city to get the police department up to full strength in terms of sworn officers.

  28. - Just Wondering - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:31 am:

    Let law enforcement professionals determine if the Guard is needed; not state legislators.

  29. - shore - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:33 am:

    1. I am sure it’s evil right wing nra loving bush republicans faults that chicago spent 3 years sucking the toes of european fatcats to get the olympics but can’t handle basic crime.

    2. There’s another idea, vote for a mayor next year who has a plan to deal with crime.

    3. Another brilliant idea, vote out the springfield hacks who I am sure are gutting major state programs to fight violence.

  30. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:36 am:

    Actually, the two reps clearly said that they want Quinn, Daley and Weis to work together to determine if and how to use the Guard. They’re not trying to do this on their own, they’re offering ideas at a time when new ideas are needed.

  31. - VanillaMan - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:40 am:

    Chicago violence is so bad, two level-headed legislators have reached for this as a possible solution. That is fact one.

    Fact two. Such a move is a public acknowledgement of Mayor Daley’s failure to protect citizens. Over Daley’s dead body is this going to happen.

    Fact three. Such a move would shock the nation. “The President’s home town is under martial law!” The GOP will have a field day during this election year.

    Fact four. The Guards are not police. At the first altercation resulting in bodily injury, news will be made. Forty years ago, Kent State happened and we still remember it. You don’t want a repeat.

    Fact five. This call will result in action from Chicago and Illinois government. Suburbs ringing Chicago will demand similar protection. South Chicagoland is as violent as Chicago itself. Once this kind of action is taken, it will be easier to use and excuse.

    Fact Six. Political suicide. In a year when Big Government is a main issue, turning local police protection into Big Government police will be the cherry on top of a very ugly political sundae. Voters are fed up with Big Government. Adding Big Police to the mix will really stimulate the crazies. It will be political suicide.

  32. - Anonymous 9:04 - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:44 am:

    To Anonymous 9:36:

    1. It’s not a new idea. It’s an old Blago idea.

    2. It’s a really stupid idea, since the Guard isn’t trained for law enforcement work, and will (at a minimum) blow criminal cases by their methods, and is more likely to overdo it and inflame the community.

    3. If we’re going to pay for law enforcement (and we should), we should be paying for trained law enforcement officers and programs that will reduce crime (instead of cutting officers, violence prevention, and other social programs).

    The two reps weren’t being helpful with a new idea; they were hot dogging to get on TV.

  33. - Responsa - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:47 am:

    Bad idea coupled with a dangerous and stupid headline grabbing stunt. The national guard should patrol American cities *only* to help keep order and to help citizens in the event of a natural disaster, or possibly to protect people and property during an immediate, overwhelming threat/ “days of rage” rampage type situation.

    The politicians who called for this demonstrate a very large disconnect with average citizens who desire and expect public safety, but most certainly do not want armed military on the streets of Chicago.

  34. - Levois - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:50 am:

    I thought Blago wanted to supplement the Chicago Police with the state police not the National Guard.

  35. - Stallion - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 9:55 am:

    Will the National Guard be handing out information for all the tourists that will be so eager to visit our city ? These two Reps. obviously dont think things through, what a joke, this is a media stunt, my only question was where was Tom Dart, he usually loves free publicity ?

  36. - North Central IL - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 10:05 am:

    Reaction 1: would Chicago start looking like Juarez?

    Reaction 2: a worse idea would be privatized i.e. Blackwater approach.

  37. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 10:15 am:

    Will you people read the statute cited above? The Governor has the authority to do this and the Guard has members specifically trained in law enforcement. Think additional patrol bodies not tanks and machine guns.

  38. - middle of the road - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 10:19 am:

    BAD IDEA! We could loose more troops in Chicago than we do in Iraq and Afganistan.

  39. - Just Wondering - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 10:23 am:

    two day rape session of the intellectually challenged young
    woman by about 10 young men, only two who have been
    apprehended. This is one of the most outrageous incidents
    in Chicago in memory=

    I agree. This headline was so disturbing I couldn’t even read the story. It doesn’t seem to be getting much medai attention either.

    I hope they find these animals and make them suffer.

    Really….where is the outcry???

  40. - ghost - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 10:34 am:

    This is a horrible idea. As mentioned by weiss and others here, the military lack the training. Police spend a substantial amount of time training and then working under a senior officer.

    Better idea, hire and train police

  41. - Captain Flume - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 10:36 am:

    Comparisons to Kent State are probably unavoidable, but at Kent State I believe that the issue was NG shooting unarmed protestors; so the comparison is fallacious. One of the issues with gang members is that they are armed, so engagements the NG are likely to encounter will be fire fights. Gang members probably are no more afraid of the NG than they are of each other. Bullets will fly, people will die on both sides and in the middle.

  42. - Downstate Commissioner - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 10:43 am:

    National Guard has its place after a disaster, like New Orleans, but to replace police in normal is asking for dead citizens. Speaking of disasters, how about sending them down to the Illinois Capitol Complex??? Maybe, as long as they were kept inside the legislative chambers, they could do some good there…

  43. - Ken in Aurora - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 10:48 am:

    Great, let’s bring the National Guard in. What will we have them do, enforce proper parenting skills? (Rolls eyes.)

    The community needs to fix itself, anything else is just window dressing. Until the average resident in the affected communities stands up and takes their neighborhood back nothing will change.

  44. - todd - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 11:08 am:

    For all you non-military pontificators, the military and the National Guard have Military Police and they are trained to perform law enforcement duties, everything from probable cause to questioning. We even have what some would call detectives, we call them investigators. But most modern MP operations and Companies are geared to either combat operations like physical security or convoy escorts with other aimed at POW operations similar to a county jail.
    The real issue is do you want to have the City look like Belfast and what are you going to do when the white guys from Peoria shoot up a car full of black teenage gang members when they refuse to stop or take a pot shot at them?
    The Rules Of Engagement (ROE) make or break it. It was those rules that got 200 marines killed in Beirut. If you want a Hummvee or APC sitting on every corner waiting for the shots to ring out and step in, you’re gonna have to give them reasonable rules to work under. Go take a look at the movie Blackhawk Down where they start getting shot at. The new guys says hey they are shooting at us, and the other guy says naw they ain’t you’ll know when they are then one cracks past his ear and then they can start shooting. That’s all because of the ROE.
    But what I the mission? Is it to act as cops, to enforce the criminal code? Or is it to act as a deterrent and to shoot back if fired upon? A sitting target or bait? Are you going to employ snipers on high advantage points and allow them to engage targets if they see them shooting at people? Illinis law allows the use of deadly force to save yourself or another from death or great bodily harm, so how do you feel about some kind hanging a gun out a window, ending up taking a 7.62 to the head from 400 yards?
    And will it work? Will they simply go underground till they leave. Will they try and shoot back. We know that a third world group is giving our boys some trouble in Iraq. And these are the guys here to figure out how to get drugs into prisons, make knives out of anything and don’t care much. So will it work or will they move else where?

  45. - Dan S, a taxpayer and a Cubs Fan - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 11:31 am:

    Mayor Richie made his bed, let him sleep in it.

  46. - Amalia - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 11:40 am:

    Just Wondering: I’m happy you too feel the outrage. maybe the
    talk on this incident will grow. This tribune article….

    states that the two apprehended are students, just the thing we think will solve the problem. sad. Note to Supt. Weis, while you are making comments about how personally the police take the awful bat attacker of the two women on the north side, please tell us that they take the case of the two day rape session by 10 men personally too.

    yes, the shootings are a huge problem, but start plotting the sexual assaults and you will see the sickness at a whole other
    level. these are not things the Guard can address.

  47. - 47th Ward - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 11:44 am:

    Rep. Fritchey,

    Sponsor a decriminalization bill. Get that passed and we won’t have all of the violence, a huge portion which stems from the fight over control of distribution of drugs. Focus on that element and the violence will subside.

  48. - Ken in Aurora - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 11:57 am:

    47, while I agree decriminalization is part of the ultimate solution in ending the cycle of gangs I don’t think it would have much immediate effect. The thugs would simply find something else to do, like fencing cars or armed robbery. Unintended consequences can really suck…

  49. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 12:02 pm:

    I would like to get Rep. Ford and Fritchey to respond to todd’s comment.

    Rich, can you send todd’s comment over to F&F and get their responses?

  50. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 12:03 pm:

    How about NATO peacekeepers instead?

  51. - Nuance - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 12:04 pm:

    Bad idea. Hey, the Chicago Bulls are now available. Sorry, I forgot, they can’t shoot straight.

  52. - Loop Lady - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 12:17 pm:

    how about some summer jobs for teens/Chicago Park District Programs from 5-9 pm and numerous turn in your weapons day no penalties? The street gangs are going to run wild this summer if recent events are any indication of what is to come…

    The National Guard are not parents, job providers, or teen programs…it’s nice that the Reps are concerned, but this will never happen as long as Daley has a breath in him…

  53. - Armageddon - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 12:19 pm:

    Excellent post, Todd. You’re exactly right. The Rules of Engagement are everything. Where they are clear there is process; where they are muddled there is confusion which begets a guarantee that something will go very, very wrong.

    John Kennedy once observed that he was vulnerable to any assassin willing to trade Kennedy’s life for his own. So, too, are the police and citizenry vulnerable to those criminals willing to make that type of bargain. As dramatic attacks in recent months have underscored, we are facing an enemy with little regard for human life, be it theirs or others.

    The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) wrote 40 years ago about how the policies of our federal government were undercutting the stability of the family unit among America’s impoverished. With little to no family to rear them, we have had children raising themselves for the last 40 years. We cannot be surprised that they have sought out the artificial “family” of a gang to find the acceptance and affiliation for which all children of all backgrounds yearn. Of course, their’s is a fool’s bargain given that gang affiliation isn’t really about nurturing its members but about using and discarding them for money via the distribution and sale of drugs; all but the highest levels of leadership are expendable. And since they are expendable, there is no compunction about violating either the laws of society or the basic tenets of human decency. Which is why we’re treated to headlines of children being shot by gangbangers and video of shootings breaking out just steps away from police officers already clustered around crime scenes.

    There seem to be four possible courses of action:

    1. Wave a magic wand while casting a spell that everyone who now smokes reefer, crack and crystal meth, or snorts coke, shoots H, or swallows the other offerings from the world of pharmacopia, stops cold turkey;

    2. Maintain the status quo, with police using limited resources to do their best to contain the violence to those areas where gangbangers roam, while everyone else wrings their hands, shakes their heads, hold their neighborhood marches, and recite well-warn phrases that “something must be done,” while we continue to go about our daily lives and hope that we’re not in the vicinity the next time violence spills over from the gangbanging boundaries;

    3. Suspend habeas corpus, conduct a dragnet to round-up all the “usual suspects” and ship them off to GITMO Redux, recognizing, of course, that like all things in nature the drug trade abhors a vacuum and will promptly send replacements; or

    4. Have the Federal government legalize drugs and control their distribution a la the FDA to standardize quality, permit their sale to the public by reputable retailers (e.g., Walgreens, Osco, etc.) so they can be sold at competitive prices, and tax the product.

    Of course, other entrepreneurs can be expected to expand drug treatment programs for the inevitable abusers.

    The sad truth is that where illegal activities involve voluminous amounts of money — as the illicit drug trade obviously does — there are only two ways to control it. The first is through a high body count (e.g., Prohibition, gambling, the War on Drugs) for which there is little stomach among the electorate, or through the product’s legalization and taxation. We’ve legalized alcohol and gambling and now count on both for substantial revenue streams. The most effective way to end drug-related crimes is to remove the incentive to commit those crimes. We do that by cutting the huge profit margins the gangs now enjoy.

    We don’t need the National Guard. We need the FDA and IRS.

  54. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 12:24 pm:

    As a couple of commenters have already pointed out, Chicago needs more cops on the beat.

    This is partly a budget problem and the National Guard is not free. If they are called up, they have to be paid and proper equipment has to be purchased. If the money is available to bring in the Guard, why not hire and equip some beat cops?

    The biggest advantage to hiring more police is that they develop a relationship with the community they patrol. National Guard MPs might be wonderfully trained, but they would be assigned to the community for only a short period of time and would not be able to develop the kinds of relationships and community understanding a good police officer develops.

  55. - VanillaMan - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 12:24 pm:

    What came first, the police or the crime? Crime.
    What causes criminality, the action taken or the reaction of the police? The action.

    So making something illegal doesn’t cause crime. Consequentially, making something that causes crimes to be legal, increases crimes, not decreases them.

    To those who believe that we can reduce our need for police protection by legalizing a crime aren’t thinking or aren’t living in the real world.

    An addict will commit a crime to possess a perfectly legal object. If a criminal injures or kills his neighbor for a television, the crime still occured, and it wasn’t the fault of the television. We see people die fighting over something free. An addict will prostitute themselves, commit robberies, and injury everyone around them for their addiction - regardless of price, and regardless of legality.

    If we cannot control an illegal object, then we definately cannot control the same object if it was legal. If the illegal object caused urban decay, family disintegration and mayhem, it will cause urban decay, family disintegration and mayhem on a wider scale if legalized.

    To those who believe we can legalize and control currently illegal narcotics, I ask that you wake up and recognize the sheer illogic of your proposal. Or, at least ask our law enforcement officers if we should legalize stuff that destroys lives, families and neighborhoods. Ask our judicial system if they wish to handle the added load of systemic damage that will arise due to the legalization of an addictive substance.

    There is no such thing as a victimless crime, because there would be no crime without victims. It is the creation of victims that makes the action illegal.

    Thinking otherwise - isn’t thinking at all.

  56. - irish - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 12:28 pm:

    If the money is there to fund a National Guard presence why not use that money to hire more police?
    Also the Guard could do no more than the CPD when people are unwilling to talk and name names of perpetrators. The code of silence needs to be broken and it can only be broken by the residents. This issue was brought about by the dismantling of the old high rise housing and the scattering of those gang groups across the area and placing them in the areas of rival gangs. Gun control won’t answer it. the National Guard won’t answer it. CPD presence, resident cooperation, and stiff sentences will.
    The recent shooting of the baby in the back of her Dad’s car has seemed to break a little of the silence. The child’s father was possibly linked to a shooting of a rival gang member, his baby paid the price. This is an example of what drives this violence. It is a way of life that only the residents can change. Placing the Guard in that situation would only lead to more problems. What if a Guardsman got killed? This could escalate into a situation far worse than what it is now.
    This should be the priority of the Chicago Administration. Forget painting trees that you are going to cut down anyway. Spend every dollar you are going to spend on frivolous things and concentrate on this issue.

  57. - Cook County Commoner - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 12:29 pm:

    Worth a try. Although they are badly needed, Chicago cannot afford more police. The low retirement age and pensions and reitirement healthcare price them out of the box. Some sort of part-time deputies were once considered, but the union shut that idea down. Some sort of law enforcement already on a government payroll appears to be the answer by default, if the policemens’ union would allow it. The union may accept the National Guard because of its likely temporary deployment. Sounds like its worth a try. I was in the military and policing our own was often more dangerous than the enemy. The right people with the right leaders and the right chain of command should be given a try if the violence persists.

  58. - cermak_rd - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 12:39 pm:

    I wrote about this on another site yesterday and stated that I felt conflicted. I live in Berwyn, just 6 blocks west of Austin. I don’t experience any fear of living in my neighborhood and the violence in those neighborhoods may as well be in Iraq or Afghanistan it is so remote to me. So I would tend to defer to those who actually live in these neighborhoods. It’s easy for me to state that it’s awful the thought of bringing in the Guard, but I don’t live under a state of siege.

    I’m also not convinced that all the violence is about drugs, or money or lack of economic opportunity. Some of it is. Maybe even the lion’s share. But not all of it.

  59. - Gregor - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 12:40 pm:

    Mayor Daley will come out soon to say more cameras will fix everything.

  60. - cermak_rd - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 12:47 pm:

    I think the thought behind legalizing drugs is that it would drop the price. Make the price lower, and there’s not as much of a profit motive to murder and run the risks of prosecution. Plus, if people have a choice of going to an unsavory fellow standing on a corner or to a nice clean drug store for their fix, I would guess most people would choose the nice clean drug store.

    Yes, lower prices for drugs would probably mean more addicts, but the question is how many more? How many people who aren’t using drugs today would start tomorrow if they were made legal? I know I wouldn’t.

  61. - fed up - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 1:14 pm:

    How would the State pay for this deployment of troops. It costs millions to activate National Guard troops. Where would the guardsamn from downstate stay? who would feed them? If activated the state is on the hook for their medical. Some of these guys have spent 2 of the last 4-5 years out of country already is burnout a worry? What about their employers and family? It s nice little way for two obscure state reps to get some press but it will never happen.

  62. - fed up - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 1:15 pm:

    One more thing this says alot about Mayor Daleys 20year reign as King of Chicago.

  63. - Robert - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 1:19 pm:

    I imagine the police would be happy to have a little more manpower, but Fritchey was clearly grandstanding here. If he was interested in solution, he’d have worked with Weis and Daley to see if extra manpower could be used temporarily, rather than holding a press conference. honest question - does Fritchey have a police or military background?

  64. - So Il M - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 2:06 pm:

    People act like this has never been done before. I still remember growing up in the late 60’s and early 70’s when 76 State Troopers were brought to our small Southern IL town, and when they werent enough the National Guard was brought in to patrol the streets along with the State and Local Police. So its not like this is a totaly new idea. Although I do not agree that this is a good idea, in reality it may possibly be what is needed. This is a Gang problem. Gang violence and Gang influence in the neighborhoods is what has caused this, and what must be stopped. But it wont as long as the residents of Chicago continue to embrace and glorify the Gang life style. Chicago Gangs have too much money and influence in Chicago, and until the people there realize what it is doing to them and stand up against it themselves, it will continue to grow. This should be a lesson in what Liberal Policies running a city bring you, and why the citizens of Chicago should rethink who they are following. Only the people of Chicago standing up and no longer allowing the gangs to raise their children, and run their neighborhoods will bring a permanent end to the problems they have. Any Law Enforcement actions will bring a temporary slow down, but not end the problem all together. The way to stop the problem begins with showing what the gangs are, criminals who prey on their own, and to stop glorifying the life style.

    Also isnt it good to note that the same people who suggested bringing in the National Guard are some of the same ones who push for lighter sentencing, less criminals in prison, and closing of our only Super-Max Prison that removes the Gang Chiefs from circulation.

  65. - "Old Timer Dem" - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 2:07 pm:

    Grandstanding is an accurate assessment of Ford and Fritcheys call for the national guard to patrol Chicago streets. Anything for a headline by these two showman. Daley should be angry with Ford and Fritchey for this type of headline grab. Lucky for both of them they are in safe seats.

  66. - Anonymous 9:04 - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 2:28 pm:

    What the Mayor thinks:

  67. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 2:31 pm:

    I’d start by reassigning Chicago police officers from their “Baywatch Patrol” along the Chicago lakefront, particularly the swimsuit model-infested area from Oak Street to Fullerton.

  68. - Frank - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 2:34 pm:


    Is the problem that the legislators are looking to solve about drug addicts, or is it about the drug dealers? While the problem of drug addicts commiting crimes is definately real, it probably isn’t the biggest problem with the war on drugs. And if you take out the criminal element of selling drugs, you can focus more resources on getting help to the addicts.

  69. - Loop Lady - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 2:41 pm:

    Fed Up: I am not a Daley defender by any means, but your comment seems patently unfair…gang/drug related violence is a fact of life in all of urban America, not just Chicago.

    It is a complicated mix of economic disinvestment, parental failure, lack of education, and general societal breakdown. To blame it on one leader shows your lack of understanding. Name me a major American city where this crisis has improved in the past twenty years…

  70. - Give it go - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 2:51 pm:

    Ask those folks who live in fear on a daily basis what they think of this idea - I’m sure they’ll give you a different response then those from the suburbs or downstate.

    I’ve seen one body on the side of a street on the west side 4 years ago, and the image is still with me today. I can’t imagine seeing that on a more regular basis.

    Good for Fritchey and Ford for finally saying, enough is enough already. Let’s use all of our resources to take our communities back.

  71. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 2:53 pm:

    –Name me a major American city where this crisis has improved in the past twenty years…–

    New York. They have, by far, the largest city police force in the United States, in real numbers and per capita.

  72. - Loop Lady - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 3:15 pm:

    Thanks Word…can you link to any factual data on this?

  73. - cassandra - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 4:02 pm:

    It’s flashy but what problem are they really trying to solve. I suspect that behind the gangs is the drug trade, run by some pretty smart people…pretty smart in political as well as an entrepreneurial sense. Who knows what kind of ties there are between local pols and the upper levels of the drug trade. In any case, the amount of money sloshing around (untaxed, I might add) is huge–and corrupting.

    Anyway, at this point, it’s probably a brains problem not a brawn problem. And just like Iraq, someday those soldiers would have to come out. An occupation can’t be an end in itself. We definitely need more brains on this problem–and that’s where the Chicago PD seems to have come up short.

  74. - MrJM - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 4:06 pm:

    “Putting aside the fact that Blagojevich came up with idea first, what do you think of it?”

    As a former member of the National Guard, I can say with complete confidence that I did not have ANY training for domestic law enforcement.

    All of my military training and skills had one ultimate objective: kill enough of their guys so that they stop trying to kill our guys.

    I’m not at all convinced that the military is a tool that can be successfully applied to domestic crime.

    – MrJM

  75. - Hoosier daddy - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 4:32 pm:

    Blago stole the idea from Evan Bayh, who sent 50 state troopers into Gary in 1995.

  76. - belmont cragin kid - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 4:35 pm:

    The stories surrounding the post-Katrina efforts do not give me any reason to believe that this would be a success here. Remember that, for the most part, these are guys just back from Iraq & Afghanistan. They’ve been through too much to expect them to deal with these young guns. Police and NG are NOT the same thing - you can’t replace one with the other. It’s not a case of all things being equal.

  77. - Fed up - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 5:00 pm:

    All across America crime is down over the past 20 years. Chicago included, in Chicago crime is down from 20 years ago just not by the amount as other citys. No other city has had one mayor for the last 20 years. Daley cares more about greenroofs and street planters than how many kids get killed in Engelwood or Austin.

  78. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 5:24 pm:

    The Guv is no fool and understands that the safety of our people is paramount. And particularly in this challenging election year he needs more than a lukewarm Mayor’s support come November–and to not look soft on crime (ala parolee program hit in primary season)….
    My sense is that if Richie comes calling, the Guard troops WILL come, but Hizonner the Mayor wants to give Supt. Weis’ “9% police concentration plan” a decent shot to succeed 1st. But IF the murder numbers in Chi. town dramatically escalate any time soon…I can hear those troops–and, yes, ordered in by the “Mighty Quinn”– marching already into the Windy City’s “danger zone” streets…. Don’t bet on it but do NOT rule it out either!

  79. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 6:01 pm:

    The National Guard story is the lead story at 6 on Chicago Channels 2, 5 and 7.

  80. - NRA associate - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 8:52 pm:

    The National Guard can not become the street police. In cases like Katrina, it is definately needed, but maybe Chicago needs to loosen its gun laws. Many far lefties don’t realize that criminals do not carry FOID cards or abide by the gun laws, but do commit the crimes. Conceal carry laws would make the crime rate drop, except in the case of gang warfare. Just my opinon.

  81. - Stop it! - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 11:11 pm:

    Did somebody say :”grandstanding” Another bad Ford bill. Its the most asinine idea I’ve heard today.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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