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Today’s quotable

Friday, Jul 12, 2019

* Chicago Sun-Times

[Chicago police officers] arrested a total of 84,717 people in 2018 compared with 82,663 in 2017, a 2 percent increase, according to the Chicago Police Department. […]

So far this year, felony arrests have continued to rise, according to the police. There were 47,467 arrests through Sunday compared with 43,831 over the same period of 2018, an 8 percent rise.

Still, in 2009, there were 181,254 arrests. The police department’s arrest totals had steadily decreased year after year until 2018.

Martin Preib, second vice-president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said, “A central factor in the decline of arrests is the false vilification of the police by the activist media.”

Um, what? Is this an admission by the union of a police slowdown?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ok - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:04 pm:

    It is a complete admission.

    But they will just say it isn’t a coordinated slowdown. Just that it is individual officers’ own decisions and fear.

  2. - MakePoliticsCoolAgain - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:05 pm:

    = “A central factor in the decline of arrests is the false vilification of the police by the activist media.”=

    Unclear on the concept.

  3. - Perrid - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:13 pm:

    Could it be saying that the public isn’t cooperating in investigations because they don’t trust the police, leading to fewer arrests?

  4. - Streator Curmudgeon - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    ==Martin Preib, second vice-president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said, “A central factor in the decline of arrests is the false vilification of the police by the activist media.”==

    So if the vilification of the police is false, then why don’t the police ignore it and continue making arrests at the earlier rates?

    And while “activist” may have a negative connotation in police circles (as in “activist judges”), isn’t it the responsibility of the media to be activist rather than passive?

    Police are activist in setting up stings, using task forces, and targeting specific crimes and crime-prone locations.

    Why is it wrong, then, for the media to go beyond press releases and statistics to expose wrongdoing?

    But I guess it all depends on whom the media is exposing whether one considers them the “enemy of the people.”

  5. - OutOfState - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    ===Could it be saying===

    Maybe, but that’s not what he actually said. He’ll need to do better if he wants FOP to allow him within earshot of a reporter again.

  6. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:24 pm:

    I wonder if the FOP is aware of how much credibility they lost in the cannabis legalization process?

    Most of the time I couldn’t tell if it was the FOP/ISP or if someone was running a copy of reefer madness in the background.

    From my point of view, the so called activist media, was simply publishing quotes and videos of what these various police heads have been saying. It’s not the media that is making you look bad…

  7. - Say no to big government - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    The words activist and passive are not antonyms of one another.

    The media’s job shouldn’t be to vigorously oppose a cause or an issue, but to report the facts, whatever the facts may be. Too often, the media simply take up causes and sides and ignore all the facts. But, I do want the police to vigorously oppose crime.

  8. - Been There - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    I take it that the courts have thrown out so many cases that the police use to use just to haul them in for interrogation. That and quite a few lawsuits along with a change in social media are the main reasons

  9. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    I’ve been saying precisely this since the post-Laquan shooting an murder spike. It’s been painfully obvious that it was primarily a blue flu issue that drove the spike. Now they admit it. Disgusting.

  10. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:40 pm:

    Having been involved in the Cook County court system for 45 years, it is my opinion it is not a coordinated slowdown, and certainly not FOP directed. There are numerous factors involved, too many to be dealt with in any one comment, but here’s just a few to consider. The FOP, or any union, would not engage in cutting down the amount of work they do for fear that their numbers would be cut if the city thought because of lower numbers there is not the need for as many officers. Also, the number of officers has declined over the years. With the Corp Counsel’s Office settling more lawsuits than they try officers may figure they will not be backed up for their decisions. The homicide clearance rate is abysmal in part because of lack of witness cooperation. (The reasons for that also more involved than can be dealt with in a short comment.) And, just a final thought, the police follow the news and know what’s going on with cannabis both in the legislature and courtrooms. It’s much less of a hassle to just toss weed down a sewer or to the wind rather than go through the hassle of what will be basically wasted paperwork.This is not to say coppers don’t talk among themselves about the job, but individual choices rather than a coordinated effort from above is more likely. I’m sure both the Superintendent and the FOP would agree that trying for coordination is like herding cats.

  11. - Roman - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:48 pm:

    The decline started in 2009 and his been steady ever since. Lots of explanations, but the numbers are almost always most affect by street-level drug arrest. It should be noted that despite the downward trend in arrest leading up to 2014, Chicago recorded its lowest murder rate that year since 1966. Of course, the number of murders jumped considerably two years later.

  12. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:51 pm:

    I don’t see how someone can be both pro police and anti-big government. Maybe that’s just me.

  13. - Ace Laredo - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    It is an admission, and a bunch of the less wise coppers I know up here say similar things out in taverns. I can attest to two guys sitting in my local Golden Apple diner not moving a muscle when some fairly intimidating ne’er do wells almost barreled through a crosswalk full of pedestrians last week. I had the temerity to stare as they passed and note the plate; they stopped the car and the driver shouted some bravado at me and peeled out. CPD sat and watched the whole thing and never broke their lunching stride.

    It’s incredible downtown near the tourist attractions. Homeless, the mentally ill, panhandlers, drug addicts, rowdy groups in general all over the place. And you never see cops anywhere.

  14. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:53 pm:

    if you want to follow the “Capitol Fax” of the Chicago Police Dapertment here is the link.

    The media is most certainly activist, and the citizens trust in the media to report the news fairly has never been lower.

  15. - LC - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:54 pm:

    “84,717 people in 2018 compared with 82,663 in 2017″

    -still alot (alot) of people arrested and alot of crime (too much) with just a small % difference…

    so on the one hand - media complains that too many are accused; but then also complains that too few are arrested?

  16. - NIU Grad - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 1:55 pm:

    It’s like they hired Martin Preib and told him “destroy our credibility every chance you get.” I think everyone expected quite the change when this FOP admin took over….but I didn’t expect it to be this comical.

  17. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 2:10 pm:

    ==if you want to follow the “Capitol Fax” of the Chicago Police Dapertment==

    I don’t see any reason to insult Capitol Fax by associating them with the Chicago police department, even tangentially.

  18. - Regular democrat - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 2:13 pm:

    I dont think one has to be a genius to see that the CPD is not as aggressive as it once was. They write tickets for a many quality of life issues that were once physical arrests. As a 30 year member of FOP I can 100 pct assure you they have never suggested a slowdown. Times change attitudes change and the politics has changed a lot .

  19. - Honeybear - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    This bugs me so much.
    I mean really gets me hot.
    I do understand solidarity and unionism
    I’ve been a union activist, steward
    and most important to me,
    A US Navy Veteran.
    I understand unity, solidarity and camaraderie.
    Covering up and justifying
    Illegal behavior
    unethical behavior
    bad behavior

    It against the spirit of this nation, it’s institutions, it’s laws, it’s aspirations, it’s communities, and it’s people.

    I knew better in the Navy.
    I knew better in my union.
    They know better in the FOP
    Stop, just stop

  20. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 2:20 pm:

    Insult the Capital fax audience by tangentially associating them with the Chicago Police Depatment?

    Nothing apparently wrong with insulting all of the approximately 13,500 officers and over 1,925 other employees who are sworn to serve and protect the people of Chicago by tangentially associating them the worst officers.

  21. - Honeybear - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    Here’s the other thing I don’t like
    Labor leaders looking away from
    this despicable behavior.
    The frontline union member
    Notices this
    Every time this happens
    frontline members think
    “Just like management”

    We can’t expect to change managements behavior
    when we’re unwilling to change our own.

  22. - supplied_demand - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 2:28 pm:

    ==the citizens trust in the media to report the news fairly has never been lower.==

    All this proves is that the propaganda spouted by the FOP (and the President) is working. Citizens believing something doesn’t make it true. For example, I could say the following statements:

    Citizens belief in the effectiveness of vaccines has never been lower

    Citizens belief in the flatness of the earth hits record low

    The beliefs of these citizens doesn’t change the roundness of the earth or the efficiency of vaccines, it proves that citizens are easily manipulated (mostly through fear).

  23. - Cassandra - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    Is it possible that there is actually, gasp, less crime?

    We are an advanced society that is aging considerably. That itself would seem to point towards a lower crime rate.

  24. - anon2 - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    The number of arrests plunged by 133,787 since 2009. That’s a 73.8% drop. Are there any reasonable explanations of such a dramatic decline? The crime rate hasn’t dropped by that much.

  25. - Truthteller - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 2:46 pm:

    Do the critics of the FOP want more arrests? An arrest may lead to incarceration. I thought we were against “mass incarceration “.
    Those critics of the cops who think they’re not making enough arrests should be explicit.
    No wonder cops are confused about their proper duties

  26. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    ===Do the critics of the FOP want more arrests? ===

    I think they want the cops to do their jobs instead of making excuses.

  27. - Roman - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 2:51 pm:

    Never lose sight of the fact that the FOP leadership cares little about what the general public thinks. Their media statements are designed for consumption by their membership. They’re up for re-election next year.

  28. - cassandra - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    I don’t think folks should be arrested for being “homeless, mentally ill, panhandlers, drug addicts” or even for being “rowdy”. If there have been fewer
    arrests in these categories, I’m for it.

  29. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 3:08 pm:


    Let me help you understand how I, and many others, see this;

    If an organization protects child abusers, I will not support that organization. If the members of that organization don’t hold their own members accountable, I will see the members as enablers of that behavior.

    Similarly, while I’m certain you think there are good officers, they have stood behind the blue line when it comes to accountability. To me, and others, that makes them complicit in the behavior of the bad actors.

    If they take that as an insult, then so be it. Maybe one day they will start to be more concerned with that oath you are repeating instead of their personal ego being insulted.

  30. - @misterjayem - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 3:23 pm:

    “A central factor in the decline of arrests is the false vilification of the police by the activist media.”

    Um, what? Is this an admission by the union of a police slowdown?

    I’m torn.

    On the one hand, the quote from Martin Preib couldn’t be clearer.

    But on the other hand, you can’t believe anything that issues from Fraternal Order of Police.

    – MrJM

  31. - Sounds Fishy - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 4:10 pm:

    Looks like the 181,000 arrests in 2009 were total arrests - felony and misdemeanor. The 84,000 arrests in 2018 appear to be felony only arrests. Somebody may correct me, but that’s what my 2 min of research shows.

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