The Citizens for Community Action, Inc. would like to extend our sincere thanks to all the residents of Chicago who are concerned enough about the high crime in the various communities serviced by the 25th District Police Department to have signed our petition.
The petition was submitted to Superintendent Hillard on August 12, 2003. On August 14, 2003 a copy was hand delivered to Mayor Daley’s fifth floor office in downtown Chicago. In less than three hours it disappeared from Daley’s office.
On August 27, 2003 Wayne A. Strnad went to the Mayors Office to see what happened to the petition. He was directed to the 4th floor, Room 406. He met with Mr. Tony Durns and was informed they have the document somewhere but he wasn’t sure exactly where it was. Durns was looking for a SR number to find out where the document was sent.
To date Mayor Daley and the acting Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department Cline have refused to act. Camden, one of the spokespersons for the CPD, has tried to dismiss the will of the people by saying it only represents 1% of the people in the district. More than 2000 people signed the petition. Fact: The total signatures acquired is more than 9 times the amount needed to run for alderman in this city. Fact: respectable survey has between 500 ‚Ä“ 1000 participants and usually yields a margin of error between 1- 4%. We accumulated between 2 - 4 times the number of participants needed for an accurate survey. Also, Camden claims there are more than 200,000 people that are serviced in the district (ref: Chicago Tribune, Metro Section, Aug. 13, 2003) but Commander McCotter claims 213,000 people (Lerner Times, May 22, 2003). Either the district has lost some residents, probably due to the high crime, or the statistics provided by the Chicago Police Department offer erroneous information.
Admittedly, McCotter and crew are making some headway. For example, they issued three thickets to the Director of the Citizens for Community Action, Inc. during an information picket held at the railroad crossing on the South end of the Bricktown Mall and another, on private property, during the acquiring of signatures. However, during the period of time between the first two tickets and the third, they seemed to have missed more than 2,500 others who should have received tickets for the same alleged infraction. McCotter also missed several cars that are in the restricted area behind the 25th District that should have been ticketed.
Says Strnad, “On July 23, 2003 I sat in front of the 25th District Police Station and counted cars that should have been ticketed for the same alleged violation. I counted 217 cars in one hour from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM. This did not include the cars that entered the restricted area.” Coincidently, later that evening Strnad received his third ticket, on private property. The last parking violation Strnad received was more than eight years earlier, in 1995, for street cleaning in front of his home.
If only McCotter and crew were so efficient with other aspects of police work as they are with issuing me tickets then the 25th might be a safer place to live! Overall, crime is on the rise in the 25th since the beginning of the year. ÄĚ said Strnad and admitted to by Camden in his reply to the Chicago Tribune.
Still at bay is the data we requested via the Freedom of Information Act pertaining to the Rules for Caps that Sgt. Schultz used to intimidate Stella Nicpon, a 50 plus year resident of the Belmont-Cragin area. 23 Districts did comply with our FOIA but the 13th and 25th did not. The 13th District Commander was formerly associated with the 25th District.
Mayor Daley and Superintendent Hillard were sent an appeal letter (July 2, 2003 and coincidentally the same day Strnad received his first two parking tickets) to release the data for the rules for caps as well as the financials for the 13th and 25th District. To date, neither has replied. It seems eminent that we’ll have to file suit to acquire this public data.
On the other side of the coin the collection of money - it seems that the Department of Revenue cannot find any data online regarding the tickets issued to Mr. Strnad, despite the fact that their computers are spewing forth letters and judgments.
Says Strnad, “The Director of the Department of Revenue seems to have lost over 60 pages of documentation that were faxed and/or mailed certified/return receipt to her office. Those documents laid the foundation for my case and included a Freedom of Information Act request pertaining to tickets issued in the 25th District.”
On August 25, 2003 a call was made to the Director and a message left.¬ A call was never returned.¬ On August 26, 2003 Strnad called the Director‚Äs Office and talked with an assistant.¬ He then refaxed pages pertaining to the FOIA and a portion of the documentation regarding his case.¬ The Department of Revenue then called during one of the transmissions to tell him they were gathering the data for the FOIA.¬ There was no mention as to what was being done with the tickets Strnad received.
On August 27, 2003 Strnad received a phone call from Mrs. Martinez. Oddly enough, it occurred as he was waiting in Room 406. The Department of Revenue seems to have found the 60 page letter Strnad sent and will now process the contesting of the three tickets.
To put a stop to these coincidents of ticket issuances and flat out targeting of members of the Citizens for Community Action, Inc., charges of harassment are being filed shortly with the Office of Professional Standards. Strnad’s final statement, “We shall not accept to any degree, retaliatory measures or act of retribution that are employed by the Chicago Police Department or any other department of the City of Chicago. The community work we do to help people get needed services that have been lacking for years is yet to reach its apex.Ě
You are cordially invited to hear Mr. Strnad speak at Faulkner Elementary School, August 28, 2003 at 6:30 PM. He will be requesting $100 million dollars in capitol improvement funds for an area roughly bound by Central Park on the East, Harlem on the West, Belmont Avenue on the North and North Avenue on the South.
# # #