Our Little Sheriff Rides Again

The alderman has once again claimed credit for police work that had nothing whatever to do with her.

In a notice to the community yesterday about a “Public Safety Task Force,” complete with photo of herself gazing adoringly at a uniformed member of the Cook County Sheriff’s Police, a real, official police van in the background, Silverstein claims to have “organized a multijurisdictional task force operation today between the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, the 24th District Chicago Police and the Evanston Police.”

This “targeted operation” involved checking on parolees and those wearing court-ordered electronic monitors, arresting individuals for whom there are outstanding warrants, and “performing undercover vice operations.” She notes that the presence of so many police officers in the Ward makes us safe, and proudly claims this as the fourth such operation she’s “organized” since 2012.

How police managed “undercover vice operations” in the midst of such an overwhelming physical presence she did not say.

It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry.

This kind of baloney appeals to the base, afraid as they are of anyone who isn’t them.

But it’s absolutely ludicrous on its face. If it’s true that any alderman–let alone this one, a former accountant with no police background–can truly claim responsibility for planning and executing routine police work, then the City is in worse shape than we think.

She may have loaned her office as a base for these operations. She may have been advised as a courtesy that this activity was going to take place. But to suggest that she had an active role in either initiating or planning these activities is ridiculous. This is routine police work and cops have successfully cooperated across jurisdictions for years without the interference of self-serving politicians intent on building reputations as crime-busters.

She issued the same statement during the recent election campaign. Her Web site subsequently went through several iterations of it before her handlers settled on the claim that she coordinated these activities. It’s doubtful she did even that.

Playing to the exaggerated crime fears of her political base may enhance her street cred at Winston Towers, but it makes her look ridiculous everywhere else.

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