Friday, February 29, 2008

Second City Cop

Second City Cop is written by an anonymous group of CPD officers illustrating the trials of a patrol officer. This week, The Chicagoist did an interesting interview with SSC about the recent shake-up in the department and the lumps CPD has taken over the past year.

The interview, and the blog are pretty interesting. I think the fact that the blog takes a political stance (Links for Right Thinking People) distracts from the substance of the site: The Job. I was immediately put off. Besides that, I was pleasantly surprised. It is well written and thought out. I think people are want to believe "Cops Suck" or that "You want them on that wall... you NEED them on that wall" and not think about all the intense shit they deal with, the bureaucracy, the death, the mettle necessary to do what they do: the daily stare into the abyss that is our society without going crazy. Just like there are good and bad people, there are good and bad cops, and we tend to paint them with too broad a brush.

That said, a lot of the substance of the blog deals with departmental minutiae, and disgust with the new Superintendent (Jody Weis from the FBI, in case you live in a cave) trying to create a trust relationship with community leaders in high crime neighborhoods, namely "the reverends." There is a lot of talk about certain "demographics" who make up, according to SSC, the majority of perps, the disparaging of Weis' attempt at hiring more minorities and conducting sensitivity training... the list of grievances goes on. Fine. This is America, say and think what you like. However, how can you constantly say others don't look at a cop's lot from a cop's perspective, when you don't look at anything from the perspective of community leaders (or "reverends" or "fronts for gang activity"). Any hint at this double standard is met with "I put my life on the line every day".

Needless to say, policing a city the size of Chicago, with the breadth of issues this city faces is a daunting task. There are no easy or definitive fixes. But cops, like the "reverends" need to realize that they also don't have all the answers.