Daley, Weis Warm to Security Guard Proposal
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Mar 23, 2009 3:20PM
A controversial proposal by South Side aldermen Anthony Beale (9th) and John Pope (10th), which would give security guards who patrol three commercial strips the right to write tickets for minor violations such as parking, loitering, littering and graffiti, has caught the ear of both Mayor Daley and Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis. As Mayor Daley continues to tussle with the Fraternal Order of Police over contract negotiations and pay raises, he's expressing interest in the idea.
This weekend, Daley said, "It's not a bad idea. The more police you have out there ... I like the concept ... it will help us." While not as committal, Weis also expressed an interest, mentioning how many officers don't like issuing the minor citations. Said Weis, "In these times, let’s be creative. If we can have police officers focusing on higher priority crimes, I think it’s worth looking at...It's in the concept phase; we have to have a lot of discussions. Anything we can do in today's times that would put more officers on the street to address crimes of violence is worth looking at."
Not surprisingly, the Fraternal Order of Police - who just gave Weis a no-confidence vote last week - do not like the plan one bit. FOP third vice president Greg Bella said last week, "They're not helping us. When you put somebody out there who does not know the job, it makes double work for us.'' Under the proposal, citation writing powers would be given to security guards working for Total Security Management of Oakbrook Terrace who currently patrolling Michigan Avenue from 100th to 116th, Commercial Avenue from 83rd to 92nd, and 103rd Street from State to Corliss. Ald. Beale defended the proposal, saying, It gives the community more control over illegal activity. Police are there to serve and protect. If we can give them some extra help to serve and protect, that's a win-win for everybody." [Tribune, Sun-Times]