Monday, November 10, 2014

Calling all sheriffs - be n Washington on Dec. 10

Many sheriffs in the United States are expected in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, December 10, to let President Barack Obama know that they oppose his plan to grant favors to millions of illegal aliens.

These are sheriffs who believe in the Constitution of the United States and who believe that laws ought to be followed. They believe the border of the United States should be a border and not a road paved in gold for anyone who wants to cross into the U.S.

Read this article.

How big is the illegal alien in McHenry County? Of the County's 307,000 residents, how many are illegal aliens?

Where should the McHenry County Sheriff be on December 10? Vote in the poll to the right.

November focus on distracted driving

The November target of the Woodstock Police Department is distracted drivers.

So, if you are

chatting on a handheld cell phone
watching your favorite movie on your smart phone
looking for something on YouTube
reading your email
sending email
reading Facebook
reading the Northwest Herald

expect to see bright lights in your future.

Don't get caught reading The Woodstock Advocate while you are driving in Woodstock. That might earn you an extra ticket. Even now.

The PD couches their focus in safety terms, but we never see any statistics about just how dangerous distracted driving really is. So, is it just "show me the money"?

Read the Northwest Herald article here.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Weak Daily Herald interview with Sheriff-elect Prim

Sheriff-elect Bill Prim was interviewed by the Daily Herald. You can read it here.

Bill should have followed his pre-election strategy of staying out of the limelight. It's a soppy interview with no power at all.

I want Bill to succeed. The McHenry County Sheriff's Department desperately needs an infusion of integrity, honesty, transparency, and a desire to serve.

The Sheriff earns about $150,000/year. Glad to hear that Bill will be giving up his part-time security job; frankly, he should have given it up already. Has he already turned in his badge and resignation at the Kirkland, Ill. PD? (Kirkland's website indicates three police officers (chief, sergeant, patrolman), plus maybe some part-timers and auxiliary officers. How many badges has Chief Paul Lindstrom handed out over the years?)

Now what was wrong with what Bill apparently told the Daily Herald?

"You start by building trust." You don't "build" trust. You earn trust. Bill will need to say what he means and mean what he says. Then the deputies and the public will decide whether they can trust him.

Developing a program "... in conjunction with correctional officers and deputies, as well as with supervisor participation..." Sounds like collaboration, not leadership, to me. A first important step will be an order that reports will be written by deputies individually and independently. No more "team" efforts to write reports that mesh like gears of a fine Swiss watch. Seven or eight or ten deputies are not going to see exactly the same thing, and their reports shouldn't read like a three-act play.. Order the supervisors not to stand up in front of them and direct report-writing with a baton.

Wonder what I mean? In two reports in the David Maxson fatal injury case (Maxson died in 2006, after he was shot by a then-Deputy Zane Seipler with a beanbag "less-than-lethal" shotgun) there were identical 72-word strings of wording. The words, spacing and punctuation were identical. They were exactly the same. Copy-and-paste. Seventy-two words in a row - in two reports. And the supervisor approved those reports! I still remember my first thought when I read the five-to-seven reports I received; I thought, "The same person wrote all these reports!"

Supervisors will "mentor" personnel? Where, then, will the line blur between mentoring and training and supervising?

Prim didn't get elected because of the "... infighting and the bickering between the sheriff's office and the state's attorney's office..." Prim beat out Zinke because enough people who were sick and tired of the Nygren regime, and they responded to the efforts of Team Prim. The Republican Primary was close. Prim beat Zinke by 1/3 of !% of the vote in that race - less than 100 votes out of (how many? 29,000?).

As for a "citizens advisory board that will study policies outlined by the International Association of Chiefs of Police", that will be worthless if all they do is study the policies of the IACP. If Prim wants an effective citizens advisory board, he should let them tell him what is wrong at MCSD; i.e., where MCSD is not serving the residents of McHenry County.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

MIAT - who will lead?

MIAT = Major Investigations Assistance Team

Who will lead MIAT?

Undersheriff Andy Zinke has been the titular head of MIAT, a County-wide task force of specialists from a number of police agencies.

Why do I ask this question now?

There were four homicides in May-June 2011 that were in the McHenry County Sheriff's Department jurisdiction.

MIAT was not called out to assist!

I believe that MIAT's involvement would have been important, but MCSD, in all its glory, did not activate MIAT.

Perhaps with the approaching elimination of the Undersheriff position at MCSD (one plank of Sheriff-Elect Bill Prim's campaign platform), the head of one of the County's municipal police departments will assume the responsibility for activating MIAT.

Any recommendations?

CORRECTION: 8:26 PM. I have been informed that the above article mis-states Bill Prim's position on the Undersheriff position. A Prim supporter has explained to me that Bill never said he would eliminate the position of Undersheriff. At the time I wrote the article earlier today, I believed my memory to be correct, and I thought that Bill intended to halt the waste of $140,000/year on a redundant position.

Why would the Sheriff, at the top of the chain of command, need a $140,000 employee to stand between him and the commanders in charge of the various divisions of the Department. Why wouldn't the Sheriff just have those five-six commanders or "chiefs" report directly to him, so that he gets their reports and feedback directly, instead of filtered through one subordinate.

Nygren used the Undersheriff to run the Department for four years, so he could enjoy a Panama Canal cruise and abundant vacation and off-duty time away from the Department, earning him the title of Cell Phone Sheriff.

I think voters expect Bill Prim to be in the office, running the Department. So why would Bill need an Undersheriff?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Prim to be next Sheriff

The results in the McHenry County Sheriff's race have been pretty constant at 60/40 from the first count. At the 9:50PM posting of 93.87% of the vote, Prim maintains his 60% to Harrison's 40%, and he'll come out in the Number 1 position at the finish line.

Total votes counted at 9:50PM are 60,760 and represent 93.87% of the districts reporting. An estimated 64,700 votes will be cast so, even if Harrison got 100% of the remaining votes, it won't be enough to top Prim.

At the 9:50PM mark, Prim had 36,909 votes and Harrison had 23,851 votes.

It was a hard-fought contest.

Some are going to say the "best man" won, but McHenry County voters and residents won't know whether the "best man" won until well into the four-year term, which begins December 1.

If Prim keeps his campaign promise to eliminate the office of the Undersheriff, to what rank with Zinke revert? Will Zinke ever stay around? And what about the rumor that Mayor Sager wanted to bring Zinke on board as the Woodstock Chief of Police? And will Prim get rid of the "Commanders" and just have Lieutenants and Captains running things?

Watch for new hires and for lateral hires. Rumor has it that a number of law-enforcement officers from other jurisdictions are chomping at the bit to join MCSD.

If Prim falls for the "lateral-hire" gimmick, new deputies will come on board at high pay grades and may reduce or eliminate promotion opportunities for deputies who have devoted their careers to moving up through the ranks.

And new people will then come in with all their bad habits and have to be re-trained to the way things are done in McHenry County. Oh, wait; then maybe they won't have to change all that much, after all.

Show time!

If you didn't vote early or absentee, today is the day.
Even if you moved and didn't re-register, you might be able to vote. Go to your polling place and ask. There is a very small window of opportunity that might allow you to vote. Get the right answer at the polling place or call 815.334.4242. The election judges have printed guidelines about this.

Every single vote in the Sheriff's race will matter today.

By the way, I'm on my way to vote now and proudly wearing my "Vote Early & Vote Often" button. I wonder what the reaction will be in Columbia, South Carolina to this button.

When I left the polling place in Woodstock, my parting words were, "See you later."

Monday, November 3, 2014

How scared is Team Prim?

From the tone of email that is coming to me and from the comments on other blogs, Team Prim is running scared about tomorrow's voting.

I've been warned, threatened, chastised, blamed, ridiculed ... you name it.

In fact, I'm reminded of a story told to me in 1966 by man for whom I had high regard. He told me that, when he was a young salesman, he had been sworn at, threatened, spit on, yelled at, been hung up on and had doors slammed in his face;"but you know," he said, "I've never been insulted."

Regardless of whether Harrison or Prim receives the higher number of votes, the sun will still come up in the East on Wednesday morning.

I'd say that McHenry County voters don't really know what kind of sheriff they'll get if Prim comes out on top. There will be increased militarization and the potential for its use against the citizens.

Why do I say this? Because Prim has been a follower throughout his police career. While he claims leadership skills on his website, he has never been in a leadership role. He has always had a boss, albeit the police chief. His job was to follow orders, not make the orders.

Nobody apparently ever asked him during this campaign what experience he had, if any, with large budgets, manpower increases and reductions, developing contracts and handling labor issues. Well, maybe somebody did ask him, but who heard the answers?

His minions are worried about Jim Harrison's signs. How petty. Worry about something large, folks, like whether a SWAT team will be at your door over a parking ticket or an unpaid court fine. Or whether some rogue deputies will bust up your home and intimidate or beat up a suspect.