Daley: Cameras will make us safer
January 31, 2006
City Hall Reporter
Mayor Daley on Monday embraced a radical plan to require every licensed Chicago business open more than 12 hours a day to install indoor and outdoor cameras.
"Block clubs, community organizations want cameras. ... They can't walk down the street. ... Their kids have to go around a corner away from the gang-bangers. You can't walk to church. You can't get on the CTA. ... Cameras really prevent much crime. Cameras also solve a lot of crime. The terrorist attacks in London were solved by cameras. The whole incident was solved by cameras," Daley said.
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Roper estimated that 12,000 businesses -- maybe more -- are open for more than 12 hours a day and, therefore, would be covered by the sweeping camera mandate. That includes roughly 7,000 restaurants, more than 100 hotels and scores of retail establishments.
"Are there enough cameras in production to do what they're asking us to do?" Roper said.
Businesses will close earlier?
If the mayor's endorsement translates into City Council approval of the ordinance championed by Ald. Ray Suarez (31st), business leaders will demand tax breaks and a phase-in similar to the sprinkler ordinance that gives older high-rises 12 years to comply, Roper said.
And he predicted the requirement would ultimately translate into fewer hours and lower wages.
"Some places will take a look at the cost and say, 'We'll only be open for one shift or a shift and a half. They'll take a look at their last two hours and say, 'I'm not making that much anyway. I'll just close earlier.' Employees will lose that money," Roper said.
Two years ago, with help from a $5.1 million federal homeland security grant, the city announced plans to install 250 cameras at locations thought to be at high risk of a terrorist attack, link them and 2,000 existing cameras to the 911 center and equip them all with software capable of spotting "suspicious and unusual behavior."
City Hall is now finalizing a contract for "Operation Virtual Shield," Daley's Big Brother plan to link 1,000 miles of "sometimes stand-alone fiber" into a unified "homeland security grid" -- complete with sensors to monitor the city's water supply and detect chemical and biological weapons.
The city also made an unprecedented offer to the private sector. Businesses that agreed to pay an undisclosed fee would have cameras outside their entrances and even in their stairwells monitored by the 911 center.
Last summer, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Boeing Co. had become the first Chicago business to join the camera network.
On Monday, City Hall disclosed that a dozen corporations -- ranging from utilities to companies in the La Salle Street financial district -- also have signed on. The fee is being negotiated.
"Downtown, we'll take a building [that has] cameras. We'll retrofit those cameras. ... We're working with Navy Pier. We're working with McCormick Place, retrofitting cameras, every building downtown," the mayor said.
London has 200,000 cameras monitoring virtually every public move its citizens make. Daley wouldn't go so far as to say he wants to duplicate the London network. He would only say he's "looking for more and more cameras all over."
'It's their land,' Daley says
Chicago's surveillance network could be dramatically enhanced if businesses open more than 12 hours a day are required to install and monitor cameras to record what goes on inside the place and in the parking lot. The only exceptions to the edict proposed by Suarez would be washrooms and changing areas.
Last week, business leaders lined up in opposition to the mandate on grounds it could add anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 to their costs -- even before monitoring expenses.
But, Daley said Monday he's all for the idea.
"Look at the police radio [log]. ... Why should we be clearing every parking lot out for the owner of the drive-in? That's their responsibility. It's their land," Daley said.
The mayor endorsed the camera mandate after unveiling a $4 million incident center at the 911 building that, among other things, will serve as the new home for Snow Command.
UPS Driver Attacked By Middle School Students
Jan 31, 2006
(CBS) BELLWOOD, Ill. A UPS driver was savagely beaten by middle school students while delivering packages in the western suburbs Friday.
The attack happened in Bellwood along the 3200 block of St. Charles. A teenager was arrested Monday after admitting he was involved in the incident. Another juvenile is expected to turn himself in Tuesday to appear in a line-up.
In a CBS 2 excusive, Joanie Lum talked to the man who was savagely beaten just trying to do his job.
UPS driver Thomas Murphy says he was beaten by a group of school kids on busy St. Charles Road in Bellwood, the route he has driven for 12 years.
He says a teenager walked out in front of his delivery truck Friday at about 3 p.m. When he stopped the truck, 15 to 20 youths surrounded him.
"Somebody clocked me with a pipe. I took kicks from my right. My eyes caked over. I tried to get up and defend myself as best I could," Murphy said.
He was beaten from his head to his ankles.
"I remember being down on one knee, falling to the ground with kids on top of me," Murphy said.
He thinks a passing motorist called for help.
The Bellwood police believe the attackers came from Roosevelt Middle School, located a couple of blocks away. They have stepped up patrols in the area.
“If other delivery drivers are going to face this, we want our patrols in the area," said Bellwood Police Chief Robert Collins.
“Somebody should be held accountable for these kids. They run wild like a pack of wolves, where's the parents?" Murphy said.
In spite of his trauma, Murphy says he wants to get back to work.
"I have every intention of getting back on my route. I'd like to do it with some sense of security," he said.
Police say an anonymous witness came forward with the names of several people involved in the attack.
God forbid his cops should arrest these assholes & throw them in jail????????????
The Cops can't walk down the street either
I simply cannot imagine such a problem????????????