Monday, May 7, 2012

Oops! I’m sure police station looked good on drawing board, in blueprints

It always amuses me when I’m passing through the area where the Morgan Park and Beverly neighborhoods converge. Because invariably, I have to pass the area police station on Monterey Avenue.

Watch out for those blooming leaves. They kept a police security camera at th Morgan Park District stationhouse from obtaining images of people who might have been trying to tamper with squad cars. Photograph provided by Public Building Commission.

I’m not necessarily knocking the new structure used by the Morgan Park police district, which looks from the outside (I’ve never had cause to set foot – voluntarily, or against my will – inside) like it is much more spacious and modern than the old structure.

THAT BUILDING HAD the look of a police stereotype – a neighborhood stationhouse that was probably far too cramped for all the activity of modern-day law enforcement that was performed there.

Yet it is a structure that I doubt I ever will forget. A part of me always expects to see the old bunker-like building when I drive through the area, and feels a sense of disappointment when I see the new one.

Similar, in fact, to the feelings I get whenever I drive north on the Dan Ryan Expressway and get to around 35th Street – half expecting to see that whitewashed brick building where the White Sox play, and instead see the pink building with the big banner reminding me of the seven-year-old World Series title.

So excuse me for letting my sense of humor run wild when I read in the Chicago Tribune this weekend about the “criminal” activity that took place right in the police station parking lot.

BASED ON CIRCUMSTANTIAL evidence, it would seem that the activists who want to be in Chicago for the upcoming NATO conference had some mischief planned for the police.

A chunk of concrete with an anarchist “A” was placed in the parking lot so as to block some police squad cars from being able to move. Police later noticed that someone had been tampering with the lug nuts on some of the squad cars.

Some lug nuts were removed outright, while others merely had theirs loosened.

I used the word “mischief” to describe this activity because it seems the level of vandalism committed here was minor. We don’t get the image of a squad car trying to start up, then losing its tires in mid-chase.

WHOEVER DID THIS is definitely in the minor leagues of vandalism. I’d call him (or her) Mickey Mouse, except that would probably be a libelous statement toward all cartoon characters.

So why am I finding anything about this amusing?

It is the fact that this building, like many others, has security cameras set up so that police can watch anyone who happens to be approaching the building.

In fact, there are those people (even, occasionally, myself) who wonder if the Chicago Police Department is getting carried away with all the cameras it wants to erect.

YET PERHAPS WE should look at the Morgan Park District as an example of the potential for glitches.

Because it seems that the police station has a camera set up on its parking lot. Yet newly-bloomed leaves on area trees literally are blocking the camera’s view.

It is why the police do NOT have any video images that could be enhanced to give them crude pictures of the people who would want to commit such a dastardly deed – which on a certain level strikes me as being nothing more than mischief.

That is why no arrests are imminent. Police do not know who did this, and there’s a good chance they’re never going to figure it out.

UNLESS, BY CHANCE, the people who are doing this are stupid enough (ie., possessing big-enough egos) to think they can go back and do it again. Because now, the Chicago Tribune reports, there are officers positioned so they can watch the parking lot.

I’d hate to be the cop whose duty assignment that day is to sit and watch people park their cars.

But even moreso, I’d hate to be the guy who designed that stationhouse and placed security cameras without taking into account the outside greenery.

I don’t care how pretty it looked on the drafting table (or in today’s technology, on the computer screen).

THIS IS JUST too dippy of a reason for someone not to get caught.

I can’t help but envision the spirits of all those officers who worked throughout the decades at the old bunker-like building (the one whose address was 1830 W. Monterey Ave.) shaking their heads in disgust at the very thought.


1 comment:

Aaron said...

Just what is needed, more cops on the street...right outside the police station!