Monday, April 4, 2016

Police radios like laws and sausages; we don’t want to listen too closely

There are those people who get their kicks out of listening to police radio broadcasts.

As in those live reports from dispatcher sent out to officers so as to allow the citizens on patrol to be better informed about what is happening. And also to allow those officers to keep the brass appraised of what is happening – in real time.

YET WE HAVE had incidents in recent weeks where it appears what the Chicago Police officers are hearing are rants and rages filled with all kinds of slurs.

The official line we’re getting from the police is that it isn’t the cops themselves who are saying such mean-spirited things. It is outsiders who have somehow gained access to the radio frequencies who are going about saying things, usually racially-motivated.

Perhaps they’re trying to make the police look bad. Although I suspect they’re really just nit-wits who think that “freedom of speech” consists of their rants, with no one else permitted to respond in kind.

Which really goes against the whole concept of freedom of expression that exists in our society. Everybody does have a right to say what they want, but it doesn’t mean you get the last word.

AND AS FOR those who think they can turn to police radio frequencies to cover themselves up, about all I’d have to say is that they are wormy excuses for human beings.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said in recent days he’d like to see both the Cook County state’s attorney and federal prosecutors do their own investigations. Which could result in criminal charges.

I’m sure there are some nit-wits out there who want to think this is an over-reaction. But it isn’t.

What is really being said by police over such radios?
Those are restricted radio frequencies set aside for official police communications. The fact that someone wants to whine and complain about “n----rs” in all the various forms of the English language is little more than petty.

THERE IS THE fact that while the radio airwaves do belong to the people, they are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. So the idea that someone going onto a frequency restricted for police use is committing a crime isn’t the least bit of an exaggeration.

Maybe someone thinks they’re making the police look bad by saying such stupid things publicly. More likely, they’re showing us their own lack of intelligence, and in a way that crosses over the line into criminal behavior.

So here’s hoping that investigators are able to figure out which people are doing this kind of juvenile behavior – which ranks up there with making prank phone calls to people in terms of cleverness.

Besides, those police frequencies ought to be kept clear for official business. Because anybody who has ever used a scanner device to listen to those communications knows they don’t need to be goosed up.

THE KIND OF things that get discussed are bizarre enough.

I still remember one time back in my days as a reporter-type person for the old City News Bureau, I was sitting in the newsroom on an overnight shift when we hear the call about the “naked woman being chased down the street” in the vicinity of 95th Street and Western Avenue.

I also remember it was on a New Year’s Eve-turning-into-Day (perhaps 2 a.m., if I remember right). Which makes me wonder to this day how drunk everybody in that incident was, and if perhaps the woman in question managed to escape because her chasers were too bombed out of their skulls to catch her?

The true source of their ire?
Which, in a certain tawdry way, has a touch of humor to it, compared to some buffoon who wants to use police communications to take pot shots at the Black Lives Matter activist movement.


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