Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chicago's 24th District Brass Shakeup Raises Questions

ROGERS PARK, CHICAGO - The mood was jubilant at the 24th District cop shop when it was announced that Commander Steven Caluris was out, officially replaced on Monday, Dec. 1 by David A. Sobczyk. Caluris was not popular with his 24th Dist. officers, many of whom openly expressed their dislike of him. The mild-mannered Caluris left without fanfare. No send off. No public goodbye, in stark contrast to the overblown and messy "introduction" he received from 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore back on May 5, 2008. The transition leaves questions, however. The announcement of Sobczyk’s appointment was covered on Wednesday, Nov. 26 on Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis announced several key promotions and staff changes, including the creation of new positions inside the department. The announcement comes on the heels of the department's 2009 budget… Where did Caluris go? He now has Sobczyk’s previous duties. Sobczyk was given Caluris’s former job, and in the same shakeup Caluris was reassigned to Sobczyk’s former position as Commander, Deployment Operations Center within the CPD’s Bureau of Investigative Services. Not surprisingly, the mainstream press gave virtually no coverage to the shakeup, which involved not just the 24th District, but many other parts of the Chicago Police Department. Second City Sarge, for example, covered it on the 26th. However, on Monday, Nov. 24, two days before the announcement of Caluris’s ouster, Caluris was a panelist in a “Town Hall Meeting” to discuss policing and crime in Rogers Park. He sat at a table with State Senator Heather Steans, State Representative Harry Osterman, and Ald. Moore. Nobody told the roughly 75 attending Rogers Park residents that Caluris was about to be replaced as Commander of the 24th District. Sobczyk was not in the room. If he was, he did not make himself known to the neighbors. This all begs more questions: 1) Did CPD Chief Jody Weiss not tell any of the commanders involved of their pending job reassignments? 2) If Caluris was informed of his pending reassignment out of Rogers Park and 24th District, was he misrepresenting himself at the Town Hall Meeting? 3) Is Ald. Moore really so out of the loop that he was unaware of Caluris’s imminent ouster? 4) If Moore did not know, Is Jody Weiss so arrogant that he couldn’t give a heads-up to the aldermen who have territory within the 24th District? Sobczyk is a 25-year veteran of the CPD with FBI training. He is a nationally recognized expert on terrorism.

In an August 20, 2008 article at, he talked about terrorism and its relation to crime in general: According to Chicago Police Cmdr. David Sobczyk, head of the Deployment Operations Center, of which CPIC is an extension, focusing both on crime and terrorism strengthens the antiterrorism mission. Not only are everyday crimes sometimes precursors to a terrorist attack, but more importantly, having a center that is constantly being exercised 24/7 by responding to actual public safety incidents only makes staff more skilled and effective in dealing with a terrorist threat. (Source) Sobczyk’s resume includes being the Commander of the Chicago Police Department's Deployment Operations Center (DOC): “This Unit houses Chicago's Counter Terrorism Section and serves as the Police Department's intelligence hub. Commander Sobczyk is a veteran of over 25 years with the Chicago Police Department whose previous assignments include District Law Enforcement, the Public Housing Section, Gang Crimes Section, Vice Control, the Intelligence Section, Patrol Division Administration and the Gang Intelligence Section.” (Source) As noted above, Sobczyk is a terrorism expert. He has extensive experience working with “intelligence fusion,” the latest model of intelligence sharing between agencies. The model is also used by police departments, such as the CPD, to share information quickly between units within those departments. “Resources and databases are combined and critical crime-fighting information is shared, allowing law enforcement agencies big and small to be on the same page.” (Source) The motivation behind intelligence fusion is to “fill in gaps in intelligence-gathering that were discovered after the Sept. 11 attacks.” (Source) "The whole object is to change the investigative culture of what we do as a department, whether it's related to violent crime or Homeland Security, and we do a very good job of that," said Cdr. David Sobczyk of the Chicago Police Department. "Things that normally would have taken days, weeks or months to provide, we give instantaneously." (Source) Perfect. The new commander of the 24th District can now give us information “instantaneously” about local crime that “normally would have taken days, weeks or months to provide.” We look forward to 24th District crime statistics being “instantaneously” provided. While that would make residents happy, it would probably displease tight-lipped CPD spokeswoman Monique Bond. As for Ald. Moore, he’ll be oblivious to any difference. RELATED: Hit The Ground Running David A. Sobczyk profile (Homeland Defense Journal) Meaningless Town Hall Meeting Tonight in Rogers Park Town Hall Public Safety Meeting a Laugher New Commander: More of the Same Chicago Police Department Weblog Chicago Fusion Center Gives Police New Criminal Investigation ... Fatal Connection - Chicago Magazine - January 2006 Anti-terror center adds crime focus Surviving Chicago's sex slave trade - Fusion Centers Combine Law Enforcement on All Levels ...