Saturday, January 24, 2009

(Another) Open Letter to Commander Sobczyk

Commander Sobczyk: I am distressed by your cavalier defamation of citizen journalists ("bloggers") with associations to Rogers Park. I do not pretend to speak on behalf of other blogs and web sites associated with Rogers Park, but I am confident that every one of them would agree with me when I say that your careless and cowardly reference to "a recent community website" in your undated, untitled flyer casts each and every website - not just bloggers - in a bad light. My blog's web site is "," and so it is associated with Rogers Park, so I am personally asking that you issue a public statement naming the "community website" and citing the URL of the site's page on which you allege "an anonymous e-mail was posted regarding alleged 911 and Chicago Police Department indifference regarding an attack" on a synagogue in your 24th District. Yes, I said "cowardly" above. Commander Sobczyk, to make a vague public accusation without naming the accused takes little spine and, for a man in your position, even less brains. If you know the name of the web site, name the name. By not doing so, you libel each and every other web site that has any association with Rogers Park and, for that matter, with any other neighborhood within the 24th District. Commander, we in the media, whether humble bloggers, little community web sites or the big mainstream daily newspapers, are used to hearing people in your position brush off our questions with the excuse that you cannot comment without the blessing of CPD spokesperson Monique Bond. Is Ms. Bond clearing the recent spate of irresponsible communiques from your office? Has your superior officer, Area Chief Bruce Rottner, cleared and approved your vague, accusatorial, amateurish and insulting responses to the legitimate concerns of local residents? The written words coming from your desk within the past week have shown a level of amateurism and immaturity never before displayed by the men who have occupied the office in which you sit, Commander Sobczyk. You're leaving quite a trail of documented and archived public relations incompetence. Your recent actions have only served to set back the advances made in the trust and confidence levels that the residents of the 24th District had in their local police brass, thanks to the positive efforts and good communications skills of your predecessors. Quite frankly, sir, you should be embarrassed and ashamed. We, all of us who are in any way associated with Rogers Park, are embarrassed and ashamed both for you - and by you. Tom Mannis Chicago News Bench RELATED: Open Letter to 24th Dist Commander (the first one, Jan. 23) Got a Problem in Rogers Park? Blame the Bloggers