Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  Cook County Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Who's being held in contempt?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Chicago Tribune
Editorial

Lambasting top Cook County officials in court last week, a federal judge couldn't fathom why Board President John Stroger & Co. didn't budget a major increase for new guards at the County Jail.

"The fact that there is nothing in this budget, as proposed so far today, to meet those staffing needs, can only be described as mind-boggling," huffed U.S. District Judge George Marovich. "Do you people ever talk to one another? ... There are some problems here, people, that need to be solved."

There are problems, all right. But Marovich is advocating the wrong remedy.

The sheriff's office needs a bigger payroll like Donald Trump needs a bigger ego.

The sheriff's office has a bloated, unaccountable patronage army. Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan wants even more people. Stroger has griped about those demands but hasn't forced Sheahan to run a more efficient operation.

Judge Marovich, who oversees a consent decree dealing with inmate population and staffing at the jail, thinks new guards would make the facility safer and more humane. There might have been a stronger argument for that a few years ago, when the jail population was soaring. But the world of the sheriff's office is changing.

Consider the trends:

- The average Cook County Jail population has dropped from more than 11,000 in 2002 to about 9,700 today.

- Crime in unincorporated Cook County, over which Sheahan has jurisdiction, has dropped by 28 percent since 1996.

- The unincorporated area patrolled by the sheriff's police has shrunk by 53 percent in the last six years, thanks to annexations by local towns. Cook County had about 160 square miles of unincorporated area in 1997. By 2004, the sheriff's unincorporated jurisdiction had shrunk to about 64 square miles.

- In 1991 the county had 11 uniformed patrol officers for every 10,000 residents in the unincorporated areas. Now it has nearly 26 officers per 10,000 residents.

- Between 1994 and 2004, the sheriff's budget swelled by more than $163 million, or 64 percent.

So the logical response is ... to dramatically expand the sheriff's payroll?

If the sheriff needs more jail guards, he can find them within his budget. According to Commissioner Michael Quigley, who has studied the sheriff's operations, hundreds of new guard positions could be created under the existing budget if the County Board forced the issue.

Sheahan could reallocate money and positions, run a more efficient operation and take advantage of opportunities to save millions of dollars. But he doesn't see it that way.

"We shouldn't have to rob from Peter to pay Paul," said Sheahan spokesman Bill Cunningham. "We're not going to take sheriff's police officers off the street to staff Cook County Jail."

No one is talking about risking public safety. Process serving and janitorial services could be outsourced at a savings. Jail overcrowding could be alleviated by placing more non-violent inmates on electronic monitoring at home. The county-run boot camp costs more than $7 million a year to run. Some of those folks could go to state boot camps.

"Just because you care about law and order, don't believe everything the guy with the badge says," Quigley said. "Otherwise, bring out your checkbook."

Judge Marovich has suggested he will hold board members in contempt if they don't come up with hundreds of new jail guards by late February. It will be a shock if Stroger and Co. work that fast.

No, they don't want to risk the judge's wrath, they don't want to be held in contempt of court.

But the answer isn't to hold the taxpayers in contempt.



Recent Headlines

Perkins Woods Volunteer Workday Announcement
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Board Approves Planning for Progress Strategic Plan
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Office of the Cook County Board President

Dart: Concealed Carry Law Fell Short On Review Process
Monday, January 19, 2015
CBS Chicago

New stats: United Center couldn't seat all Cook County residents with concealed-carry permits
Friday, January 16, 2015
Chicago Sun-Times

Bird Conservation Network: 2014, the Year in Review
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Land Bank seeks director to succeed Brian White
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle details 2nd-term plans for Cook County
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Chicago Tribune

County Clerk Lauds Signing Of Voter Rights Bill
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Journal Online

Cook County forest preserves get new look thanks to amateur photographer
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Cook County tackles its 'paper problem' to free up storage
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
Belleville News-Democrat

Reserve Your Cook County Picnic Grove for 2015 Dates
Friday, January 02, 2015
Oak Park Patch

County, Chicago Architecture Foundation partner to address County Hospital future
Friday, January 02, 2015
Gazette Chicago

2015 PERMITS OPENING DAY
Friday, January 02, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

How to apply for Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation scholarship
Friday, January 02, 2015
Daily Herald

Cook County cameras-in-court program starts Monday
Friday, January 02, 2015
WLS ABC Channel 7

Final Order in the Cook County Non-Titled Personal Property Use Tax Litigation Spells Out Standards for County To Process Claims for Refund
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
JD Supra Business Advisor

Major Habitat Resoration to Begin at Dam #1 Near Wheeling
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Daley Center civil juries in a nutshell
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Judge clears path for inmate to sue sheriff over hospital bed shackling
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Sheriff Dart: It's time to stop packing the jail
Monday, December 22, 2014
Chicago Reader

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP