October 24, 2016 – On July 7th of this year, Elgin’s Chief of Police Jeff Swoboda, put released Video on their Facebook page regarding the mid-year crime stats citing that Armed Robberies were up a little, and so were burglaries….and shootings….etc. Then he made the statement that “our streets were safer than they were!” You’ll often hear him recite this over and, word for word. When he says “crime is at a 40-year low!”, know that he’s talking about one specific crime, like thefts of pencils or slimjims at 7-11. Make no mistake. Robberies are way up. Shootings are way up! In fact, let’s talk about shootings a little.
This past June, after EPD posted a story about a shooting arrest on their Facebook page, I asked about the other 3 shootings that had occurred within that 24 hour period on June 29th & 30th. Elgin city councilman Terry Gavin said he wasn’t aware of any other shootings so I posted actual report numbers (taken right from CrimeReports.com haha!) for the incidents and the good councilman responded “Totally false Bill!”, and said that “the calls were probably fireworks because, it IS 4th of July weekend Bill!”
So, let’s be perfectly clear for Councilman Gavin, they were in fact, shooting calls. 4 reports within a 24 hour period leading up to the big 4th of July weekend! The councilman owes me an apology, but I won’t hold my breath.
A week or so ago when EPD posted about the September 11th shootings on the east side, (yes, there’s been quite a few this year!), I asked a simple question about the second shooting that night at the same location. In all, 30 rounds of spent shell-casings were found. At the first call there were six .45 cal. rounds found. 20 minutes after officers left that call, there was another shooting where 24 spent shell-casings were found. These were 9mm. When I posted this info, the person administering the EPD Facebook page insinuated that I was lying saying that my information was wrong. Of course, what she was referring to was the timetable I mentioned. I mistakenly said the shootings were 20 minutes apart when they were 2½ hours apart, ‘my bad. The facts are, as I stated them above. I will be posting the actual reports as obtained via FOIA from the Elgin Police Department. And again…… an apology is in order, but I won’t hold my breath on this one either. I’m asking the questions that any reporter ( and I’m actually a Photographer, not a reporter!) should be asking, but since the PD has road-blocked the media from information as it happens, it’s harder than ever to get news out. I thought this was news. So did others. Chief Swoboda thought otherwise. When someone asked on FB why there wasn’t more information put out about this shooting, he responded with:
“the narrative that we aren’t posting information is false. In addition to our posts on Facebook (see below), we discussed the incident on Friday with the Fuzz, at the Chief’s Community Meeting and at the Blackhawk neighborhood meeting. We conducted two canvasses and a Walk and Talk. The information was also on crimereports.com. “
Yeah….they knocked on doors, and maybe talked about it at a church meeting about Parking. This way it was contained. On Facebook, they most recently started hash-tagging the more serious items with #EPDCommunityNotification or just #CommunityNotification. That’s the best way to sift through the unicorn and puppy posts.
This is the Chief’s new ‘out’. “It’s listed on Crimereports.com so that’s being transparent”. Good luck finding things though unless you already know what you’re looking for. Yes, they did post on Facebook about doing a “Walk-n-Talk” and I’m sure he gave a brief mention about it on the WRMN radio show (who the f*** watches or listens to that crap?). And where were the local papers on this? Where was the Chicago Tribune or The Daily Herald* when this happened? 30 shots fired at a house…….. and not a peep! You should be concerned. Real concerned.
Here’s a quick snap-shot of the more-serious crimes in Elgin for the first 3 quarters of 2016. Give it a quick look and then ask yourself how many of these stories have been in the news?
More info coming soon!
(The Daily Herald DID report the arrest of someone possibly connected in the June 29th shooting, but simmply quoted a Press Release by EPD. The only time we find something out these days, is when they decide to tell us about it.)