Jan 262019

Sometimes the key to success is knowing when to give up and quit. At some point hanging in there and continuing on, makes you look like an even bigger loser. Apparently Naperville councilwomen Becky Anderson and Rebecca Boyd-Obarski reached that point when they announced they would not seek re-election to the Naperville city council. After just one term in office they are throwing in the towel rather than facing almost certain defeat in spring’s municipal election.

Neither subscribe to Alfred Lord Tennyson’s famous quote, “‘Tis better to have run for office and lost, than to have never run at all”, well maybe he was referring to ‘love’ rather than running for office, but you get the idea. One thing is for sure, neither Anderson or Obarski is the Rocky Balboa of politics.

Becky Anderson sealed her fate in numerous ways, but all it really took was one huge error in judgment, when she began to push the unpopular concept that Naperville needs to be a ‘welcoming’ city which is code for a ‘sanctuary’ city. That works in California, and specifically in San Francisco, but it doesn’t work in Naperville.

Anderson recently ran for the Illinois 6th House District representative in the democrat primary, and was soundly defeated coming in 4th place out of 6 candidates and garnering just 6.1% of the vote, while the winner carried 30% of the vote. Getting pounded by a 5 to 1 ratio apparently was too much for Anderson to deal with and what little wind was left in her balloon disappeared as quickly as the offending referee-official in Saints/Rams NFC championship game. Her lame-duck status on the Naperville city council is evident with her lack of involvement.

Rebecca Boyd-Obarski seemed to have a bright future as a member of the Naperville city council, even to the point that some considered her to be a future, viable mayoral candidate. Her stock value was increasing as she clearly has the willingness to speak up and respectfully challenge the majority council position on an agenda item. She admitted she didn’t have all the answers (unusual in politics) but had the open-mindedness to search for answer, she didn’t ask once and accept an answer, she would delve deeper for the right answer. Unfortunately for Obarski, her support eroded when her actions, decisions, and votes on the council didn’t always match her platform as a council-candidate; many supporters felt abandoned.

So for both Naperville councilwoman Obarski and especially for soon-to-be ex-councilwoman Becky Anderson the motto that best fits is “Give up, it’s quicker”.

Jan 202019

Oops, Naperville city officials got caught again. This time the City of Henderson, Nevada outed Naperville city officials by threatening a trademark infringement lawsuit for using the term ‘Water Street District’ to describe the recent new development in downtown Naperville along Water Street. The City of Henderson has its own ‘Water Street District’ with the name protected by registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2014.

Somebody or a bunch of ‘somebodies’ with the City of Naperville were not paying attention to detail. Is anybody in the legal department willing to stand up and take responsibility? Probably not. Maybe city attorney Michael DiSanto can shed some light on how this happened. Obviously the legal department in Henderson was paying attention.

Is it possible that the City of Henderson operates more efficiently than Naperville? It surely appears that way. Henderson has a population of approximately 300,000; about twice that of Naperville’s population of 145,000, yet while Naperville has nine city council members, Henderson needs only five to get the job done. It’s a simple matter of numbers. Henderson with twice the population and about half the council members, makes Henderson city officials four times more efficient. Attention to detail might be a municipal value, if nothing else Henderson city officials probably subscribe to theory of ‘trust but verify’.

Not one Naperville city official, including the nine members of the city council, and the legal department, said “Wow, ‘Water Street District’, what a cool name, is it trademarked? Maybe less time pounding down pancakes at Juicy O’s and more time in the office verifying trademarks and patents would be prudent for Naperville city officials and city attorney DiSanto.

Considering the fiasco of naming the ‘Water Street District’, Naperville councilman John Krummen made it crystal clear during January 15 city council meeting when he stated four times within 25 seconds that he is trying to re-brand the 5th avenue development as the “train station”

Apparently anybody living on 5th Avenue will now be living at the ‘train station’. Just when you think Naperville has solved the problem of homeless people by re-naming them as ‘street dwellers’, we’ll have a bunch of people living at the ‘train station’.

A few things we know for sure:

  • Somebody will be doing a lot of verifying when it comes to naming the Fifth Avenue Development
  • You won’t be seeing any council member wearing a ‘Water Street District’ shirt or cap
  • Naperville city officials won’t be approving a bubbly drink named ‘Naperville Coke’
Jan 122019

I learned rather early in life that I wasn’t made for hard, physical work. All it took was one long hot day of baling hay by hand in a t-shirt. Never wear a t-shirt when baling hay. It took a number of years later to realize that I wasn’t made to be a police officer. It’s dangerous, very difficult, and nowadays very unappreciated. It’s also a very necessary job. It’s that thin blue line that separates chaos from safety.

Imagine pulling a car over for a traffic stop at 2:30am, and not knowing what you will encounter. Or being called to a domestic disturbance, or a burglary, or shots fired. Police officers run towards what most of run away from.

My wife’s dad was a police officer in Muncie, Indiana for 42 years. You have to really like what you do, to do it for that long, or maybe you just do it because it becomes who you are. He could have written a book, as is the case with just about every police officer.

I, along with my wife, had the opportunity to participate in Naperville’s Citizen Police Academy, along with about 25 other folks. It’s a nine week program that flies by, along with each 3-hour class. It is without a doubt among the best 27 hours of time I have ever invested. Many communities throughout the country offer the program, which is designed to acquaint individuals with activities of their local police department. Graduates become more aware and better informed about how the police department works.

The link below will give you an overview of Naperville’s program:

More information on the Naperville’s Citizen Police Academy

The following is a week-by-week view of the program’s content:

In a nutshell, Naperville does it right. The program is not just a NPD task or a service, it’s a commitment and a passion on their part. Every aspect of Naperville’s Citizen Police Academy (NCPA), is done with respect and class. Members of the Naperville Police Department are outstanding representatives of their profession, and of the city.

Greek poet Archilochus said, “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training”. Members of the NPD are always in training, even at 2:30 in the morning.

Jan 062019

We can thank Sir Robert Peel (1788 – 1850), considered the father of modern policing, for creating the foundation for today’s police departments. In 1829 Peel established the Metropolitan Police Force for London based at Scotland Yard. Unpopular at first, they proved very successful in reducing crime in London, and by 1857 all cities in Britain were encouraged to form their own police forces.

He kept it simple by using two principals; 1) the basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder, and 2) the ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.

Naperville’s Police Department Mission Statement:

To serve the community, while also protecting life and property.

Naperville’s Police Department Values

The pillars for which Naperville’s Mission Statement rests upon are,

  • Integrity – We are committed to actions that reflect honestly and integrity at all times
  • Employees – We are committed to working together as a team and serving the community with dignity and respect.
  • Accountability – We acknowledge, as a department and as a staff, the need to account for and accept responsibility for our actions.
  • Community Partnership – We are committed to collaborating with the entire community to build a partnership based on engagement, trust, and transparency as we carry out the great responsibility of enforcing laws and ordinances with the community, not on the community.
  • Diversity – We recognize the value of varying backgrounds, beliefs, perspectives, and experiences as being vital to our understanding and meeting the community needs.

Key Police Department Initiatives

The NPD has created numerous initiatives to strengthen its mission, all of which help the residents and businesses of Naperville including:

  • Drug Take Back Program
  • Gun Take Back Program
  • Lock It or Lose It Program
  • Safer Naper Program
  • Chat With The Chief
  • Connect For Life
  • Crisis Intervention Team
  • A.L.I.C.E. Training Program
  • De-Escalation Training Model
  • Peer Support Program
  • 21st Century Policing Model and The Five Pillars
  • Implicit/Explicit Bias Training
  • Citizen and Youth Police Academy
  • Citizens Community Radio Watch
  • Citizens Appreciate Public Safety (CAPS)
  • Police Chaplains Program and Prayer Initiative

Critical Issues Impacting Policing (2019 – 2024)

In order to stay ahead of the curve and trends, while always staying true to its mission, the NPD continues to be forward thinking regarding critical issues impacting our community, now and in the future. Four key areas identified are human resources, technology, communication, and collaboration. They include:

  • Revolution in emergency communications
  • Revolution in technology with current technological advancements occurring every 1.5 years, and moving to be instantaneous within 5 years
  • Gun violence / mass shooting / terrorism
  • Managing large-scale demonstrations
  • Opioid epidemic
  • Mental health and suicide cases
  • Crime rates & trends
  • Recruitment, hiring, retention
  • Training, leadership & employment development
  • Peer support for personnel
  • Cyber crime
  • Open data and social media communication
  • Customer expectations and needs
  • Community and police agency collaboration & partnerships
  • Intelligence led policing
  • Gold standard performance-based organizational structure
  • Legislation and unfunded mandates such as body cameras
  • Youth and senior population
  • Crime prevention programing
  • Traffic education and enforcement
  • Firearms Restraining Order Act
  • Economy and budget
  • Problem-oriented policing

One can only imagine that Sir Robert Peel would be proud to see and know what the Naperville Police Department has accomplished with the foundation that he created.