A solution for free parking in Oak Park - become a Chicago cop

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Show/Hide Gallery

I believe I have solved the question of parking that has been a troublesome issue in our business districts over the years. The exciting new solution will require residents to follow one of two paths to acquire an exemption from all parking rules and restrictions in Oak Park. No more meters — Hooray!

Option 1 - Paint a 5-inch wide, medium blue stripe horizontally from the front to the rear of your car, along with a series of numbers and letters identifying your car as a Chicago Police Department vehicle.

Option 2 - Attend the Chicago Police Academy, then join the police force and, along with your benefit package, comes unlimited parking privileges in the village limits of Oak Park.

Granted, the second option is a bit more time-consuming. I would expect that Dressel's Hardware would have a run on blue paint in the near future, once this new initiative is made public. Villagers will be happy to know that with their new identities the Oak Park police force will never require them to park in a metered spot again. All will be able to park the wrong way on a one-way street or park in No Parking zones. Best of all, you can park directly in front of your favorite restaurant, even on the sidewalk, if that's convenient for you.

Oak Park must have some special exemption for Chicago police officers that allows them to park wherever they wish to take their lunch and dinner breaks or to get their coffee. You can see Chicago police cruisers parked all over town any day of the week in places that our village has said are not parking spaces.

It is time to either give them a ticket or ask them to park like the rest of us. I am confident that if an Oak Park police cruiser were parked illegally in downtown Chicago, it would be ticketed. Why doesn't it happen here?

Maybe they're doing undercover planning on how to prevent the wave of Chicago residents who will be visiting our garages this summer.

I hope this is helpful. No need to buy any more parking permits. Think of the administrative costs the village will save.

Brent Showalter
Oak Park

Reader Comments

105 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Jim from Chicago  

Posted: January 12th, 2014 10:03 PM

Ok, let's see your upset at some CPD officers who enjoy eating in OP but park illegally.... but being a suburbanite drunken and or wasted fool after ballgame or concert is ok??? Next time I hope the CPD arrest more of these suburban fools!!

Tommy Brady  

Posted: January 6th, 2013 10:16 PM

Really OP folks.....grow the F@!k up and get a life. Your little village needs more police presence since other than the few liberal areas its a stink hole.

OP Guy  

Posted: March 7th, 2012 9:10 PM

In this article, cops park on street... followed by 105 comments. In the crime update, homes robbed, homeowner sees burglars... followed by 3 comments. What's wrong with the picture?

Andrew Renko  

Posted: March 7th, 2012 3:09 PM

The message that I think is sent is not about parking per se, but that the rules police enforce do not apply to them. If I see them eating and parked illegally, I know there isn't a need. I appreciate the military and am happy those that served did so, but that certainly does not mean that their opinions on police parking illegally are any more valid than those who did not choose to serve their country in that way.

Not really Andrew  

Posted: March 7th, 2012 2:21 PM

It depends on who is reading the message. Youve read plenty people here that don't mind CPD parking and that never got the message that we should do it too because they do. The fact is, we're talking about what they do while on duty and as a veteran I don't draw parallels between on duty and off duty. Do they absolutely need to park in these places? Of course not. You also will not know when there is a need versus them just getting lunch. We dont live in black and white, military etc know that.

Andrew Renko  

Posted: March 7th, 2012 2:09 PM

No, sorry, I was not of age when there was a draft, and I never CHOSE, like those currently in the military or paramilitary (ie police)did, to join. I agree that asking your boss would be dumb, as it would be dumb to park wherever. It's not a big issue at all, but letting those enforcing the law to be above it sends the wrong message. The excuses given here are weak.


Posted: March 7th, 2012 11:40 AM

I saw a Chicago police car parked illegally outside of Lalo's on Oak Park Ave -- it had a ticket on the windshield.


Posted: March 7th, 2012 12:37 AM

Your biggest beef with CPD is that they park illegally in Oak Park? That is adorable. And painfully naive. Nothing personal, but do you live under a rock, Brent? CPD is the biggest gang in Chicago, and if your main issue is their parking, you're lucky. Wait until you're profiled or harassed - or worse. Officer friendly doesn't work in Chicago. Sidebar: Oak Park should do away with the stupid overnight parking ban. If they need money, maybe they shouldn't brick so many streets!


Posted: March 5th, 2012 10:24 PM

From the pic it looks as if the CPD might be parked in a handicapped space. I will have to see in person. Cant tell if the handicapped spot is behind or in front of the sign.

Not really Andrew  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 10:11 PM

You've probably never served in the military or any paramilitary setting. If you get the boss involved in something like this, you're most likely a peon that won't have much of a career. If people cared nearly as much as you all think they do, it would be on paper. To me, it's a waste of time at an already lengthy board meeting. That's a great way to send the message the board has nothing better to do.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 9:22 PM

I e-mailed parking services about one major issue on why there is no parking. All around my section we have cars that have stickers for other zones/lots and cars with no parking stickers. I never see tickets being handed out so....that's why there is a parking shortage and that's why they are losing money.....

Andrew Renko  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 1:45 PM

I think the Village Board should amend its overnight parking ban to allow the exemptions. I would prefer that the Village Board also codify the rules about cops parking wherever, rather than giving the beat cops that power. In your analogy, I would want the Chief of Police (Dad) giving the permission rhather than the beat guy (sibling). Either way, lets make the rules on paper, so we all know going forward.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 1:21 PM

To Renko: a blue shirted non ranked CPD officer comes into OP and asks a blue shirted non ranked OPPD officer if is okay to improperly park his squad car in OP in order for the CPD officer to have lunch.THe OPPD officers grants the request. Is that okay?

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 1:14 PM

To D: no,never. To Renko: there is no exemption in writing at the village that allows for a night parking pass. This exemption is a police courtesy, which i contend the police do not have the authority to issue.15-1-17 states "there is no on street parking between 230am and 6am except for authorized emergency vehicles." Personally I think the PD is over stepping its authority and the so is the village board for allowing it. So now the issue is calling ahead.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 12:58 PM

Can cops park in handicapped spots?

Andrew Renko  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 12:58 PM

Here's an analogy: let's say you have a rule that your kids cant be out past midnight. If they call at 1030p and ask to stay out until 100a, and you say OK, would they be in the same (or any) trouble with you if they didnt call and stayed out until 100a? I bet not.

Andrew Renko  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 12:55 PM

My guess is that the village night parking regulation allows for exemptions if the parties ask AHEAD of the parking. If the coppers want to do that, fine with me. Allowing the exemption as contemplated is not skirting the law, but rather following the law. Again, let's formalize the policy of letting the police park whereever if that's what the community wants.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 12:19 PM

To Andrew Renko: thanxs for the challenge. I dont see the difference. Both the village and the police are skirting the law and the judicial process to obtain the same effect. What if the cops called ahead and said we are going to improperly park our squad car. Citizens are able to have a parking regulation lifted for a special event. To me it is all the same, except the citizens are accomodated more tan the police. and thats not bad.

Andrew Renko  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 9:21 AM

To Brian Slowiak - if the Village permits calling AHEAD of time to get a street parking night pass, then we have a formal procedure that is followed. Looking the other way when cops park wherever is not a set policy. If we want cops to park wherever, lets pass a law to that effect.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 12:15 AM

Cops "TRY" to take scum off the streets. The Jails/Prisons are full of people for a reason. Quinn lets them out. Crime in the 15th dist was not that way in 1950.

Westsider...shhhhhhh! be quiet!  

Posted: March 4th, 2012 7:32 PM

Your comment is so ridiculous I'll just pose this one contradiction: cops "take scum off the street." They don't keep them off the street. That's the judicial system. Judges say what your bond is. Judges give you a sentence.


Posted: March 4th, 2012 3:55 PM

The scum has been in Austin for more than 50 years. Not sure they are doing a fine job at it. Maybe one day it will return to the 1950's and 60's era.

Slow News Day from Oak Park  

Posted: March 4th, 2012 3:38 PM

Um, you do realize these are the cops taking scum off the street in Austin district, right? And we want to hassle them... why again? Because we're stupid? As far as I'm concerned these guys can park for lunch wherever they want.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 4th, 2012 3:22 PM

Thank Brian, I know the codes and 99 for Chicago is responded back when a call is dispatched to the Officer, to remind dispatch they are solo. Oak Park uses it as you said. I wanted 4 Q to explain it since he is says there are no secret codes. They aren't secret, but he called them secret.

Brian Slowak from Oak Park  

Posted: March 4th, 2012 3:06 PM

To 4Q AND q from Oak Park those numbers mean different things to different police agencies. Chic officers say 10-99 when responding as a one officer car to a call. 10-99 is also the code for stolen or wanted person. Chic seldom uses APCO 10 codes for anything. 10-44 is off duty for whatever reason, usually a food break. OP officers were forbidden to say I am going to gas the squad car. a special code 10-61 was made.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 4th, 2012 12:00 PM

4 Q, you're smart. What is a 10-99 in Chicago, and Oak Park? Also, what is a 44?

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: March 4th, 2012 11:38 AM

Is there any difference in the police getting a pass on illegal parking and a resident calling in for a night parking citation pass between 230 am and six am??Both are skirting the law and the judicial system.

Silly people  

Posted: March 3rd, 2012 11:10 PM

WOW, the comments and opinions just keep on flowing in this one. If residents cared more about the serious crimes that happen in the village and get regularly documented here, as oppose to these silly little non-issues... maybe our safety and property would be in better shape. This whole thing has a sort of teenage whininess to it.

4 Q  

Posted: March 3rd, 2012 8:45 PM

Q, there isn't a secret code for lunch. You just get on the radio and say, "Squad, is it ok for me to take my lunch at so and so location." Then they reply "Sure". That's it. There's no secret hoot owl sounds, it's just "Hey Andy" and Hey Gomer".

Relax OakPark from Chicago  

Posted: March 3rd, 2012 3:37 PM

Really, you spend your time taking pictures of squad cars? That's the best you can do? Think about this for one minute. You complain about parking, and you complain about CPD illegally parking. So by your rationale if CPD parked in designated spots (they wouldn't have to pay as they are state law enforcement, so no revenue gain there) then there would be less parking for regular citizens. Nice thinking


Posted: March 2nd, 2012 3:27 PM

Lets be serious. Whens the last time any CPD PO got out of their car to write a ticket? Joke. These guys take longer lunches than most in the normal work world. The real story here is if they are mooching free food.

No Mr. Coffey  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 1:35 PM

When cops in one beat are busy, if something else comes up, they send the closest cops could be minutes away from another beat. Some CPD cars are closer to their beat in downtown Oak Park than they are at other places in their district. Joyce: Your cynicism makes you look simple.Teachers do not need driver's licenses to complete their daily work. You're complaining about ON DUTY cops being "exempt" from parking laws. They also are "exempt" when they run red lights to get to calls. Is that okay?

Luke ScottWalker from Oak Park  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 12:51 PM

Mr Coffey, I'd have gladly answered your argument...if you'd actually had made one. You clearly have an issue with police. My argument is that these folks are guests in our town & due to their work have earned the perk of parking for free & buying food in OP shops. I also didn't say a thing about guns; I don't own one and wouldn't choose to, but would't interfere with a law-abiding neighbor who would. Talk about jumping the shark! Are you sure you aren't GUNZ KILL with a new name?

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 12:31 PM

Tongue planted firmly in cheek, Joyce?

Joyce Davenport  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 12:29 PM

Teachers do great things for our community and we entrust our kids to them. They should also be exempt from parking laws.

Joe Coffey  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 12:28 PM

The argument advanced was that they need to be near their car if they get called, so parking anywhere is OK. If we want to maximize this advantage, they should be closer to where they will be called, which is in their District. These cops weren't drafted, were they? They can quit, right? I am glad they took the job they did, and appreciate the risks they take, but that is what they signed up for, right? That doesnt mean the rules dont apply to them.

OPRF from Oak Park  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 11:41 AM

Really Brent??? Who cares? I eat down there all the time and yes parking is tough but I always find parking. There are Chicago cops down there and they don't bother anyone. They eat lunch and leave. I really could care less if they pay a meter or not. They are in a department vehicle, I wouldn't give up change for a work vehicle for a meter that im not going to get reimbursed for. If they come to Oak Park and Eat and spend money and give money to the stores then i have no problem with it.

No Mr. Coffey  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 11:08 AM

Being near the vehicle to respond if called is not necessarily near the location of incident. You're suggesting that their lunch locations and what/how they eat for lunch is regulated. You choose to brown bag for lunch, your job doesn't tell you to. I bet you have more access to a fridge, microwave, utensils, running water etc. than they do. They work out of a car. I know...I know..we should require them to eat sandwiches, stay in their cars and in their beat.You wouldn't mind if it were you.

Joe Coffey  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 10:46 AM

Hey, Luke, why do we need CPD if you and your crew have your guns? Meanwhile, you dont answer my argument. I guess your big powerful sleek gun is the answer to whatever you encounter. It must feel SO good to stroke the trigger, in hopes of killing a subhuman (ie, hippy or person from Austin).


Posted: March 2nd, 2012 10:07 AM

How much gas is used to get these lunch or dinner destinations? Collectively.

Luke ScottWalker from Oak Park  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 9:47 AM

Oak Parkers: please, give this a rest. Like it or not, we need the CPD, & they play a vital role in the safety of our village. It's perfectly fine for them to park free & spend their hard-earned $$ in our restaurants. This is a silly argument frankly. We should have more CPD cops come into town to eat, walk around, & feel welcome as a thanks for putting their lives on the line each day. Mr. Coffey, yes, the police are always right. Got a problem? Call the Human Relations Commission or a hippy!

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 9:20 AM

Jim Coughlin, I apologize for not noticing that you use facebook for verification, and someone else used your name. I thought the phoney posted something that wasn't in align on how you would respond.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 9:14 AM

Jim Coughlin, I encourage you and everyone else to take a picture of any Police or Fire vehicle that is parked in front of a fire hydrant and send it into the Wednesday Journal to be printed.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 9:11 AM

Reader, you probably just don't know, so here is the reason you are wrong. When Police want to eat, they radio in with a code asking requesting permission. Given a yes or no is based on how many Officer's are on the street. An Officer does not have the luxury of eating at a specific time, and has to wait until he or she is covered by enough other Officer's in a specific area.

Joe Coffey  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 8:59 AM

The argument is that the CPD need to be near their vehicles if called? Their vehicles are parked in OP, and the calls will be in Chicago. If they truly need to be near their unit in case of a call, they shouldnt be so far from where the calls come from, right? Boo hoo that there are no decent places to eat in Austin. Brown bag it like I do. But, I know, the police are always right. Cops are always good and never do anything wrong.

Oak Park Idiots  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 8:49 AM

For what its worth, all of you CPD guys are welcome to come to River Forest and patronize our businesses. Oak Parkers have nothing better to do than focus on non issues while ignoring the elephant in the room. Instead of having a story and long comment string on violent crime, they focus on a parking issue. That should tell you everything you need to know.

Craig from Chicago  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 8:49 AM

A Chicago Police Officer needs to be near his or her vehicle while on lunch or just getting coffee. So that's why we park illegally. Also if we parked in a legal spot, that's one less spot a normal citizen could have parked in. I know the real problem. The writer of the article hates being reminded how close they live to Chicago's Austin neighborhood.

Point of Order  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 2:19 AM

Real police officers don't refer to themselves as "copper". Nice try, tough guy.

Men in Blue from Chicago  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 1:28 AM

(Continued from below) Bring it up to that copper and see what you get in response.

Men in Blue from Chicago  

Posted: March 2nd, 2012 1:24 AM

How about you people on Oak Park get a life. You should be thankful they are providing police PRESENCE. I guarantee if those coppers saw something happen, they'd take adequate action. Chicago Police are certified agents of the State of Illinois. Meaning they can take police action in any part of the state. You guys in Oak Park are used to the "nice" police and probably haven't had a police officer tell you to go F*#k yourself. Next time you see an illegally parked Chicago police squad car,

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 11:42 PM

Brent, I'll bet most of us are able to provide some similiar antecdotal evidence of a police officer acting in clear violation of duty. While I don't think these actions should be ignored or that we should just cut 'em some slack; it's important to remember their sworn duties. These select men and women are trained to protect us at risk to their own life and do so for a middle class paycheck. The hazards are too obvious while the stresses of the job do take a toll. I'll make another bet that the vast majority of police officers do not conduct themselves in manner that disregards the law. People talk about a bad apple because it has created a poor impression. But we should not forget the real courage it takes to patrol our communities. This observation is offered by the grandson of a former law enforcement officer. Thanks.

Brent Showalter  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 10:43 PM

Very glad to see spirited conversation on this topic. Few have touched on the core issue which is indisputable. It is not OK to break the law if your full time job is to uphold the law. This morning the officer in squad car #1158 turned on his lights, pulled out in the middle of the intersection at North and Harlem and did a U-turn stopping traffic in all directions, as he pulled in to the Dunkin Donuts. Got out and went in to buy breakfast. Feel Safer? Feel that's OK? Feel he deserve's it?

Glad I'm not a whiny OakParker  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 9:08 PM

You Oak Parkers have been sponging off of Chicago since forever. Seriously it's time for you to STFU and be glad that we allow you to be your own town, pathetic as it is. Try worrying about something real, like voting out Mr. Hopey-changey this November.

John Walters from Oak Park  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 8:52 PM

Qualified Immunity

Jim B  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 8:29 PM


epic lulz  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 7:36 PM

LMAO. Good to see that my obscene cyber stalker is still on the case. I can't even fathom how sad, empty, and pathetic one's life must be for them to spend the last year constantly trolling this forum looking to post ridiculous and asinine responses to a complete stranger's comments. It's truly unbelievable.


Posted: March 1st, 2012 4:42 PM

I am amazed at this opinion getting as much comments as it does, yet over on the crime page, where incidents of gang graffiti are growing, people continually getting robbed and beaten, receive far less attention. Go figure...

Oak Parker  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 4:26 PM

@ Steve from North Berwyn, I dont know specifically where OP cops eat. Id imagine they can eat in OP because they dont have that rule, unlike CPD.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 4:09 PM

It simply sends a bad message for any public official to flaunt the laws especially those designed to ensure public safety. Parking in front of fire hydrant is a serious offense and one that has the potential for tragedy. It should not be tolerated under any circumstances. Equal protection also means equal enforcement. There are lots of dining options in Oak Park with easily accessible parking and won't result in creating an unnecessary risk.

Puhleaze Frank  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 4:00 PM

"The people that enforce the rules are above them?" Ummm Frank, tell your kids that in the Army if you have a duty/detail to perform you don't even stand in line to eat. You go to the front and cut everybody who was standing there waiting for however long they waited...and you don't think it's unfair because they're on duty. If these cops did this off-duty no one would stick up for them, they'd even get ticketed (and they do) in the city. Are you teaching your kids to be crybabies too?


Posted: March 1st, 2012 3:49 PM

What I am saying is that WHEN he was shot the offenders got away...... maybe into Oak Park. Who knows. The responding 15th dist cops who may have been on lunch/dinner in Oak park couldnt get there in a timely fashion which may have allowed for the perps to flee. When something happens on our borders, it affects us all. The more 15th dist CPD that eat around Lake and Harlem can put Oak park residents in harms way.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 3:34 PM

Cont... because something is of such an emergency status that it requires more Officer's to respond to the scene. Then Frank, when they looked at you and say, "I understand daddy", you remain bent over and let someone kick some sense into you. Find something else less petty then bickering over a difference between Police and citizens and a parking space.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 3:32 PM

Frank Furillo, how old are your kids? If they are old enough to be aware that a marked vehicle is parked in front of a meter with the meter being expired, then you aren't paying them enough attention. If they notice they are parked in a tow zone, give them a cookie for being able to read and if they say, "Daddy, why Police parked there", you bend over and tell them that Police need to have access to their vehicles and can't be running down the street if their lunch or dinner is cut short ..Cont.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 3:25 PM

Reader, your ignorant of the facts. The Police Officer was off-duty. He didn't have his hands in any cookie jar. He wasn't parked illegally. He was just working a job to earn extra income. For that, he was gunned down by armed robbers. Those robbers are now in jail. If there were marked units at that store, the garbage would have taken a pass on it. Maybe you have already been saved by uniformed P.O.'s without even knowing it.

Frank Furillo  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 3:03 PM

The people that enforce the rules are above them? It is OK? How do I explain that to my kids? Kids are more likely to notice that type of corruption than stealing jewelry, torturing suspects, etc. Rules are rules, right? Give them a parking zone or formal pass if that's what we want, but certainly dont put them above the laws they are there to enforce!

Epic Putz  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 2:11 PM

Hilarious to see that epic lulz now insults Chicago cops! Now that is epic! Give it a rest and let the cops eat in peace. The cops that are eating here should be welcomed to spend their money in our community. Their job is tough enough as it is. Stop the whining as you look like jerks.

Fred Flintstone from Bedrock  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 1:33 PM

What kind of dinosaur is a Thesaurus?

Thesaurus Reader from Oak Park  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 1:11 PM

Seems churlish to begrudge them their free parking, disingenuous to imply that their presence makes our community anything except safer, and silly to make a feature of such a petty gripe.

Steve from North Berwyn  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 1:07 PM

A previous post, can't vouch if it is true: "The reason you see so many Chicago cops eating in Oak Park is because Chicago PD has standard operating procedures that prohibit Chicago police officers from eating in their jurisdiction. Its basically against their rules. (one reason is) they dont want Chicago cops trying to get free food by flashing their badge." Where do the Oak Park police eat? Don't get me wrong, I want as many police in my backyard regardless of jurisdiction. Just wondering.


Posted: March 1st, 2012 12:35 PM

How safe can we really be if the criminal who just shot and killed an off duty PO on Oak Park's border in Chicago got away that night. Maybe because the 15th dist officers were dinning around Lake and Harlem. The chances of the perps coming into OP are very high. Not sure Oak Park or Chicago would want their officers 8 minutes away from emergencies, even on lunch/dinner.

to mickey   

Posted: March 1st, 2012 12:28 PM

cruisers in their own districts run the same risk everyday. they stop to eat not to be extra eyes. but there are extra eyes on them while they are there and that's in our favor.

Steve from North Berwyn  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 12:09 PM

I am not against the perks of a job. I have accepted my quota of swag, just as I have doled out a bribe or two to get out of a ticket. But when your hand is caught in the cookie jar (or some other part of your anatomy in someone else's cookie jar), you should get more than a reprimand and suspension without pay.

mickey, oak park  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 11:46 AM

the CPD cops should stay in their district, period. why? the income from their coffee and the the extra eyes that they most certainly do not provide will mean zero once a CPD cruiser slams into a car or pedestrian when they get a call and FLY down lake street and madison at 60mph to get back to the austin district- a situation that happens everyday! if you don't think this is an issue, you're kidding yourself. their driving is a culture that is not compatible with oak parkers

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 11:40 AM

Steve from North Berwyn, you have a false belief if you think P.O.'s are immune to being thieves. Why do you think there are locks on lockers in their locker rooms. It's to keep thieves out. No Officer likes a freeloader on the team, or a thief.

Question Steve  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 11:39 AM

Do you regularly turn down free things? If you take a free lunch do you mind if I question if your free lunch will corrupt your character? Businesses love having cops stop in so they offer them stuff to make cops stop in...it's call marketing. They get cops to come in by giving them incentives then they have continuance police presence throughout the day at low cost. People are just pissed b/c they don't get the same but I bet they used their college and military IDs for discounts. I did.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 11:39 AM

epic lulz, it may have been a battery to you, but for the Fighting 15th, it was nothing more than a misunderstanding. Now have someone pull out a knife, or other weapon, then you have something.

Steve from North Berwyn  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 11:04 AM

We should not ticket OPPD or CPD police cars. But since they are bound to uphold the law, they need to be the ones responsible for setting the example. If one is dishonest about the little things, they could be prone to be dishonest about bigger things. Free parking, free coffee, free lunch, bribes for running stop signs. Where does it stop? Sexual misconduct from a superior officer? Certainly not there.

I cant believe u all are serious  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 10:19 AM

So you all DONT want outsiders contributing to the sales tax revenues? But you don't like the property tax bills either? Not only should we ticket CPD but we should also require all OPPD cars to pay at the meters...and ticket them too! So what we'll be paying ourselves for tickets on the vehicles we own. That'll show them!

epic lulz  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 10:06 AM

I'm lulz at all the people who claim that a CPD presence in the village deters crime. I was in a restaurant once where a crime was taking place (battery) and the ubiquitous Chicago cops refused to interrupt their dinner and do anything about it, offering only to call the local cops. I'm glad for their business, but don't pretend that they add anything else but increased parking difficulties.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 9:48 AM

For all of the complainers on here about the CPD, and yes, even OPPD who don't pay for metered spots, you should take that energy and get out and vote out Pope who is taking your big dollars and spending it on what he wants, and not for what you want.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 9:47 AM

Steve from North Berwyn, you can park on the West Side all you want for businesses and not be concerned about getting a ticket. The ticket patrols work the loop.

Steve from North Berwyn  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 9:16 AM

If I park illegally while patronizing a business in the west side of Chicago, will I get a ticket? After all, there are plenty of legitimate businesses in Austin. No gun shops, though.

Kerri S  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 9:15 AM

You've got to be kidding me that you're complaining of police presence and them getting a small perk of parking nearby incase they need to exit quickly. For CPD officers in the 15th district there are not very many dining options, let alone nice ones. I'm sure the OP Police Dept. doesn't complain of having them here as backup if needed so what is the big deal? Is the one spot CPD takes up here and there the issue or is it that Oak Park needs more spaces?


Posted: March 1st, 2012 8:30 AM

#1 Tom Barwin was a cop therefore maybe he made a secret deal with Chicago Cops. #2 Thats why our crime rate is at a 9 year low? #3 How many crimes have CPD stopped? I'm sure when OP gets a call of a crime in action the CPD just goes back to eating their spinach pie. #4 I've seen them take legit metered spaces and NOT pay the meter. Thats one less spot for us tax paying customers to add to the parking fund or at least an opportunity for a $30 ticket.

Dave Coulter  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 6:57 AM

Great idea! Finally, free parking for all residents and visitors.

Street Justice  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 6:29 AM

The more the better! That is a LOT of repeat customers who are supporting our local businesses. In fact I'm sure the businesses love having them around. Not just as customers, but as free security (especially highcrimetargets like 7/11). Although they may not be actively looking for crime in OP, they can certainly deter a crime from happening. Yes, it's frustrating to see someone park where they shouldn't, but they don't exactly have the most glamours job. They deserve 30 minutes of free parking

Oak Parker  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 1:29 AM

@"Q from Oak Park": Im just going off of what my buddies in CPD have told me.

OP Guy  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 1:15 AM

Q from Oak Park, regarding parking in front of hydrants; a fire fighter friend of mine actually looks forward to selfish people parking in front of hydrants, because in the case of a fire, he gets to send a message to them by smashing the windows of their cars and feeding the hoes through the windows... and guess who pays for the damages? No the fire department, LOL.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 12:25 AM

Jim Coughlin, thank you for the name of the person who now is responsible for the trash on the brick street. I suggest she resolves the problem by going out and picking it up herself. She can save a lot of money doing herself and want need the outside contracting firm she is paying who isn't doing it anyway. Pat, if you can't find the money for a broom, let me know.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 12:16 AM

It's "Downtown Don" you were asking about, Q. My typo. But Village Hall had nothing to do with him being fired.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 1st, 2012 12:13 AM

Pat Zubak fired Downtown Dan. She heads the DTOP business association and made the decision to terminate the long time employee. Zubak claimed at the time it was a cost cutting move and that the duties were to be contracted to outside cleaning company. She's very secretive about how her office operates and spends the taxes it receives. No doubt the area business owners will not put up with inadequate service. We'll have to see if Zubak is able to resolve the problem.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 29th, 2012 11:52 PM

Strange issue at best. ChiPolice should be welcome in OP and I understand why the park on the street (even illegally) and not the parking garage. If they have to drop their meal and chase crime, they sure are not going to waste time with tickets, gates, etc. Additional, I see ChiCops eating in Chicago downtown restaurants all the time.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 29th, 2012 11:42 PM

Who is responsible to clean the brick street? Look at the picture. The bricks are littered with paper. Was that the job of the man OP fired?

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 29th, 2012 11:40 PM

Oak Parker, you can eat in your own district, but like anyone, you get tired of the same thing so you go to other places.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 29th, 2012 11:33 PM

epic lulz, take a picture next time one of CPD's vehicles are parked in front of a hydrant. I'm not saying you haven't seen that happen, I just want you to send the picture to the W.J., and then it can be forwarded on to the 15th or 25th district to be put in roll call. NO vehicle is allowed to block a fire hydrant, with limited exceptions that don't include taking lunch or dinner.

Oak Parker  

Posted: February 29th, 2012 11:27 PM

The reason you see so many Chicago cops eating in Oak Park is because Chicago PD has standard operating procedures that prohibit Chicago police officers from eating in their jurisdiction. Its basically against their rules. This exists for two reasons. The first is that they dont want Chicago cops trying to get free food by flashing their badge. The second is that it is extremely dangerous; they are sitting ducks when they are eating in restaurants. The west side of Chicago isnt too friendly.

Matt Baron from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 29th, 2012 10:51 PM

Hilarious take on the situation, Brent. As other readers have noted, it's a double-edged sword---I would rather have police from any town nearby in the event of a problem cropping up. A bigger issue is the free parking that those with handicapped plates and tags get. THAT has been abused big-time, all over the place, and I'm hopeful that the freebie that goes with the preferred parking space comes to an end.


Posted: February 29th, 2012 10:33 PM

I welcome more Chi cops to Oak Park, especially if it means a few more trained pair of eyes in our village. If they see something sketchy, I would only hope that they would either follow up, or contact OPPD. On the issue of cops double standards, I don't think CPD has the monopoly... I witnessed our very own PO run a stop sign as I was stopped at one, and there was no sign of him being in a rush nor were the sirens blaring. I don''t care as long as they're keeping thugs out of the village.

epic lulz  

Posted: February 29th, 2012 7:13 PM

Good to see someone finally addressing this issue. Parking in a loading zone is one thing, but what pisses me off the most is seeing these yahoos from Chicago parked in front of fire hydrants.

Dan Hefner from Oak Park  

Posted: February 29th, 2012 6:52 PM

The officers are having lunch or dinner, on their breaks. They are still on duty and must have immediate access to their vehicles in the event of an emergency. These men and women do put their lives on the line for us. They deserve a parking pass.

Jim Mariner from River Forest  

Posted: February 29th, 2012 6:23 PM

I'm with Q. I like having an extra police presence around whenever possible. I don't care if they are parked illegally. Thanks to the CPD for patronizing our businesses. Thanks to all the police for the job they do in today's violence ridden society.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 29th, 2012 6:02 PM

What's the problem with CPD, in Oak Park? There isn't a lot of places to eat in the locations they patrol, and extra police that are visible costs nothing to Oak Park. If there's a crime in Oak Park, that takes place in front of them, they aren't going to let it go. If you are willing to take a possible chance of being killed, for a paycheck, I really don't think an illegally parked police vehicle is any problem. If the vehicle is blocking traffic or pedestrians, take a picture and call OPPD.


Posted: February 29th, 2012 5:52 PM

Why do I always see Chicago Police cars in Oak Park all the time? Don't they have enough crime to fight in Chicago that they have to spend all their time here? I see them not only in Oak Park but Forest Park and River Forest. Are they afraid to be in Chicago? I realize that it's much better here in Oak Park that in crime ridden Chicago but don't they have donut shops in Chicago or other places to eat there? And now they get to park illegally and not get ticketed. Ah, the blue code strikes again.

StayinChicago from OAK PARK  

Posted: February 29th, 2012 5:47 PM

FINALLY! Someone does an article on this. There's not a day that goes by where I don't see chicago cops in Oak Park. I was getting my hair cut on Lake Street and there they were, 2 chicago cops walking down the street eating their sandwiches. Or I found their SUV's parked in front of Robinson's ribs, or every other eatery in Oak Park. And then residents of chicago wonder why the crime rate is so high there. Their friggin' cops are in Oak Park. Stay in chicago and take your gangs with you.

DTK from Oak Park  

Posted: February 29th, 2012 11:49 AM

They are helping to support local businesses though. On the flip side, I am less concerned with their parking than with the high-speed exit from Oak Park when they need to get back and respond to a call. That can be scary.

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2018

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2018 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad