SUVs Stimulate Cops

Federal funds will buy CPD SUVs

The Obama stimulus plan - the largest spending bill in American history and, hey, maybe world history - was purportedly designed to jump-start the economy by creating jobs and sparking economic activity.

In Chicago, the money will go in part toward buying SUVs and video cameras for the Chicago Police Department, the Sun-Times reports.

That's good news for Advantage Chevrolet but does that really qualify as either green or stimulus?

The CPD is in line for $20 million that has become available because three suburban police departments - Harwood Heights, Calumet Park, and Stone Park - didn't qualify for the money. They were bad.

Harwood Heights is alleged to have previously misspent $362,000 in community policing funds. Calumet Park is alleged to have misspent $37,500 - including a trip to Disney World for village officials. And Stone Park apparently had some "bookkeeping problems."

The suburbs won't be asked to repay the funds, though; maybe because that would be unstimulating.

Of course, the Chicago Police Department never misspends funds.

But the SUVs already arriving are already causing problems.

"[O]fficers [are] concerned after discovering gaps in the cage between the back and front seats," the Tribune has reported.

"The gaps have been covered with a heavy-duty plastic and secured with Velcro, police sources said. But some officers are concerned a detainee could still break through."

Which is good news for the Velcro and corrections industry.

Maybe this will help the economy after all.

Steve Rhodes is the editor and publisher of The Beachwood Reporter.

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