Archive for July, 2012

Are Gangs Once Again America’s #1 Crime Problem?

The last two weeks of newspaper headlines from around the country strongly suggest that gangs are once again America’s number one violent crime problem.

Just 100 miles southeast of Spingola Files HQ, Chicago is in the midst of a summer bloodbath, as street gangs on that city’s south and west sides battle over drug turf. Things are so bad that the mayor of Los Angeles, of all places, has called Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, to offer suggestions.

http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21133364/rick-orlovs-tipoff-chicago-turns-los-angeles-help?source=most_viewed

With Chicago on its way to becoming our nation’s murder capital, smaller cities are also being bit by the gang bug.  In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sean Larkin, a sergeant on the Tulsa PD gang task force, notes that a “no-snitch” culture makes it difficult for investigators to piece together enough evidence to obtain convictions in gang related shootings.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/specialprojects/news/crimewatch/article.aspx?subjectid=450&articleid=20120722_11_A1_CUTLIN342214

When speaking to suburbanites about the lack of cooperation police receive in troubled neighborhoods, those in attendance often look perplexed.  How is it, they ask, that a witness might refuse to offer the police their assistance to rid their neighborhood gang violence? The answer, of course, is that many people lack the resources needed to relocate when those they are set to testify against threaten and intimidate them. To survive in their own neighborhoods, they do not want anyone identifying them as police informants—akin to a death wish in some parts of Milwaukee.

For much of the past decade, Milwaukee County did not have a witness protection program, which meant that potential citizen testifiers in gang infested neighborhoods, more-or-less, were left to fend for themselves.

Moreover, many of those living in high crime areas believe the police unfairly target young, African-American males suspected of participating in the drug trade.  In a certain sense, these individuals see the police as overzealous regulators of the  urban marketplace—similar to the way many legitmate businesses view the DNR or the Environmental Protection Agency.

For those interested in learning more about gang subcultures, pick-up a copy of  The Cozen Protocol—Mitchell Nevin’s Milwaukee-based novel that shows what occurs when gang violence and police corruption meet.  Many former officers believe this book, although a supposed work of fictional, depicts a series of actual crimes that paint an outstanding portrait of how and why street gangs flourish.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Cozen-Protocol-First-ebook/dp/B002NGO456/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343070633&sr=8-1&keywords=cozen+protocol

Most investigators agree that each gang war is unique and that the thug subculture is often times complex. Still, a comprehensive strategy to reduce gang violence through tough enforcement has proved successful in the past.

In Milwaukee, retired Captain Glenn Frankovis used officers deployed as part of directed patrol missions to curtail gang activity in districts Two, Five and Three.  My advice to the Godfather—the moniker for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel—is to disregard the touchy-feely approach used in Los Angeles and, instead, give Frankovis a call. Getting tough on gangs is not rocket science, but it does require that those participating check their politically correct opinions at the door.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012


Do-Gooder Signs Provide Solace for Active Shooters

To view this article, checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You coming to Amazon.com in December 2012.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

Or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012


Demands for Cell Phone Records Show Big Brother is Watching

To view this article, checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You coming to Amazon.com in December 2012.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

Or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012


‘Flash Mob’ Offenders and Kid Gloves

Even a massive police presence was not enough to stop a group—estimated at over 100—from disrupting an otherwise peaceful event in Veterans Park on July 3. 

Some of those present in the park, just prior to the start of the city’s traditional fireworks display, claim a “flash mob,” consisting of scores of young people, entered Veterans Park and began vandalizing everything in their paths.

“There were so many of them,” one source said, “the police were helpless.” 

The park was full of families, many of them with young children, when the large-scale disturbance erupted.  

What’s more troubling is the mob seemed undeterred by a noticeable police presence. 

“There was literally a cop on every corner from North  Avenue all the way down to Summerfest,” reports another person.  “But even this didn’t stop the flash mob.”

A July 4, 2012, report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that two people were arrested for fighting at the lakefront and there was at least one report of “a crowd of possibly 100 youth screaming and running in the area.”

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/youths-arrested-cited-after-fights-at-lakefront-fireworks-lb611sc-161374865.html

The flash mob in Veterans Park is eerily reminiscent of prior disturbances during Juneteenth Day, outside State Fair, and along N. Water Street on St. Patrick’s Day.  

The thousands of dollars spent on security for these events might be worth it if city officials and representatives from the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office promised to hold every individual involved in such disturbances fully accountable. 

The lenient message sent by officials from the Milwaukee Police Department after the melee outside the Riverwest fireworks and raid on a nearby BP gas station a few years ago is that there are few if any consequences for anti-social behavior at pubic events. In the aftermath of the brazen BP gas station robbery–because that is what actually occurred–offenders were given ordiance violation citations.

During the “flash mob” incident at Veterans Park, the newspaper claims a police helicopter conducted surveillance of the crowd.  These hover craft are equipped with high-resolution video cameras. If the images of “flash mob” offenders were indeed captured by police, then Chief Flynn and his investigators need to spare no resources to identify and arrest those responsible.

Books for Summer Reading

With Summerfest 2012 soon-to-be an historical footnote, some of you might be on the lookout for a good book to read while traveling or spending some leisurely time at the beach.

If so, please checkout my new e-book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. I, available exclusively at Amazon.com, where I explore several cold case homicides, a handful of organized crimes figures, and an take a look at an ongoing war involving outlaw motorcycle gangs.

For readers with limited time, checkout The Cozen Protocol: a Shortcut Guide for Readers.  This 50-page book is akin to a Cliff Notes version of Mitchell Nevin’s classic crime novel that uses Milwaukee and its police department as its backdrop.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volume I, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit:

www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012