Vice Squad
Monday, November 10, 2003
 
From Security to Sex Offenses


Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan is continuing to ratchet up
enforcement against sex offenses. Last week he held a news conference
announcing the happy result that 113 of our friends and neighbors
had been arrested for attempting to purchase prostitution services.
Today we learn, via the Chicago Tribune (registration required), that
Sheriff Sheahan is setting up a new four-person unit to track down
sex offenders who have violated the law requiring them to register
with local police departments within ten days of being released from
prison. He also intends to press the Illinois state government to
make the sending of lewd pictures to minors a felony; apparently,
such transmissions currently constitute a misdemeanor offense. It
seems that Web cam transmissions are the chief target of the
attempt to upgrade the violation.

Where does the money come from for the Sheriff's new four-person
unit? Oh, this is a Cook County type of story. The County Board
President John Stroger had the temerity to turn down the Sheriff's
request for funding for 100 additional jail guards, and suggested that
the Sheriff undertake some staff trimming in these fiscally-straitened times.
Sheriff Sheahan responded by taking away four of the five (!) bodyguards
assigned to the Board President. The Trib article:
"On Sunday, a day before the next round of budget hearings, Sheahan
said he would use the savings from removal of Stroger's security
entourage to launch a new four-person unit that will track down outlaw
sex offenders."

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