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Ask a Cop: Patch Wants Your Questions for Police

Curious about what goes on at the cop shop? This is your chance to pose your questions to real officers. Patch is working with area departments to answer your burning inquires.

Credit: File Photo
Credit: File Photo
Have you ever wondered what goes on in the local police department? Or how officers are trained? Or what those cuddly police dogs are named?

We want to hear from you. Patch is accepting any and all questions you have for your local cops.

Once we have enough inquires, we'll call up our favorite officers and get some answers. Their responses will be shot on video and posted on Patch for all to see.

How to Begin


To leave a question, write out a comment at the bottom of this post. It's that simple.

As comments begin to accumulate, click on the Recommend button below each one that you would like. Questions that many people want to see answered will be responses first.

Go ahead and click the Recommend button on your own comments, too.

What Happens Next


We'll check back after a few days and gather up the questions readers want answered. We'll also grab a handful of other inquires we think would make for good videos.

Once we have our list, we'll chat with officers and produce the videos.

What Kind of Questions Should I Ask?


We won't be able to get answers about specific incidents or arrests. And police won't be able to offer legal advice.

Need a few ideas to get your started? Here you go:

  • "What should I do if I'm going on vacation for several weeks?"
  • "I want to start a neighborhood watch program. Where do I begin?"
  • "What do I do if I see a strange car parked on my street?"

Feel free to use any of those questions as your own.

Thanks in advance for all participation. We can't wait to see what you have to say!
wyatt earp July 28, 2013 at 04:11 PM
@ SHUSSBAR- That is something you should call the chief of police with. The chief is the one that can order all the shifts to change spots and to target speeders more.
wyatt earp July 28, 2013 at 04:26 PM
@ CHESTER A. ARTHUR- Couple things you can do is take a dog or another person. Carry pepper spray, flashlight and phone. Try to walk in lighted area, but if you can't use flashlight. Watch area ahead as robbers aren't invisible they will hide around structures, trees and vehicles. If you see someone suspicious call 911 to report them and don't proceed towards them. Peper spray held in hand is faster to use than in a purse, pocket or clippedon belt. REMEMBER robbers like the element of suprise but if you remain alert and ready they can't surprise you. If someone jumps out in front of you blast them with pepper spray. KEEP IN MIND IT IS BETTER TO BE JUDGED BY 12 THAN CARRIED BY 6.
OakLawnGuy July 28, 2013 at 07:19 PM
Every town and village has a zillion ordinances for which citations can be written. No parking, parking between certain hours, fireworks, noise, that sort of thing. What's the priority for a patrol officer out on a "regular" beat, when few calls are coming in and things appear to be quiet? I mean, are tickets written as a matter of course, or when complaints come in? Thanks.
Eighteen Bravo July 28, 2013 at 08:38 PM
Are there any plans by any of the south suburban departments to implement training/certification programs for the new concealed carry law?
wyatt earp July 28, 2013 at 09:04 PM
@ OAKLAWNGUY- Obviously 911 calls take priority, but after that a officer has set area to patrol in which he can enforce ordinances and traffic laws.
wyatt earp July 28, 2013 at 09:12 PM
@ EIGHTEEN BRAVO- Concealed carry just like the FOID card falls under state police jurisdiction. They will be deciding training requirements and then deciding who is qualified to train civilians for concealed carry. MY BIG ISSUE WITH THE CONCEALED CARRY LAW IS THAT YOU CAN'T CARRY ON MASS TRANSIT. HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU HERE OF A COMMUTER BEING VICTIMIZED WAITING FOR TRANSIT, GETTING OFF TRANSIT OR EVEN ON MASS TRANSIT. IT SHOULD PERMIT YOU TO CARRY WHERE EVER YOU GO WITH EXCEPTION OF INTO A BAR.
Dodes1 July 29, 2013 at 08:45 AM
With the rise in police killings of our pets as they are presumed dangerous, what training if any does the Oak lawn Police Department have to make attempts to avoid these killings in our neighborhoods?
wyatt earp July 29, 2013 at 10:18 AM
@ DODES 1- It is the responsibility of the owner to control their pets. I'm also assuming by saying pets that you mean dogs. A human life is held in higher value than a animal. So unless a dog (example) is defending it's owner against a legitimate threat aka criminal it will probably be shot. If a dog charges an officer it will probably get shot. If a person is holding onto a dog that is showing signs of aggression and they are threatening to send it after officers expect that dog to be shot before it's released. That goes for any where in the world. BOTTOM LINE IS CONTROL YOUR PETS AND FYI YOU'RE ALSO LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM.
Dodes1 July 29, 2013 at 01:20 PM
@wyatt earp- I will assume you are the officer answering these questions. I find your answer to be a bit ignorant. As I agree that anyone who uses thier dogs as weapons should not be allowed to own a dog, please understand that your answer does not satisfy my question and seems to give a generic answer. You do mention probably a lot. That is the main point behind my question. Does the oak lawn PD have any training classes to determine whether or not a dog is a threat? I did not mention thugs using dogs as weapons and for those dogs killes,I blame the owners. They were trained to be vicious. My dogs for example, have been trained through Petsmart, etc. I also have had them trained through outside trainers. You are telling me that should my dog run up to an officer, he has the opportunity to shoot it? Perhaps you should watch some of these videos that people have posted about officers abusing thier gun privilages.
Love Homewood July 29, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Hey Wyatt, here's a newsflash for your consideration. Despite the large sums of tax revenue that legalizing fireworks would undoubtedly bring to Homewood-Flossmoor area*, I submit that: a) most don't want the firecrackers going off all night for a variety of reasons if not mostly because it's really annoying, b) it terrorizes the pets, and c) no one really wants to live in a town with imbeciles who get a thrill from lighting just one firecracker let alone the 599,000 firecrackers it seemingly takes before the Schlitz kicks in, making it too difficult to light any more matches. * sarcasm.
wyatt earp July 29, 2013 at 04:28 PM
@ DODES1- It is a judgement call an officer has to make. Officers know the difference between a friendly dog coming up to them and a dog that is attacking. For most videos you have to consider whether that dog was behaving in a aggressive manner, had it attacked any one off camera or did the officer over react. If officers shot every dog that came up to them then you wouldn't just see it on a video you would see it in person every day.
wyatt earp July 29, 2013 at 05:09 PM
@ LOVE HOMEWOOD- I know it may give you a migraine, but try to use your brain for a minute here. Whether fireworks are legalized or not your town like others has a noise ordinance. Obviously since you're a fan of the silence I assume you know that time frame. Now when there is noise after that time do you sit there and cry or do you call the police to report it? Now lets face another fact that the majority of people don't have an issue with fireworks in homewood or else you wouldn't have any thing to bitch about. Also if you love to be a hermit living in silence have you considered moving to the woodlands, swamps, desert or prarie?
ChiCubs1 July 30, 2013 at 08:15 AM
I have to agree with Dodes1 on this one. I have a German Shepherd who is very protective of our house and our family which I will NOT stop. He is very sweet to people my husband and I are welcoming to; however, criminals or people that seem to be a threat to my dog, of course he'll show aggression...he's a Shepherd and it's in his blood and I won't stop him from defending his family. He has never bit anyone and won't unless he feels like his family is in harms way. And you're saying Wyatt that you'd shoot a dog like this for protecting his family against someone who came onto our property?? That is not right at all! You have Shepherds as K9 dogs, how would you feel if your dog was shot innocently. Shepherds and Pit Bulls are two of the sweetest yet protective dogs so I assume that when you talk about "aggressive" dogs you're referring to these two types. Am I correct in this thinking?
MzRoxy July 30, 2013 at 09:49 AM
I live on a street on the West Side of Chicago Heights. It's only one block long. Young people who do not live on this street are parking there before and after dark. They're gambling, alchohol drinking, vulgar cursing loud, weed smoking, throwing trash on the lawns, loud music, and driving in and out of residents driveways killing their grass. They're out there sometimes till 4 a.m. On Father's Day, it was awful. I called Police, they came and said a few words to some people who were standing in the street and they then left. It was after midnight and I had to work the next day. Mainly, these people don't even live on the block but they may know someone who does or did live on the block. Police wouldn't tolerate this in other parts of town or their own neighborhood, so why is there still a problem in my area. Also, one guy who does not live there, parks cars with "For Sale" signs in the window for days at a time.
wyatt earp July 30, 2013 at 11:11 AM
@ CHI CUBS1 - Seriously???? Did you not read where I wrote "unless a dog was defending its owner against a legitimate threat"? You seriously don't understand the difference between a aggressive and non aggressive "dog"? It has nothing to do with the breed.
wyatt earp July 30, 2013 at 11:22 AM
@MZROXY- Often police get called once then they come out giving a warning that if they are called out again that they will be back writing tickets or making arrests. So when they leave give it a few minutes and call police again? Then the next day I suggest filing a complaint to the chief of police and city hall.
Nick Swedberg (Editor) July 30, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Thank you for the good comments posted so far. Please let other people know about this opportunity. We're going to leave the story up but we'll soon start asking local police some questions.
fred July 30, 2013 at 10:58 PM
@MzRoxy.."I live on a street on the West Side of Chicago Heights"..Uhm,,I feel your pain.!! Good luck.
wyatt earp July 30, 2013 at 11:39 PM
@ NICK SWEDBERG- You're a little late. I've already been answering the questions since people would like answers sooner than what your saying.
fred July 30, 2013 at 11:55 PM
@wyatt..you must come clean my good man...your beat..dodge city or tombstone??
wyatt earp July 31, 2013 at 12:57 AM
@ FRED- Neither of those but I really want to travel to tombstone. I actually love the old west history and would love to move out there one day. Until then I will continue my work here.
fred July 31, 2013 at 07:02 PM
@Wyatt..cool..I did visit dodge city a number of years ago. Worth seeing once. Not real far, either. Been to Arizona, but not tombstone...should have done that when I was out that way. I've done some reading on the old west as well. Read some of those Time Life Gunfighters series. Seen all the OK corral movies. My favorite was Doc Holiday. Per Erp, "he was the fastest 6 gun" he ever saw. Yep, I'd say Tombstone would be a good one to keep on your list.
Chester A. Arthur August 01, 2013 at 03:36 AM
Tombstone sucks. They paved all the streets. There is nothing left except the little cemetery and its surrounded by the busy road. You can fly to Phoenix and go to Rawhide.
wyatt earp August 01, 2013 at 04:10 AM
Why did they pave all the streets???
Marilyn August 01, 2013 at 12:28 PM
Why are residents so inconvenienced for block parties? I received a flier today that my car has to be off the street by 10:00 A.M. the day of the block party. It doesn't start until 1:p.m. I live several houses from the corner an it is difficult for some seniors to walk this far. Block parties can be held in one of the many beautiful parks our village has. Yes, I know the park isn't a block!
wyatt earp August 01, 2013 at 12:36 PM
@ Marilyn- Speak to your city hall on that. They are the ones that can approve or deny a block party. Usually several residents have to say they want a block party. If residents aren't saying they don't want a block party then they will approve it every time.
Love Homewood August 03, 2013 at 11:30 AM
Apologies Wyatt. I should have known the Schlitz comment would cut too close to the bone. You clearly are a fine fine cop or cop wannabe.
Nick Swedberg (Editor) August 05, 2013 at 11:39 AM
@wyatt earp -- Are you a sworn officer? Please reach out to me directly at nicks@patch.com
Nick Swedberg (Editor) August 05, 2013 at 02:42 PM
@wyatt earp —What department are you with? If it's in one of our south suburban Patch towns, would you be interested in putting some answers on video?
wyatt earp August 13, 2013 at 04:32 PM
It's not a south suburban town then my department won't allow us to give statements publicly. I don't mind answering questions like this though.

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