October 6, 2010

Racine police used to deliver letters to people at odds with the city

You've got mail ... ?

Update: Police delivered a summons to Jim Spodick's home last year, according to Sgt. Martin Pavilonis, a spokesman for the department. It's an important distinction because officers are routinely used to delivered subpoenas and summons, he said.

But Spodick said police went above and beyond to serve him. When they came to his house they waited for him at the bottom of a snowy driveway. On another day they tried to deliver a summons to the Raytown Roadhouse when it was closed. Officers yanked on the door so hard it set off the building's alarm service. They then asked the security company to call Spodick and have him meet them at the bar/restaurant. Spodick said it was basically a trap for police to deliver him a summons.

Original post: City departments have used the Racine Police Department at least twice in the past year to deliver mail to area residents who had made damaging claims against the city.

Last December, uniformed city police officers delivered a letter to Jim Spodick at his home in Caledonia. Later, officers dressed in the department's drug unit uniforms delivered a second letter to the Raytown Roadhouse, Spodick's former business, during business hours. Both visits came after Spodick filed a $650,000 claim against the city over the Wilmanor Apartments on West Sixth Street.

More recently, uniformed police officers delivered a letter to a city employee's home after he turned whistleblower over concerns about potential lead paint violations at city-owned homes. The officers showed up at Bill Bielefeldt's Mount Pleasant home after 11 p.m. to deliver a letter ordering him to stay away from the city-owned homes. Bielefeldt, who is suspended from his job, had reported the potential lead paint violations to state's Department of Health Services.

Spodick and Bielefeldt said they both felt the city was sending them a message.

"It was totally intimidation," Spodick said.

Sgt. Martin Pavilonis, a spokesperson for the Racine Police Department, said it's rare for police officers to be used as mail carriers for city departments.

"It's infrequent, it's not typical at all," he said.

Pavilonis said he wasn't aware of a procedure for a city department to request officers to deliver mail.

"It's not something we do regularly," he said.

City vs. Spodick

Police showed up outside of Spodick's home about a month after the City Council denied his $650,000 claim regarding work he did on the Wilmanor Apartments on West 6th Street.

Spodick recalls it was a snowy day and the officers couldn't drive up his Caledonia home's driveway. They waited for him at the end of the driveway and eventually gave the letter for UNIT violations to his mother-in-law, who came out to ask why they were there.

Spodick also recalled two uniformed drug officers, dressed in full black uniforms, walked into the Raytown Roadhouse around 10 or 11 p.m. to deliver a complaint about tuckpointing. With people in the restaurant and bar, Spodick ushered the officers back into the office area to avoid a disruption. But customers kidded him later, asking what he did wrong to bring the police in.

"It was impossible not to notice them," Spodick said. "They walked through the whole place."

The tax complaint against Spodick was dismissed in court. He's still working with the city to resolve a series of UNIT violations for his building at the corner of Park Avenue and Sixth Street, which houses the Park 6 night club. Spodick's $650,000 claim against the city for the Wilmanor Apartment deal is now a full-blown lawsuit.

Spodick said he believed the police appearances were part of a city effort to harass him for filing the lawsuit.

"Every time I went in (to talk with the city) there was something else," he said. "I've been to court eight or nine times in the last year."

City vs. Bielefeldt

Two police officers visited Bielefeldt's Mount Pleasant home after 11 p.m. on Sept. 17 to deliver a letter from City Development Director Brian O'Connell. The letter instructed Bielefeldt to stay away from city-owned homes that are part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which is being funded by $3.4 million in federal stimulus.

The letter came shortly after Bielefeldt reported the city for potential lead paint violations at the work sites. After the tip, state investigators visited the homes and are looking into Bielefeldt's claims.

Pavilonis said officers had made two earlier attempts to deliver the letter to Bielefeldt's home on Sept. 17, but were unsuccessful. They finally got Bielefeldt at home sometime after 11 p.m., he said. Pavilonis said no one directed the officers to deliver the letter late at night, and City Development Director Brian O'Connell said his department did not instruct the letter to be delivered late.

The police officers' appearance was intimidating, Bielefeldt said. The next day police drove past again and Bielefeldt's wife told him to hurry and get ready because she thought he was going to be arrested.

Both Bielefeldt and Spodick wondered how police had time to deliver mail, and why the city would want to pay officers to do so.

"What are they doing pulling officers off the street to be mailmen?" Bielefeldt said.

Pavilonis reiterated incidents of the city asking officers to deliver letters are rare.

"Being asked by some other department to deliver mail I would say is a circumstance that's not typical," he said. "It's not done routinely."


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70 comments:

  1. Get used to it Racine. This is how Dickert runs the city.

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  2. Dont really care for Jim Spodick's ways but the snowy driveway vs. the police cruisers is a funny story.

    What a waste of resources.

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  3. Spodick is a crook - he lucky they didn't put him cuffs.

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  4. This is not right and needs to end.

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  5. I don't blame the officers, who were just following orders, but whoever gave those orders....? Blatant attempts at intimidation and a little too Nazi-like for the United States of America.

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  6. 3:19 Obama is President be what he and his fans would do scare others into silence.
    I hope that the Chief puts an end to the RPD being used a jack booted thugs.

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  7. Can't trust anything the Racine Post prints.

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  8. Right, even though O'Connell admits it, it can't be true.

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  9. Stay away from Dickert, Freidel and O'Connell, complete lying scum bags. Upon meeting with Dickert to discuss opening my business in Racine, I opted for Kenosha instead. I'm sorry Racine residents your leaders are complete morons and yes thoughts of the "You'll do things my way or else" from Dickert are VERY real and he should be ousted ASAP!

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  10. This is a really bad idea. Hire a process server. Cops are for crime, not intimidation in a civil action.

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  11. Who ever is responsible for this, needs to lose their jobs immediately and be held accountable

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  12. Sombody who was not smarter than a fifth grader wrote this article: "customers skilled kidded him" and "into the officer area", what are they talking about?

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  13. Sounds like an abuse of power to me.

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  14. Pavilonis said, "It's not done routinely." The next question is, then why was it done?

    Who ordered the police to deliver the letters? Why were they used in these circumstances? Are they used in other circumstances?

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  15. Where's Wahlen? Is he too busy to comment on what goes on in his department? This sounds like an important event that any chief with half a brain would want to speak personally to.

    I better post this anonymously or RPD will send their goons to shake me down too.

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  16. Dustin, did you contact the PD to look at the call? It would have to be recorded as to who was dispatched to get the letters, who called them, etc... It's public record.

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  17. Randy I suppose Spodick is a friend of yours.

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  18. Heaven forbid that they deliver a letter, but it's OK to tie up police resources on watching a fountain where kids play in. You people are NUTS!

    Have any of you bright residents ever listened to what types of calls officers are sent to day in and day out?? LOL

    Delivering these letters are actually more important than 75% of the BS calls officers are sent to on a daily basis.

    Stop crying all the time you malcontents!!

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  19. Dickert's days are numbered.

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  20. Police officers were sent with UNIT letters? All of these situations are clearly abuse of powers, a waste of resources, and those responsible should be held accountable. Come on!

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  21. How does an appointed tyrant like O'Connell get the power to order around our police? Wahlen's silence speaks volumes. This is how secret police organizations operate - no one answers for them and no one knows when or where they'll strike next. Welcome to Soviet Racine. I never thought I'd live to see the day that our police are used against us for exercising our constitutional rights.

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  22. More moves to keep elected oversight of O'Connell at bay: http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/article_4a5c4796-d1a5-11df-a5bf-001cc4c03286.html.

    When was the coronation of the King of Racine?

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  23. What was spodick doing at bar at that time.He is not supose to be a partner and I thought bank forclosed on property.So if he's not a partner and not landlord he must been eating or drinking.How would police know he would be there.Also what is he doing going in back room!Something is fishy!

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  24. The RPD ought to be allowed to perform its proper function--law enforcement. Using cops as glorified messenger boys is an insult to law enforcement officers everywhere.

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  25. Where does Mayor Slick-Hair get these crazy notions?

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  26. Policemen should be catching criminals, not wasting their time delivering municipal mail. If I were a cop, I'd resign from the RPD.

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  27. Anon 11:58 -

    Has to be the dumbest comment ever posted...."If I were a cop, I'd resign from the RPD."

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  28. There are people that work for the Unit. (You can hear them on scanner) following up on abandoned vehicles, housing issues, ordinance isssues..... They do this during the day usually between the hours of 8 and 4. This is not uniformed police offices either. This was clearly an abuse of power then they had the uniformed officers deliver the documents.

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  29. How do we get rid of this police chief? He is useless, incompetent, & has no leadership ability. By the way, if you ever need a cop, just go the the store on S. Main Street. It looks like a precinct station. These cops start their shift at 7am, and by 7:10am, there will be 5 or 6 squads sittind there. Downing free coffee & donuts & talkin bad about the public. That store owners should be ashamed of themselves!! But because he gives the cops free stuff, they sit there hour after hour. Talk about a waste of taxpayer money. Several good videos on YouTube about lazy Racine cops sittin & talkin!! How about that chief?? What you got to say now? Oh, nothin as usual. What a waste of humanity. Get the shredders goin!!

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  30. Anon 5:57 PM -

    If you have videos, post them (I just checked and there are no such videos on you tube).

    If you don't have the videos /proof, then simply STFU!!!

    Thank You.

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  31. I agree with Anon 5:57pm - if the current police chief doesn't have anything between his legs to stand up for what is right - then he needs to go. Clearly his officers were misusing their authority yet he remains quiet and won't even come before the public and comment. He hides behind a spokesman.

    Wahlen stays in office because of all his good buddies. He hires brothers of sitting alderman on his department in exchange for keeping his job. Right Helding?

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  32. Calm down people - this is very simple to explain. There is only the "perception" of misconduct in office by having police officers shake people down for political gain. Very similar to what Chief Wahlen told us about crime in Racine - there is only the "perception" of crime here. Racine doesn't have any real crime. We all know that!

    Chief Wahlen is actually quite the expert when it comes to "perception". He is able to give a few idiots in this city the "perception" that he is competent and can run a department. For those of us with common sense - we know what a moron he is.

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  33. Racine use to be a good town to live in, but things have really changed. Our City government has become a "connection" driven operation, kind a like a little Chicago!

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  34. That comment about resigning from the RPD to protest the waste of officers' time and training by making them deliver letters doesn't sound all that dumb to me. Sincere cops who want to be the best in their profession must hate silly assignments. If they left the RPD, there'd be plenty of other positions in their field available to them. Even in a bad economy, communities need good cops and find the funds to pay them.

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  35. A traffic accident that occurs while a police officer is in pursuit of a fleeing suspect can leave a driver seriously injured and need medical or affected.

    Landlord Credit Checks

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  36. Disband UNIT. All it does is harrass the poor and the pay-check-to-paycheck class for the benefit of elitist aesthetes who want Racine to be a pretty city. Cops should be arresting crooks, not bugging law-abiding citizens about peeling paint and similar trivia. It's time for the RPD to stop doing UNIT's dirty work and start fighting crime.

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  37. Mayor Slick-Hair should go back to peddling mansions to his pals in the Den of Venn. The rest of us neither need nor want "housing of distinction" whose arbitrary upper-middle class standards and codes are enforced by UNIT and the RPD.

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  38. If the filthy money-masters and their bought-and-paid-for Mitt Romney clone in City Hall want a place with arty housing codes, they should move to Taliesen East or West.

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  39. Racine: Johnsonville with a little Gestapo added.

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  40. Update: Police delivered a summons to Jim Spodick's home last year, according to Sgt. Martin Pavilonis, a spokesman for the department. It's an important distinction because officers are routinely used to delivered subpoenas and summons, he said.

    But Spodick said police went above and beyond to serve him. When they came to his house they waited for him at the bottom of a snowy driveway. On another day they tried to deliver a summons to the Raytown Roadhouse when it was closed. Officers yanked on the door so hard it set off the building's alarm service. They then asked the security company to call Spodick and have him meet them at the bar/restaurant. Spodick said it was basically a trap for police to deliver him a summons.

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  41. Anon 9:06pm> Oh, the videos are there..afraid you're one of the cops on display? Are you the one dropping donut crumbs on you. LOL They are there. Have your mommy help you find them.

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  42. Dustin spodick has nothing to do with raytown!Why would he have keys?The journal wrote about forclosure on the property and Karnas said spodick was only a landlord not involed in raytown.Either it was not forclosed on or someone is lying about his involvement.

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  43. Or maybe because it was last year. Reading comprehension. I know it is hard with having to answer that pink iphone and bring the mayor coffee.

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  44. 11:25 - foreclosure this year, summons last year....
    Let's not forget our formay mayor pervie did this with RMHA as well.
    It is clearly an abuse of power since UNIT letters are MAILED, not hand delivered. Repair or raze orders are served by a process server. Tax money should not have been wasted by having a cop serve papers that normally cost $40 for a process server or $4-$6 for certified mail. Stupidity is rampant with our city leaders......

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  45. This city has wasted Jim Spodick's time and money. Intimidation, failure to inform, hoop after hoop to jump through.

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  46. Anon 9:00 AM-

    Nope, still not there. I've tried Lazy cops, Lazy Racine Cops, Lazy Racine Wisconsin Cops.....Still Nothing.

    Mommy isn't here to help me, please grand wizard, what exactly should I put in the You Tube search so I can view these vids??

    Me thinks you are a JEALOUS, on welfare, never paid a dime of SS, POS...Lol

    Just my opinion. Thank you.

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  47. Yeah that Jimmy Spodick is a great guy.....Just don't CCAP him.......LMFAO!!!

    Dustin, What relevance does the part of the story where you state "When they (police) came to his house they waited for him at the bottom of a snowy driveway" have anyway???

    You've made that "point" twice now.

    It doesn't add anything to your story. Being a "journalist", you should know this.

    You may as well add that it was cloudy out and several birds flew by while they waited for him.....LOL

    You make no sense sir.

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  48. Gestapo NERDS who serve The House of Wax are a major problem. To take back our city from the Waxclan, we may have to support the only entity endowed with sufficient power to smash corporate capitalism--BIG GOVERNMENT. Once their fortunes are tapped, zapped and capped by the Feds, the economic ermine vermin will be harmless.

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  49. Meanwhile, John the Con should disband UNIT and allow our RPD to fight crime instead of delivering misguided missives.

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  50. Cops should be catching crooks instead of bugging their fellow-Racinians about aesthetic crap. As for UNIT, shut it down a.s.a.p.

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  51. ....and the development department should be assisting, not hindering, development. The loan committee should comply to open meeting standards and should not be able to change meeting minutes (actually have multiple minutes for the same meeting) to self servingly support compliance rather than how the process actually worked; and, UNIT is bad enough re delivering summons, etc., using police is wrong. The summonee is not guilty until the process is played out. Constantly dragging a building owner or business owner into court because you don't like them is an abuse of authority and is certainly not constructive for the business and/or owner of the building. What happened to the working-with-people concept that is part of the 10 year plan?????

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  52. Unfortunately, Hiss-on-ure Da Mire works people over for the exclusive benefit of the moolah masters who own him. We won't be able to abolish UNIT and free our cops from mail delivery duties until he's out of office and back peddling pricey houses to yuppies.

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  53. Racine doesn't need to be a "Top Ten City" as desired by Dickert. ("Top Ten Cities" usually are snob snuggeries run by--and for--the top one percent of the socio-economic hierarchy.) No, Racine needs crime-fighting cops who won't waste their time playing post office for, or with, UNIT. As for UNIT, it never should have been inflicted on the hard-pressed low-income residents of Racine. UNIT serves no useful purpose and brings hardship to hundreds of victims every year simply because a corrupt corporate crime family and its lackeys like to harrass the poor. It's no secret that a certain elitist dollar-sign dynasty yearns to turn Racine into a miniature Midwestern version of Portland. Tormenting low-income people until they relocate elsewhere is part of the Waxies' plan...

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  54. Anyone who doubts the above statement anent the Waxclan's vicious vision for Racine should take a look at the buffer zone around a near-Southside Waxcampus. By hook or by crook, the Waxies drove out several poor families, demolished low-income housing and surrounded their Waxcampus with space galore.

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  55. If you're poor or lack a college degree, the Waxies want you out of what they see as their town. UNIT is just the beginning of their harrassment campaign.

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  56. This headline is about as dumb as saying "Police itimidating speeders by pursuing, detaining and issuing citations" I'm sure the city could hire a process service but they'd end up being scammed and billed 5 times the cost with falsified attempts and bills. Then, someone would need to be hired to monitor the process service.

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  57. Dear 9:21 PM, Although issuing citations is part of a cop's job, delivering municipal mail usually isn't one of his duties. Given the crime situation here, the RPD ought to be out nabbing burglars instead of handing UNIT's epistles to hapless citizens. (Frankly, UNIT is nothing but an annoyance to working class and elderly Racinians. The time is long overdue for the abolition of UNIT.)

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  58. The point that everyone is missing is that the police very very rarely deliver these letters. It is clearly a case of intimidation of Dickert's enemies.

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  59. Dear 10/11/2010 10:35 AM, Correct! Since Dickert is the servant of a certain corporate crime clan, its enemies are his enemies, whom he attacks accordingly. Needed: A mayor who'll teach the oligarchy respect for the people of Racine. We're weary of being oppressed by got-loot ghouls who think Racine is their company town.

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  60. How do we dissolve UNIT? A few years ago, a Diversy executive's wife with more clout than class unleashed it on a poor family whom she nearly bankrupted. It seems that a member of that impoverished clan had requested some non-financial help. Because the executive's mate didn't like the pauper's tone, she called the City and sicced UNIT on her low-income neighbors. UNIT is nothing but a tool misused by Waxlackeys and their unkind kin to harrass the least-fortunate among us.

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  61. Whoops! I didn't spell "Diversey" correctly. Orthography aside, the case in question is familiar to residents of the "Zoo Village" neighborhood. Although the pauper has pardoned the executive's consort, animus against UNIT, the city and a certain corporate family remains high. The funds supporting UNIT should be diverted to social programs and the inspectors should be reassigned to useful tasks--or fired.

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  62. Until we're free from SCJ, we'll probably be stuck with UNIT or some other idiotic agency of its ilk. Let's never forget that the Waxies manufacture and peddle household products. What's more, back in the Dirty Thirties and Filthy Forties, the Waxies got chummy with Frank Lloyd Wright and fell for his aestheticism. (I wouldn't be surprised if some Waxbabes still yearn to transform Racine into their version of Wright's "Broadacre City" or Taliesen East/West.)

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  63. The pauper was right in forgiving the execu-porkette. After all, SCJ company women are Stepford Wives who obey their husbands' corporate masters. The guilt rests firmly on SCJ, its bought-and-paid-for municipal officials and UNIT.

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  64. Meanwhile, our RPD should NOT be saddled with delivering UNIT's nasty notices.

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  65. In view of our crime crisis, the RPD should be out nabbing crooks. As for UNIT (until we abolish it), it can use the US Postal Service.

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  66. WARNING TO ALL RACINE RESIDENTS! There is a secret police citizen force prowling our neighborhoods, looking for anything or any reason to throw citizens into prison. Its going under the cover name "citizen corps". They are very clever about their choice of words, but in reality, it is nothing but a stasi-like snitch brigade. Be very careful with these people! I think it is being headed up by the villarreal clan. WATCH OUT! Don't let these people get you or your kids thrown into prison!

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  67. By the way, the "citizen corps" often takes directions from the Racine police, and are told to keep an eye on people the RPD doesn't like, to look for 'crimes".

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