Quick Hits – June 8, 2018

Quick Hits – June 8, 2018

An unexpected move

Silly me! I thought – and predicted – that Deputy Chief Bill Wolf was a shoo-in to become the next Elgin police chief. But a mere three days after being appointed interim chief, Wolf told City Manager Rick Kozal he was leaving to fill Schaumburg’s open Deputy Chief position.

Of course, there’s been all sorts of speculation as to why Elgin’s two top cops departed in short order, and despite my curiosity, I really don’t want to give the rumor mill any grist.

What we do know is, given the lengthy interview process involved in hiring law enforcement command staff, Wolf’s move couldn’t be a spur of the moment thing. These kinda things always take time.

Bill Wolf

But by the same token, it always makes me nervous when someone of his stature makes what can only be considered a lateral move. Regardless of his reasons, I fervently home that this isn’t a symptom of a deteriorating EPD – City Hall relationship.

As former Chief Jeff Swoboda pointed out before he left, any one of the EPD commanders – Ana Lalley, Colin Fluery, or Allen Young – are quite capable of taking on that tough job. I certainly hope one of them gets the nod so the EPD can continue and expand Swoboda’s unique brand of community policing.

Meanwhile, let’s offer Mr. Wolf our best wishes as he moves two municipalities to the east.


Please get a carbon monoxide detector!

I was going to do another one of my infamous survival of the fittest pieces, but one of my former managing editors convinced me that more than two-dozen motorists dying from leaving keyless cars running since 2006 was a serious story.

Serious enough for the New York Times to run with it.

Apparently, with their housekeys firmly in their pocket or purse, some folks are forgetting to turn off their keyless vehicles in attached garages only to fall prey to carbon monoxide poisoning. But, in the end, the two-part answer to this dilemma is quite elementary.

The first step is to purchase a CO detector and plant it somewhere above your inner garage door. Every family should have one. They’re not terribly expensive and those babies will warn you long before that deadly gas hits a critical concentration level.

The second step is for auto manufacturers to install the same kind of alarm that goes off when a driver attempts to exit their car with the keys in the ignition. Opening a vehicle door with the engine running would set it off. And I think a voice warning would be particularly effective in this regard.


Not Anthony Bourdain!

Shortly after writing about fashion designer Kate Spade’s sad suicide, it was more than disconcerting to open up CNN online only to discover that storyteller extraordinaire, Anthony Bourdain, took his own life at 61.

Bourdain was the host of CNN’s Emmy Award winning ‘Parts Unknown’ program, as well as a renowned chef and writer. He apparently hung himself in his hotel room, leaving an 11-year-old daughter behind.

Please understand that this is complete speculation, but with no other obvious answer, I can’t help but wonder if a split between Bourdain and his decade-long actress girlfriend was the catalyst. If that is the case, it’s truly tragic because we’ve all had to bounce back from those kinds of relationship losses. And that kind of depression, which is very real to the sufferer, tends to be of the short-term variety.

It also could’ve been his self-documented struggle with substance abuse, including heroin, cocaine and alcohol. But whatever the cause turns out to be, it’s difficult to comprehend another fascinating life cut short by this scourge.

Again, whether it’s depression, mental illness, a pharmaceutical side effect, or a serious loss, suicide is not the answer. Talk to someone. Call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Or, as an astute reader noted, text 741741 to be connected to a crisis counselor.

If you’re willing to give it time, life always gets better!


3 thoughts on “Quick Hits – June 8, 2018

  1. It’s about five years ago today that my best friend killed himself. He’d been depressed his whole life. He was taking medication and going to therapy–he even got an SSI pension for his depression (and I will happily punch the face of the next person who says that SSI pensioners are malingerers), but it did no good. Clinical depression is a horrible affliction, and it’s not something you can talk or will yourself out of. If you or someone know is clinically depressed, please, get help wherever and however you can.

  2. Elgin is bleeding talented and long time exceptional leaders, with no end in sight. To name a few: Sean Stegall (former city manager), Dan Ault (strategist), Kyla Jocobsen (water department head) (who has now filed a discrimination complaint against the city on gender and age with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission), head engineer Joe Evers, assistant city manager Aaron Constentino and most recently EPD Chief Jeff Swoboda and surprisingly Deputy Chief Wolf, who was a shoe-in to become Elgin’s next police chief. I am told more city staff are queued up to leave shortly. Meanwhile, we have a City Manager who throttles in an open staff meeting one of his subordinates and is said to bully others. Is there any reason why people don’t want to stay with Elgin?? We seem to have some Council Members who have put their heads in the sand and are doing little to stop the mass exodus or to even publicly acknowledge there’s a (obvious!) problem. What’s an average citizen to do?

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