Quigley says intel from allies provides security
by BRIAN NADIG
Donald Trump may have won the presidency by promoting an isolationist agenda, but the country’s security would suffer without the intelligence it receives from allies around the world, according to U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-5).
"We learn things from our allies in other countries that they find out that keeps us safe here (in Chicago)," Quigley said at the April 4 meeting of the North Mayfair Improvement Association. The meeting also included crime updates from 17th (Albany Park) Police District commander Susan Moss.
In some instances, allies have easier access to places that are difficult for U.S. intelligence agencies to gather information, Quigley said.
"They can be in countries we can’t," Quigley said. "How the rest of the world keeps us safe really matters."
Quigley said that Trump’s "America First" slogan that helped propel him to the White House is not very popular abroad. "They see it much more as a selfish thing," he said.
Quigley said that as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, he attends classified security briefings "several floors below the dome" of the Capitol. "I get briefed, and many of these are things that keep me up at night," he said.
On the issue of Russian influence on U.S. elections, Quigley said that the typical voting machine is about 13 to 14 years old and can’t handle newer software that can help prevent hacking.
"Thirty-six state election boards were hacked. They got right up to the voting machines and your information," Quigley said. "Thirteen states have no paper trail (of election results)."
Quigley said that when he is asked about the best way to change the direction of the country, he responds, "All that matters is 2018" in reference to the mid-term elections.
Also at the meeting, police officials said that residents who are away at work should consider having packages delivered to the home of a neighbor who can accept the package due to recent thefts from porches.
Two women were recently arrested in connection with package thefts on the Northwest Side, but this type of offense usually results in misdemeanor charges and the suspect is back on the streets soon after the arrest, Moss said. In some instances the thefts have been captured on video doorbell cameras that an increasing number of home owners are using, she said.
The suspects were arrested in connection with thefts in Sauganash and Jefferson Park after reportedly stolen items were found in a car that one of them was driving on March 30 in the 8900 block of North Greenwood Avenue in Niles, police said. Images of the vehicle were seen on surveillance video that home owners provided to officers, police said.
Several residents raised concerns about gang-related graffiti on garages in North Mayfair, but officials said that the vandalism might be more the result of "taggers" than gang members.
"There’re no territory or gang area in the Mayfair area," Moss said.
Thefts of catalytic converters and tires from parked cars continue to be a problem, Moss said. In some instances thieves may create a distraction, such as setting off a firecracker in one part of the district while they commit crimes in another part, she said.
The district is trying to address manpower issues by trying to bring more police recruits to the district, Moss said. Several officers are applying to become field-training officers who work with the new officers, she said.
It also was reported that two men who were shot at on March 2 in the 5000 block of North Kedvale Avenue are not cooperating with investigators, and that police suspect the incident could be drug-related.
One of the men was shot in the shoulder, with the bullet exiting through his jaw, police said. The men reported that three men exited a vehicle and fired several shots at them, police said.
Meanwhile, association treasurer Lynn Burmeister said that several community groups are exploring the possibility of installing a mural on the North Branch Trail at the passageway under Cicero Avenue, near the Edens Expressway, and that the group is looking at holding a festival this summer at a picnic grove at LaBagh Woods.