Citizen Police Academy – Week 8

Carol Stream CPA3

It was Drugs and Gangs at last night’s CPA class. We had Corporal Cummings from DuMEG and Detectives Grey and Dunteman from our Special Operations Unit.

DuMEG stands for DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group. There are 33 different towns in the county that take part, either by contributing financially or by offering up manpower. My town has had an officer in DuMEG for the past 4 years. The main objective for DuMEG is undercover narcotics investigation.

Heroin is the number one drug now, surpassing cocaine, crack and meth. It’s readily available, cheaper than any other drug and extremely potent. Heroine is the most abused of all narcotics. It’s derived from morphine. It has an unpredictable purity level and an extremely high addiction rate. The most well-known types are China White and Mexican Brown.

The stories that Cummings told about dealing with heroine addicts both turned your stomach and broke your heart. The DuMEG officers feel for these people. They don’t want to be hooked on drugs but it’s a physical sickness and they just can’t stop. Because your body builds up a tolerance to heroine you constantly need more and more. Not even to get high, just to function. One of their informants shoots up TWLEVE times a DAY.

In 2013 there were 64 heroine deaths in our county. In 2014 there were 33.

Most bags of heroine are $10. A “dime bag” but you can buy a “jab”, which is 15 bags for around $100. Possession of heroine is an immediate class four felony and a three year prison term.

Cummings talked about this huge case that just happened a little over a year ago. They busted a guy for dealing heroine. He was looking at a minimum of 15 years. He said he had information on a massive cannabis ring and wanted to make a deal. Turns out that several times a month this guy in the county was having huge quantities of cannabis driven from Arizona here. His information was amazingly accurate and about a month later they stopped the 4-car convoy and seized over 600 POUNDS of cannabis. We saw the photos of the cars packed with the drug. It was somewhere close to a million dollars street value. Yikes!

Next up Detectives Grey and Dunteman talked about the Special Ops unit and their main mission is gang suppression. With a focus on drugs as well.

There are 150,000 gang members in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. My town has approximately 125 members. What I found interesting is that they’re not really active in town. They go into Chicago or the neighborhoods close to the city to gang bang. Then they come out here to the suburbs to “lay their heads”. We’re a “bedroom community for gang members”. While I certainly don’t want gang members in my town I’m glad that at least they’re not terrorizing the citizens.

Many years ago gang members were out and proud. They wore their colors and flashed their gang signs and when asked they readily admitted what gang they were in. Things have changed now. They don’t display colors or get tattoos and deny being part of a gang, trying to fly under the radar nowadays.

The special ops unit is also in charge of keeping tabs on parolees who move into town. Right now we have 26 people in town on parole. For anything from robbery all the way to murder. Yikes! Parolees have no expectation of privacy. They can be stopped simply just walking down the street and searched. Same goes for their homes or vehicles.

They also are in charge of sex offenders in town. We have such strict rules for where these people can live that it’s nearly impossible for them to find housing.

It was a really informative night. You don’t want to think about drugs or gangs in the town you live in, but it’s reality. And the more informed you are the safer you’ll be. The stories that all of the officers told about cases they’ve worked on were really fascinating.

Next week is the Traffic Unit. We get to go outside and simulate traffic stops, taking turns being the driver and the police officer. Cool! I’ve done these simulations before and they’re always fun and interesting.

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