Chicago police not registering sex offenders

I am beginning to conclude that Chicago is hopelessly broken. Saddled with impossible pension obligations to public employee unions (that have been donating money and support to the political machine running the city for decades), basic city services are breaking down. The level of murders in the city is very high, mostly concentrated in minority neighborhoods among gang bangers.

But now, an equally alarming police failure has been uncovered. Rob Wildeboer of WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR station, writes:

On February 13 of this year, Bruce Harley went to the Chicago Police Department Headquarters to register as a sex offender. He was one of 22 people who were turned away that day because the office was simply too busy. That’s according to police records. A month later, on March 21, Bruce Harley was approached by Chicago police officers on the West Side of Chicago.

According to an arrest report, Harley wasn’t doing anything illegal but was “loitering in an area known for narcotic activity.” Officers ran Harley’s name and found he had failed to register. Harley told the officers he had tried to register on February 13 but had been turned away. He was arrested anyway and is now in the Cook County Jail, where it costs taxpayers $52,000 a year to house him.

Wildeboer did his legwork on the story:

I first heard about sex offenders being prevented from registering a few months ago. I spent several days waiting in line with offenders outside the criminal registration office at Chicago police headquarters. I couldn’t believe it when officers came out of the office and told dozens of men who had been waiting for hours that they might as well go home because the office was too busy to register them all. Then the officers warned the men that they could be arrested for failing to register even though they’d just waited for hours in line to do just that.

The result is that people are being set up for jailing, even when they try to comply with registration requirements. (snip)

What on earth is going on? This could be simple incompetence, but it sounds like something more. In addition to the sex offenders who are being set-up, there is the small matter of the residents who are unable to discover the sex offenders living near them. In other words, a complete muck-up.

Where is Mayor Rahm Emanuel?