Crime is down for everyone but Pekau, he claims
Politicians love to manipulate crime statistics to boost their chances for re-election and Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, who is running an incredulous race for Congress in the new 6th District, is no different. Pekau asserts that crime is down because of his policies and falsely accuses anyone of criticizing or questioning his dictates as being “anti-Police.” But, Pekau is quick on the draw to scream about crime when it involves the disappearance of his huge, eye-sore campaign signs that pollute the roadways
By Ray Hanania
Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, who is using his taxpayer funded office to promote his Republican candidacy for congress, continues to twist, distort and exaggerate facts about crime in the Southwest suburbs.
Residents of Orland Park are very concerned about rising crime there. The “Police Blotters” have disappeared to make it seem like crime doesn’t exist. But all you have to do is listen to a Police Scanner (download one on your mobile phone). You will be shocked by how many crimes are reported right around the corner from your homes.
Pekau, who doesn’t believe he has to be accountable to the taxpayers, insists crime is the lowest it has ever been. I’ve lived in Orland Park more than 35 years and I have never seen so much crime.
The Orland Mall is the biggest magnet. Rumors persist the Village is helping provide security to the mall at Taxpayer expense at least through the election to make Pekau look good.
Pekau wrote on his Facebook page: “Under my leadership, crime in Orland Park has fallen to the lowest rate in 27 years. We achieved safer streets through a common-sense approach based on working as a community, hiring the best police officers, and prioritizing investigations.”
A photo underneath asserts “Keith Pekau Knows how to keep our streets safe.”
I could respect Pekau if he were not exploiting the issue and twisting data for his selfish political agenda. The truth is easy to find. Crime has been consistent during his term in office but was lower before he was elected. It rises and dips but the trend is upwards.
When residents question Pekau, he calls them names responding with personal attacks, and falsely accuses them of being anti-Police.
The Orland Park police are among the best in the Southwest Suburbs. Pekau’s using them like political shields. Police can’t prevent crime. They can subdue and arrest criminals, and bring them to justice. Few do it better than the Orland Park Police.
While Pekau asserts crime is non-existent in Orland Park — no carjackings, no gun violence, no robberies — there is one crime he screams about all the time, because it is about him. Pekau blames “weasels” for stealing his giant, ugly “Pekau for Congress” political signs. Many are on the public easement which is illegal. And, why are political signs up more than 60 days before the election, anyway?
Pekau’s more responsible rival and former ally, Scott Kaspar, says Pekau is exaggerating his claims that Orland Park is the safest community solely for his own political benefit.
Kaspar wrote: “Keith put out a new video today in which he touts that Orland Park is the #1 safest city in Illinois. Other sources would dispute this. In fact, Alarms.org shows that Orland Park does not even show up in the Top 50 in Illinois.”
Check it out yourself. Click here.
“Here is the 2019 ranking last relied upon by Orland Park, showing that Orland Park ranked #31,” Kaspar wrote. Click here.
“Keith’s campaign claim relies on an alleged report from Safety.net which apparently found Orland Park to be “#1”. Click here.
“The Patch ran an article on it. Click here.
“But if you check on either the Village’s or the Patch’s sources, you’ll be redirected to a bogus site owned by a Boise, Idaho security company. Click here.
BestPlaces.net published a chart comparing crime rates in Orland Park to crime rates in Illinois and the Nation and crime is far lower. But, the most important aspect of their chart is that the crime rate has been consistent between 2000 and 2019 and has not better as the mayor asserts.
The real “political crime” is how “Politics Over People” distorts facts.
(Author’s note: Despite the lies and exaggerations from Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, I am not a critic of the Police Department. That’s his only response to the crime rate in Orland Park, to put it on the shoulders of the police and blame them. I don’t blame the police. I think Orland Park has the best and most professional police department in the Chicagoland region. I always feel bad that they get dragged into politics by candidates like Pekau. But be sure, the Orland Park Police are the best and I support them 100 percent, probably far more than Pekau who showers them with empty rhetoric while using them for his political campaign propaganda. Those who read my columns know I consistently support the Police, oppose the “defund” police movement and believe that they are often handicapped by politicians who sometimes protect the criminals. I am an Orland Park taxpayer and have lived in Orland Park for more than 35 years.)
THE POLITICAL GRAPEVINE: Three candidates for Chicago mayor are demonstrating how you can be respectful and run for office without using the ugly rhetoric that has tarnished Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot‘s rhetoric. Ald. Raymond Lopez, Dr. Willie Wilson and Paul Vallas attended an Iftar marking the end of Ramadan at the home of Arab Chamber businessman Radi Abuhashish … State Rep. Cyril Nichols (D-32) introduced a law that offers MBE/WBE certification to Arab Businesses as a “Minority” group … Anna Marie Kukec Tomczyk discussed her new book “We Are Eagles” at the Evergreen Park Public Library Thursday. Anna and I started together in the late 1970s at the Southtown Economist newspaper.
Don’t you wish the politicians would spend more time on preventing utility companies like Nicor Gas from doubling prices? Where is CUB? Food prices are rising astronomical and nothing is being done by anyone. The value of your paycheck has dropped more than 25 percent. What’s your biggest complaint or worst experience about rising prices? I’d like to hear them and share with readers. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(This column originally appeared in the Southwest News Newspaper Group, the Des Plaines Valley News, The Regional Newspaper, The Reporter and the Southwest News-Herald Newspaper and is represented with permission.)
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. A political analyst and CEO of Urban Strategies Group, Hanania’s opinion columns on mainstream issues are published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. His Middle East columns are published in the Arab News. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at email@example.com.)
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