Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-04-25
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Center security and licensing at issue
LGBTQ Youth Series from Windy City Times
by Bill Healy
2012-12-19

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Center on Halsted hires its armed guards through Walsh Security, a private company that employs off-duty policemen and other law enforcement. The owner of the company is a Chicago Police officer, Tom Walsh.

As a policeman, Walsh doesn't need a license to guard the Center himself. His police credentials cover that. But because he contracts on behalf of other officers to provide services at the Center, Walsh is required by state law to have a license.

He does not have one.

In other words, Walsh and the Center on Halsted appear to be circumventing state law while strictly enforcing it.

"If he's hiring people to do security work and sending them out to jobs, he needs a license," said Sue Hofer, a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. "We have no record of any security license for Walsh or Walsh Security."

Licenses are important because they allow the state to set standards and ensure proper training. When applying to become a private security contractor, licensees must undergo fingerprinting and FBI background checks that are sent to all 50 states.

In October, the most recent month for which data was available, non-compliant nurses, barbers, doctors, massage therapists, roofing contractors and veterinarians were disciplined by the state. One private security contractor, for instance, had a license suspended for not paying child support.

In October, Brian Richardson, then-spokesman for Center on Halsted, said: "We contract out with Walsh [Security]. We pay them a set amount. Part of the contract includes details of where that money goes, how it's being used and what services we get. But that [contract or license] we just won't be able to share with you."

In recent days, Windy City Times emailed Center on Halsted CEO Modesto "Tico" Valle and Officer Walsh a list of questions seeking clarification. Among the questions was how the Center pays its guards — individually or through Walsh Security.

Neither Walsh nor the Center have commented, despite repeated requests. Walsh offered to meet, but did not follow up with plans.

This reporter spoke with Walsh at the dedication of the Halsted Street Legacy Walk in October, and he assured me that he had the proper paperwork in order. I followed up by phone a few weeks later to see if he'd looked into acquiring a license and he pointed me to the Secretary of State's website, which lists Walsh Security, LLC as a business.

Meanwhile, the website for the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations, which handles licenses, shows no record of Walsh or Walsh Security.

Center security guards frequently wear hats and sweatshirts that identify them as "Police." This appears to violate the Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, Fingerprint Vendor, and Locksmith Act of 2004.

This Illinois state law stipulates that for private security contractors, "no license holder or employee of a licensed agency shall imply in any manner that the person is an employee or agent of a governmental entity." This includes displaying badges or wearing uniforms that use the words 'police', 'sheriff', 'highway patrol', 'trooper' or 'law enforcement.'

There is also a Chicago Police Department order that says police cannot work "when the secondary employer would require the Department member be represented as a Chicago Police Officer or wear the prescribed police uniform," unless written consent is provided by the Superintendent of Police.

Officer Jose Rios, the Chicago Police Department LGBT liaison, used to work for Walsh as a security guard at Center on Halsted. Rios stopped because he wanted his relationship with young people to be "clearly defined."

Rios said that by hiring off-duty police to work as security, the Center lowers the number of incidents referred to the police department.

He shared a story from one of his last days at the Center: An intoxicated young person became belligerent, knocking over chairs and swearing at people. Rios said a security guard who is also a policeman might be more discerning in this type of situation.

"Police officers are gonna be like, 'Look, you could have these people arrested. [But instead] let's put them out for a day, let them calm down and cool off,'" he said.

Generation Halsted is an eight-week series that seeks to capture youth voices not typically represented in Windy City Times and other media. The young people portrayed have many housing situations, gender identities and sexual orientations. The series looks primarily, but not exclusively, at Boystown, where an influx of young LGBTQ people has been a source of controversy. Windy City Times will continue to explore the issues raised here beyond this series.

Look for WindyCityTimes on www.youtube.com/windycitytimes and www.vimeo.com/windycitytimes or click the "YOUTH" tab at www.WindyCityMediaGroup.com .


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

LGBTQ Young Adults Experience Homelessness at More Than Twice Rate of Non-LGBTQs 2018-04-25 - CHICAGO, IL — APRIL 25, 2018 Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer young adults are more than twice as likely to experience homelessness ...


Gay News

SAGE LGBT speed mentoring April 26 2018-04-25 - On Thursday, April 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m., SAGE Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders will hold an LGBT speed-mentoring event at Gallery Victor Armendariz, ...


Gay News

Illinoisans lobby on behalf of curriculum bill 2018-04-18 - More than 100 community members became advocates and activists April 11 when Equality Illinois rallied its supporters at LGBTQ Advocacy Day at the ...


Gay News

DOJ proposes roll back of data collection on crime victimization of LGBT youth 2018-04-11 - LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Department of Justice announced yesterday that it will seek to stop asking 16 and 17 year olds to ...


Gay News

Curriculum work, ERA among EI agenda items 2018-04-11 - An inclusive public schools curriculum, an expansion of employment protections, the Equal Rights Amendment ( ERA ) and the state budget are among ...


Gay News

30 Under 30 Award nominations due April 13 2018-04-11 - Windy City Times is seeking to recognize 30 more outstanding LGBT individuals ( and allies ) for its annual 30 Under 30 Awards. ...


Gay News

Precious Minds project seeks to mentor youth 2018-04-11 - Precious Minds Mentoring Program is a program for young women, founded by a youth who has experienced her own struggles and who now ...


Gay News

'Bolder Than Out' ball April 6 2018-04-04 - In Demand Entertainment ( IDE ) and Chicago State University ( CSU ) Student Government Association ( SGA ) will participate in the ...


Gay News

Oleg Grachev on living in Russia and the U.S. 2018-03-30 - Ever since Oleg Grachev was 10 years old, he had a dream of working on Wall Street. He has fulfulled that dream as ...


Gay News

Youth Outlook's Nancy Mullen reflects on her career, current challenges 2018-03-28 - When Nancy Mullen was hired as Youth Outlook's ( then known as QYC ) first and only executive director in Oct. 1998—the week ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.