Hello to all…

I am a retired Chicago Police officer, having spent some 34 years working for the city. Although I have worked several assignments over the years, the majority of my “street time” was spent working as a homicide detective. Most of the “Tales from the Street”will draw from those experiences. Enjoy!


39 Comments on “About”

  1. Joanna says:

    Love your 2 recently posted stories about yourself and your son! We need them in light of the other kind getting all the press. Thank you

  2. Jim Parker says:

    Hi Jim;
    Read your Area Four Story. I retired from there in 2007. I was honored to work with Mike Shull too. He was a great guy and good dick.

  3. Judy says:

    Thank you for writing about the “good” cops do — we all need to see how difficult a job they have.

    God bless you and your new “work”.

    The Mother of a Cop in 7/8

  4. John says:

    Jim, were you at the Academy at one point? I believe as a Lt., or Capt. Love the stories. The younger guys on the job need things like this to understand what this job is about, other than a beef and gripe blog.

    • jimpadar says:

      I finished my career at the Academy as a Lieutenant, but I found the higher I climbed in rank, the less fun I had. My patrol and homicide days were the best!

  5. jjthulis says:

    great blog,Jim……I knew mike shull before he came on the job…we both went to DePaul University,very nice,bright guy…..
    keep up good writing…..soon to be a book???
    john thulis

  6. Juan says:

    Thanks for this site Jim, it’s good to know I can see Positive stories about good Police Work ! Peace !

  7. Sgt. Louie says:

    I think your site is going to be a blast from the past.
    Back in my early days while assigned to 010th Distict (DC Delaney)I had the rare pleasure of working with A/4 Dets. Peterson and Thedford on several cases. A few years later I ended up in the C.C. room AKA the Communication Operations Section (COS)as a new wide-eyed sergeant I worked with “Stan the man” and a number of other GREAT dispatchers.

  8. Tony G says:

    I am also a retiree leaving the job early after 22 years to continue in law enforcement on the west coast. I was fortunate enough to have trained with the old school guys but was around for the new age changes (CAPS and the like). My father was also on the job where I had the honor of being on the job for the last of his 5 years before his retirement. Things are different on the west coast but I also hear things are different back home. I hope to hear some good stories and will contribute a few of my own on this site. Good luck Jim and thanks for setting the site up.

  9. Richard Campbell says:

    JIm. Just ran across your blog thru Second City. Am a retired Butte Co Ca Sheriff. All the way across the country but the stories and cop humor are the same where ever you go. Keep up the good work.

  10. Mike Holub says:

    Great stuff, Jim. You are doing what many of us should, but doing it better than many of us could!

  11. Mike Corr says:

    My father retired from CPD after 46ys with the city, 36 of them spent as a police officer. Cartage, Homicide, V.I.P. detail. Your stories remind me of him…. Thank You.

    • jimpadar says:

      A great compliment, Mike. Very humbling. Thank YOU!

      • howiehandles says:

        Mike, I was thinking the same thing. My dad seldom spoke of work, but I remember going to court with him, and getting the wanted papers to look at while a kid. This blog is almost a window into what my dad did, long after he has passed.

  12. Chris Murphy says:

    Hello Jim,
    Love reading your blog. My grandfather and great uncle would have been with CPD the same time as yourself. I know my grandfather worked in 18, but I don’t know for how long.
    Would love to run their names past you.

  13. howiehandles says:

    Love the blog, wonder if you worked with my dad. He was an auto theft det around the times you seemed to be there.

    Before I throw out my last name, his nickname was Mongo, partner for a long time was Oli

    • jimpadar says:

      The nicknames ring a bell, but I can’t say beyond that. We had a lot of interactions with the Robbery section but not so much with the other units. The only common roll call we shared was the midnights and I very seldom worked that shift. I am glad you are enjoying the blog! Keep reading!

  14. howiehandles says:

    Area 4, I should have been more clear.

  15. Vince King says:

    Nephew of a deceased CPD district commander and also a retired 25 year veteran of a somewhat busy suburb. Love your stories and sometimes, i read something you post that I also experienced. Keep up the great work and Thanks!

    • jimpadar says:

      Thanks for you comments Vince… I think that the police experience is pretty universal, maybe only varying by volume depending on the jurisdiction.

  16. MIchael Latz says:

    Dear Jim: I enjoy your stories. My grandfather was a doctor at Alexian Brothers, St. Elizabeth and Augustana Hospitals and he often talked about the friendships he enjoyed with
    the Chicago Police Detectives that he met while working. I wonder if you knew him. I was an Assistant State’s Attorney assigned to Felony Review in 1992-1993, and your stories remind me of those very interesting experiences.

    • jimpadar says:

      Hi Mike, thanks for your comment.

      I don’t recall the name Latz, although I spent a lot of time at Augustana and St Elizabeth. I most likely ran across him from time to time.

      Alexian Brothers had closed the Belden Ave facility before I came to Area Four Homicide. (My dad died there in 1951 when I was 13)

      I was born at St. Elizabeth’s.

      Thanks for spending some of your time on the blog!

  17. Dennis Banahan says:

    Hi Jim,
    I was the Tactical Lieutenant in 006 when I pulled the pin in ’99. Like you, I had many assignments over the years, but I spent ten of the best years in Area Two Homicide. A mutual friend of ours, Jim Keating, speaks very highly of you and told me that you have helped him immeasurably with his writing endeavors. Just this morning, another friend of mine, Ken Abels, who just retired as a sergeant a few months ago, wrote and told me of your blog site. He loves it. I’ll be a constant follower from this day forward.

    • jimpadar says:

      Hey Dennis,

      Thanks for the read. I’m glad you enjoyed it. There are almost 50 stories posted here now. I’m with you,I have often said that if I could repeat any portion of my police career, it would be my 11 years in homicide. Keating is an excellent writer in his own right and certainly doesn’t need any assistance from me, but I have been able to at least help a bit in keeping him current with the ever changing procedures on the department. It helps keep his story lines fresh. Thanks again for your comment… keep reading and I’ll keep writing!

      • Dennis Banahan says:

        Thanks Jim, and I agree, Jim Keating is an excellent writer in his own right. Father Nangle told me Jim’s first book, “All on the Same Side” was one of the best police novels he had ever read so I ordered a copy. If you can’t believe the Chicago Police Department Chaplain, who can you believe? It was even better than he said. And, believe it or not, you were instrumental in making me do a little research, too. Jim had told me you informed him about the Department utilizing private contractors now for body removals. I wrote a book titled, “Threshold of Pain” in 2000, and I’m in the process of writing a manuscript now tentatively titled, “The Author of Dead Men”. After learning of private contractors, I thought I’d better do a little research on a topic I thought I knew. My manuscript was fraught with errors. HBT is now SWAT, Area Two is Area South, no more ADSs, XOs, and OPS is IPRA. So, Jim and I are both thankful for your assistance.

      • jimpadar says:

        Well I’ve got a family source for all the new stuff… one of my boys is on the job and I pick his brain as often as he will allow. 🙂

  18. Dennis Banahan says:

    You’re fortunate to have a son on the job, and one that obviously keeps abreast of what’s going on. I learned today that the rank of ADS was eliminated under the Jody Weiss regime, but the Department has since reinstituted it, but to a lesser degree. There are only two of them, as of today anyway. That may change by tomorrow.

  19. Paul C says:

    Love the site! My dad worked in the 013th District; 30 years before passing in 87. The stories remind me of the things he and my mom (ER nurse, at St Mary’y) would talk about. It is also neat to hear other names of folks I knew (Peterson and Thedford) from the FBI VC task force. I worked at the G while in college before getting on the job and going to the 018th District. I took a LOA to go fed (not a family like CPD). So being in the south west, and missing home, I love reading your stories. They bring me home to the city I love and job I miss. Please do the book, there are too many out there that are faking it, your stuff is the real deal.

    • jimpadar says:


      Thanks for your very kind comments. I started in 018 and then went on to Homicide.

      What is this thing with cops and nurses? My wife was an RN for many years before her retirement, I mean unemployment. 🙂 There’s a story on the blog that mentions St. Mary’s Hospital: Cops Don’t Cry at http://wp.me/p1qLKF-4l

      Thanks for your encouragement on the idea of a book. I am giving it serious consideration.

  20. michael. cohen says:

    Jim, without exception I have enjoyed everyone of your postings. While I have never been a police officer I am considered to be the most pro police lawyer in Chicago. I think there should be a way how all your readers should be able to meet you. Maybe a gathering at a large restaurant for example. Fellow readers if you agree please let Jim know!

  21. Fred J. Gillen says:


    Enjoy your writings very much. We first met when I was a young Temp. Sergeant working in the 11th District in 1975-1977 and you were at Area 4 Homicide. Our paths crossed again when we both made Lieutenant in 1988. Keep up the good work!

    Retired Lt. Fred J. Gillen

  22. William says:

    I wonder how many times you might have done a street stop on me in my youth? I spent a lot of time on Wells Street 1965-1970 and lived by LaSalle School. Back then anything south of North Avenue and west of Wells was pretty rough.

    I remember when plainclothes had to ride around in those crazy cloned “look alike” cars.

    Let’s see, they all were the same “earth toned color” models (I can’t remember now if they were 4 door Impalas or Caprices). All had black walled tires with those cheepy cheezy hub caps. And they all had M plates.

    All occupants wore a jacket. Even if it was a 100+ degrees.

    How in the hell are you going to sneak up on ANYBODY in those? Helen Keller could have figured it out.

    You might as well have written “We Are the Police” in white paint on all the windows and tied a couple of dozen tin cans to the bumper to boot.

    I can’t imagine how anybody could have made an arrest out of one of those things.

    Oh yeah, and don’t forget about the antenna on top of the trunk lid. (Before cell phones).

    Those were the days my friend…

    • jimpadar says:

      “Those were the days my friend…
      We thought they’d never end…”

      As for the “unmarked” cars, they were never meant to be “undercover” cars. Their purpose was to keep us from being flagged down by citizens for non-essential service. It would be too much of a distraction from our assigned missions. The department did then and does now have undercover vehicles of all sizes and descriptions that defy recognition… even by other officers.

      Thanks for your comments William.

  23. Ashley says:

    I love reading this blog and I’m really looking forward to buying the book(: How old do you have to be to join the police force in Chicago? I’m 19 and I’ve wanted to a detective since I was 12, but Alaska isn’t the best place to start a career in that field. Would you recommend Chicago as the best to start out in? Thanks!(:

    • jimpadar says:

      Hi Ashley,

      I don’t know if I would rate any city as the “best place to start” a police career. Generally speaking, the larger the department, the more opportunity you have for advancement, but recently Chicago has fallen way behind the curve, particularly with regard to detective promotions. Where ever you start it’s fair to say you will have to plan on years in patrol before your first promotion. Best of luck to you!

  24. Betty Gemelli says:

    I just found your site. And wonder if there are any policemen and women who remember Rev. Patrick Mc Polin, CMF who was Police Chaplain from 1943 to 1965?

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