CPD commander who assigned cops to protect a block where he owns real estate replaces commander who refused to assign cops to sit outside connected Loop restaurant

A Chicago police commander who last year ordered police resources to sit on a block where he owns a three-flat is temporarily replacing a highly-decorated cop who was demoted this month for refusing to order police resources to sit outside a politically connected Loop steakhouse Loop.

Cmdr. Darrell Spencer will serve as Acting Commander of the Central (1st) District and Acting Deputy Chief of the Critical Incident Response Team, the police department said. In the Central District, Spencer replaces now-Capt. Jake Alderden.

CWB reported June 13 that Alderden had been demoted to captain and reassigned to a unit that takes police reports over the phone because he refused to station one of the district’s patrol cars outside a Loop restaurant frequented by CPD Supt. David Brown and other political heavyweights.

Now, Spencer — who apparently has a more compatible opinion about the appropriateness of using police assets to protect favored properties — will be running the show downtown.

Last April, when Spencer was commander of the Harrison District, local cops were ordered to disperse groups of more than 10 people and check the IDs of anyone who wanted to enter four specific blocks in the West Side district. Spencer just happened to own a three-flat home on one of those blocks, the Sun-Times reported.

“Some cops and West Side residents said Spencer’s ownership of the building on Gladys [Avenue] appears to pose a conflict of interest, like he’s requiring the police pay special attention to his own rental building,” the paper reported. The constitutional aspects of requiring citizens to present identification for admission to a public street? Well, that’s another issue.

In separate press conferences yesterday, reporters asked both Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Brown about the reasons for Alderden’s surprising demotion and reassignment. Lightfoot, who could have simply answered the question, told reporters to “dig a little deeper.”

Later, as Brown was walking away from the lectern at a different press conference, a reporter asked him directly about our report that Alderden’s ouster was caused by his refusal to assign a patrol car to sit outside Remington’s, 20 North Michigan Avenue.

Brown stopped in his tracks and returned to the microphone. Then, he denied that he has a “favorite restaurant” despite living in Chicago for over a year, and he said he doesn’t eat steak, preferring blackened salmon.

He didn’t address the patrol cars posted outside Remington’s daily, nor did he deny that Alderden’s demotion and reassignment came after the former commander refused to order police resources to sit outside the restaurant.

By the way, Remington’s salmon entree, “simply grilled, lemon butter, asparagus,” is available for $28.

Remington’s management has not responded to messages seeking comment for our reporting.

Alderden assumed command of the Central District in January 2020 after serving as its second-in-command. He previously worked as a field lieutenant and tactical lieutenant in the district.

“He personally apprehended a sh*t load of offenders” during a wave of looting that swept the downtown area in August 2020, an officer said.

“It’s a shame,” the officer continued. “He was involved in the Mercy Hospital shooting and the Columbus statue incident.” In fact, Alderden received the department’s Carter H. Harrison Award for bravery after the hospital shooting, which left a Chicago police officer and three others dead.

Meanwhile, Spencer — who’s quite protective of his three-flat property — is no stranger to real estate.

In 2001, he skirted federal regulations as he bought a home under a federal program designed to give cops a discount on real estate prices if they agreed to live in the residences, which were located in distressed neighborhoods, the Chicago Tribune reported.

You see, the federal program wasn’t available to cops who already owned homes. So, three weeks before he bought an apartment building through the federal program, Spencer transferred ownership of his house to his wife, the paper reported. She then reportedly transferred it back to him after the federal sale went through.

Our exclusive and original reporting is 100% reader-funded. Please make a contribution to our operating fund or purchase a subscription today.

About CWBChicago 6563 Articles
CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com