Thursday, June 7, 2007

Windy City not that Windy

Just got back from a short trip to Chicago. Driving back from the Omaha airport late last night was brutal--the wind was unbelievable on the Interstate. I thought Chicago was supposed to be the Windy City.

The Northwestern University Center for Public Safety paid my way to come up and facilitate two half-day training sessions for chiefs of police and executive managers on budget and finance in their Senior Managers' Leadership Program. This was the last of ten sessions strategically spread through the year. Somebody told me that there are around 200 police departments in the Chicago metro area, and I had a total of about 100 people in attendance at either the morning or afternoon session.

Note to self: think twice about teaching budgeting to police audience in the time slot after lunch.

I explained to the attendees that it's a little bizarre for me to be in a position where somebody thinks I'm expert enough on police finance and budgeting to present training to others. I was so math-phobic in college that the absolute last undergraduate course I took was the simplest one in the catalog that would meet the 3 hour math credit requirement for my degree: Algebra 100. Reading that course description still causes my head to hurt.

It was a hectic day, but fun. First, they put me up at a very interesting historic lodging, the Margarita European Inn (let the Margarita jokes begin), because the nearby Hilton Garden Inn was filled for NU graduation.

Second, it was the first time in a long time I've been doing training for police chiefs and managers. The two or three yearly sessions I've been invited to conduct at various seminars or conferences for the past decade or so have almost all been on crime mapping or crime analysis, and it's very rare to have a chief or deputy chief in the audience. As with most jobs, there are some unique things to being a police chief that only other chiefs can fully understand and appreciate, so it's informative to chat on the breaks and before and after the session.

Finally, it was an opportunity to do two things I always look forward to in Chicago, due to fond childhood memories: ride the L, have a genuine Chicago hot dog. Wrigley Field looks great from the L, but the Cubbies were in Milwaukee :-( .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

photos showing the urinals of wrigley field. too many margaritas? ;)