It wasn’t like Paul Bauer to keep people waiting.
So when the Chicago police commander didn’t show up at the scheduled time for a City Hall meeting to discuss ways to respond to crime at Northwestern University’s Streeterville campus, the five people waiting figured he had a good reason to be tardy.
“As we were waiting for him in the conference room, someone made the comment, ‘Paul Bauer is never late,’ ” recalled 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins, who along with 42nd Ward Ald. Brendan Reilly was set to meet with the 18th District commander. “And time ticked on, and we continued waiting, and then we heard there was a shooting incident next door.
“Someone else made the comment, ‘Well, we assume that if Cmdr. Bauer was getting out of the car in front of City Hall and heard the commotion, he would have responded to that before he would have come into the building for a 2 o’clock meeting with a couple of aldermen,’ ” Hopkins continued. “His priorities were always on the street, always public safety.
Bauer, 53, a 31-year department veteran, had been fatally shot in an exterior stairway at the Thompson Center across from City Hall.
“We were shocked, and Ald. Reilly and I immediately left the room and went to Northwestern (Memorial) Hospital to stand vigil in the hope that he would pull through,” Hopkins said as he stood with Reilly outside City Hall on Wednesday, recalling both the meeting and praising Bauer as a cop, friend and family man.
Reilly, who represents much of downtown, said he talked to Bauer “every single day,” and on Tuesday the plan was to work with Northwestern University’s police chief on better ways to coordinate duties between the city and university police amid rising concerns about crime at the Streeterville campus. In October, a law school student was beaten and robbed at Superior Street and Fairbanks Court. Earlier this month,three teens were charged in an attempted carjacking outside a hotel.
“Being the man he was, he never hesitated,” added Hopkins, who said Bauer’s death tragically highlights a growing crime problem downtown.
ht/ red grandma
ABC- The suspect, who hasn’t been identified, is in custody, and is a career criminal with arrests dating to at least 1994, for multiple arrests and convictions including drug, gun and armed robbery charges, ABC station WLS-TV in Chicago reported, citing multiple law enforcement sources. Among the convictions, he had been sentenced to 16 years in prison for a 1998 armed robbery, WLS-TV reported, citing court records.