The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Mayor Reports On First Year of the Stronghurst Police Department

Dear Editor,

The first year of the Stronghurst Police Department as been a colorful mix of events. The one thing I can tell you living in a small town my whole life nobody likes change me included. Reflecting on this I believe our Stronghurst Police Department has made our town a safer place to live.

First thing one person a farmer has stated many things that didn't happen. 1st we gave him a ticket for illegal parking of a livestock trailer uptown.

That never happened. That we were setting up a truck weight station for farmers. The board has no interest in that..

After this many people were asking me about all the seatbelt tickets that were given out. In our first year we have not given one out. At the end of this report we will have the years tickets listed.

When the Stronghurst Police Department was established one of the issues was traffic flow in town. So we had Stronghurst Police Department Chief Gary Smith and then City Superintendent Tony Anderson to evaluate the need for city wide traffic flow.

Paying close attention to the school and city park for child safety. They came to the board with their recommendations which we adapted. After saying that I think it was too much change to fast.

The city wide response by farmers, local was overwhelming. So after many phone call and letters many attended the August board meeting. It was decided to have a city forum on the stop sign issue. About 70 people showed up for the forum. A committee was established to evaluate the citizens concerns. The committee then returned to the next board meeting with their recommendations After much discussion between board and committee we came up with a compromise of both groups. I feel this was handled in the best interest of everybody concerned

The village budget seems to be a big topic now and the Stronghurst Police Department budget is getting a lot of press.

First City appropriation is a wish list. Our operating budget for the Stronghurst Police Department $36,000 a year That is only $2500 more than is has been in the last 10 years.

I can tell you we are operating on a small budget. These are facts available for public viewing. In the letter to the editor from Jerry Malcolm is not factual. So yes Jerry we own a calculator check yours.

As it will be reported in The Quill we will be getting a new police car.

The money came from the startup fund the was $64,000 from 2 years of no protection. So that money set aside for all of our startup cost. In saying that the city will be paying $4000 out of the general fund. The rest out of the startup fund. But there will be a day it will come out of the police budget. The old car had $5000 in expenses this year alone. We can keep putting money in a worn out machine. It has 180,000 miles on it with thousands of hours.

After stating all of my facts I feel we are getting a lot more for our money. First we know the hours we are getting. Second we have a better response time. We do not want a ticket town we feel a warning should be the first issue.

We had multiple drug arrests. The arrest of a unregistered sex offender. We were inspected by Scott Shaffer Illinois law enforcement training and standards board.

After he reviewed the department, he stated that the department was in the top 5 of all departments that he had ever reviewed.

Its our town and a safe place to live.

Village President

Eric Chockley

P.S. The following are the statistics for the first year:

Total Hours....2,016.75 Hours

Training Hours.......139 Hours

Total Patrol Miles..8,307 Miles

Total Traffic Stops.....137 Total

Verbal Warnings: 110

Written Warnings: 21

Tickets: 52

Notice To Appear: ................3

Service Calls: ...................130

Agency Assists: ..................41

Criminal Arrests: .................14

Warrant Arrests: .................10