The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Dear Editor,

My name is Mike Gittings. I have recently had two bugarlaries handled by the Dallas City Police Department in connection with the Henderson County Police Department. These bugarlaries are both over a month old.

Neither the Dallas City Police Department, Henderson County Police Department, or the Henderson County State's Attorney's Office will return my phone calls or follow up on any of this information.

The one incident, I had a 2012 Yamaha dirt bike stolen. I almost led them to the people who I believe stole this property without any resolve or even checking into it. The second incident, I had two pistols, ammunition, and several knives stolen. These items were hidden away in my home but the thief thrashed through my house until he found what he was looking for. They have picked up the perpetrator but won't divulge any information. It's extremely difficult to get a policeman that covers Lomax, IL in Henderson County to even show up after you call them.

I've always been a tax paying citizen in good standing with law enforcement and I'm not one to complain frequently. The Henderson County State's Attorney, more than anybody, has basically turned his back on me and will not return any of my phone calls or inquiries. Through investigation, I found out that the secretary of the state's attorney intentionally lied to me about where and when the state's attorney was when I called to find out why he hadn't returned my calls. I was told he was in meetings and wouldn't be back until Tuesday, March 1st. For whatever reason I was given this information when, actually, he was on a ski trip with his family. I don't appreciate being lied to, as I'm sure he would not appreciate being lied to. We as a county certainly don't have the quality of a state's attorney like a Ray Cavanaugh who had an open door policy and was of the highest honor and integrity of what that office should stand for. Mr. Cavanaugh would, without a shadow of a doubt, contact you and listen and respond to your inquiries as a victim. It seems, through my eyes, that the current Henderson County State's Attorney doesn't care about the rights of victims under his jurisdiction.

I just want to make this aware to the good people of Henderson County. The way I have been treated over this incident and prior situations is what most people would call a joke. I know I am putting a big target on my back for the state's attorney & local police department. I feel we, as taxpaying citizens of Henderson County, have been no less than spit on. I am sure that if I or any of my family was involved in this kind of behavior there would be no time wasted in putting the handcuffs on me and putting it on the front page of The Hawkeye. I have been a strong supporter of the Henderson County Sheriff's Department for years.

Finally, Steven Haynes, the county sheriff called me this morning (Friday, February 26) and felt he had done his part of contacting the state's attorney. Haynes has never let me know any information on any type of ongoing investigations into the stealing of my 2012 Yamaha. I feel like, to them, it's dead in the water. I feel they have no plans on checking into this case further. I told the sheriff that I was going to send this letter and even read it to him so he would have a chance to work with me in this matter. Haynes yawned through the whole conversation, I really felt that he was going to fall asleep on me. I had hoped that I could avoid this letter, if only Haynes would have showed any interest at all in helping. reeking

I've also made phone calls in attempt to contact the Dallas City Police who are contracted to handle Lomax situations. In doing that, you are connected with the Hancock County Sheriff's Department and they relay the message to Dallas City Police Department as they don't come on duty until evening (or so I was told). Hancock County dispatcher did her job and relayed the message. I have never received any calls from Dallas City Police Department. Upon re-contacting the police department, I was answered by the Hancock County dispatcher and asked them if they had relayed this message. I was informed that they had relayed the message. Again, Dallas City Police Department never returned a phone call. By frequenting Dallas City, all I see out of these two youngsters (who call themselves cops) is that they are usually found hanging out at Casey's or the Circle K with not a hair out of place. I also see them hidden so they can try to catch a kid or a parent (whose trying to make a living and do what's right) to ticket them for things such as: lightly exceeding a speed limit, having a tail light out, or not using a turn signal. This causes the working class citizen or child's insurance to rise dramatically in a world where we already struggle to feed and cloth our families. On one incident, a young man I know was given over a $200 ticket for having a license plate light burn out. When all over this county and area there is meth makers and users reeking havoc on the community and the children of this community. However, I guess they get a pass.

If I've stepped on anybody's toes, I apologize. However, for the amount of taxes I pay and the help I've given to the sheriff's department, I feel like I had to bring this to the public's attention. I appreciate you letting me vent my frustrations. I'm sure I'll be singled out but I have the right to free speech through the constitution of the United States. I plan on following through with this up the chain of command even if it takes me to the United State's Attorney's Office. I don't know about any of the rest of you, and if you've had any incidents with Henderson County, but I will tell you this, I will remember every incident when I go to the polling booth in the next election. My name is Mike Gittings, 58-years-old, and live in Lomax, IL. I have been a union man for 40 years and I have experience in writing letters and getting results from the bottom to the top or vice versa. This is 100% my feelings and has nothing to do with any of my family. I hope when you retaliate that you will retaliate against me and not hold it against my family.

Mike Gittings