That’s the gist of a statement released today by Democratic Party sheriff challenger Mike Mahon. He is running against Republican incumbent Keith Nygren and Green Party candidate Gus Philpott.
The release follows:
MAHON CAMPAIGN CRITICIZES INDIFFERENCE TO OFFICER SAFETY AT MCSD
The Mike Mahon for Sheriff Campaign Wednesday issued a statement criticizing the current McHenry County Sheriff’s policy of denying armed, uniformed Process Servers and courthouse security officers the protection of bulletproof vests, saying it provides evidence of “indifference” to officer safety by the MCSD Administration.
Neither Court Deputies nor Process Servers are provided bulletproof vests by the MCSD. Other county sheriff’s offices do provide the potentially life-saving vests to their process servers and those working frontline security at courthouses.
While sheriff’s police officers are issued vests, process servers, who mostly work alone, but in uniform and driving marked squad cars, are not.
Most recipients of legal process are not potentially dangerous, but some are, especially in cases where emotions run high, such as child custody, divorce, foreclosure or in cases where defendants’ misdemeanor or felony supervision status has been revoked and they must appear in court.
Meanwhile, court security officers are the first line of defense against angry litigants who may come to court armed with a knife or a gun.
“Court security deputies are reminded of their vulnerability every time they confiscate a weapon at the front door,”
Sheriff’s Office Candidate Mike Mahon said.
A good bulletproof vest can be acquired for about $450.
To equip all MCSD process servers with the item would only cost about $10,350. To further equip about 30 courthouse security deputies would be another $13,500, for a total of $23,850.
“That’s a drop in the bucket in terms of the Sheriff’s Office budget,” Mahon said.
“Sheriff Nygren has already spent more than two-thirds of that amount on legal fees in his fruitless effort to fire a deputy, and all the bills aren’t in yet.” [Perhaps referring to this McHenry County Blog article.]
Mahon added that the policy fits a pattern of apparent indifference to officer safety by the Nygren administration.
“Accidents like the recent wounding of a SWAT officer at the firearms range should not be surprising, given the overall lax attitude toward officer safety exemplified by the failure to provide defensive tools like bulletproof vests to officers doing street work and denying correctional officers the right to carry firearms,”
For more information contact the Mike Mahon for Sheriff Campaign at 847.515.4772.