The Better Government Association has shined the spotlight on another seeming anomaly in local government.
The target this time is park districts that have police departments
Nineteen of 339 park districts in Illinois have their own police forces.
Here is the BGA’s summary:
“All of which raises questions of redundancy, liability, nepotism and expense for holdout districts that still choose to go it alone on policing.
“Collectively, records show they spend more than $5 million annually on police operations.”
Four have shut down their police departments in the last five years, the BGA found.
The Crystal Lake Park District made the article for having three Federal surplus M-16’s.
$98,983 was reported spent on Crystal Lake’s Park District police force by the BGA, but District Executive Director Jason Herbster says there is $30,000 in revenue and $268,859 in expenses for the fourteen-person force.
The Chief is full-time and there are thirteen part-timers.
The hours are from 7-11 or midnight and typically one officer is on dutry, Herbster wrote.
The BGA made no mention of the McHenry County Conservation District’s police force.
That service is something that McHenry County Board member Donna Kurtz has argued should be handled by the Sheriff’s Department.
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Read about last August’s diminution of Mike Walkup’s and my First Amendment Rights by a CL Park District Policeman here.
To replace the Park District and Conservation District law enforcement would require intergovernmental agreements with the Sheriff’s Department and the Crystal Lake Police Department, as well as potentially other municipal forces in the case of the MCCD.