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McHenry County Vehicle Policy

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

McHenry County Vehicle Policy

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
November 20, 2012


The McHenry County Board will vote tonight on the Vehicle Policy. It's not new, and it's impossible (for me) to tell whether any part of it is new. You can read it in the packet that goes to Board members. I seriously doubt that many of them will stay awake long enough to get to Page 319 in the semi-monthly pile. What in the world must that packet cost to assemble???

If you are interested, go to 15.2.G.1A and B. You'll find it online through the County website at co.mchenry.il.us

Click on McHenry County Meetings, then Meeting Documents, then "Agenda Packet" for Nov. 20, 2012 County Board Regular Meeting

Make some coffee, while you are waiting for the .pdf file to download.

What do I like about it?

Handheld cell phone use is prohibited. Period. (Think anyone follows that?)

All County-owned vehicles are to be titled in the County's name and are to bear Municipal license plates, except those specifically designated as undercover law enforcement activities. Then "undercover" activities are defined.

It would seem that routine commuting use and non-law enforcement use would not be permitted for unmarked cars (let's say, a black Mercedes sedan). If that vehicle was seized in a drug deal, it is supposed to be used "undercover" for drug investigation activities, not driven to and from work (commuting) and not driven to Rockford for a court hearing in a civil case.

"Law enforcement officer" is defined in the County Vehicle Policy. It does not include civilian employees.

Why would a civilian officer manager be given a take-home County-owned car, especially if she lives more than 20 miles from 2200 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock? That's against the County policy. Was the exception approved by her Department Head, the Elected Official (Sheriff) and the County Administrator, Peter Austin?

Personal use is strictly prohibited.

Why would Sheriff Nygren drive his Chevrolet Tahoe to Minocqua, Wisconsin and put 1,200 miles on the odometer in Dec. 2011-Jan. 2012? What are the consequences of violation of the Vehicle Policy by the sheriff? Any? None?

And why would ranking officers in the Sheriff's Department be permitted to take their County-owned vehicles out-of-town on vacations such as to central Missouri for a Thanksgiving trip in 2011? That's 700-800 personal-use miles, plus having family members as passengers (against the Vehicle Policy). Who allowed that?

"EMPLOYEES shall:
14) Not operate vehicle outside the County unless on official county business as assigned and approved"

Will it happen again this year?

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