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The Joy of Christmas - C.L. PD-style

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

The Joy of Christmas - C.L. PD-style

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
December 19, 2012

The big, bad police department in Crystal Lake did some serious police work on Tuesday and wrote 20 tickets for seatbelt violations. Congratulations, guys. You really made a dent in crime in Crystal Lake.

Your bravery and hard work are appreciated by all the citizens.

Yeah, sure...

And their hard work and serious crime-fighting efforts will continue for two weeks.

If you think such a program sucks, do two things: call the Crystal Lake PD at 815.459.2020 and shop in Woodstock or McHenry or Algonquin or Lake in the Hills or Huntley or Cary.

Oh, a third thing. Call the managers and owners of the stores in Crystal Lake where you would have shopped and tell them why you won't be in.

Seatbelt compliance in Illinois is at record levels. On August 31 "Gov. Pat Quinn announced ... that Illinois has achieved an all-time high seat belt usage rate in 2012." (Galesburg.com) With the mark at 93.6%, why is Crystal Lake PD throwing overtime at officers to stand in the roadway and flag over the very few violators that pass? And do they create more of a hazard by doing so?

Sgt. Dan Hulata was quoted in the Northwest Herald article: "You'll see cars weaving [while they're putting on their seat belt] as they get pulled over."

The Crystal Lake P.D. could place an electronic sign on the side of the road with a message "Buckle up or else." Maybe with a couple of orange warning flags or an orange rotating light to attract attention (but not distract drivers). They could put one $15.00/hour community service officer on the street by the sign to wave at passing drivers.

The P.D. advises this morning that the tickets carry a fine of $60.00 and are handled at the McHenry County Circuit Court. Now there is a good use of that big brick building in Woodstock and all those wonderful County employees on the taxpayer-supported salary and benefits schedule. Of course, if you go to court to fight it, then you'll lose a morning's pay and you'll incur $200 in court costs, if you lose. Not a good gamble; right?

The P.D. scarfs up big bucks from the Feds for this stupidity. In many departments officers work overtime, which means in the area of $60.00/hour for each officer standing out there in the cold and the snow.

And it's not just Crystal Lake P.D. It's just Crystal Lake P.D. this week. Almost every department does this.

What a waste!

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