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Feelin' safe in Woodstock today?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Feelin' safe in Woodstock today?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 6, 2009

Illinois State Police Traffic Stop Illinois State Police Traffic Stop Illinois State Police Traffic Stop

Did you feel safer in Woodstock today, with the presence of eight (8) State troopers here to enforce traffic rules?

The first two I saw had a motorcyclist stopped on Route 47, north of McConnell Road. As I passed, I noticed the "ape-hanger" handlebars and wondered whether that was the reason he was stopped. Raised handlebars cannot be higher than the shoulders of the rider. I had plenty of time to look, because the two patrol cars were doing a good job of interfering with northbound traffic. Kinda caused me to wonder why they didn't order the motorcycle operator to drive forward 100 yards and pull off into a driveway.

The next officer I saw was in an unmarked white patrol car, and he had a driver stopped in the parking lot at Ace Hardware. Thanks, Trooper, for not blocking Route 47.

At then at 4:45PM, right in the middle of Woodstock's rush-hour, all eight troopers were enjoying delicious meals at Tommy's Red Hots. I'm sure the camaraderie of a group meal is nice. Most troopers don't get a chance to sit down with others for a meal.

But it's rush-hour in Woodstock and a great time to write tickets to red-light runners and to drivers who use the middle lane on Route 47 to speed past stopped cars to get to the left turn lane at the next light. One of those guys passed me while I waited in a long line of cars stopped between McConnell Road and Lake Avenue.

I called the Elgin District Office and left a message that I hope will get to the trooper in charge of this afternoon's traffic detail, asking attention to center-lane violators.

I also asked how I can get traffic statistics on the number of tickets written this afternoon in Woodstock and the violations that were cited.

Maybe I'll get a call tomorrow with the statistics. That would be really nice, but I won't hold my breath. I suspect I'll need the assistance of my good old friend, Mr. FOIA, and he'll be out the door tomorrow night and perched on the edge of someone's desk on Friday morning.

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