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Island Lake PD "finds" 3,173 unpaid tickets

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Island Lake PD "finds" 3,173 unpaid tickets

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
January 29, 2011

Pretty embarrassing, eh? When your police department starts nosing around in old desk drawers and finds 3,173 unpaid tickets?

See the article and the comments at www.dailyherald.com/article/20110128/news/701289876/

What should Island Lake P.D. and Village management do now?

Well, first of all, make a plan. So far, it sounds like they are putting the cart before the horse by identifying a collection agency (and an out-of-town one, at that. TekCollect is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. What? No local business that could handle the collection?

Isn't there an inventory of ticket numbers? How could someone not "notice" that there were (how many?) drawers full of old tickets?

I'll bet that many of them will end up being non-collectable. Should Island Lake draw a line and just void all that are older than 6-12 months? Or maybe just void all of them? What kind of tickets are there? Are they parking and other local ordinance tickets?

Put a trusted employee (is there one?) to work creating a spreadsheet: date of issue, name, violation, officer. That might be enough for starters. Look for a pattern. The pattern will help the Village and the Chief decide what to do next.

If they think they are embarrassed now, they are quite likely to be more embarrassed if they don't create a solid plan right now.

Maybe the public should be informed just how these tickets surfaced, and whether any officers complained previously that there were lots of unpaid tickets in drawers.

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