301 W. Franklin Street
Taylorville, IL 62568
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FROM THE SHERIFF’S DESK # 3
TRAINING: As I mentioned frequently during the campaign, training has become a major requirement for all law enforcement agencies.
Consider that the number of changes made to the laws of the Criminal Code is huge. This year, the changes, additions, definitions, and clarifications to the code fill 82 single-spaced pages. And they are all important.
They range from simple, straightforward revisions in the definition of terms in a law to major expansions and fresh definitions of crimes that are relatively new. For example, robbery is usually a Class 2 felony. But the revisions make robbery of a day care center, or other type of child care center, a Class 1 felony. The purpose of this change is to provide stronger response to the growth of crimes against minor children.
Computer crimes are another area expanding and therefore requiring extensive addition and refinement of definitions.
In some cases, new laws define specific activities as crimes that might or might not have been interpreted that way before. The new laws we trained our deputies on included such things as the “sending of a public conveyance travel ticket to a minor.” That is now clearly a crime.
In some cases, lengthy legal paragraphs of existing text change just a word or two. About 100 words of the law concerning financial exploitation of an elderly person, has just one word changed. Previously the law defined as one group of victims those with permanent disabilities.. The word “permanent” was removed. It’s only necessary for the elderly person to have a “disability” whether permanent or not.
The internet accounts for many of these examples. The internet’s growth and rapid changes in functions and utilizations have led to numerous questions of such things as just what precisely does “internet” mean.
Our deputies have to recognize these new laws and modifications, since they are the ones who have to know when a law is being broken.
This effective training helps to insure that our personnel recognize, record, and react to essential factors so that each case brought to the State’s Attorney is accurate and thorough. If that fails, Justice may not be done.
For this reason, a special session dealing with DUI, Driving Under the Influence, helped deputies to analytically deal with these offenses in a thoroughly professional manner.
We've also conducted sessions in report writing. As laws and regulations grow more complex and more complicated, the writing of reports covering these activities becomes more difficult and demanding. These types of sessions are key ingredients in helping to build a stronger and more effective action group.
Another important activity had training courses for our personnel and civilians in establishments serving the public. As past months news reports around the country suggest, those who work in banks, healthcare, and home services may find themselves in difficult situations requiring their prompt and knowledgeable action. For example, last year saw a fairly typical 6,000 bank robberies in the country. Home Healthcare Workers may encounter difficult or dangerous situations. For these reasons, Memorial Home Services employees and employees of local banks participated along with law enforcement personnel in sessions specially designed to help them deal with such occurrences.
SOME GOOD FINANCIAL NEWS: We were fortunate in being able to secure funding from the County for replacing 2 much-needed squad cars. Time was a critical factor, because doing it now saves $7,000. We will be able to reuse the light bars and the partition cages from the current vehicles. If we hadn't taken this step now, the new models which will soon replace those currently available, will not accept this equipment, and therefore would require the additional $7,000 expenditure.
SOME NOT-SO-GOOD NEWS: Budget cuts in some organizations are also causing a problem. The Federal reduction of funding for DEA, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and some cutbacks in the Illinois Sheriff’s Association will mean that some, perhaps many, needed activities will no longer be paid for by them, placing more pressure on local law enforcement.
SOME MORE NOT-SO-GOOD NEWS: It is that time of year when the weather converts our County Roads into “Mud Bogging” attractions. The problem is that this activity of racing through the muddied roads can lead to significant damage. The results are sometimes very expensive to repair, especially when budget problems have become so acute this year. The law recognizes the damage caused as a Class A misdemeanor which carries a fine of $250. If you know of any “Mud Boggers” try to dissuade them from this activity. You’ll be doing the county and the taxpayers a very big service.
ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE: In January, total on-duty miles by the deputies rose 14.9% to 22,052.
Processes served (summons, subpoenas, orders of
Protection, etc.) 148 194
Warrants 13 9
Criminal Arrests 12 12
Citations 186 156
Crashes 62 50
DUI’s 13 6
Total on-duty miles driven by our Deputies 19,194 22,052
It’s very good to see the reductions in Citations, Crashes, and DUI’s. These numbers, along with on-duty miles driven, are inversely related. That strongly suggests that increased on-job visibility of deputies leads to better, and safer, driver behavior.