Letters and comments for December 2, 2011

By Observer Upload December 02, 2011 09:56 pm
Letters and comments for December 2, 2011

Rethink Elgin police

To the Editor:

Chief Kevin Lynch and Officer Kilpatrick resigned. Elgin keeps its police department. Elgin’s good again. Or, is it?

Currently, city council members hire and supervise the police department. Some may have law enforcement experience. Most don’t.

In 2006, standing room only at a city council meeting, the community voiced their support for hiring proven Elgin police officer John Weaver for chief of police. The council didn’t listen and hired Chief Lynch. They made a bad decision and almost everyone responsible is gone.

I think many officers apply for jobs in small town police departments because larger law enforcement agencies won’t hire them.

Training new officers takes years and it’s expensive. After driving circles in a small town, the new officer soon moves up the career ladder to a larger, more exciting city. The small town council again takes the chance hiring another officer.

The county sheriff is a full-time law enforcement officer directly responsible for hiring and supervising officers, and is elected by the people.

Contracting with the sheriff’s department typically means more stability of officers and eliminates the small town’s vulnerability of lawsuits filed because poor judgment was used hiring a police officer.

It is beyond the scope of most city councils to have this necessary knowledge of law enforcement. If the present council “overlooked” Chief Lynch’s last three annual evaluations as recently explained by Mayor Stover, how competent and capable are they of recruiting, hiring and supervising the police department?

Is it in Elgin’s best interest to have their police department supervised by an ever-changing group of citizens that for the most part have no experience in an area as critical as law enforcement?

Or should this responsibility be contracted with the Union County Sheriff’s Department? The citizens of Elgin should be allowed to vote.

Judith Pratt


Don’t recall Stover

To the Editor:

As a citizen of Elgin, I am extremely saddened by all the articles in the newspaper regarding officials of Elgin and the complaints about the mayor, the police department, Terrie Richards and the city.

I have to wonder if the issues these people have stem from actual problems, jealousy or from a case where they felt they just didn’t get their own way.

I am dismayed about the recall petition against Mayor John Stover. He truly cares about the city and has helped get neighborhoods cleaned up of trash, old cars, etc.

Terrie Richards has always been very helpful to us. She works long hours and truly cares about the city. Kevin Lynch was very instrumental in carrying out city ordinances and helped clean up a lot of the city.

Maybe it is time that those with complaints look into why they are against any of these people. I know a lot of people think “This is Elgin, I can do whatever I want.” Maybe it is time they clean up their act?

I was born and raised in Elgin, as was my father. My husband and I chose to raise our sons here. I am proud to live here and I like the way people have cleaned it up. I want to be proud to show visitors our town.

Shirley Kirk