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updated: 10/22/2010 11:07 AM

West Dundee cops gain powers in township parks

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West Dundee police officers have always patrolled and responded to calls on Dundee Township Park District property in town but haven't been officially authorized to enforce park district rules and regulations.

The West Dundee village board has voted to change that, giving the department authorization and laying the groundwork for a revocation of privileges program the police department and park district hope to implement in the spring.

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A similar collaboration was discussed in April 2009 but after the board agreed to it the paperwork was never signed and it never went into effect.

"It made sense to everybody at the board level that the police department should be able to enforce both the regulations of the park district and of the village," Village President Larry Keller said.

The park district encompasses four communities. Carpentersville, East Dundee and Sleepy Hollow police already operate under a similar agreement.

Come spring, West Dundee police will be able to ban repeat violators from district property and arrest them for trespassing if they do not comply.

"You may arrest someone from a park and they're released with nothing to keep them from returning to the park," Police Chief Andrew Wieteska said.

Wieteska said he does not foresee citations becoming commonplace but said it is important officers have that option. "We don't like to tie our hands when you have situations where that need may arise," he said.

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