Four DuPage County townships want to keep extra patrols

A decades-old arrangement for the DuPage County sheriff's office to provide extra patrols in four townships is expected to continue for another year.

On Tuesday, members of the county board's judicial and public safety committee tentatively approved separate contracts with Bloomingdale, Wayne, Milton and York townships to keep special police districts that have been in place since the 1980s. The full board is scheduled to vote next week on the one-year pacts.

If approved, the four townships will continue to have extra sheriff's deputies patrol their unincorporated neighborhoods through March 31, 2019.

"The deputies are specifically assigned to those particular townships, which means they have a vested interest in community involvement," Chief James Kruse said. "They attend homeowners association meetings. They work directly with the residents on neighborhood disturbances."

Most importantly, he said, township residents develop a personal relationship with the deputy assigned to their area.

It's the type of added security the townships wanted when they created a separate tax levy to pay for the deputies.

"Those townships voted to have special patrols," county board member Jim Zay said. "They did a referendum years ago for a special policing district."

As part of the deal, the townships are required to pay 80 percent of the six extra sheriff's deputies' salaries and benefits, according to the contracts.

Milton is scheduled to pay $364,561 to have three extra deputies assigned to its unincorporated neighborhoods. Bloomingdale, Wayne and York townships each are scheduled to pay $121,520 to have one additional deputy.

Kruse said the reason the county pays 20 percent of the program's cost is because the sheriff's office reserves the right to use the deputies outside their assigned townships during emergencies. "Once the emergency is abated, they return back to township duties," he said.

Otherwise, the deputies are spending up to 40 hours a week in their assigned township. Their schedules are adjusted based on requests from the township and responses to criminal activity.

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