To the Editor:
In 2010, a dangerous crosswalk existed at Beardsley Middle School. [Now retired] Crystal Lake Police Chief David Linder was an active participant in a solution. Once aware of the developing situation, he efficiently analyzed alternatives, subsequently enacting appropriate precautions. Pedestrians soon benefited from a crossing guard and safety campaign emphasizing awareness of the crossing and a law requiring that motorists stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.
Leveraging the relationship built from this effort, Linder then partnered with community members to realize further positive change. After hearing of incidents in local high schools, I approached him about bringing a proactive character education program called Rachel’s Challenge to Crystal Lake. He quickly scheduled a meeting for school social workers and his student resource officers to meet with him and our group of concerned citizens to study Rachel’s Challenge, an initiative urging kindness and compassion. Supporters backed Rachel’s Challenge because of the alarming number of violent incidents in schools across the country. This kickoff led to its positive influence, reaching 3,000 students in our middle schools this past October.
Through these brief synopses, Chief Linder admirably has demonstrated collaborative effort between police and community, increasing safety, promoting positive change, and extending himself beyond his job description to help citizens of this community take part in the greater good for our children. Sometimes, for various reasons, high-standing officials are reluctant to do the right thing, to go that extra mile, but not Chief Linder. He truly is a hidden hero to all of our children.