Trout Valley asks Cary for police service

CARY – Trout Valley officials have asked the village of Cary to renew discussions about having its neighbors handle police coverage.

Currently, Trout Valley has a private security firm, which does not have law enforcement powers, handling patrols. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction in the village and does some patrols.

Trout Valley in the past has asked Cary to consider handling police duties for the small village.

“There’s always an interest there because of the proximity [to Cary], although once the sheriff’s office set up the substation at the township, it became less of a need,” Trout Valley Village President Bob Baker said. “Years ago, it used to be when we call the sheriff, they could be across the county. Now they’re much more responsive, but they have a bigger area to cover.”

Baker said the idea of having Cary provide police coverage to Trout Valley comes up every few years. After some recent discussions with other municipalities, Trout Valley decided to approach Cary again.

“It’s time to bring it up again and see if the interest level was there,” Baker said.
Past proposals from Trout Valley have included paying Cary for patrols through the small village, and even paying the salary for one officer.

Cary Village Administrator Chris Clark said adding Trout Valley as a patrol area is something the village needs to evaluate to see whether it would be possible from a budgetary point of view.

“It’s important to replicate the service Cary residents would receive,” Clark said. “It comes down to wanting to be good to a neighbor first, but also looking at the financial model versus the enhanced liability and see what kind of efficiencies can be run.”

Clark did add the concept of having an officer in Trout Valley at all times “doesn’t make sense,” as the village is only 0.43 square miles.

There have been discussions of creating a new beat, Clark said.

Cary Trustee Jeff Kraus said he would be interested in doing further evaluation of the possibility of sharing police services.

Baker said Trout Valley residents understand its private security firm doesn’t have police powers, but it does try to learn all of the residents’ names and learn their routines.

However, “residents ... wish they had police powers,” Baker said.

Trout Valley annually has spent up to $60,000 a year for its security service and sheriff’s office services. However, that amount has been reduced over the years, Baker said.

Cary Trustee Bruce Kaplan said if the village does take on Trout Valley’s area, it has to work economically.

“I don’t see anybody against the concept, [but] the numbers have to work, and it has to be a win-win,” Kaplan said.

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