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Cary opts against providing Trout Valley police service

CARY – Village Board members have opted against providing police service to the village of Trout Valley.

In September, Trout Valley Village President Bob Baker approached Cary Village Board members about renewing discussions of providing Trout Valley with police protection.

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.

At a recent Cary Committee of the Whole meeting however, Village Board members opted against providing police service to the .43-square-mile village.

Cary Village President Mark Kownick said doing patrols in Trout Valley would mean expanding a patrol beat for one of Cary's officers, and it would not be cost effective.

Kownick said the police department already is running a lean operation.

He added that doing patrols and responding to incidents in Trout Valley would hinder police operations and responses in Cary.

"It's not easy getting in and out of Trout Valley," Kownick said. "To get a patrol up and out would be an issue."

"We would be spending time down there," Kownick added. "We would want to provide the best service we can as we do our existing residents."

Kownick added that performing occasional patrols in Trout Valley would not be an adequate level of police service, and Cary officials didn't believe Trout Valley would be able to afford the cost of Cary Police services.

The village had waited to make a decision on whether to provide service to Trout Valley until it had a replacement for former Chief Steven Casstevens.

In previous years, Trout Valley has spent $60,000 on its security service and sheriff's patrols, but the amount has decreased over time and is a lot lower than in years past, Baker said.

Baker has 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.

Baker said during a phone interview this week that he is disappointed, but not surprised by Cary's decision.

When he brought up the idea in September, he said he didn't believe there was a lot of enthusiasm from Cary officials.

In the past, Trout Valley had been willing to pay up to $43,000 for the salary of one officer position. In exchange, the Cary police department would have done occasional patrols in Trout Valley. There was even a study done and an agreement for Trout Valley ready to be signed. However, Cary pulled out of the deal, Baker said.

Trout Valley approached Cary again with the change in village leadership in recent years.

"The concept still makes sense," Baker said. "They gain more than we do."

Baker said Trout Valley's relationship with the sheriff's office has grown in recent years.

The sheriff's office also has a substation at the Algonquin Township offices on Route 14 to serve the southeastern part of the county.

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