by Cheryl Borrowdale
SUGAR GROVE—Parents should educate themselves about area sex offenders, trustees urged at Tuesday’s Village Board meeting, and the Sugar Grove Police Department should make ensuring children’s safety a priority by patrolling school sites more often and enforcing school zone speed limits.
Trustee David Paluch pointed out that the state lists four offenders currently living in Sugar Grove, and asked interim Police Chief Ron Moser whether the Sugar Grove Police Department had been actively notifying neighbors about sex offenders living in the village.
“I know we have four; I know where they live and where they are,” Moser said. “I don’t know whether we have made an active notification in the past. We can get into an active notification system, but the downside is that we had better be right if we are informing people that in that house is a registered sex offender.”
Moser said that during his time as police chief in Hanover Park, he had been involved in notifying offenders around holidays, such as Halloween and Christmas, that they couldn’t give out candy or dress up as Santa Claus. He suggested that something similar could be done in Sugar Grove.
Paluch said that the public should be notified that there’s a website that lists sex offenders near an address. Parents and residents can see who might be living in their neighborhood by going to www.city-data.com/so/so-Sugar-Grove-Illinois.html, he said.
“We want to make sure our residents can go to the website and see who’s there, and it’s current, since maybe people have moved,” he said.
Trustee Robert Bohler also asked Moser to make sure that monitoring school sites and bus stops was a priority for SGPD officers.
“I noticed that our trips to school sites were down about 40 percent from the prior year and our speeding tickets were up about 30 percent,” Bohler said. “I think with school starting again, we need to get back to patrolling the schools and the bus stops. I guess this is my way of telling our new chief that we have this as a priority, to be looking over bus stops in the mornings and afternoons.”
The department’s officers have already been informed that school and bus patrols are a priority, Moser said.
“I also have appointments with both the principals of the schools in town (John Shields Elementary and Harter Middle School) to talk about what’s important for them. We’ve talked about the enforcement of school zones with speeding and having new electronic signs,” Moser said.
Increasing school patrols is all about visibility and safety, Moser said.
“We want to be making sure that the kids are safe, that they’re not running out in the streets, and that we’re taking care of any issues for the safety of the kids, whether it’s speeding cars or making sure the crowd around them is appropriate,” he said.