Lyons Residents Speak Out Following Police Cuts

In a village meeting Wednesday, some residents argued the board gave themselves raises and healthcare benefits

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Residents of a southwest Chicago suburb are speaking out after one-third of the area's police force was cut last week. Lauren Jiggetts reports. (Published Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014)

    Residents of a southwest Chicago suburb are speaking out after one-third of the area's police force was cut last week.

    "I'm kind of appalled," said Lyons resident Cindy Mateck. "Let's say three cops are out and there is a domestic or something, they need more than one cop. It's really sad."

    Seven police officers were cut last Friday following unsuccessful negotiation talks between the village and police union over raises, according to the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police.

    "Concerning financial constraints, it was something that was necessary," said Mayor Christopher Getty. "We still believe our community will be safe."

    According to Tamara Cummings with the Illinois FOP General Council, the cuts eliminated the detectives division along with all special units, leaving 16 officers for the area’s 10,000 residents.

    “The majority [of officers cut] are experienced officers who’d been with the department for a while,” the Illinois FOP said in a statement. “One has nearly 10 years of experience. He and the others were let go without a severance package.”

    In a village meeting Wednesday, some residents argued the board gave themselves raises and healthcare benefits at the expense of their safety and the safety of the officers.

    "These cops are going to be on calls, who is going to back them up?" said resident Jodi Jaras.

    Others, however, said they're confident with the board's decision. Former mayor Marie Vachata believes this will not affect safety in the area.

    "I don't have a problem," she said. "I'm not afraid."