OREGON – Both the City Council and the Park District Board gave unanimous approval without discussion Tuesday to an agreement between the two for police services.
Oregon Police Chief Darin DeHaan said the agreement will provide proactive patrols at the parks, as well as a variety of community service education opportunities.
The police department will also offer traffic control during some park district events.
“The Oregon Police Department will handle all investigations on park property,” said DeHaan. “This is a renewal of a contract we have had in the past with the park district.”
The park district will pay the city $10,000 per year, DeHaan said.
“This fee will help cover our costs,” DeHaan said.
Erin Folk, executive director of the park district, said the park district will continue to employ park police.
“The main purpose for the park police is ordinance enforcement at special events and during peak use times,” she said.
The park district has four part-time police officers who are or have been full-time police officers elsewhere.
The four are Ogle County Chief Deputy Mike Schabacker, Ogle County Deputy Evan Ruggeberg, Polo Policeman Chris Scott, and retired Byron Policeman Jeff Ziolkowski.
Folk said the park district is also continuing a police services agreement with the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department.
That agreement is for dispatch services and firearms certification. In the past, it included police training, but with experienced officers on staff, that aspect is no longer necessary.
Folk said the agreement with the sheriff’s department is reciprocal. In return for the police services, the park district does beautification projects on the courthouse grounds.
Vinde Wells contributed to this story.