The overall crime statistics for the village of Minooka are the lowest since 2011, according to the Minooka Police Department’s annual report.
Police Chief Justin Meyer said they accomplished this feat thanks to a combination of increased officer-initiated and citizen-generated reports.
Traffic crashes were among some of the areas in which Meyer said the police department reported increases. Last year Minooka police reported 188 crashes, compared with 172 the previous year. Meyer said they will turn their attention to distracted driving moving forward because a majority of the traffic crashes reported can be attributed to it.
Meyer said school safety is being emphasized.
It arose as a hot topic locally and nationally last year after the shooting that occurred in Parkland, Florida, and the threat of violence in the community and surrounding areas. Meyer turned to an example of practices in need of change, citing the use of active shooter drills in schools. Meyer said “after realizing this method was vulnerable,” the department adopted the Alert Lockdown Inform Counter and Evacuate model to give individuals survival options when confronted with an armed intruder.
ALICE is endorsed by the Illinois Police Chiefs Association and recommended by the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Emergency Management Agency and many state agencies across the nation. Meyer said police officers and staff members of local school districts have sat in on ALICE instructor courses.
“All who attended were able to teach faculty at both school districts this best-practice method to provide a proactive decision-making response,” he said.
Officer of the Year
Meyer presented the Police Officer of the Year award to Detective Ryan Macdonald.
Macdonald is a 15-year veteran with experience as a school resource officer, as well as the investigations and patrol divisions. Meyer said Macdonald is deserving.
“He is respected in the community, and he shows compassion and professionalism to victims and suspects,” he said.
Macdonald will move from investigations to patrol at the start of spring. He said earning the award is very important to him.
“I love the community, the people I work with,” Macdonald said. “I love the job.”