McLouth councilman questions why officers are leaving city limits to assist other agencies
by Dennis Sharkey
At least one member of the McLouth City Council has concerns about city officers leaving to assist Sheriff’s deputies.
Councilman James Moore sought clarification from Police Chief Marcus Koch about a situation that involved a McLouth police officer outside city limits that involved an arrest at gun point.
Koch said officers were called to respond to a situation outside the city limits recently where a suspect was shooting towards a dwelling. Koch said charges of discharging a fire arm and criminal damage were filed against a 20-year-old man as a result of the incident. A 14-year-old passanger of the vehicle the 20-year-old was driving was not arrested.
Moore questioned whether or not drawing a weapon on a child was nessary.
Koch said anyone 18 years old or older is considered an adult and that he reviewed the situation and the officer acted correctly.
“I will not take a chance,” Koch said. “I will confront possible deadly force by protecting myself. That’s the way we are trained.”
Moore also questioned why city officers were responding to the situation rather than Sheriff’s deputies. Koch said it’s standard practice to assist other agencies in a time of need. Many times only a few deputies are on duty and not close by. Koch said when he is called to assist, many times he is the first responder.
“There’s no way that one or two officers can handle a number of complex situations,” Koch said. “We’re calling for their help because we’re one person. We have to help each other out.”
Moore said he understands responding to a dangerous situation but if the call is for kids shooting street signs the city should not respond.
“It seems to me our priorities should be in McLouth and not out there in the country,” he said
Councilman Harlan Woodring asked Koch how many times he has discharged a weapon in the line of duty. Koch said none.
In other actions:
• The meeting last week was interrupted several times for brief executive sessions.
The first closed session was called when agenda an agenda item for an agreement with the Union Fire District was tabled.
Shortly thereafter another closed session was called when the council began discussing new radios for city vehicles.
Moore questioned why the city would buy radios if the fire departments are consolidating. Immediatley after Moore posed the question Woodring requested another closed session.
The council also went into closed session right before a vote that approved a bid by Bartlett Concrete for the West Lucy Street improvment project for about $21,000. Councilwoman Barbara Hasemeier requested the closed session and then voted against approving Bartlett. Moore abstained and Mayor Keith Meador cast the tie breaking vote.
• Koch reported that there was a great concern about how the media would behave during a service on June 2 at the United Methodist Church for 16-year-old Justin Johnston. However, he reported that the media behaved in a professional manner.
Short URL: http://www.jeffcountynews.com/?p=8953