Some of the public is concerned that if LaSalle, Peru, and Oglesby share a headquarters for police services they’ll lose police presence in their communities. The committees looking into it saw proposals for four potential locations last night.
One location is at Illinois 251 and Shooting Park Rd. in Peru next to the CVS store. It would cost $325,000 to buy it, another $200,000 to demolish an old building there, and another $150,000 for environmental remediation.
The other three possible locations are proposed on 150 acres of farmland that Illinois Valley Community College owns southeast of the college’s Oglesby campus. College President Jerry Corcoran says he’s willing to give the land for free or lease it long-term for almost nothing.
The combined services headquarters would be an administration building with holding cells. Oglesby Mayor Donald Finley says police officers don’t—and won’t—sit around at the police station waiting for calls. They’ll be in the communities they serve.
Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei says police have always had patrol zones and that won’t change. So when there’s a problem, the police officer on the nearest patrol will show up. Bernabei says today’s technology makes it possible for the officer to stay away from the police station longer than years ago too.
The police administration co-op talks originally included Spring Valley. Spring Valley city officials dropped out after a feasibility study led them to conclude that their community wouldn’t benefit enough to be worth the cost and effort.