Huntley residents satisfied with police
By Jeanie Mayer For The Courier-News September 28, 2012 3:28PM
Scarecrows line the craft fair at Huntley Fall Fest. | Jeanie Mayer~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 1, 2012 6:36AM
HUNTLEY — High levels of satisfaction among village residents were reported by Police Chief John Perkins in a summary he provided to the village board Thursday night.
In his synopsis, Perkins said this was the second such survey his department had conducted. The first was in 2009. It received 197 responses and police were given a 68 percent approval rating. It was not available online.
This year, the survey was made available online, at the village website and other websites and was emailed to 2,600 residents and businesses. Perkins said a total of 805 responses were received, with 68 percent coming from persons aged 55 and over. The chief stated the department received a 93 percent overall service approval rating.
Perkins said some of the issues cited by respondents were concern about becoming victims of a crime. He said the reason for the concern may stem from the number of respondents over age 55 and the higher-than-average number of burglaries and vandalism occurring in Sun City over the past year.
“Crime is actually down in Huntley. Part 1 crime like murder, rape, etc., is down 12 percent. Overall crime is down 14 percent,” Perkins said.
The survey revealed that residents want to be informed of current crime information, they want an increase in bike and foot patrol from officers and more patrol of parks and bike paths.
In response to the requests, Perkins said his department will work to obtain an alternate police vehicle that will be able to handle the narrow and uneven terrain of bike paths and golf course conditions. They will enhance their bicycle patrol program and increase neighborhood foot patrols.
Perkins said working with liquor license holders to offer DUI awareness programs and partnering with a drug task force will help to mitigate some of those types of issues.
Perkins said an easy way to increase safety at home would be for residents to install a low-cost door alarm. He said the devices can cost as little as $7 and can be placed in front of the door. When opened, the door triggers the device and it makes a 120 decibel alarm sound.
“In my experience, very few times has a home been burglarized that had an alarm,” he said.
Other plans for meeting the needs of the residents include building a web based crime map and making it available on the Internet.
“When a resident slides the cursor over the map they can see where a crime occurred and a pop up window will give them the details of the crime,” Perkins said.
Perkins also suggested creating a crime analyst position to be shared with Algonquin and Lake in the Hills, and assigning a detective to work with the public on the prevention of cyber crime and scams.