Elements of a sound policy for automated license plate readers

The Daily Chronicle covered the October 11 city council discussion that led to approval of the purchase of 12 automated license plate readers. The newspaper purports to know how DeKalb PD plans to use the ALPRs, but that is not entirely true. They talked about some aspects, but as yet DeKalb has no formal policy…

Chief Lowery doesn’t want you at meetings if you don’t have anything nice to say

DeKalb’s police chief, Eugene Lowery, is so very, very tired of your negativity. Here’s what he said at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting of council. I want you to hear everyone’s voice. Not the voices of the few that walk up to this podium, and day in and day out, or week in and…

Feels like a SLAPP to me

***Update 11/3/2017*** Next court appearance is Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 9 am in Room 300 of the DeKalb County Courthouse. DeKalb’s police chief is suing a McHenry County resident for calling him names in emails addressed to other DeKalb city officials. [DeKalb Police Chief] Gene Lowery filed suit in DeKalb County Court in January 2016,…

Resident Officer Programs: One of These Things is Not Like the Others

**UPDATE 11/24** Via email, the city still maintains that the redaction “facially” applied to its FOIA response. However: [A]fter further discussion with the Police Department, we believe that the Resident Officer Program’s mission is furthered by engaging with the public wherever possible, and where doing so does not endanger public or officer safety. Accordingly, the…

DeKalb’s Police Department Overspent by $700,000 Last Fiscal Year

Overtime comprised most of DeKalb PD’s excessive spending over budgeted amounts for FY2014, but another major culprit was spending in the “Commodities” category that came to roughly twice as much as the $260,000 budgeted. Commodities were clearly under-budgeted in 7 of 10 accounts in that category and in a couple cases downright unrealistically. For example,…

Towing Fee Account Story Generates More Questions

The Daily Chronicle may have just published one of the most important investigative reports ever written about City of DeKalb finances. Since early 2013, the DeKalb Police Department has used around $300,000 of the $350,000 collected in administrative tow fees to buy a wide range of items outside of its regular budget. There are a…

Sustainable is the Last Thing This Is

A Chronicle article last week talks about all the new building, equipment and personnel the City of DeKalb is investing into its fire department. I read the article after just having skimmed through the city’s check register for August. The police department spent, among other things, $125,000+ on software and $2600 on the new dog,…

City of DeKalb, Truancy Services are Not Your Job

Do you ever go into a store during a weekday when your own kids are in school, and see similarly-aged kids and think, “I wonder why they’re not in school?” I’ve done so quite reflexively on occasion, and when that happens I say or do…nothing. Because it’s none of my business. This is between the…

Power Shifts and Pushback

Let’s cut loose a couple of these agenda items for tonight’s DeKalb council meeting and try to paste them into the big picture. It is odd that this fiscal year’s budget allows for the hiring of code inspectors into the police department’s Crime Free Housing Bureau instead of mingling them with the rest of the…