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Something smells in Denmark...

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois Emergency Services Vehicles

Something smells in Denmark...

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
June 16, 2011

Where did that phrase come from? My apologies to Denmark and to Danes who feel slighted by my headline. No offense intended.

But something smells at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department. Again! Wouldn't you think the Sheriff learned anything over the past 2-3 years about trying to cover up incidents that involve deputies? And crashes of patrol vehicles, whether on-duty or off-duty?

The Northwest Herald reported this morning that a two-car crash (involving two MCSD patrol vehicles) occurred on June 8 "in a residential area of Wonder Lake." The Wonder Lake P.D. told me this morning that it did not investigate it, because it did not occur within the corporate limits of the Village of Wonder Lake.

The crash occurred at East Wonder Lake Road and Chippewa Drive, in unincorporated McHenry County near Wonder Lake.

Normally, a nearby law enforcement agency (such as Wonder Lake P.D.) would be called to investigate a crash involving County vehicles of the sheriff's department. If they aren't available, the Illinois State Police would be called. Or maybe the ISP would be called first and, if a trooper weren't available, then Wonder Lake P.D. would be called.

Or, if it's like the July 13, 2008, crash caused by poor driving judgement of a deputy, you just let the deputy's supervisor handle it. In that case, the civilian driver was placed as "Unit 1", the at-fault driver, and the County's risk-management (insurance) company refused to pay for the $5,300 damage to the civilian's vehicle, because she was reported as being at-fault. Even though she was not ticketed!

So, who was at fault on June 8? Obviously, one of the deputies, since both vehicles belong to the McHenry County Sheriff's Department. And who were the drivers?

It's not clear how Northwest Herald Brett Rowland sniffed out this story. Even now (10:30AM) there is no media release about the crash on the Sheriff's website.

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