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Details on McCullom Lake PD crash

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois Emergency Services Vehicles

Details on McCullom Lake PD crash

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
April 18, 2011

It would certainly be nice to be able to inform readers of more detail about last Thursday's two-car crash involving a McCullom Lake PD officer and a citizen. Earlier today I sent an e-mail to the McHenry County Sheriff's Department, asking when they would provide a media release with the names of the drivers, information about tickets and the name of the MCSD accident-investigation deputy.

This afternoon MCSD posted a press release on its website. It's the same, old, tired information that they had already given to a Northwest Herald reporter, who published a story online last Saturday morning at 5:30AM. No names; no information about tickets; no ID of the MCSD deputy.

But it had the Sheriff's signature on the signature line, so Keith must be in the office today. Is he back? Isn't anyone else authorized to make press releases? Did someone sign his name on the media release?

And why isn't full information about the crash being made available?

A call this afternoon to the McCullom Lake P.D. was answered by a dispatcher who told me to call the Village President. Duhhh.... why would I want to do that? Why not the police chief? When I asked the hours for the village hall, I was left on hold for more than five minutes. Did she go out for an early dinner?

Then I called the Village Hall, where I reached a very friendly woman who told me I needed to talk to the police chief. She also explained that the dispatcher with whom I had spoken was at the McHenry Police Department, which dispatches calls for McCullom Lake P.D. How nice it would have been, if that dispatcher had explained that she only dispatched police calls and was not at the Village Hall. And, of course, it would have been nice if she had not abandoned my call!

I'm hoping the Village Hall employee will be able to call back with the name of their officer who was in last Thursday's crash, the name of the MCSD deputy who investigated the crash, and with information about any tickets issued. She was kind enough to ask if I could get the information from MCSD. Yes, I could. I could order it, pay $5 for the Crash Report and wait five days for it. Why should that be necessary for information for the public?

My thanks to the Village Hall employee who did call back just before 4:30PM. She didn't have the information but told me she had left messages for Village President Terry Counley and Police Chief Zach Beatty.

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