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Local News

Village board, NLPD determined to find alternatives to keep residents safe

The New Lenox Village Board members are determined to find an alternative if necessary to help keep residents safe.
The New Lenox Village Board members are determined to find an alternative if necessary to help keep residents safe.

New Lenox Village Board members continued to express their unhappiness with how the Will County Public Works and Transportation Committee voted on license plate reading cameras. 

Mayor Tim Baldermann said he was “fired up” at the outcome of the vote, which turned out 6-3 against cameras being put on county poles at intersections in New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena and Monee. 

The cameras would read license plates and send the information to the New Lenox Police Department in real time if that plate is in the system for having been a stolen car or in the system for a previous crime.

“I hope we’ll get this revisited at the county level,” he said during the board meeting Oct. 12. “There is no cost to the county. We just need their permission to use their poles and I think it would even help them in cases and crimes of similar nature.”

Baldermann went on to say in his comments to the New Lenox board and those in attendance of the meeting that he is disgusted that there is a sentiment, while he can’t speak for those who voted on the committee, in the country that “we have to pick sides and you have to be here or here.”

“It’s destroying the fabric of this country,” he said. “Politics are politics, but every elected official, I don’t care if it is us, or a partisan position, has an obligation to do what is best for the good of who they serve. There is this, for lack of a better term, and I’ll be kind, reluctance to do anything that’s supportive of law enforcement by some these days.”

He added that he hopes that was not the case in these votes. He had said it before and said it again at the meeting that he will never vote for anyone that puts party ahead of people. He was especially offended by it because it was "microscopic" and not something country-wide.

He spoke on the topic for approximately eight minutes, where he was then met with support from other trustees, including Dave Smith, Jasen Howard, Annette Bowden and Doug Finnegan. 

Smith echoed what Baldermann said by saying things have become too “tribal,” Howard said the most evil word that can be used is “they” when referring to other groups of people, Bowden said she hopes that we can move on from 2020 and have a new beginning. 

Finnegan finished by saying “ I couldn't agree more and for the life of me, can think of why someone would vote against it. It baffles my mind.” 

Whether New Lenox finds an agreement with the county in the future or not, Baldermann seemed determined to find a way to move forward with it or find other alternatives that keep the people in the area safe.

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