Mayor Says City is Addressing Crime on Main Street
Sally Faith sought to clarify a report that shows more than 1,200 police incidents in and around Main Street in 2012.
Mayor Sally Faith sought to clarify a recent report about police incidents on Main Street in 2012 and assure business owners that the city is working on a solution.
According to the report, there were 1,272 incidents on and around Main Street St. Charles between Jan. 1 and July 10, 2012.
Faith said she was stressed that the report caused uproar among residents and business owners. She sought to clarify the definition of "incident."
"An incident is when my car breaks down and I call for help and a policeman comes and helps me out," she said. "An incident is when a police officer is directed to go down for extra duty."
Faith said Interim Police Chief Larry Stulce is compiling a report that would compare the incidents in 2012 to those in 2011. According to an initial assessment, it appears there were 26 more incidents between Jan. 1 and July 10, 2012 than during the same time period in 2011.
"The volume of calls wasn't abnormal," Stulce said. "It's a lot of calls but a lot of them we directed ourselves. The rest of them were just typical, everyday business."
Stulce said of the 1,272 incidents, about 390 were calls for service, but another 377 were patrols of officers assigned to work in the Main Street area.
"That's logged as a call," Stulce said. "We have calls for foot patrols, traffic and business checks and self-initiated calls."
Another 190 of the calls were police service calls which would include a business check or follow up visit.
Stulce said the Main Street area attracts a high number of visitors as an entertainment district. "It's nearly a 24-hour operation," he said. "People come there at all hours. You get a variety of people who will visit the venue."
Several months ago, Faith created a security task force that is meeting monthly to brainstorm possible ways to minimize late night problems on Main Street. The group has discussed everything from bike patrols to a police substation to a network of security cameras.
"We're moving toward coming up with a plan," Faith said.
One business owner who owns a bed and breakfast on Main Street has complained about the noise from people leaving the area when restaurants close. Other business owners say they don't have many concerns about incidents.
"Main Street is a victim of its own success," said Connie Kukal, owner of Knit and Caboodle. "Main Street has worked hard to attract people to come down, but now that they've come down you don't necessarily want the behaviors that happen."