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April 19, 2024

Brocton Police Dept “Reinstated” –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On July 10, 2013


After more than a year, and some city council members that didn’t think a single winning vote at the ballot box  counted, the Village of Brocton, IL. has finally reinstated their police department, and the Police Officer is back on the payroll.

Earlier this year, the City Council declared a city council seat vacant and appointed a new member, since the elected member had taken a job in Canada and therefore no longer resided within the city. They also rescinded the resolution that caused this mess.

That, coupled with the spring election results and the lawsuit filed by Bill Weber, enabled this action today to reinstate the Police Department. Had it not been for the lawsuit, all of the equipment for the Police Department would have been sold and it would have then been too costly to reinstate the department.

There are several items that need to happen before it is fully operational, and those were also approved tonight. Among those were the purchase of three radios, connection of utilities to the PD Building, servicing of both vehicles, and connection to the National Police Database.

The citizens of Brocton finally got what they voted for!

Good luck to them and to their new Police Chief, Ray Sollars.

Articles leading up to this point:

“It only won by one vote”

Village Board Ignores Ballot Vote

Brocton City Council Meeting July 11, 2012

Rick Wahl: To Hell WIth The Citizens

Brocton Town Council Meeting 9-12-2012 (Lawsuit Filed)

Brocton Election Results (April 2013) (New City Council Elected)

From WCIA-3:  Man Sues Village Board Battle Over Police Department Village Without Police Presence

From WAND-TV 17: 7-11-2013 Story

SignOath BroctonPDMission Brocton-Sollars


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  • Linda Marie LaBaume Prouse
    Posted at 22:38h, 10 July

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  • Darlene Justice
    Posted at 22:38h, 10 July

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  • Pamela Kelly
    Posted at 23:09h, 10 July

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  • Cheryl Gill
    Posted at 23:09h, 10 July

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  • Jessica Davis
    Posted at 01:09h, 11 July

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  • old
    Posted at 08:07h, 11 July

    This is wonderful. Mr. Sollars has worked the Brocton area for years and will be a great addition to the village. Congrats to Ray, thank you village board for reinstateing your police service in Brocton.

    • Linda Lankster
      Posted at 13:59h, 12 July

      I would like to comment on some miss facts in previous postings. The first petition that was circulated to dissolve the police department was not a canvas of the entire town. It was just to show there was a need for discussion. We didn’t know it was going to be a contest to see how many people would sign.
      Before I got on the board, I did go door to door through most of the village and asked their opinion on the police department. The response was basically 50/50. As the referendum was ADVISORY, the board had the duty to do what was right for the village. With no big forms of income in this village, we are dependent on the government for most of our resources. As everyone knows, the government is in trouble, and it is passed down to us. This was one cutback we could do.
      Bill Weber sued the board & had us tied up for over a year. In February, and the Watchdogs were there, Judge Matt Sullivan said we had done nothing wrong & that it was an ADIVSORY referendum. Even Bill Weber said at the June board meeting that it was an advisory referendum. Between the lawsuit & the Watchdogs filing with the Attorney General, we were kept from doing our job.
      The new article says Ray Sollars is back on the payroll. John, you were there! That part was not settled because it was not on the agenda. He was rehired, but cannot do anything til his hours and pay are set.
      They said they would stop speeders on 49, but it is not a speed trap. It was before.
      I know the mayor is happy. You could tell from the smirk on his face that he was so proud of himself.

      • jmkraft
        Posted at 14:25h, 12 July

        You are correct, I guess I took the part about re-hiring him as being on the payroll – even though they could not set a wage/salary because that part was not on the agenda. So, to set the record straight, he is rehired, but they could not set his wages until there is a meeting with that item on it.

        • wonderment
          Posted at 18:52h, 12 July

          Mr. Kraft, when the council voted to nullify the ordinance
          that closed the police department didn’t that reinstate the previous ordinance? The ordinance that the police department was operating under before. I read in your article that the police department was reinstated, not recreated. If that is so then the officers hours and pay are in that ordinance.

          • jmkraft
            Posted at 21:30h, 12 July

            I am not sure o fthe exact words of their recent action since AI never saw a copy of it, I simply reported what I believe was stated at the meeting. You do have a good point about the wages and hours being in the ordinance…

      • Dennis Cary
        Posted at 16:42h, 15 July

        Linda, I have taken three days to reply to you because I am amazed at your post. It would be easier to ignore you as you did the people who voted but I want to clarify a few things. Yes everyone knew your petition that you passed around did not represent the entire town. In fact you most likely chose carefully selected people that you knew would sign it. That’s fine! The petition that was passed to keep it was most likely no different. Your petition did raise discussion, in fact it was discussed at three meetings until the board put it on the ballot to be voted on and was willing to accept the vote. You and your group took it off the ballot! Then the people took another petition and put it back on. One board member publicly stated it didn’t matter how it was voted on she would never support it, remember? Another board member stated after the vote he would do nothing to support the police ever. As for discussion, did you or anyone else discuss at all any ways to give the people what they wanted? I don’t remember it. Was there ever any consideration as to how this police department could be kept? I don’t remember it! As for your canvas door to door, you still did not go to every house in town and in fact the information you collected was never shared to it’s entirety to the board. The referendum in my opinion was binding! In fact I believe that had all the information been presented to Judge Sullivan he would have felt the same way, maybe not I don’t know. All you have to do is search the site for the state board of elections, find the public safety referendums, and look at the four types listed. They are , Bond, Tax, Advisory and Misc. Ours was Not listed as an advisory, it was under misc. I called the state board of elections and was simply told, had it been advisory it would have been listed as such. It was written under the state statute 5-28-6. According to publications from the IML not once but twice they claim 5-28-6 is binding. But Ok if you want to say it was advisory so be it whatever. You claim this was done for a budget cut, but had no problem spending several thousand dollars on attorney fees, $10,000 on playground equipment and the purchase of Christmas lights. Nor did you care about giving away a potential of over $11,000 a year to give a liquor licence that would allow the same video gambling that is in the bar now and reopen our store. You claim you didn’t want drinking in Brocton on Sunday , but quickly said it was different for the legion to serve on Sunday. ??? As for rehiring Ray, the discussion was to raise Ray’s pay not set it. It was my belief that rehire would simply be just that, rehire at the same terms and conditions. In any event if need be, I will call a special meeting to take care of this argument. Oh yes the speed trap you claim we had, fact is we never set hidden on 49. We were always inside the village limits, and we never wrote anyone under 10 mph over the posted speed limit, as other towns have. Call it what you want, but it is not a trap! And for the smirk you think I had…..get over it. If I had a smile at all it was because the voters finally got what they voted for. Judge Sullivan stated that the board was elected to do a job, let them do it. You chose not to re run for the board and we now have a different board and different mindset. Deal with it!

        • Linda Lankster
          Posted at 18:38h, 21 July

          I’m only going to comment on a few things said by Mr. Cary. The Christmas decorations and park equipment came from the farm fund. This fund cannot be used for your police department; it can only be used for the enjoyment of the people. The money for the park equipment had been appropriated for several years, but no one had cared to update the parks. I even got a grant that reimbursed $2000, if you will remember.
          We could not do anything about a police presence because we were tied up in court–there is your attorney fees–and were told to leave everything as is.
          The canvas I did of the town–and I said it was most of the town– was for myself. I even told some people I would not share their opinion because they were afraid of retaliation.
          I know the difference between a smile & a smirk. When you told a previous board member that you purposely had not brought Sollars resignation up for a vote, that was a smirk that you had pulled something over on everyone.
          If Judge Sullivan did not have all the facts, and I’m sure he did, Weber & his attorney were there to make sure he got it right.
          I’m off the board because I chose not to run again and be confronted at every turn.

        • virginia Wienke
          Posted at 19:21h, 21 July

          As a former Brocton Village trustee, I always voted for what I believed to be in the best interest of our village. Edgar County Sherrif’s Office has always responded as quickly as possible to any problems Brocton has had. When using the Brocton Police Department, it was only when Mr. Sollars was able to report for duty and retrieve his calls that action was taken on problems, maybe days later.
          As for the American Legion serving alcohol only 8 hours on Sunday, only a veteran can appreciate that. Dennis, if not for our veterans, you would
          not have the freedom you have. You have never served in the military, so don’t put our service men down.
          You have always wanted to be a cop. You now have the opportunity. So do your best. Please see that the Ordinance Violations you put me on are carried out by my replacement. You have two sitting board members still in violation . How do you think others will obey violations when your trustees do not take care of their problems?

  • Dennis Cary
    Posted at 09:07h, 12 July

    This has been a long road to recovery of this situation.I as Mayor was and am proud of the service our department has given our community. I believe that the people against the police department here are against all forms of police and only want to see them when they need it themselves. The most used comment I have heard against the police is Brocton doesn’t need a police department. I say Brocton SHOULDN’T need a police department, but people need to understand that bad things happen everywhere, even Brocton. The village board gets slammed with complaints from vandalism, speeding, ordinance violations, dog control and many others. All anyone need to do is set on the main street of town and watch the people passing through at speeds over 50 mph or in front of my house in a 15 mph park zone and watch the cars barrel by while they swerve around the young children walking, riding bikes and so on to and from the park. My wife and I are amazed no one has been hit yet! Brocton is not a major crime area, however arrest have been made from Brocton on murder warrants, felony warrants and even sexual assault to minors. Bad things happen to good people! One gentleman stated that we need to take care of our own problems, and that is what we are doing with the reinstatement of the police. Welcome back Ray!

  • Dennis Cary
    Posted at 09:15h, 12 July

    One more thing I would like to say. The people put a referendum on the ballot to keep this department. People should understand that take leg work and time. Two petitions were passed around before this process was done, one against 50 votes one for 75 votes. That says things clearly to me. However when the referendum was voted on it passed. yes by only one vote. BUT IT PASSED! that says even more to me. This was to me a binding referendum and was ignored, this is wrong. I believe this shows what is wrong with our government in Illinois at every level. Things are allowed to go against the will of the people might explain why we have the most governors in prison, and why Illinois is ranked number 1 most corrupt state in the nation. I am happy this wrong has been righted here!

  • Dennis Cary
    Posted at 10:39h, 12 July

    Dennis Cary liked this on Facebook.

  • Linda Lankster
    Posted at 19:22h, 21 July

    The gaming room with a little groceries was presented to us and had to be voted on right then. When we tabled the notion til we could get more information, the man backed out.