South Jacksonville Police Suggesting Ordinance Updates

By Jeremy Coumbes on December 3, 2022 at 2:59pm

The South Jacksonville Chief of Police is asking the Board of Trustees to close a few loopholes in the ordinance book.

South Jacksonville Chief of Police Eric Hansell has suggested a number of ordinance updates to Village President Dick Samples in an effort to help his officers to do their jobs effectively.

Hansell says the village currently does not have any ordinances outlining certain offenses that many other municipalities have, such as open burning, disturbing the peace, and parental responsibility.

Hansell says not having these types of ordinances on the books makes the job of law enforcement more difficult when issues arise.

So we don’t have a loud music ordinance, and there are some other ordinances like illegal consumption and possession for minors that we don’t have like truancy or curfew. And nobody likes to be over-regulated but, when you live in a town or a village or a city, there has to be laws to protect the quality of life for everybody in that area.”

Hansell says as an example, right now if one of his officers responds to a complaint of a neighbor who is disturbing others by playing music too loud, the officer can only do so much because there is no ordinance they can cite to have the resident turn down the volume.

He says adding ordinances like this is not about making revenue for the village. He says the point is to give law enforcement a leg to stand on when these types of incidents pop up.

This gives us an administrative way of gaining compliance, not necessarily through issuing citations of fines, but it also if we have to, keeps us from sending people through state court or circuit court. These are essentially business offenses, not criminal offenses, so they are not going to go against someone’s criminal record.”

Hansell presented his suggestions to the Board of Trustees during their regular December meeting on Thursday. Village Attorney Rob Cross is going to review them for any language changes that may be needed and submit any suggested edits to the board soon.

Village President Dick Samples said during the meeting that if ready, some of the ordinances could potentially receive approval during a special meeting he has called for on December 15th, when the board is expected to vote on this year’s tax levy.