The Cicero Police Department will remain intact. The town board unanimously voted down the local law to abolish the police force. If they approved it, the taxpayers would have had the final say in a town-wide referendum.
Wednesday night, taxpayers took their concerns to the board in a public hearing on the proposed local law. The South Bay Fire Station was packed, and about 40 people took the podium voicing their opinions for or against disbanding the department.
"I should be studying for finals, but that's how important it is that I'm here," said Michael Schultz who was protesting outside the meeting, in favor of the police department. "Last year my wife and I had our house broken into when we were gone, and the police were there to take care of it but if that happens again who knows how long it would take to respond to it."
The board was considering the idea to save almost $1.5 million. A measure some were in favor of to get a tax break. "It's getting too costly, right now with the economy everyone is in the cost sharing thing. We're trying to consolidate. I think it's going to happen all over so maybe now is a good time," said Donald Kelly.
The department has 12 full time officers and 10 part time officers. And those in favor of the force, like Jennifer Delpriore, say they offer protection and coverage to the community that other agencies cannot. "We need them, they know us, they know the community if something is going wrong with our house, they know when things are different and what's going on so we really need to keep them," said Delpriore.
And for now, Delpriore and others can rest easy knowing their town will remain protected by Cicero Police.