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Suburban police pooling resources

May 26, 2009 2:56:00 PM PDT
Many of the highest profile murder cases in Illinois have taken place in the Chicago suburbs. That's why 35 suburban law enforcement agencies are forming a major crimes task force. Most of the recent highest profile murder cases have taken place in Will County. While Lake County and the south suburbs have their own major crimes task forces, now Will and Grundy counties are creating one. In the days of budget cuts, it is a way for jurisdictions big and small to pool together their resources to solve murders.

The investigations into the disappearances of Lisa Stebic and Stacy Peterson, the Lane Bryant murders and the Riley Fox homicide, all are high-profile cases in Will County that remain unsolved.

"We in Will County experienced a drain on resources that we have never seen before," said James Glasgow, Will County state's attorney.

That is why Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow and others are announcing the formation of the Will/Grundy Major Crimes Task Force. Thirty-six law enforcement agencies will come together to pool resources.

The task force consists of 57 officers, including 14 crime scene investigators. Besides manpower, Glasgow says, another key benefit is sharing new technology.

"Just taking the dump on a cell tower can yield on one day 26,000 phone calls that have to be audited to see if any of those phone calls are relevant. Obviously, you can't two that with two investigators and a notepad," said Glasgow.

Joliet police and the Will County Sheriff's office are the two biggest agencies in the task force. Small towns like Channahon, with only two detectives, will have access to those big agency resources.

"I think the positive end of the task force is that the control, the main impetus for how the investigation is gonna get run, still comes from the jurisdiction. The task force is a tool," said Joe Pena, Channahon police chief.

Will County State's Attorney Glasgow plans to discuss the high-profile unsolved cases with the task force, and while Glasgow admits a task force would have been helpful during the early days of the Stebic and Peterson investigations, he does not believe the outcome would have been any different.

"I believe that we have done everything humanly possible with both those investigations. Both of those investigations are highly active," Glasgow said. The South Suburban Task Force helped Tinley Park police with the Lane Bryant murders.

James Glasgow says task forces are very helpful during the first 48 hours of an investigation, when a variety of resources are necessary.

The Will/Grundy Major Crimes Task Force also includes the FBI and the Illinois State Police.


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