Police department cuts spark protest in Lyons

Cuts to the police force spark Wednesday evening protest in suburban Lyons. (WLS)
May 8, 2014 3:43:53 AM PDT
Cuts to the police department sparked a protest Wednesday evening in southwest suburban Lyons.

Seven officers were laid off last month, comprising one third of the force. The mayor said the union representing the officers rejected every reasonable offer and these layoffs are the consequence. Wednesday night, he heard directly from residents.

Protestors flanked Lawndale Avenue, protesting the village board's decision to lay off seven of 23 police officers.

"Crime is an issue," said Earl Johnson, a resident of Lyons, "gangs and drugs are at our front door and we're cutting police officers."

Protesters later filed into village hall to voice their opposition. Village Mayor Christopher Getty said the union representing the officers is asking for unreasonable pay increases, totaling 12 percent over four years. The village has offered a four percent increase.

"It's about simple economics," said Mayor Getty. "We don't have that much money to employ this many people in that department, so we're gonna do what we have to do."

"We want to pick up right where we left off," Muller said, "and get back to serving the residents of Lyons."

Nick Muller was one of seven officers laid off in April. He is fighting to get himself and the other officers back on the job and said all the officers have done all they can to reach a compromise with the village.

"I know we did agree to some very serious concessions," he said, "monetary, time and what not, and everybody was on board to do what we had to do to meet the village's request to keep all of us working and keep the department fully staffed."

If an agreement can be reached between the village and union representing the police officers, Mayor Getty has indicated that he's willing to discuss rehiring the officers who lost their jobs last month.

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