Orland Park To Require Businesses To Cooperate With Police
ORLAND PARK, Ill. — A new addition to the Village of Orland Park’s Code of Ordinances will now require businesses to cooperate with police or face possible punishment tied to their business licenses.
The amendment to Village Code passed 7-0 Monday, July 19, as part of the Consent Agenda. The new language reads:
“Every licensee under this Chapter shall cooperate fully with the police in suppressing illegal, disorderly and/or violent conduct; including but not limited to by assisting the police in obtaining the names and addresses of any perpetrators or witnesses to such illegal, disorderly, and/or violent conduct; cooperating in the prosecution of offenders; and performing any other act(s) as deemed necessary by the Village from time to time to ensure order is maintained in or around the licensed premises.”
Mayor Keith Pekau gave the rationale behind the change during a phone interview with Richard Free Press on Tuesday, July 20. He said that there have been issues occasionally with businesses not signing criminal complaints after being a victim of a crime.
“Most of the time, we sit down and have a conversation, and they start signing the complaints,” Pekau said. “But we do have that language in our liquor ordinance. It has become useful to have that language in there, because if you want to have a business in Orland Park, we expect you to cooperate with the police. And if somebody steals from you, we expect you to sign a complaint, not just call us and have us extend resources and put our officers at risk.”
Pekau said he believes that if a business refuses to sign a complaint, it may open the door to future crimes taking place.
“Once you let the bad guys know that you are not going to sign complaints, they start coming a lot,” he said. “Obviously, that puts our residents at risk. We just want to put this in place, because it gives us an opportunity to hold the businesses accountable. Right now, in the business license, there is not [that method].”
Pekau said issues with noncompliance can lead to an administrative hearing, fines, or suspension or revocation of the business license by the Village manager.
“That could happen, but I hope it never does,” he said.
Pekau also said there are some corporate entities that have taken the position of not filing complaints after being victims of thefts or other crimes.
“Much like our Cook County State’s Attorney,” he said. “What we are saying is that if you take that position, we can hold the businesses accountable, because obviously they are putting the public at risk. We know that if they don’t sign complaints and that word gets out there, you see continual theft. We don’t have that issue recently in our retail areas, but we have in the past had a retailer or two that took that position.”
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