City Council speaks out on recent crime at meeting

Mackenzie Freund, City Editor

Eastern President David Glassman and Charleston Mayor Brandon Combs prepared statements about the recent rise in crime at the Charleston City Council meeting in city hall Tuesday.

Combs read both statements after the council had gone over and voted on items in the agenda. Glassman was out of town and unable to be at the meeting to read his statement.

In his statement, Combs said the increase in higher profile crimes will not be tolerated and the police are investigating all of the crimes aggressively.

“There have already been several arrests made in most of these recent crimes,” Combs said. “As investigations proceed further, we expect there will be even more.”

Glassman wrote in his statement that the crimes would not be tolerated as well, whether the person committing the crimes is an Eastern student, a Charleston resident, or other people coming into the community.

Combs and Glassman both said the Charleston and University police are doing what they can to make sure the community is as safe as it can be.

“Our police departments take great pride in keeping Charleston safe,” Combs said. “Not only for the families that call Charleston home, but also for the students who are living here pursuing a higher education.”

Glassman wrote in his statement that he expects the University and Charleston police to have more enhanced efforts. Both units currently have a relationship with joint security patrols.

“I’ve already informed the campus community that they can expect to see increased bike and foot patrols,” Glassman wrote.

Glassman also wanted to let the Charleston residents know what the university expects of their students, whether in or outside of the classrooms.

Glassman wrote that the university expects students to follow the code of conduct in regards to their behavior.

“Those who do not, risk dismissal from the university,” Glassman wrote. “This, of course, is in addition to any criminal charges they might face as a result of their actions.”

Though the statements were read in regards to the crimes and addressing any public concerns, Combs wanted to take the time to remind Charleston residents that there are plenty of positives in the community as well.

Combs talked about the completed road construction at Route 130 and Lincoln Highway done by the Illinois Department of Transportation and stated what other projects are being done by the city, including public works projects and the start of the construction of the new assisted care facility being built on 18th Street.

Combs also reminded the residents of the volunteer work done over the summer by city staff and volunteers in the construction of new trails around Lake Charleston.

“It would be a real shame to let the senseless criminal behavior of a few individuals steal the spotlight from all of the truly good things that our community is responsible for,” Combs said.

Before the statements were read, the council members voted on the items that were on Tuesday’s agenda.

The council voted to grant a petition for a conditional use permit for the Cornerstone Christian Academy to expand their daycare.

The daycare, currently located at 661 Castle Drive, requested the permit so they can expand the amount of children they watch in the daycare; the academy is also looking to move to 655 Castle Drive.

“The daycare center, where it is currently located, has about 105 children and in moving to the new area they can have about 40 more,” Combs said. The daycare currently cares for children of kindergarten up to age 11.

Combs said the permit would allow changes to be made to the new location so the daycare can use the space.

The council also voted to pass the resolution allowing tourism funds to be given to the Doudna Fine Arts Center at Eastern.

The funds will be used for advertisement for the Embarras River Valley Film Festival, which is planned for Nov. 13 and 14.

Luke Young, a sophomore finance major and student senate representative for City Council, said that volunteers are needed for the annual Holiday Hustle 5K.

Young said the volunteers would line the course and direct the runners so they do not get lost.

“I ran cross country in high school and I got lost on one of the courses,” Young said. “It was embarrassing.”

The council also voted to approve of the consent agenda, which included two raffle licenses, the approval of the previous meeting’s minutes, bills payable, and the payroll for Oct. 17 pay period.


Mackenzie Freund can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]