County Sheriff Tom Dart is offering to save $8.6 million by taking over
policing forest preserves at a time when commissioners are looking to
balance a county budget that still hasn't been approved.
letter, a Dart aide said the department can police the district's
68,000 acres "with existing sheriff's police staff." Such a move would
shutter the Cook County Forest Preserve Police Department.
The administration of County Board President Todd Stroger, who is Forest Preserve District president, isn't exactly greeting the idea with open arms, however.
Steve Mayberry, spokesman for the Forest Preserve District, said the
district's 120 sworn officers are "fully trained in conservation
issues" and have to be familiar with a different set of ordinances.
aren't saying we can take over the conservation end of things," Dart
spokesman Steve Patterson said. "We are saying we can take over the
police end of things."