Courtesy Tom Weitzel, Riverside Police Department

In April 2012 suburban police municipalities and Cook County came to a Bond Transport agreement that dramatically reduced overtime cost for local police agencies.

After months of face-to-face negotiations in early 2012, the Cook County Board, Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart and other county commissioners reached a compromise allowing certain police departments to either bring their prisoners to the court district nearest them or transport them directly to 26th & California.

Riverside continues to transport prisoners to the Maybrook courthouse in Maywood Illinois. Riverside police Chief Thomas Weitzel stated, “My report to Village Manager Peter Scalera and the Village President/Board of Trustees outlined that we saved $8500 in personnel costs by not transporting to 26th & California. That began in April 2012; savings would have been much more in a full calendar year.

Additionally the department saved 152 employee hours that were directed back to patrolling within the village instead of waiting on bond court and bond information at 26th & California.

The agreement calls for local municipalities to transport their prisoners for weekend and holiday Bond Court to Maybrook courthouse in Maywood or to the Markham courthouse. Prisoners are then transferred from local police custody to the Sheriff’s Police, along with all arrest paperwork. The Cook County Sheriff’s transportation bus then facilitates the transfer of the prisoners to the jail facility at 26th & California in Chicago. In this scenario, local municipal police departments do not have to attend Bond Court.

Chief Weitzel stated that, originally, the chief judge and county board wanted to shut down all suburban courthouses on weekends and holidays and require municipal police departments to transport their prisoners to 26th & California.

The new agreement calls for Maybrook and Markham courthouses to open exclusively for transports. Additionally Sheriff’s police do not charge municipalities per prisoner; as originally proposed, communities feeding into Maybrook courthouse were to be charged as much as $52 per prisoner.

Chief Weitzel thanked Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, her staff, Commissioner Peter Silvestri and Sheriff Tom Dart for countless hours of negotiations and their willingness to listen to the concerns of Suburban Cook County police chiefs.