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Worth cops get ATV to thwart vandals & underage drinkers

By Laura Bollin

The Worth Police Department will beginning in the spring use an all-terrain vehicle in an attempt to discourage vandalism and other petty crime at parks and the village-owned Water's Edge Golf Club.

The four-wheeler will allow police officers access to areas they would not be able to enter with squad cars. Worth Trustee Mary Rhein said the ATVs will help with the department's "aggressive patrol tactics."

"The ATV will be used to help with underage drinking, criminal damage to property, and graffiti at Water's Edge and the 10 parks in the village," Rhein said. "There will be access to where access by patrol cars is limited."

Worth will pay $8,500 for the black-and-white vehicle, which will be equipped with emergency lights, a public address system, windshield and siren, Rhein said. The funds will come from the police department's asset forfeiture fund. It will be delivered to the department next week, then sent out to be equipped with accessories.

Worth resident Gene Sikora at Tuesday's Village Board meeting questioned how police officers would transfer an arrestee to the police station. Police Chief Martin Knolmayer said a squad car will be called to do such a job.

If the ATV purchase proves beneficial, a second one may be purchased, Rhein said. Officers will receive four to eight hours of training on how to properly operate the vehicle, and one officers is a certified ATV instructor, Rhein said.

"I really think it's gonna be an asset, especially on vandals," Rhein said. "It will be easier access to fly through a park."