The Oak Lawn Police Department officials said that despite some home break-ins during the past year, residents should not feel that this is a trend.
Oak Lawn Trustee Alex Olejniczak (2nd) also said that he sees no increase in crime in his district or the village as a whole.
“Since I’ve been a trustee there has been times it was higher during some times of the year and lower at other times of the year,” said Olejniczak, who has been a trustee since 2005. “But I can honestly say that there is no rise in crime.”
A debate took place during the Oct. 13 Oak Lawn Village Board meeting regarding crime reports. Trustee Bob Streit (3rd) said that he is not receiving all of the information and implies that some incidents are not being reported. Other trustees disagree, stating that they have always received the reports they have requested.
Olejniczak said he can’t understand what Streit is referring to.
“I have never had problem getting police reports,” said Olejniczak. “Now there may be ongoing investigations or if juveniles are involved. But I have never had problems getting reports. Never.”
Olejniczak said that he does study the reports to see if any patterns have developed. He admits that there are some establishments that have more reported incidents, but overall he sees no significant changes.
“If you are a trustee, it’s good to read all of the reports,” said Olejniczak. “You want to know what’s going on in the neighborhood. This way you can do something about it by talking to people.”
And that’s what puzzles Olejniczak about Streit’s claims during the last village board meeting. He added that Streit’s actions are only frightening residents about an alleged rise in crime.
“It concerns me when he uses that information that way,” said Olejniczak. “What he should be doing is meeting with people to try and solve some of those problems.”
Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury said that information about vehicle collisions and domestic-related incidents are not provided. However, information is provided to news reporters.
Streit said during the meeting that he “can see no reason why all these reports should be kept from the public.” Streit, who has been a trustee since 1991, said the board of trustees should make a decision on this.
Olejniczak said that the information from the reports can be beneficial in other ways. Blocks that have empty residences could be a sign that problems may appear in the future.
“You start looking at homes that are a little shabby or in disrepair,” said Olejniczak. “My biggest scare is squatters coming in. That’s why it is good to look at the reports and know as much as you can about the district.”
But Olejniczak said that his district and the village as a whole are not going through a crime surge.
“I can tell you honestly I feel secure about the village,” said Olejniczak. “I have every bit of faith in our police department. I think they are doing a great job.”