Washburn Down to One Police Patrolman After Brutality Allegations

By Joe Bennett

January 9, 2012 Updated Jan 10, 2012 at 10:25 AM CDT

WASHBURN, Ill -- As the controversy around Kenny Meinders' allegations against the police department dies down, the Washburn Village Board is now faced with a new predicament: How do they move forward with just one full-time patrolman on duty?

Trustee Rob Stanfield expected the Village Board may go into an executive session to discuss what is best for the town and its police protection.

Washburn's Village Board meeting did end with a quick executive session involving personnel issues.

However, residents we spoke with have mixed feelings on whether the village needs more police officers or should rely on county deputies.

"We had four cops always on duty, normally," says Washburn resident James Ernst. "I mean, one cop has been doing fine, I think. I stay out of trouble pretty good, but I'm sure we could use a couple part-timers."

Ralph Gillis is entirely skeptical, adding, "I don't trust anyone here as far as local law enforcement. After the incident that happened in town, it just threw all confidence in the police force out."

After spending nearly a month in intensive care, Meinders was charged with multiple felonies from the August incident, which he claims resulted in being severely beaten and tazed more than 10 times.

Washburn Village Attorney Dan Schroeder has told all trustees to refrain from making any comments about the police personnel issue until Meinders' multiple criminal charges have been resolved.

Until then, we hear it could be a lengthy process before the Village of Washburn sees any additional help patrolling the streets.

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