Stickney Police Chief James Sassetti (from left), Corporal Ashley McDonald, and Det. Sgt. Cruz Ortiz wearing new body cams. (Supplied photo)

Stickney Police Chief James Sassetti (from left), Corporal Ashley McDonald, and Det. Sgt. Cruz Ortiz wearing new body cams. (Supplied photo)

Police body cams now in use in Stickney

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By Carol McGowan 

All police officers in the Village of Stickney now have a body camera as part of their uniform.

At last week’s village board meeting, Police Chief James Sassetti told the mayor, board of trustees, and those in attendance that as of February 6, the body cam program was underway, and every officer has their own camera to wear.

Stickney is one of the first police departments in the area to equip all of its officers with the cameras.

It’s a requirement of the SAFE-T Act. One of the provisions of the act amends the Illinois Law Enforcement Officer-Worn Body Camera Act, enacted in 2016, to require all officers to wear body cameras while working by January 1, 2025.

Sassetti said the first year of the program that’s now in place in the village, which includes the cameras and software to pull information from them, were made possible through a grant and didn’t cost the village anything.  He hopes grant money will be used in future years.

The chief also talked about some other training equipment that the police department will now use.

“We have virtual reality goggles for training.  Our officers can come in a room such as this boardroom, put on the goggles, and train as if they were out in the field.”

The Stickney Police Department has been moving along with new equipment and abilities at a fast pace over the last several months.

They are now fully equipped with the body cameras and have the technology needed to pull video that goes along with it. They have virtual training available, tasers for all officers, and may even get a drone in the future.

Sassetti said area communities, including McCook, have drones that the police department can call on.

The Stickney Police Department has grown recently with the hiring of new full-time and auxiliary officers.

In other business, several resolutions were passed at last week’s meeting.

Motor fuel tax revenue will pay for resurfacing on Ridgeland Avenue from 43rd Street to Pershing, and on East Avenue from 43rd to 41st streets.

The tax revenue will also pay for past resurfacing of 40th Street, and a purchase of rock salt.

Mayor Jeff Walik didn’t have an official report, but he did mention new businesses would soon be open in the village, including a daycare that would be expanding on Pershing Road, an ice cream shop, a corned beef restaurant, and a tattoo parlor.

Walik also mentioned that the village has lost a member of their Zoning Board of Appeals. Keith Arendt recently passed away and the mayor and board offered their condolences.

In her report, Village Clerk Audrey McAdams reminded everyone that February is American Heart Month, a time when all people can, and should focus on their cardiovascular health.

Trustee Jeff White mentioned that he had spoken with a resident whose life was recently saved by the quick action of EMS workers from Stickney.  He mentioned the individual is going well after heart surgery.

White also mentioned that the Stickney Township Assessor’s office is currently open for appeals to the Cook County Board of Review.  Through February 28, an appeal for the 2022 assessment can be filed.

The assessor’s office can assist with filing an appeal.

Appeals are made through appointment only or can be filed by phone.  The assessor’s office is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but will be closed on Feb 20 for Presidents Day.

For more info, call 708-788-9100, or email Stickney Township Assessor Amy March, at admarch@townshipofstickney.org.

Trustee Lea Torres mentioned that she is planning a Cinco De Mayo event for anyone who would like to attend.  It will take place on April 30.

Trustee Jim Hrejsa said the planning for the village Easter Egg Hunt is in the works.  It will take place on April 1. Details will be available on the village website when they become available.

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