Police to demonstrate community communication software


By Kierra Frazier

DeKALB — A demonstration of the DeKalb Police Department’s new software, “Police-to-Citizen,” is set for Monday’s city council meeting.

The DeKalb Police Department worked for months to create a website that provides public access to police data, according to the Feb. 24 city council agenda.

The website will include a list of recent arrests with mugshots, a recent incidents page that allows residents to report crimes, an event map and search with an interactive map of DeKalb with incidents, a security watch for residents to request that officers check on their homes and a bike registration page, according to the agenda.

Sensitive information and incidents such as sexual assaults and crimes against children will remain protected and won’t be uploaded to the website, according to the agenda.

A resident demanded the department post daily arrest breakdowns by race and economic status on its social media during a Sept. 4 community meeting following the Elonte McDowell incident, according to a Sept. 5 Northern Star article. Since the meeting in September, Interim Police Chief John Petragallo said the department has been working on the “Police-to-Citizen” website.

A consideration to allow those under the age of 21 into bars is also set for the agenda.

The consideration includes expanding the BYOB options beyond establishments that serve liquor with the service of a meal and opening liquor service to tobacco lounges, fitness centers and nail salons, according to the agenda.

During an informal forum on Feb. 6, the owners and managers that have a liquor license in the city didn’t support the age change.

Molly’s Eatery & Drinkery, 1000 W. Lincoln Highway, opposed the idea of requiring underage residents into the business because of the extra expenses it would take to supervise underage drinkers, according to the agenda.

At a Jan. 13 city council meeting, First Ward Alderperson Carolyn Morris, Sixth Ward Alderperson Mike Verbic and Seventh Ward Alderperson Anthony Faivre all showed support for the consideration.

There will be a public hearing at Monday night’s meeting to impose a special service tax on the 18 retailers in the Market Square Shopping Center off of Sycamore Road to pay for annual repairs of the roads.

On Jan. 27, council members approved an ordinance to impose a special service tax on retailers within the area. A special service tax funds increased services and programs through a localized property tax levy within the city.

Before a tax can be imposed, a public hearing is required to be held. For 2020, the recommended repairs would total about $145,820. Over a 20-year period, the average yearly repairs would be about $204,768, according to the agenda.