Rankin trying to bring cop to town sooner rather than later

RANKIN — Because the man hired last year as Rankin’s new police officer still needs to attend the police academy before he is able to start working in the village, the village board is considering offering the job on a temporary basis to another person until the required training is completed.

The board last November voted to hire Roy Beard and send him to the full-time police training academy at his own expense. However, the board learned during its monthly meeting Thursday that Beard has been unable to get into the academy.

Beard hopes to be in the October class, but that would mean he will not be able to start working as a full-time Rankin officer until next spring.

With that in mind, Trustee Joey Mason suggested that the board contact Jeremy Dobkins — who had approached the board following Beard’s hiring about becoming an officer — and ask if he would be interested in serving as a part-time police officer in Rankin on a temporary basis until Beard can complete his training.

Trustees said they would also like to see if Dobkins would act as the village’s ordinance officer, since the village is experiencing various problems with properties.

A resident told the board Thursday that she was ashamed of “what you have to look at right as you come into town.”  The resident said her children have told her that she needs to move, but she said she could never sell her home for what it is worth due to the condition of properties around it.

Another resident, who lives near Centennial Park, said “it is terrible what goes on down there,” stressing the need for a police presence.

Board President Aaron Warren explained that the village has been trying to clean up the town by purchasing run-down homes at delinquent tax auctions and then tearing them down.

Rankin has been without a police officer of its own since August 2015, when Stewart Stafford left for a full-time job with Paxton police.

Other business
In other business:

➜ The board held a public hearing for the village’s annual appropriation ordinance, which was approved later in the meeting.

➜ Trustees voted to donate an additional $500 to the Rankin Lions Club for the club’s fireworks show. The club reportedly came up short in the donations it received to fund the fireworks.

➜ The board voted to give $3,000 to the Rankin Lions Club to help fix drainage issues at Centennial Park.

➜ After listening to a representative of the Vermilion County Land Bank and reviewing the information on the program, the board voted to sign an intergovernmental agreement with the organization. The agreement gives the village a seat on the organization’s board, and Mason agreed to be the village’s representative on the board.

➜ There are trees in Centennial Park that need to be removed, the board learned. The village’s maintenance workers will take down the trees.
 

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