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Trustees urge residents to trust and support police officers' efforts
By Deedra Lawhead | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/4/2009 5:03 PM | Updated: 8/4/2009 9:41 PM

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Originally published Jan. 12, 1993

Recognizing residents' concerns about their safety, Palatine village trustees sought Monday night to show their confidence in the police department's investigation of the mass murder at a local restaurant.

It was anything but business as usual at the board's first official gathering since Saturday when the bodies were discovered at the Brown's Chicken & Pasta restaurant on Northwest Highway and Palatine was thrust into the national public eye.

Trustees somberly held a moment of silence for the victims and their families.

"Like you, the members of the village board and I asked ourselves again and again how such a thing could happen in Palatine," said Village President Rita Mullins. "As your elected officials we feel responsible for creating a safe and secure environment for our residents and businesses."

The police department has been criticized for not releasing more details about the murder to help reassure the public, but law enforcement officials say such information, if released, could jeopardize their investigation.

With the case unsolved, Palatine residents and those living along the village's borders are concerned about their safety.

Unincorporated Palatine Township resident Ron Spry asked trustees Monday if "there is anything more we should know as far as protecting our families."

While trustees pointed out that Spry's police protection actually is provided by the Cook County sheriff's police, several trustees stressed their confidence in the police department after the meeting.

"The more information they share could possibly help the person who perpetrated this horrible crime," said Trustee James Wilson.

Added Trustee Greg Solberg: "We need to let the professional people we hired do the investigating. I have total confidence in them.

"What we want to have happen now is for us to give support to the police department. People have to feel very confident that the investigation is going well," he said.

If village officials could say or do something to reassure the community and combat the fear, they would, Mullins said

"It's very frustrating not to be able to do that," she said.

The village board Monday night also set aside $50,000 in a special account, $44,000 of which is earmarked to pay for police officers' overtime salaries.

That amount is equal to what the village normally budgets to pay for overtime annually, said Finance Director Robert Husselbee.

However, Husselbee said he does not expect the entire amount will be spent. Besides police, the village board also commended village residents for reaching out to the victims' families with money and offers of services.