Tuesday, April 15, 2014 || By Michael Romain
Maywood Police Officer Intervenes In Possible Suicide Attempt
Wednesday, April 9, 2014, MAYWOOD — At an April 9, 2014, Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting, Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley presented officer Anthony Saraceno with a certificate of recognition for preventing a possible suicide in progress last month. The Chief cited a litany of statistics to drive home a much larger message.
“18-24 year-olds think about suicide more often than any age group,” Chief Talley said. “A National College of Health Risk behavior study found more than 11 percent of studies seriously contemplating suicide….the suicide rate of 15-24 year-olds have increased 200 percent in the last 50 years. One person under 25 commits suicide every 2 to 2.5 minutes, according to a University of Central Florida study.”
Chief Talley said that Officer Saraceno promptly intervened last month after witnessing a young woman on the street who was acting out of the ordinary.
“I recently had a woman come to my office in tears, because her daughter thought about committing suicide. The girl was out in public and one of our alert officers communicated what was going wrong. Today, I have the good news that our officers are alert enough to identify some degree of mental disorder and take action.”
Maywood Police Lobby For Bulletproof Vest Upgrades
At the same LLOC meeting, Commander Sonja Horn of the Maywood Police Department urged the Board to consider partially funding the purchase of at least 50 new bulletproof vests. She said that the typical ballistic vest only lasts for five years, after which point they’re no longer functional.
“We keep a list of officers who qualify to receive vests,” she said. “Forty-one officers’ vests expire on July 19, 2014.”
Commander Horn noted that the vests are required as part of the officers’ union contracts. Last year, the department was rewarded a federal grant of $12,400 toward the purchase of the vests, but this only covers about half of the amount that is currently needed. The police department would be on the hook for the remaining $11,500–$6,400 of which, according to Chief Talley, had already been allocated toward purchasing the vests in the Village’s FY 2013-14 budget. The Board voted unanimously to consider allocating the remaining $4,933 at the next regular board meeting held tonight, April 15.
District 89 Students Provided Anti-Bullying Lesson From Maywood Police Officer
Thursday, April 10, 2014, MAYWOOD — Maywood Community Policing Officer Pirsia Allen was present at Emerson School to demonstrate to a room full of eighth graders the consequences and repercussions of bullying. He also put forth an emotional appeal to students to try stopping it.
“You should not be afraid to come to school,” he said. “If you’re being bullied, it’s time to speak up and speak out. No one should be bullied.”
Officer Allen addressed various aspects of the phenomenon, such as cyber-bullying. He shared the story of one young lady in Illinois who was cyber-bullied so badly she committed suicide. He also shared with students a dramatized instructional video of how bullies conduct themselves. After one scene involved a young woman whose lunch tray was knocked out of her hands by another student, Officer Allen polled the room for how many students would start fighting if they were faced with that predicament. Most of the hands shot up.
“Before it gets to fighting, you’ve got to speak up and speak out,” he said. As the students streamed out of the room, they received an anti-bullying informational pamphlet and a final pitch to stand up against the popular, yet widely destructive trend,
“Show of hands of those who will make a commitment not to be a bully,” Officer Allen said. Not many limbs were lifted, but his optimism wasn’t diminished.
“We still have some ways to go, but our message will get through to them one person at a time,” he said.
The police will appear at different schools throughout District 89 with their anti-bullying prevention campaign, which caters to students in 4th, 5th and 6th grades, throughout April and May.
Village Anticipates Nearly $500K In Savings With Switch To Comcast Business
According to a summary proposal presented to the Village Board by Comcast Business, Maywood may stand to save nearly $500K over the life of a 60-month contract, by switching from AT&T, its current provider of telecommunications services. The proposal states that Comcast was contacted last September by former Village manager William Barlow and Marvin Savage, the Village’s information systems manager, about presenting a more cost-effective alternative to the Village’s current rate plan with AT&T and Equivoice, the company that handles installation.
According to the proposal, Maywood currently spends $15,400.50 a month for telecommunication services, which include internet and long distance calling. Comcast Business proposes to cut the Village’s current monthly expenditures in half–to $7,069. All-and-all, Comcast Business claims that the Village would be saving $8,331.50 monthly, $99,978 annually, and $499,890 over 60 months.
At the Wednesday LLOC, the Board moved 6-1 (with Trustee Cheryl Ealey-Cross abstaining) to forward the matter to an official vote at tonight’s regular board meeting. VFP