ST. CHARLES – Last year's Geneva shooting by a SWAT team that killed a Kane County jail detainee who had taken two nurses hostage and gone on to rape, torture and beat one of them is under review at the office of Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon, who said results will be released in seven to 14 days.
He made the announcement at his monthly media briefing July 16. The Illinois State Police this spring tendered its report on the officer-related shooting that occurred during the May 13, 2017 hostage crisis at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva to McMahon's office, where lawyers have been reviewing the state's investigative report.
"I asked for some additional information from the [Kane County] Sheriff’s Office about the internal policies on guarding prisoners outside of the correctional facility," McMahon said. "And I asked for some policies from the North Aurora Police Department as well."
It's been reported that a North Aurora police officer on the SWAT team fired the fatal shot.
McMahon went on to discuss several more recent cases.
"We have had a number of officer-involved shootings in the last couple of weeks," McMahon said.
Among them he mentioned the July 4 fatal shooting of an armed man in South Elgin in which the offender fired his weapon at three officers who incurred nonlife-threatening injuries. That case is being investigated by the Kane County Major Crimes Task Force, McMahon said.
He also cited the April 26 incident in which an armed man was wounded near Peck Road and Route 64 in St. Charles after allegedly falsely reporting to police that a home break-in was underway. McMahon said Illinois State Police are conducting that review.
Hoping for safer interactions between law enforcement and members of the community, McMahon said the year's third, week-long session of Crisis Intervention Team training will be offered next week at the Sheriff's Office. Twenty-four officers from across the county are enrolled he said, and expressed gratitude to the Kane County Board for funding the program, which launched in the latter part of last year.
McMahon reported a slight uptick in the number of felony filings for the first half of 2018, citing 1,315 through June 30 of this year, up from 1,222 for the same period in 2017 and 1,068 in 2016. Prior to that year, crime numbers had been declining for several years, he said.
He said neither the Elgin nor Aurora police departments are seeing significant increases, but some of the smaller departments are – including North Aurora and Batavia's.
He said crime is cyclical, and the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI released statistics through 2016, showing the crime rate nationally and in the Midwest up slightly in 2015 and 2016.
He said there is no single reason for the county's increase, noting that several factors weigh in. Among them is what appears to be a stronger presence of Illinois State Police on the I-90 corridor leading to a number of significant drug cases, he said.
He said the cases involve not just the movement of drugs and firearms between Rockford and Chicago but extending to Madison, Wisconsin, and Minneapolis.
"[And] we are increasing more misdemeanor cases to felony offenses based on a defendant's criminal history [of] multiple prior misdemeanors," McMahon said, adding it applies to offenses such as driving under the influence, retail theft and domestic violence.
"We see so many people drinking and driving and continuing to drive without a driver's license, we’ve made an effort to enhance those when we can," McMahon said.
He noted that for people without a criminal history who are recognized as not jeopardizing public safety and who have gotten into legal trouble because of bad decisions, efforts to give them resources and an opportunity to change their behavior and exit the criminal justice system are a goal.
McMahon noted the promotion of Ana Lalley to police chief in Elgin, following the departure of Chief Jeff Swoboda, who was tapped to be chief in Fort Collins, Colorado.
"Al Young will be the deputy chief of police," McMahon said, praising the depth of talent among the department's ranks. "I’ve known both for many years. The residents of Elgin will be well served by their leadership. They’re both terrific people [and] great communicators. They will have great outreach with the community."
McMahon said Lalley has been an effective partner with his department, and was one of the first to implement the technology of body-worn cameras for officers, creating a successful launch in the northern part of Kane County.