McClure advised on how to handle juvenile menace

Friday, January 13, 2006

MCCLURE, Ill. -- McClure residents vented frustrations at a meeting Thursday and learned what they could do about acts of violence and harassment caused by juveniles.

About 25 residents attended the meeting, complaining about a variety of juvenile crimes, including harassing residents by knocking on windows and slashing tires.

Alexander County Sheriff Warren Buddy Mitchell encouraged residents to file police reports.

"Idle threats don't get it," Mitchell said, stressing the police reports, especially when residents know the names of the attackers.

Mitchell suggested motion-activated lights, sirens and "no trespassing" signs to ward off trespassers. Residents were also encouraged to take pictures or recordings of crimes as they happen.

While Mitchell told the crowd they have the right to use force if they believe they are in imminent danger, he warned of using unnecessary force.

"You don't want to be the one we arrest," Mitchell said.

Juvenile crime has been a concern in McClure for the last few years, according to Mitchell. Thursday's meeting was the first of its kind between residents and the sheriff's office.

City attorney Patrick Cox said he would contact Jeff Farris, the state's attorney for Alexander County, today to address the concerns.

kmorrison@semissourian.com

335-6611 extension 127

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