LA GRANGE – Teens looking to escape their parents’ watch by roaming through downtown La Grange this summer will nonetheless have two sets of eyes on them.
La Grange Police have rewritten a grant previously used to catch criminals to enforce good manners in the Central Business District, which attracts scores of teens in the summer.
Two officers have begun to patrol the district on foot during afternoons and evenings Thursday through Saturday. They’ll be looking for anything that alarms or provokes the public, Police Chief Mike Holub said. Holub said he received complaints last year from merchants who reported that kids were spitting or using foul language outside their stores.
“The kids, they’re not criminals. They’re not out there trying to do anything,” Holub said. “Right now, downtown La Grange just happens to be a really cool place to be spotted … It’s just the place to be seen.”
Blocking sidewalks, sitting on stairwells and skateboarding on the steps of Village Hall are other acts the officers will look to prevent. The intent is to maintain a peaceful atmosphere throughout the district, which Holub estimates increases the village’s population by 7,500 some weekends during the summer.
“When you have that many people, it becomes its own police beat,” he said.