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Lemont Village Board approves class for young shoplifters, new radios for police

LEMONT – Judges will have the option of requiring those convicted of theft or retail theft to complete an educational course after the Lemont Village Board approved a change to the municipal code during its Monday meeting.

The class would be available for those younger than 21 and be in place of the current penalty of a fine or community service, which "may not be sufficient to motivate corrective behavior," according to the proposal in the meeting agenda.

Lemont Police Chief Kevin Shaughnessy said the state offers the program but the community would be better served by a class taught by Lemont police officers.

"This is a localized effort to take those under 21 years old and give them an education on the issue of shoplifting," he said.

The board also authorized the Lemont Police Department to purchase 10 Starcom 21 Interoperability portable radios and accessories. The department received a federal non-matching grant of $54,576 to make the purchase.

Shaughnessy said the new radios will be able to operate on a different bandwith that will connect them with other local, county and state law enforcement agencies. Currently, officers need to use different radios to contact the different agencies.

Lemont is part of Cook, DuPage and Will counties, meaning the Lemont police may need to contact the sheriff in each of those counties, Shaughnessy said.

"Interoperability is paramount," he said. "This brings us a step closer to having that ability, in crisis especially."

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