Tag: DeLoren Johnson

Maywood Pit Bull Owners Pressing Village to Change Regulations

Blue_nose_pit_bull_puppy.jpgWednesday, May 3, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

The Maywood Board of Trustees is considering changing an ordinance regulating the ownership of pit bulls in Maywood after numerous residents have complained that the local law unnecessarily stigmatizes the dog breed and places undue burdens on the owners.

“You guys have a rule about no pit bulls and that rule isn’t valid in Illinois, but it is home rule here,” said Maywood resident Phillip Brooks during an April 26 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee meeting.

“Anybody in town who owns a pit bull should be able to register their dog and own their dog just like anybody else,” he said.

According to the Illinois Animal Control Act, municipalities cannot adopt animal regulations that are specific to a certain breed; however, home rule municipalities, such as Maywood, can override the state’s legislation and adopt local breed-specific regulations.

Currently, Maywood regulates pit bull dogs — which are defined as Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier or any mixed-breed of dog that contains traces of either of those breeds — by requiring their owners to fulfill a series of obligations before obtaining a permit to keep the dogs.

Pit bull owners are obligated to “install outdoor enclosures surrounded by a security fence that the dogs must be maintained within when on the owner’s property but not inside the residence,” according to village ordinance.

The owners must not allow the dogs outside of an enclosure or residence unless they’re securely muzzled, supervised and controlled by an owner or family member no younger than 16 and on a non-retractable leash or chain “with a tensile strength of 300 pounds and not exceeding 3 feet in length.”

In addition, anyone seeking to obtain a permit to own a pit bull older than 4 months must show proof that the dog has been spayed and neutered, and received obedience training from a certified and licensed trainer within the past calendar year.

Pit bull owners must also obtain a homeowners or renter’s insurance policy covering the address where the pit bull is kept. Any pit bull owners living in a property owned by someone else must obtain the signed consent of the landlord.

And in Maywood, no resident can own a pit bull if he or she lives within 1,500 feet of a school, public park, playground, day care facility or other similar facility, according to the village ordinances.

Pit bull owners who violate the section of the village’s ordinances pertaining to pit bull ownership are subject to fines ranging from $200 to $1,000. Those owners who are found guilty of a third violation within a calendar year may have their permit immediately revoked and may be prohibited from obtaining a new permit for at least one year.

If, during this revocation period, the pit bull is found on the owner’s premises, then the dog can be impounded and “may be placed for adoption, humanely euthanized, or otherwise disposed of in accordance with Illinois law,” according to the ordinance.

Village attorney Michael Jurusik said that Maywood’s pit bull regulations were formed between 2005 and 2006, when many municipalities across the country, including Chicago, were considering regulations for, and even complete bans on, certain dog breeds, including pit bulls and rottweilers.

Deloren Johnson, Maywood’s animal control officer, said during the April 26 meeting that he’s been confronted by residents, both new and old, who have aired their concerns about the pit bull regulations, which Johnson said can make owning the breed of dogs expensive and even, in some cases, prohibitive.

Johnson said that the requirement that pit bulls over 4 months old be spayed and neutered can be particularly cumbersome since most veterinarians won’t agree to do the procedure on dogs over 6 months old.

“Most of the dogs [he’s encountered in the village] are a couple years old and it’s expensive to have dogs spayed and neutered,” Johnson said. “Most vets won’t attempt to do that. Usually, dogs get spayed or neutered at around 4 to 6 months old. The procedures become more costly as dogs age.”

Johnson said that, from 2015 to 2016, his office didn’t receive any reports of pit bull bites. In 2016, he said, his office reported three dog bites, one of which involved a breed of dog that he couldn’t identify because the owner hid the dog after the attack. So far this year, Johnson said, he’s responded to four reports of pit bulls that have been roaming at large, but no bites involving the breeds.

“The majority of the dogs I pick up are not usually reclaimed by their owners,” Johnson said. “A lot of times, people have to move and they can’t take their animal with them. Instead of calling us to get the animals, a service we offer for free, they just let them run out.”

Johnson said that whether or not a dog is considered dangerous is less dependent on the breed than the owner.

“The thing about any dog is the way they’re trained. If you train an animal to be aggressive, the animal is going to be aggressive. If you don’t train the dog and it gets loose, it will potentially be a problem,” he said.

“So, the issue is more or less the owner rather than the animal. It’s the knowledge the owners have and if they’re able to take care of the animal. A lot of times, people own dogs but don’t know how to take care of them.”

Trustee Isiah Brandon said that he would be interested in changing the current pit bull regulations as long as “the same compliance measures [are kept] in place to make sure that if anything occurs there is a safety net.”

Trustee Michael Rogers said that he thinks the 1,500-foot requirement for owning pit bulls “is rather excessive.”

“That’s more than a quarter of a mile,” he said. “That’s excessive. I’m generally in favor of having the ordinance. I think we have to be safer than sorry. But 1,500 feet is a long way. Coming down to something more like 300 or 500 feet [still] provides a level of safety.”

One business owner, however, said that the village should enforce its existing regulations on pit bull ownership. Glenda Thomas, who owns a preschool on the 3500 block of South 19th Ave., complained about an apartment building across the street from her establishment.

“There are dogs out that aren’t supposed to be there. There are unregistered dogs. The village came down and could not help me with your own ordinance,” she told village board members. “Use your own power.”

The board directed the police and animal control to work with village staff to bring back a revised ordinance that the board could vote on in the weeks ahead. VFP

Photo: A blue-nosed pit bull pup. | Wikipedia 

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Police Chief Recognizes Fellow Nat’l Academy Member, Detective Who Cracked 2011 Homicide Case, Officer Who Made $10K Traffic Stop, Among Others

Elijah Willis

Monday, August 25, 2014 || By Michael Romain 

At an August 19, regular board meeting, Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley recognized a diverse array of Village staff and police officers for various endeavors.

He first announced that his deputy chief, Commander Elijah Willis (left), was recently admitted into the prestigious National Academy as a member of its October 2015 Class, Session 262. Talley, who is himself an alumnus of the Academy’s executive leadership course, said that only about one-half of one percent of all law enforcement executives in the nation are selected to attend.

“I’m trying to move the department forward into a [more] professional law enforcement agency,” he said. “With that, part of the leadership [plan] is to develop a legacy. If something were to happen to me, someone could take my place without cost to the village.”

Chief Talley presented certificates of recognition to Maywood Finance Director Lanya Satchell, Maywood Animal Warden Deloren Johnson and public works employee Henry Wallace for their parts in implementing June’s County Pooch program, a push to register pets in the Village. The Chief said that the program wouldn’t have been implemented without the spirit of cooperation exhibited by all department heads involved.

Chief Talley recognized Detective Charles Porter for his work in identifying the offender in the November 2011 homicide that took place outside of the Popeye’s Chicken restaurant at 1019 W. Roosevelt Road. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office recently announced that Gregory Coppage, 48, of Broadview, was sentenced to 40 years for the murder of Tyrone Carter, 48.

Officer Brian Daniels was recognized for his exemplary conduct on and off the clock. Talley said that he observed Ofc. Daniels in action, as well as heard testimonies from residents who praised Daniel’s diligence in securing several areas of the Village.

“As a leader this is the kind of buy-in that you want from your officers,” Talley said.

Talley also recognized Maywood Truck Enforcement Officer Milton Turnage (right) for executing a traffic stop that resulted in fines amounting to $10,325. Talley said that Turnage made the stop with the new truck scales, the purchase of which the Board of Trustees approved in January of this year. The total cost of the four weight scales was $5,995. The Village’s truck enforcement program is apparently a significant source of revenue, bringing in thousands of dollars per month in fines from overweight trucks.

“The importance [of the scales] is that the seeding of our streets does not allow for heavy weighted vehicles,” Chief Talley said. “That is why we have big holes and craters…It’s problematic for law enforcement and public works, because we’re always trying to play catch-up.”

The Chief acknowledged Sgt. Patrick Granberry for being recognized by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists as one of the top DUI officers in the state. The AAIM conducts an annual survey of over 700 police agencies throughout the state with funding from the Illinois Department of Transportation. VFP

Detective PorterMilton Turnage

(Chief Talley with Detective Charles Porter, left, and Ofc. Milton Turnage. Photos by Michael Romain for the Village Free Press).