Police chiefs now back courthouse closing
By Casey Toner firstname.lastname@example.org April 19, 2012 10:58PM
Updated: May 21, 2012 8:53AM
The head of the South Suburban Association Chiefs of Police says he supports a plan to close Cook County courthouses on the weekends because it now won’t cost departments more time and money to transport prisoners.
Association President William Joyce, who is police chief in South Chicago Heights, initially opposed the plan, calling it a nightmare.
But he’s since relented after the plan was changed to allow for weekend prisoner intake at the Markham courthouse. And, the Cook County sheriff’s police will bring prisoners to the Criminal Courts Building at 26th Street and California Avenue in Chicago at no cost to local departments.
“I’m glad we came up with a good solution, and we’ll see what’s ahead of us next,” Joyce said.
The Bridgeview courthouse closed on weekends in January, and the remaining four courthouses — Maywood, Markham, Skokie and Rolling Meadows — were to follow. But they stayed open after Joyce and other police officials balked at the plan.
Joyce also opposed a subsequent plan that would have allowed the sheriff to charge municipalities for taking their prisoners from the Markham and Maywood courthouses to Chicago.
Now, under a plan the Cook County Board approved Tuesday, courthouses in Skokie, Rolling Meadows and Maywood will close on weekends starting May 5. The Markham courthouse will begin weekend closings on June 9.
The county will save about $500,000 this year under the move, compared with about $1.9 million under the original plan.