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Our View: Thumbs up to DeKalb’s new resident officer

Published: Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

Thumbs up: To the DeKalb Police Department’s enhanced resident officer program and the first person to participate, patrol officer Jared Burke. Burke and his family recently moved to a home at 624 N. 11th St. in the city’s Pleasant Street neighborhood.

The city has had a patrol officer living in a department-provided property since 2004, but the enhanced program includes the city buying and renovating an older home in the neighborhood. Moving a police officer into the neighborhood can help identify and discourage crime, as well as foster trust and better relationships among the community and government and social service agencies.

By renovating a multitenant home, the population density also is reduced and the neighborhood overall looks better.

Officer Burke says he expects to be busy during the next year, and we hope he and his new neighbors find the situation rewarding and beneficial.

Thumbs down: To the still rising tide of foreclosures washing over our state.

This week, Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac released data showing Illinois had 42,176 foreclosure filings from July through September, a 31 percent increase over the same period last year.

Part of the reason the recovery from the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 has been so tepid is that the housing values have been depressed by the glut of vacant, bank-owned properties on the market.

As property values have shrunk, property tax rates also have increased on those who still own their homes.

Part of the reason it has taken our state so long to slog through the catastrophe in the real estate market is foreclosure proceedings are handled by local courts, which are overburdened by the volume of cases.

The hope is that this will be the last quarter where we see our state going against the national trend of falling foreclosure rates.

Thumbs up: To Love INC and to the volunteers who make its ministries possible. Love INC is a clearinghouse of sorts, screening people in need and connecting them with the things they require through local churches.

Ministries include emergency help with transportation and utilities, food, linens, furniture, even diapers. The group is extending its reach farther south in the county today with its first collection in Waterman.

From 11 a.m. until 2:15 p.m., bring donations of furniture, diapers, kitchenware, games, lamps and other useful items to the Waterman Bible Church, 500 S. Birch St., and volunteers will help unload the donations so they can get to the local people who need them.

Thumbs down: To unfortunate scheduling. The DeKalb County Board meeting is scheduled every third Wednesday of the month.

This month that date falls on Oct. 17, the same night the League of Women Voters of DeKalb County has scheduled a Candidates’ Night at DeKalb City Hall.

What’s a County Board candidate to do? Go to the board meeting and attend to the county’s business, or go the candidates’ event to try to get re-elected to attend to the county’s business.

Voters certainly deserve to hear from these candidates, especially given that all 24 seats are up for election and seven of the board’s 12 districts feature contested races.

We wish the League could have picked a different date.

Thumbs up: To KishHealth System’s efforts to promote healthy lifestyles. KishHealth System is working with businesses to have their storefront windows painted with a healthy lifestyle goal as part of the “One Life” campaign. KishHealth System will sponsor the cost of the artists and professional window cleaning at the conclusion of the weeklong event.

Window painting will be done by Sycamore Art Attack between Thursday and Oct. 21. The program is a great way to raise awareness about the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices.

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