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County CourtWatch group had busy year

Published: Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

DeKalb County Domestic Violence CourtWatch members observe courtroom proceedings on a regular basis. Besides observing court, the organization also educates its membership each month about areas related to court.

In 2012, CourtWatch Program Chairwoman Phyllis Roush gathered the following programs and speakers:

• DeKalb County Sheriff’s Police Chief Deputy Gary Dumdie spoke on his job as a chief deputy and working with the canine unit.

• Dennis Miller, DeKalb County coroner, informed the group about his work and some of the rather unusual incidents he has encountered.

• David Valentiner, Safe Passage board member and Northern Illinois University psychology professor, talked about Safe Passage and the changes that have taken place at the agency.

• Retired attorney Mary Richgels told the group that having observers in the courtroom has helped the judges be more attentive and show less bias.

• Judy Rosene, evidence control with the Sheriff’s Department spoke about evidence and how it is cataloged and stored for later use in trials.

• State Sen. Christine Johnson gave an overview and some of the depressing particulars concerning the dire financial straits of the state of Illinois.

• U.S. Marshall Fugitive Task Force officer Kevin Maher talked about the many fugitive cases he has tracked.

• A tour of the new courthouse was led by Ruth Ann Tobias and Maureen Josh.

• Richard Schmack, DeKalb County State’s Attorney candidate, spoke about what he would do if elected and his support of domestic violence victims.

CourtWatch Observers provide a valuable service to those individuals that find themselves in need of protection or other assistance from the court system. Observers are in court to assure the victims of domestic abuse that they will receive a fair hearing before the bar.

Those interested in joining CourtWatch or learning more about the organization should drop a note to P.O. Box 721, Sycamore, IL 60178.

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