Law & Order column, Lake County Sheriff

Lake County Sheriff’s detectives are looking for the man who robbed a Beach Park convenience store at gunpoint.

The robbery took place around 11:30 p.m. on April 20, at the store in the 37700 block of North Green Bay Road.

According to police, a man described as Hispanic came into the store, wearing a face covering, yellow jacket, and gloves, and displayed a handgun. After the clerk gave the robber money, the man fled.

Police dogs tracked the man to the dead end of a nearby street, where the trail ended. The man probably entered a vehicle at that point, police said. The clerk was not injured in the holdup, which remains under investigation.


Several new upgrades to the 911 system used by 40 Lake County police and fire agencies went online this month, providing dispatchers with more tools to better do their jobs.

The computer-aided dispatch program, along with two others, was put into operation on April 16. The CAD provides important tools to help dispatchers as they direct first responders to police and fire calls. A mapping component ensures dispatchers send the closest available. The program also allows dispatchers to look at call history and view routing options, among other features.

Other upgrades to records management systems will provide streamlined reporting procedures for police traffic accident reporting, as well as secure data storage.

The sheriff’s office last year opted out of a consolidated 911 center for what the office said was a “significant operational loss,” but it continued with the software upgrades which the department said will result in upgrades in public safety and savings in tax dollars.

“Because so many police and fire agencies are on the same computer system, responders will get information in a much timelier way, which will result in greater efficiency and lives saved,” Sheriff John Idleburg said.


Zion firefighters say a fire at a church was minimized thanks to the building’s sprinkler system.


The fire department was called to the Trinity Christian Center, 2600 Lewis Avenue, just after 8 p.m. on April 17, for what turned out to be a small fire that started in a storage closet. The blaze was put out by the sprinkler system by the time firefighters arrived. Crews ensured the fire was completely out and they also ventilated the building, which was still smoky. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


A Lake County Sheriff’s 911 telecommunicator is being credited for actions that may have saved the life of a suicidal man.


Telecommunicator Christy O’Dette was on duty on April 14 around 11:25 a.m. when she took a call from a man in Green Oaks who was on railroad tracks north of Illinois Route 176. The man expressed suicidal thoughts.


O’Dette, police said, calmly spoke to the man to de-escalate the situation, and was able to relay information to her colleagues, who acted to halt train traffic near the man. O’Dette directed first responders to the man after determining his location. She stayed on the phone with the man for 15 minutes until deputies were able to reach him. He was brought to a hospital for evaluation.


“Not only was Telecommunicator O’Dette able to stay on the 911 call with this man in mental crisis, but she multi-tasked, notifying the railroad to halt all trains, and providing the responding deputies with crucial information,” Sheriff John Idleburg said. “The telecommunicators serving you in our sheriff’s 911 center go above and beyond like this every single day.”



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