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The original item was published from 8/10/2023 10:13:33 AM to 8/10/2023 10:13:59 AM.

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Posted on: August 10, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Message from Chief Bonilla: Ask Questions, Get Informed, and Get Involved

Message from Police Chief Bonilla

Dear Warrenville Residents,

I recently responded to an email inquiry from a resident who was concerned about the safety of Warrenville and the recent criminal activity reported around town. This resident requested the following:

  • Can you please share your insights or plans on how your force will mitigate crime and prosecute those committing the crimes? 
  • What is your overall plan for crime deterrence and where do you stand on holding criminals accountable?

I felt these were very good and thought-provoking questions. I also felt that these were probably questions and concerns that other residents shared. 

With this resident’s permission, I thought it would be important to share this with the rest of our community (slightly modified to include everyone):

Thank you for your email. I am very happy when residents become involved in what's going on in their community. Not only for their own safety but for the safety of their neighbors as well. Most importantly, I want everyone to feel safe in Warrenville as we have one of the safest communities in DuPage County. Please do not allow our transparency and willingness to inform our residents of potential crime to give the perception that there is an increase in crime. We publicize criminal activity so that our residents are informed and can assist us in reporting suspicious activity when they see it. This is all part of the “police-community partnership” that is important in keeping a community safe. However, sometimes we are guilty of not sharing the resolution of those criminal incidents as much as we should (i.e., arrests and prosecution); so our residents often only hear the negative incidents. For example, our officers and detectives played a crucial role in assisting the FBI in the ultimate apprehension of one of the ATM burglars within 48 hours of that incident occurring. 

As law enforcement professionals, we see crime patterns all across the Chicagoland area. We consider those trends as we discuss plans to protect our community with the street supervisors and officers, but we are not foreseers of the future and we cannot not predict when or where crime will occur. Instead, we encourage our officers to be proactive in the community because we strongly believe that police presence deters criminal activity; “let people know you are out there… be seen… make contact with people both good and (potentially) bad.” We make sure that our officers are properly informed and trained on crime trends in the area and we allow them to work with their supervisors to come up with solutions to either, prevent, deter, or arrest these people who would try to make a victim of our community. I am sure we are all very much aware of these trends all across the country and by way of comparison, Warrenville is a very safe community. 

Additionally, when it comes to criminal prosecution and holding criminals accountable, that is a collaborative effort between us and our State's Attorney's Office. Our officers make the arrest, charge the crime, and then it is up to the State's Attorney's Office to prosecute. Bob Berlin is a good State’s Attorney. He is receptive and truly cares about DuPage County. He supports the police departments in DuPage County and does his best to make sure he and his Assitant State’s Attorneys hold criminals accountable for the crimes they commit. Their office is always putting out public press releases about criminal arrests and prosecutions in DuPage County and his office has a really good track record.    

In sharing this email, I hope that I have conveyed the police department’s dedication and passion to Warrenville residents and keeping them safe, but the police cannot do this alone. As I stated in my email, it does take the “police-community partnership” to create a safer community. It takes residents like this to ask questions, get informed, and get involved.

On September 13 we are starting our Citizen’s Police Academy:

This is a great opportunity to learn about your police department and the work we do and to learn more about how you can help us in keeping Warrenville safe.

Sam Bonilla

Chief of Police, Warrenville Police Department

3S245 Warren Avenue

Warrenville, Illinois  60555

Office: (630) 393-2131


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