Public Safety Tops On Manhattan Village Board Action

MANHATTAN, IL — The Village of Manhattan Board of Trustees unanimously authorized at its Tuesday meeting the appointment of a full-time police officer. The position takes effect Sunday.

Ryan Gulli, has 15 years of experience with both the Manhattan and Midlothian Police Departments, will assume full-time police officer duties, according to village officials. While serving as a DARE officer, he was selected as the Illinois DARE Officer of the Year, according to Village officials

The full-time position opened up when police officer Rebecca Buhs went from full-time to part-time status, according to the Village.

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“The full-time hiring of officer Gulli will provide an extra officer on the street,” said Manhattan Police Chief Jeff Wold. “In addition to his patrol duties, he will serve as a truck enforcement officer. Truck enforcement is an important role in keeping our streets safe; overweight trucks are a hazard to the motoring public and they can cause undue damage to our roadways.”

Mass Notification System Registration Coming Soon

The Village Board of Trustees also unanimously approved to enter into an agreement with the Will County Emergency Telephone System Board, which will allow the Village to utilize Will County’s Everbridge Mass Notification System to communicate with residents and businesses in the Village.

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The Everbridge system can send thousands of text messages, emails and prerecorded voice messages in just a few minutes to notify specific geographic areas of emergency situations, non-emergency events or other information, according to the Village.

Residents will be able to register for alerts from Everbridge and select how they receive the messages: by cell phone, text message, home phone and/or email, according to the Village. Residents listed in the Will County 9-1-1 database will be automatically subscribed to alerts by phone, but the notification system allows people to self-register, provide additional contact information, or to opt out, according to the Village.

“Public safety is a priority for me, and this is one vital way to communicate with residents on multiple levels,” said Manhattan Mayor Mike Adrieansen. “This partnership with Will County allows our Village to send both emergency and non-emergency information across all types of devices ensuring our residents have access to accurate and timely information as quickly and reliably as possible. I would encourage both residents and individuals who work in Manhattan to sign up online to receive these important messages.”

Registration information will soon be available on the Village of Manhattan website, according to the Village.

“Sweepstakes” Gaming Machines Banned

The Village of Manhattan took the proactive step of banning so-called “sweepstakes machines” from operation in the village.

Sweepstakes machines share many similarities to video gaming machines in how they look and operate, according to multiple media reports, but they are not regulated or taxed as video gaming terminals are.

The sweepstakes machines use a loophole in the Illinois Gaming Board rules that exempt them from IGB oversight. The sweepstakes machines are marketed as “entertainment machines” and, therefore, do not fall under the IGB’s definition of video gaming terminals. It has been widely reported, however, that the unregulated sweepstakes machines do offer cash and/or voucher payouts, essentially making the machines no different than legally operated video gaming terminals.

Adrieansen said he became aware of the sweepstakes machines in other towns while doing research for the Village’s liquor licenses in order to attract more businesses. There currently are no sweepstakes machines in the village, Adrieansen said. He added that the sweepstakes machines are “not a good fit” for the Village at this time.

Multiple other towns in Illinois have also proactively banned sweepstakes machines via local ordinances, according to Support Main Street Illinois, a coalition of owners and operators of Illinois restaurants and bars, video gaming equipment manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and terminal operators.

Related: Is the End Near for Sweepstakes Machines in Illinois?

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via Manhattan, IL Patch

October 23, 2021 at 08:19AM