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Cook County Sheriff looks back on 2009

Sheriff Mark Falk
Sheriff Mark Falk

In general it was an eventful year for Cook County law enforcement, including storms and stand-offs. But looking back on the Christmas holiday, Sheriff Mark Falk says overall it was a “good Christmas, with only two domestic incidents and neither of those resulted in an arrest.”

Falk added that domestics are difficult for both the participants and officers. “The holidays can be a stressful time,” he said, “and some people handle the stress better than others.” Falk said it’s supposed to be a happy time of year and that when things sour, it makes the disappointment even greater. He said domestics at any time of the year can be unpredictable and dangerous, and cited the killing of a metro-area police earlier in the year when called to a domestic dispute.

 “We’re a 24-7-365 day service and deputies feel the stress of not being with their families as much over the holidays. So it’s a stressful time for them, too.”

Falk mentioned a number of important events that involved law enforcement this past year. An ice storm and windstorm that took down power in the county headed his natural disaster list. He said he was glad that county emergency services did not have to face a major fire in 2009.

“On a more personal level as far as law enforcement is concerned,” he said, “we had a standoff that resulted in the death of the suspect. Fortunately no officers were hurt.” Falk also commended deputies on their handling of a potential suicide, in which after 45 minutes of negotiation, the young suspect finally surrendered. “He had a gun loaded and pointed at his head the whole time. It was armed and cocked. He was serious,” said Falk.

As for the remaining holiday in 2009, the sheriff hopes for a calm New Years. “We want everyone to have a good time,” he concluded, “but if you drink, have a designated driver.”