Carpentersville businesses that offer check-cashing services will now be required to adhere to stringent safety measures as a result of a new ordinance passed by the Village Board this week.
Effective with the passing of the new ordinance, businesses are now required to have safety and security measures in place due to them holding large amounts of cash on site, which, prior to the ordinance, made them more vulnerable to armed robberies.
“This ordinance puts into place safeguards and procedures that, when utilized, will make a business less inviting to someone looking for an easy target to rob,” said Carpentersville Police Chief Michael J. Kilbourne. “This ordinance does not in itself stop the lawful practice of cashing checks; it simply requires businesses (that) wish to offer the services to do so in a safe, controlled manner that protects the safety of not only the employees but customers as well.”
The new ordinance is the result of a review of a Sept. 7 armed robbery/homicide incident that occurred at a business located in the 1600 block of Ravine Lane. The crime led to the Police Department identifying a second business in town, one that also offers cash-checking services, at which four armed robberies had occurred in the past five years.
“As a result of the Sept. 7 incident, I challenged the village attorney, Police Department and Community Development Department to work together to make a reasonable change to current Village Code to address this public safety issue,” said Village Manager Mark Rooney. “We pride ourselves in being a learning and adaptive organization.”
This collaborative effort led to this ordinance, which sets forth reasonable safety procedures for businesses to follow if they wish to cash checks in exchange for a service fee. Any Carpentersville business owners who wishes to offer check-cashing services will now be required to add the following safety measures:
- Have a security guard on site when fewer than 20 employees are on the premises.
- Install interior and exterior video cameras that record continuously. Recordings must be preserved for at least 30 days and must be made available to the Police Department.
- Post signs notifying the public that video surveillance is being conducted.
- Ensure that exterior windows are not obscured in any way.
- Use of exterior phones, security bars, and rollup doors are prohibited.
- Cash not in immediate use must be stored behind two locked doors and kept in a time-lock safe.
“The Community Development Department has been working closely with the Police Department and business community to help protect our citizens and businesses, and will continue to do so as we implement the ordinance,” said Marc Huber, assistant village manager/director of community development.
The ordinance was unanimously adopted by the Village Board on Dec. 6, 2016, and will take effect on May 1, 2017.
SOURCE: Carpentersville Police Department news release