The Crime Rate in Minonk

      Editor: Eric Olson
Recently, the letters on Minonk Talk have centered around one form of moral and social degradation, homosexuality. I would like to raise the topic of another form of moral degradation: vandalism. During my last visit a few weeks ago, we went uptown and looked at the new pavilion at the Westside Park. Sadly, rumors you had heard were true. Vandals had kicked in a portion of one of the doors. A short survey of the property showed more signs of damage including bushes that had been stomped, damage to trees, litter, graffiti, names carved in the picnic tables, etc. Luckily, I did not have to witness some of the earlier acts of indecency that had been committed including public urination and even defecation.

Like you, my first few instincts were to be appalled and angered. While still enraged, various questions were raised. Questions like the obvious: "What kind of a vile pig would urinate and defecate on the floors of a public pavilion?" "Where were these monsters' parents?", and of course, "Where were the police?" These are all valid questions that could potentially lead to very controversial answers.

One of the first things I did was question the current crime statistics. In other words, is this a problem in Minonk, in Woodford County, in the State of Illinois? For this data, I went to the Illinois State Police website. Below is a table indicating the crime rate per 100,000 people.


(State of Il.)


(Rural Communities)






From this data, it appeared the crime rate was lower per capita in the rural communities compared to the entire state. One could also draw from this that the crime rates are decreasing in both the state and in the rural areas. The next level down involved looking at the statistics for Woodford County. The total crime rate in Woodford County dropped from 1,194 (per 100,000 people) in 2003 to 1,114 (per 100,000 people) in 2004. Last, but not least, the next level down involved the statistics for just Minonk. In 2003, Minonk had 3,543 crimes (per 100,000 people). This number increased in 2004 to 3,961 crimes (per 100,000 people). That's right - the crime rate increased in Minonk while it decreased in the county and the state. In fact, the crime rate in Minonk was worse than the average rural communities throughout the state and on par with the entire state including the heavy urban areas of Chicago, Cook County, Rockford, and East St. Louis, etc. I realize the statistics I quoted include all crimes, domestic, property, murder, etc., but isn't this trending still a bit alarming? I move on to my next points.

In response to the question of what types of vile pigs would commit these acts of vandalism, the answer is children that have not been raised properly, children that have not been taught right from wrong, or children that have not been active in a church. Children that have no self-respect, respect for others, other's property, their elders, or anything for that matter. Children who have no interest in education, and yes, children that have been raised in a home that did not provide discipline, moral character, stability, and good examples of living. I could most certainly quote pages of scripture that relate to this subject, but I doubt the people to whom this is directed have ever read the Bible or even respected the word of God.

This is a result of poor parenting, which is a product of bad parents. So, where are these bad parents? Many of them can be found in the local taverns, enjoying their drunken bliss while neglecting their children. They can be found in the beer tents during certain events. They can be found purchasing their liquor to be consumed at home. These are probably the same parents that have had run-ins with the law themselves. Statistics state they are probably from broken or substance abusing families and have an inadequate education.

So enough grousing about the bad parents, vile children, and the inability of the police to apprehend the violators - now on to solutions. I am not a parent, so I will not give advice on how to raise children. However, I'm pretty sure a good start may include joining a local chapter of alcoholics anonymous, getting a better education, and teaching your children right from wrong. It never fails to amaze me when I speak to an alcoholic that complains about his depression and money problems. This is a no-brainer people. Alcohol is a chemical depressant that is not free. You want more money, cut out the vices.

As for the disgusting children, I would like to make a couple of suggestions. The key words here are respect, fear, and punishment. The persons who are committing these heinous acts are probably too old to be taught respect. As I was taught as a child, the next best thing to respect is fear. Children today have little fear of anything. They know the liberal laws of man protect them from corporal punishment. Their immoral acts prove they don't even have the fear of God. The only thing they can be made to fear is their loss of freedom.

Now for the immediate solution to the problem - if the police department can be more aggressive in the enforcement of the laws that are already on the books, more of these immoral animals can be taken out of society. Is anyone aware the crime rate in Minonk is on the rise? Being a small town I understand there are budgetary restraints which means that only one officer is on duty at a time and the entire town is difficult for one officer to watch. However, it is their responsibility to police the town, investigate all crimes including vandalism, and bring to justice the vile perpetrators, regardless to who they may be related (this is an especially important point in Minonk and Woodford County). Maybe something like a neighborhood watch program would help for the areas around the parks and downtown? Perhaps surveillance cameras would help? Perhaps the police need to catch a few of these animals and make examples of them? Perhaps the parents should also be fined or punished?

I'm not associated with the legal system and do not know if the parents can be held accountable in Illinois. If not, perhaps the concerned citizens should contact their state representatives and senators to bring these types of laws into the books? At a minimum, the children and parents responsible for the vandalism should be made responsible for repairing or replacing the damaged public items.

To reply to this editorial please send your comments to

Your letter will be published in the email section. Viewers are welcome to submit a guest editorial.

April 17, 2006