Village Board approves contract to allow police to enforce traffic laws on mall property

CHERRY VALLEY, Ill. (WIFR) -- After the CherryVale Mall saw two shootings within one month, it's been working to increase security both in and around the mall. The Village of Cherry Valley and its police department are now working to keep that area safe.

With more security inside the mall, the Village of Cherry Valley has wanted to make the parking areas and roads outside the mall safer, but it hasn't been easy with the mall being private property.

Police say there are only four traffic offenses that are enforceable on private property. That being hit and run, DUI, reckless driving and handicap violations, but that's now changed. Tuesday night the village board approved a contract agreement with the mall that allows the police department to enforce any Illinois traffic laws on mall property. The village hopes the additional police presence will continue to help make the mall feel safe.

"We have officers that go into and talk to all the different store owners and clerks and they have little refresher classes on different things through mall management, so we're always working with them to make the mall a safe place to be,” said Cherry Valley Village President Jim Claeyssen.

"It gives us another tool to make it a safer environment. We can be more proactive in our enforcement efforts and we can also be more visible to the public, and it also gives us the ability to make it a safer environment because more traffic laws will be enforceable and will make it a safer driving environment,” said Chief Robert Swank of the Cherry Valley Police Department.

The village and police department say they have been working with the ownership of the mall for several months to create this traffic law agreement. They're confident it will benefit everyone who visits the mall and surrounding areas.