Morris police officers recognized for DUI work

Alex Vaughn, Mark Vanderploeg, Dakota Collofello honored by Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists

MORRIS – During Monday night’s Morris City Council meeting, Morris Police Chief Alicia Steffes took time to recognize three of her officers who had been recognized by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists for their work in the past year.

Officers Alex Vaughn, Mark Vanderploeg and Dakota Collofello received certificates from AAIM. Vaughn and Vanderploeg were present at the meeting. Collofello, who could not attend the meeting, will receive his certificate at a later date.

“The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists is a statewide organization whose primary focus is on cases against intoxicated drivers, making sure that this preventable crime is stopped,” Steffes said. “They do a survey each year of over 700 police departments in Illinois, and they gather statistics on each department’s number of DUIs, number of officers, and they try to highlight and recognize those departments and officers that have done an outstanding job, above and beyond in enforcing impaired driving laws.

“So, this year, officer Alex Vaughn and officer Mark Vanderploeg, as well as officer Dakota Collofello, who couldn’t be here tonight, were all awarded the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists Award, which says, ‘certificate of appreciation in recognition of commendable DUI enforcement.’ So congratulations to officers Vaughn, Vanderploeg and Collofello.”

Steffes said that the Morris Police Department had a total of 71 DUI arrests last year, with Collofello having 11, and Vaughn and Vanderploeg having 10 each.

Other action

The City Council rescinded its Aug. 2 denial of the purchase of a Caterpillar mini excavator and then approved by a 7-0 vote to authorize the purchase of a Caterpillar mini excavator for $61,100 from Altorfer.

“The one we authorized has the features that the council wanted,” Morris Mayor Chris Brown said. “Also, it’s a Joliet dealership, but the salespeople we were working with are local. The price difference is only $300 less than the one that was denied at the last meeting, but this one has the features we wanted.”

In its first request, the Water and Sewer Department had requested to buy the Caterpillar mini excavator from a different Joliet dealer at a cost of $61,400.

In a related item, the Water and Sewer Committee recommended in the form of a motion that the council approve the purchase of a trailer for the mini excavator at a cost of $8,174.00. The motion passed by a 7-0 vote.

The council approved a request by Corri Trotter to “Turn the Town Teal” by placing bows at various locations throughout the city for the month of September to support Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, as well as a request by Randy Hauge to close North Street between Spruce and East streets beginning at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 28 for a block party, with a rain date of Aug. 29.

Brown then proclaimed the month of September 2021 as “National Suicide Prevention Awareness and Action Month.”

The Judiciary and License Committee approved business licenses for Chad Cailteaux, doing business as 5R Enterprices LLC, 1802 N. Division Street, Suite 800, to operate a heavy equipment sales and rental business; Jose R. Melendez Aguirre, doing business as La Casa Michoacana Inc., 2413 Sycamore Drive, to operate a full-service restaurant business; and Patrick Keegan, doing business as Field Day Sporting LLC, 224 Liberty St., to operate a men’s store, special event venue business.

The Judiciary and License Committee also recommended in the form of motions a Class D liquor license transfer from Juan Hernandez, doing business as La Casa Michoacana Inc. to Jose Rigoberto Melendez Aguirre, doing business as La Casa Michoacana Inc., 2413 Sycamore Drive; and a Class D liquor license transfer from David Bzdill, doing business as South 20 Network Club LLC to Patrick Keegan, doing business as Field Day Sporting LLC, 224 Liberty St. Both motions passed with a 7-0 vote.


Rob Oesterle

Rob Oesterle

Rob has been a sports writer for the Morris Herald-News and Joliet Herald-News for more than 20 years. He is currently also writing news for the Morris Herald-News.