Oglesby officers praised for meritorious conduct in 2020

Officers were shot at in December 2020 incident

Officers Jack Barnes and Evan Duttlinger were fired upon and could have been killed. Oglesby hasn’t forgotten their heroism.

Monday, Oglesby Police Chief Doug Hayse read a letter of commendation before the Oglesby City Council praising the two patrol officers for their conduct in December 2020. Hayse explained he held off on recognizing his officers’ conduct until the case was concluded, which happened earlier this year.

Peter D. Bergsma of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was remanded to the Department of Human Services after he was ruled not guilty by reason of insanity. The two officers approached Bergsma’s recreational vehicle parked at Illinois Valley Community College and found Bergsma exhibiting troubling behavior. Bergsma later fled and opened fire.

“We’re very fortunate there wasn’t a serious injury,” Mayor Dom Rivara said.

Finally, the lingering debate over the east-end parking lot has been settled: The council approved a 12-space parking lot (reduced from 16-spaces) and with no access through the alley at the site of the former Reizner building.

“We’ll have to make sure we have a firm design and go out for bids,” Rivara said, expressing hope for completion in autumn.

In other matters, the council:

  • Announced a Little League field will be named Aug. 18 for Jim Bottomley, an Oglesby native and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Tabled a proposal revising gaming fees to revisit how to use the funds
  • Approved raffle license for La Salle County Democrats
  • Opted to let a blighted property (663 N. Columbia Ave.) go to tax auction this fall. The city discovered acquiring it outright presented complications