The members of the Macomb Police Department realize that for some it is a bit of a culture shock coming to Macomb. Life is a little more laid back here. With that in mind we realize that some students may come to Macomb with a perception of the way police operate. Police here pay more attention to issues that police back in your hometown may not have cared as much about. Again, our goal is for you to come to Macomb and get a quality education at Western Illinois University. We hope for you to go forth and be successful in whatever you endeavor to do.
On occasion you may come into contact with the police as they do their job. We realize that the contacts you have had in the past with police might have been negative, positive or neutral in nature. Rest assured that we would always like to see the contacts you have with the police be positive in nature. To that end we have provided a link to the document “The Law and You. Guidelines for Interacting with LE Officials”. This document was produced in partnership by the NAACP, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the Allstate Insurance Company. It is a great guide on how to interact with law enforcement. Please take the time to read it so that in the event you are contacted by a law enforcement official you know what to expect and what is expected of you. Thank you.
The Macomb Police Department designed a brochure for students in order to better educate the members of our community. We hope that with the information you will become aware of what is expected of you as a citizen and what fines may be imposed for violations of our city’s ordinances. The information presented here is the same information that we provide citizens of the community.
• Don’t walk alone at night. Whether you are walking to a friend’s house or walking home from the bars, walking alone at night is risky. While Macomb is a safe community the chances of being assaulted or battered increase when walking home alone. Whether it’s a criminal looking for easy prey or a violent intoxicated subject who may not know what they are doing, walking alone at night increases your chances of being a victim.
o If you must walk home alone, call a friend and talk to them while you are walking. Give them updates on where you are, which way you are walking and anyone around you that looks suspicious. By knowing where you are you increase the chances of getting help quickly in case you are attacked.
o Don’t walk and text. This divides your attention too much and makes you unaware of your surroundings.
o Take the bus or a taxi. Macomb and Western Illinois University offer public transportation all over Macomb and the campus. Taking the bus can get you home quicker without the danger. Taking a taxi may cost you a few dollars but the alternative is becoming a victim.
• Lock your doors and windows. Whether it’s your car or your residence, locking your doors and windows will decrease the chances of you becoming a victim of a burglary.
• When out on the town keep track of your personal belongings. Secure your purse to your wrist, keep valuables like cash and cell phones in your front pockets and don’t set anything down and walk away from it.
• Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know or people you just met. There is no way for you to verify that a drink you accept from a stranger hasn’t been spiked with a drug or contains more alcohol than you realize.
Tips to Assist You!
- Don’t walk in public with open alcohol
- This is literally a signal from you asking for an officer to stop you. Possession of open alcohol in public is a city ordinance violation with a fine starting at $250.
- Always provide identification when asked for it
- If an officer asks for your identification it’s best to provide it so that the officer knows who they are dealing with. Providing false information to an officer will land you in jail. Not having a valid identification with you while in the bars in Macomb is a city ordinance violation with a fine starting at $100.
- Don’t run from the police; it will only complicate the situation
- Running from the police will more than likely get you in more trouble than just stopping and talking with the police. If an officer was going to stop you for an underage drinking ticket, which carries a fine of $250 and you decide to run from the police and get caught, you are now probably going to be facing a state charge of underage consumption and also a charge for resisting/obstructing a police officer. Both of these are now on your permanent arrest record where a simple consumption ticket would not be.
- The legal age to enter a bar in Macomb is 20 years old or older; the legal drinking age is 21 years old or older
- The Macomb Police Department strictly enforces underage drinking laws because we care about you. Your parents send you to Macomb to receive a top notch education from Western Illinois University. The Macomb Police Department wants to see you spend four safe years in Macomb and go on to have a successful career in whatever you decide to do. Too many times we have seen students ruin that chance by drinking alcohol to excess. We enforce underage drinking laws as part of a comprehensive effort to curb binge drinking and alcohol abuse.
- If you use a false ID to gain entry into a bar or tavern and you are caught with it, you may be subject to a 1 year driver’s license suspension in addition to a city ordinance violation fine.
- Possession of a False ID is a city ordinance violation that carries a fine starting at $300. This includes the use of “Pass Backs”. In addition, anyone providing an ID for someone to use to enter a bar could be charged with Assisting a Minor in Misrepresentation of Age which has a fine that starts out at $250.
Remember, police officers can use discretion in most circumstances. Your attitude and/or cooperation is a factor officers consider in their use of discretion.
If you are hosting a gathering please keep in mind the following things:
- Know who is in attendance
- Too many times officers take theft reports from subjects who had a party the night before and woke up the next day to find their expensive laptops or portable music devices missing. Keeping your party small to just the people you know and invite will help to reduce the chances of you becoming a victim of a thief. It takes just a few seconds for someone to get out of your eyesight and enter your bedroom or other common area and steal your belongings.
- Ask strangers to leave
- If you find someone at your gathering that you don’t know and don’t want there, ask them politely to leave. If they will not willingly leave your gathering call the Macomb Police Department and we can assist you. Don’t confront them in a violent way as this will only make the situation worse.
- Lock up and/or hide valuable items like electronics, jewelry and money.
- See point 1 for more information.
- Lock up your vehicle and your house when you leave them unattended.
- Macomb is a safe community however there are plenty of people who will take advantage of the comfort in our community. Keeping your doors locked at all times will decrease your chances of becoming a victim of a crime.
- Tips for you to have a successful house party and not get the police called on you.
- -Keep the noise volume down
- -No underage drinking
- -No open containers off the property
- -No fighting
- -No illegally parked vehicles
- -No guests congregating on the street or sidewalk
- -No illegal controlled substances
- -Use indoor restroom facilities only
- -Discard litter in proper waste containers (especially before calling it a night)
- -Do not retaliate against neighbors if police were called. The police will not tell you who called.
- -Have sufficient sober people monitoring the party
- -Be polite to police officers if they visit
Alcohol and Identification Violations
Misrepresentation of Age to Enter a Class “A” Tavern 4-97d
A person under the age of 20 shall not use any type of documentation that shows he/she is at least 20 years old in order to gain admission to a tavern/bar. This includes the common violation of “Pass Backs”. Fine starts at $300.
Possession of False Identification 4-97
A person under the age of 21 shall not possess any type of documentation/identification whether altered, fictitious or someone else’s for the purpose of purchasing or attempting to purchase alcoholic liquor. Fine starts at $300.
Assisting a Minor in Misrepresentation of Age 4-98
Is shall be unlawful for any person to assist a minor in misrepresenting his/her age for the purpose of entering a Class “A” tavern/bar or for the purpose of obtaining any alcoholic liquor. This also includes people who “Pass Back” their identification to minors. Fine starts at $250.
Possession/Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor 4-95
The purchase, acceptance, possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor is prohibited. Fine starts at $250.
Sale or Delivery of Alcohol to a Minor 4-96
The sale or delivery of alcohol to a minor is prohibited. Fine starts at $300.
Person Under 20 Years of Age in a Class “A” Tavern
No person under the age of 20 years shall be in a Class “A” tavern/bar. A person under the age of 20 years can be in a Class “E” tavern/bar until the business’ posted time. Fine starts at $250.
Possession of Open Alcohol in Public 4-115c
The possession of open alcohol (i.e. any non-sealed container that contains any type of alcoholic beverage) is prohibited in public areas. A public area is defined as public properties, a sidewalk, a street or alley and the area between a sidewalk and a street. Fine starts at $250.
In addition to all of these city ordinances related to alcohol there are also consequences that you could face from the State of Illinois. Most people don’t understand what sanctions the State of Illinois can impose even if you get a local ordinance ticket for using a fake ID or for consumption of alcohol by a minor. Below are links to three PDF files that talk about the consequences of using a fake ID, consuming alcohol while a minor and getting a DUI. Please take the time to look these over so that you understand the true consequences of these illegal actions.
Common “House Party” Liquor Violations
Sale of Alcohol Without a Liquor License 4-51a
No person shall sell any type of alcoholic liquor without obtaining a liquor license. Fine starts at $500.
Sale of Alcohol After Being Purchased at Retail 4-51b
No person shall resell or offer for resale any alcoholic liquor that has been purchased or obtained from a retail liquor business. Fine starts at $500
Keg Registration 4-114
All kegs that have been purchased or obtained from a liquor business and contain an alcoholic liquor shall contain a keg registration sticker. Removal of such stickers is prohibited except by a liquor retail business. Kegs may not be transported to residences other than the one used for keg registration at the liquor retail business. Fine starts at $250.
Failure to Disperse 16-16.2
It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse to comply with a lawful order to disperse given by a police officer in the performance of the officer’s duties. Fine starts at $300.
Nuisance parties 16-16.1
No person who is an owner, occupant, tenant, or who otherwise has rightful possession or possessory control, individually or jointly with others, or any premises shall knowingly, negligently, or recklessly allow a social gathering or party on said premises to become a nuisance party as defined by said Nuisance Parties ordinance. Fine starts at $300.
Additionally the City of Macomb passed a Mass Gatherings ordinance that specifically regulates large parties. Basically if you expect to have over 150 people at your gathering, they are going to be outside of the residence and you are allowing alcohol to be consumed on the premises, then you must apply for a Mass Gatherings permit through City Hall. Failure to do so could result in a fine starting at $500.
Let’s say that you have a keg party and invite 149 friends. You purchase the keg at ABC’s Liquor. You charge $4.00 for a plastic cup for beer consumption. Instead of just 149 friends showing up some bring their friends and you now have 250 people at your house drinking. Of the 200 people, 40 of them are underage. At about 1:15am, the police arrive because your guests are too loud. This is the second time the police have been to your residence. What can you expect?
- Citation for selling alcohol without a license. $500 fine.
- Citation for selling alcohol that was purchased from a retail store. $500 fine.
- Citation for each underage person that drank your alcohol. $12,000 fine.
- Citation for loud gathering. $100 fine.
- Citation for violation of the mass gatherings ordinance. $500 fine.
- Citation for Nuisance Parties. $300 fine
- Forfeiture of the proceeds made from selling cups for patrons to drink your beer from. In this case $800.
Total cost of keg party with 40 underage guests. PRICELESS!
Most Common City Ordinance Violations
Prohibited Noises/Loud Music 16-15
Loud music and other loud noises is prohibited. There is no set time that either is allows. Fine starts at $100.
All loud music and loud party situations are complaint-driven. The police will not arrive at loud parties or at areas with loud music unless they have received a complaint from a citizen. The police will not tell anyone who the complainant is.
Resisting, Obstructing, Interfering with Police 16-31
It is unlawful to resist, obstruct or otherwise interfere with the police during his/her official duties. Fine starts at $300.
Urinating of Defecating in Public 16-51
Urinating and/or defecating in public is prohibited. Fine starts at $100.
Possession of Cannabis Less than 10 Grams 16-54
No person shall possess cannabis anywhere in the city. Amounts of cannabis of 10 grams or more will result in state charges. Fine starts at $300.
Conviction of a drug crime can result in revocation of financial aid.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia 16-58
It is unlawful for any person to use, or possess with the intent to use drug paraphernalia. Fine starts at $750.
Fighting amongst two or more individuals in any public place is prohibited. Fine starts at $250.
Miscellaneous City Ordinances
Indoor Furniture Outdoors PM-309.9
Indoor furniture is prohibited outdoors or on outdoor porches. Fine starts at $100.
Tampering With Signs 16-76
Tampering with any sign, particularly street signs, is prohibited. Fine starts at $100.
Games or Other Activities on Streets, Sidewalks 20-11
It is unlawful to play games or other activities on public streets and sidewalks where such activities interfere with pedestrians or traffic. Fine starts at $100.
Walking on Roadway 15-192
When a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway. Fine starts at $100.
Fire Prevention and Protection
Outside Burning 10-2
The outside burning of garbage, grass clippings, leaves, construction material, furniture and other rubbish is prohibited. Fine starts at $100.
Evacuation of Buildings 10-5
All residents/occupants shall evacuate any building in which a fire alarm has been activated or when directed to evacuate by an official agent of the state, county, city or university. Fine starts at $100.
Possession of Fireworks 10-131
The possession of explosive fireworks is prohibited. Fine starts at $100 plus the confiscation of remaining fireworks.
Discharging of Fireworks 10-132
The discharging of explosive fireworks is prohibited. Fine starts at $100 plus the confiscation of remaining fireworks.
Littering is prohibited. Fine starts at $100.
Accumulation of Refuse/Garbage 11-2
The accumulation of refuse/garbage is prohibited. Refuse/garbage is to be properly contained and set out for weekly collection. Fine starts at $100.
Outside Burning of Refuse/Garbage 11-10
The outside burning of refuse/garbage is prohibited. Refuse/garbage is to be collected in a container and placed at the curb for weekly pickup. Fine starts at $100.
Containers for garbage are not to be left in a position that is in front of the front plane of the residence. In addition containers are to be put out on the curb no earlier than 6pm the day before collection and containers must be collected from the curb no later than 6pm the day of collection. There is also a 6 bag limit to collection.
No Parking on a Public Sidewalk 15-2131B
Parking on a public sidewalk is prohibited. Fine starts at $20.
No Parking in Front of a Public/Private Drive 15-213A2A
No parking is allowed in front of a public or private driveway. Fine starts at $20.
Parked For Over 24 Hours 15-218
Vehicles parked for over 24 hours in one spot will be ticketed and then towed 24 hours later. Fine starts at $20 plus tow fee.
No Parking on Private Property 15-223
Vehicles parked on someone else’s property will be ticketed and are eligible to be towed at the vehicle owner’s expense. Fine starts at $25 plus tow fee.
No Parking on Grass 15-213
No parking on dirt of grassy area. Fine starts at $20.
In addition a number of areas around campus are no parking from 2am to 6am. Drivers should observe for no parking signs along a roadway that they park on. A no parking sign is valid for an entire section of a road unless otherwise posted.
Noisy Animals 6-6
Noisy animals and barking dogs are prohibited. Fine starts at $100.
Dogs Running at Large 6-32
Dogs running at large are prohibited. Dogs outside must be leashed, restricted from leaving the owner’s property, or in control of the owner while outdoors. Dogs observed running loose may be picked up and taken to the McDonough County Animal Shelter. Fine starts at $100.