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Police Department Overview
McHenry County Conservation District Police Department protects and serves the District’s site users along with protecting any and all natural resources, property and infrastructure that the District owns or manages. The department focuses on educating the general public in areas of public and personal safety, as well as providing programs which encourage spending quality time outdoors.
Conservation District Police Officers enforce a wide range of laws and have full arrest authority. These laws include Conservation District Ordinances, Illinois State Criminal and Vehicle Laws, as well the State Conservation Code, such as the fishing, hunting, boating and snowmobile laws. The Conservation District Police department works hand in hand with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, in addition to having mutual aid agreements with many of the surrounding municipalities.
Each year, Officers provide a wide variety of public educational programs and community events ranging from the IDNR Hunter Safety Classes, National Night Out, Shop with a Cop, and Hooked on Fishing.
Police Department History
The Conservation District Police Department was founded in 1986 to provide a safer environment for site users. Prior to 1986, the population of the county and the size of the Conservation District holdings were steadily increasing. Within the 12 conservation sites open to the public there existed a growing problem of vandalism. The public complained the sites were not family friendly and the sites soon became riddled with gang activity, underage drinking, and drug dealers. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Department was hired to do drive throughs and open and close gates. Rangers would patrol the closed sites unarmed. They had radios to call the Sheriff’s Department who would do their best to assist when they could. This presence of undesirable behavior, specifically at sites like The Hollows and Hickory Grove Highlands, was intimidating and not at all an atmosphere where a family or individual would feel safe.
Since those early years, the McHenry County Conservation District Police Department turned the corner on crime within District managed sites. Diligent patrols, constant presence and visibility to the public, and immediate attention to hot spots and problem areas have resulted in deterring criminals and sending a strong message that such behavior will not be tolerated on Conservation District sites.
To hunt in Illinois, all hunters born after January 1, 1980 must show proof they have successfully completed the Hunter Education Course provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). For more information on course requirement, visit the IDNR web site. McHenry County Conservation District has offered IDNR Hunter Safety Classes since 2002. This is a 2-day long class and includes a mandatory 50-question test. For information on McHenry County Conservation District Course Schedule OR the summer Youth Hunter Safety Camp contact (815) 338-6223, ext 1210.
S.W.E.E.P. (Safety Watch Education & Environmental Program) consists of safety-minded volunteers who bike and hike the trails to provide assistance and information to visitors.
Pay online - ordinance violations
Within 30 days of receiving a citation from a Conservation District Police Officer, use the link below and forward payment for any fines or tickets received for ordinance violations. Note: There is a service fee of 2.35% or a $1.00 minimum on all credit card transactions. Thank you for your payment!
AVOID Late Fees! After 30 days of your citation date, a late fee of $20 will apply – when paying online, include the late fee in your payment or the ticket will not be considered paid. After 60 days of your citation date, a late fee of $40 will apply – when paying online, include the late fee in your payment or the ticket will not be considered paid. After 60 days your citation will be sent to collections and you will need to contact the collection agency directly to reconcile your payment.
McHenry County Conservation District Police Department
Brookdale Administrative Offices
18410 U.S. Highway 14
Woodstock, IL 60098