Oak Lawn resident Patti Oksanen addressed the Board of Trustees to tell her story of twice being victimized by serious crimes in her home and her neighborhood, and how she feels that there should be a greater focus on public safety in the Village.
Patti Oksanen used the Public Comments section of the Board of Trustees meeting on March 14th, 2017, to tell her story, “on behalf of all Oak Lawn citizens.” According to Oksanen, she had “endured two appalling crimes in this town in two years.”
On February 13th, 2015, around 7 p.m., Oksanen returned to her home, to find her dog “barking in a way I’ve never heard before or since.” From just within her door, she could see to the back door of her house. The back door had been knocked off its hinges and objects had been moved to form a barricade in front of it. Oksanen left her home immediately.
“I was the lucky one,” Oksanen said. “Less than one week later, two blocks away… another woman was not. A male subject broke into her home, pretty much the same way he’d broken into mine. He violated her and he attempted to kill her.”
Oksanen pointed out that she had a purse with money and checks on her kitchen table. The perpetrator did not take them, nor anything else from her home. The other woman also had valuables that weren’t taken.
I believe that had we not had outsourced 9-1-1 operators, the time response to my home invader would have been better. And perhaps this monster could have been caught.
Oksanen then went on to describe her second criminal encounter. On March 8th, at about 9:15 p.m., Oksanen was out for a walk around Covington School with a friend. “Someone stalked us from behind, and held out a gun to us.” Oksanen’s friend’s wallet with his money and credit cards was taken. The perpetrator repeatedly threatened that he would kill them.
Oksanen thanked the police officers who helped her in her time of need, noting that their contributions and bravery too often go unknown and unacknowledged.
In 2015, Oksanen decided she had to leave her home. “Now, in 2017, I find myself having to take more precautions, even having people stay with me. My two stories are an example of what is happening in our town; my town that I love.”
“We Oak Lawn residents have work to do. I’m not sure what that entails. I do know we need to make sure our elected officials are doing everything to keep us safe, and have our best interests. And if they don’t, we need to shed light on it, and hold them accountable.”
We can do better. We have to do better.