At last Tuesday night’s Village Board Meeting, Oak Lawn Village Manager Larry Deetjen used a portion of a long meeting to talk about social media once again.
Deetjen, who has often complained that social media, blogs, and media news sites are fake news, provided a report on general village matters. Before praising local businesses and calling local businesses an integral part of the success of Oak Lawn, Deetjen noted that the local businesses had supported “Fall on the Green” financially.
Deetjen then said that after you have events that are attended by thousands of people, “certain communications appear in the social media”. He didn’t mention what the communications stated but continued, stating, “any individual that feels a crime has been committed or that somebody has violated an ordinance or something more serious to report it. That’s why you have an outstanding law enforcement department here and I assure you they enforce the law.”
Deetjen continued with the monologue stating, “so talking about an issue or making allegations on social media is not going to get the bad guys arrested. It’s not going to get the bad guys prosecuted in Cook County.”
Deetjen also told residents that they should not send emails to the police chief or other officials if they see crimes or other issues. He then offered some common sense advice and said if it is an emergency residents should “start with 9-1-1”.
Mayor Sandra Bury thanked Deetjen and said it was “excellent advice”. She then went a step further, taking issue with people sending her messages through Facebook.
She said, “people message me on Facebook and like you said you’re in meetings, you’re running around and your not on Facebook so the most effective way to reach us is to the village itself either or village phone number or village email…”.
Bury said it may be a couple days before she even sees a message on Facebook even though she had a steady presence on Facebook during the recent election and maintains a Mayor Bury Facebook page where she announces village initiatives and news.
No other elected officials commented on either Deetjen’s or Bury’s comments and no explanation was given regarding allegations of criminal activity that Deejten said were made on social media.