would it be like to have an important, challenging job where you couldn’t tell
anyone what you did for a living? You
would have to really believe in what you did and have an above-average resolve
to always hold on to your own identity. The
officer interviewed for this article has all that.
For obvious reasons we can’t reveal his name.
We can only say that he and his work are important to our community.
agent works behind the scenes under auspices of the Central Illinois Enforcement
Group, commonly known as the Drug Task Force.
Only last month it was his concerted efforts with the assistance of other
agents that led to warrants being issued for the arrests of four individuals.
The Lincoln City Police and Logan County Sheriff’s departments then
made a sweep of criminal drug arrests for “possession with intent to
took him eight months to gather enough evidence for warrants to be issued.
While time consuming, this means of arrest by warrant provides the most
solid means of getting a conviction against persons involved in this type of
of the agent’s time is spent working cases in Lincoln and Logan County.
It starts with a lead. He
builds sources and sets up surveillance of drug houses.
“We may bring an officer from another area and introduce him in,” he
says. “We work with Jacksonville,
Springfield, and other areas; sometimes we might bring a guy down from
Chicago.” The goal in each case is
to build probable cause in order to get warrants.
“We follow the law,” he emphasized. “We want to build strong
the undercover agents’ identity unknown in covert operations is no less than
challenging. It also adds an
element of risk to the job. There’s the "somebody might know you" problem:
“people knowing people you grew up with,” the task force agent says. Then there’s the "remember who you’re supposed to be"
issue. “We’re part-time bad guys,” he stresses. “I have to remember
I’m not a cop when I’m out undercover and not react like one, especially
when I see things I normally wouldn’t find acceptable.”
“You have to remember who you are and who you are supposed to be
including when you go home at night. I have to remember to check the attitude at
the door or I catch myself talking like I don’t really talk, using bad
language or having a bad attitude,” he explains.
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only is the job challenging from the above perspective, but the
hours are demanding as well. Because
as the agent explains, “I may be called out to work other
counties, then I’ll also have to go there and testify in court.
I’ll often put in 12-16-hour days.”
working cases, officers often work overtime scouting the
countryside as part of the federally supported "Cash Crop
activity offers an opportunity for officers who normally work
independently to intermingle a bit. “It’s a neat experience to
work with the guys,” he exclaims. They look for fields of marijuana and either burn them
on site or if close enough, take it to be burned at the state burn
pit in Pawnee. This is
one of the proactive methods of dealing with drug control.
addition to drug stings, it has proven effective for the task force
to provide services in other areas of law enforcement.
Due to the nature of their covert operations they are quite
often privy to information needed to prosecute other crimes.
Undercover surveillance and covert operations often lend
additional support for investigating burglaries and other crimes,
but mostly the task force deals with drugs.
with no public credit for public duty, unpleasant and often dangerous
situations, and long hours, where’s the glory that keeps this guy
going? Our local agent
grew up in a small town with the strength of community and a clear
sense of right and wrong, especially when it comes to drugs.
In speaking with him, it became apparent that those deeply
ingrained values carry him in what he does today.
you haven’t thought about the people who are behind the scenes in
our local law enforcement and you appreciate what this agent and
our local law enforcement agencies are doing, take a moment to write
a few letters.
of Lincoln Police Department
Chief Richard Ludolph
County Sheriff’s Department
Sheriff Tony Solomon
address as above
Mayor Joan Ritter
Alternatives is affiliated with the World Harvest Church in Springfield, which
has 13 similar ministries in Illinois and Indiana. The goals for these
organizations are to help women have complete information about all the options
available to them in a crisis pregnancy. The center gives women information on
abstinence if the pregnancy test is negative. If the test is positive, the
choices are carrying to term and keeping the child, making an adoption plan, or
abortion. The center does not give abortion referrals or provide contraceptives.
created this illustration of a mother and child for use in her
Morning Glory Art business, which provides Christian art for use by
a woman decides to carry the child to term, the center helps her get medical
assistance and, if desired, helps her tell her family about the pregnancy.
Clothing and other supplies may also be provided. The center can also refer
women to an adoption lawyer. To make an appointment with Living Alternatives,
and her husband, Henry, moved to Lincoln last August from Rockford, relocating
their business, Morning Glory Art, which they established 17 years ago. Together
the couple create, publish and market Christian art for use by nonprofit
ministries to help raise funds for and awareness of the goals of these
ministries. Her artwork has been used by the Association of Gospel Rescue
Missions, Focus on the family, T.E.A.M. ministries, InterVarsity Magazine and
many other ministries.
said she discovered the Bible 17 years ago and wanted to speak to people about
Christ through her art. "I believe adding an illustration to biblical texts
can provide another dimension of understanding of Christian living," she
said. Previously she had done commercial art work and illustration.
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Boekes have two sons: Michael, 22, of Rockford, and Cooper, 20, in
the U.S. Air Force.
said she hesitated before taking the position with Living
Alternatives because she wanted to be sure she could continue her
art work and also do a good job of managing the center. "I
finally felt this position was a calling from the Lord," Boeke
said. "After a lot of thought and more prayer, we decided it
was God’s timing to try."
said her goals for the center are to continue to provide an outlet
for pregnancy testing and evangelism; to improve communication with
counselors, volunteers and donors; to provide more outreach to
countywide churches and schools; and to raise the visibility of the
organization in the community as a whole. She hopes to have the
center staffed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.
said she welcomes suggestions about effective ways to reach out to
the women and children who may need the organization’s services.
a fund-raiser for Living Alternatives, there will be a "Rock
for Life" during the Railsplitting Festival. The fund-raiser
will be Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Antiques
Pavilion at the Logan County Fairgrounds.
group of teams of up to 10 persons from 10 area churches will rock
without stopping for seven hours. Each team will have solicited
donations, with the goal that every rocker will find 10 sponsors.
Displays, snacks, candy and music will be on hand throughout the
Rock for Life.