Police protection returning to area village

By Erica Quednau | equednau@wcia.com

Published 09/27 2013 03:58PM

Updated 10/02 2013 12:52PM

Update: 6:17 pm, 10/1/13, Tuesday
BEMENT -- There's a new sense of safety for people here because a familiar face is coming back to town. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau finds out he's bringing back the protection neighbors have been missing.

The bonds between a person and his hair dresser are sacred. While sitting in this chair, you're not only expecting a changed look, but great conversation.

"I'm all for law enforcement, until they knock on my door."

"If you behave yourself, they won't."

When the man behind the hair is the village president, the talk becomes about change.

"That was one of the items that people really discussed with me that they wanted to have back was our police department."

For the past year, this building has been empty and the people here have relied on the Piatt County Sheriff's Department to keep them safe. But all that is now changing.

"We hired Dave Lansford, who's from Bement. He's a hometown boy. We thought it would be great to have someone who actually lives in town."

For 40-hours a week, Lansford will patrol these streets, keeping an eye out for crime. Most recently, places like the grocery store and park have seen some mischief.

"We have a lot of small town issues that he's going to have to address."

"Hopefully he'll catch the speeders come through town, but not me."

"What do you think, it's just going to bring back to the town?"

"Some peace and respect."

Lansford will be sworn in October 8. The village is working to get him a uniform and other equipment before then. A squad car was already left over from when the department was disbanded last year.
Original: 3:58 pm, 9/27/13, Friday
BEMENT -- The village is one step closer to bringing back its police department. David Lansford was hired as a village officer. He's a 12-year veteran of the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office.

Village leaders got rid of the department about a year ago, but the new board decided to bring back the protection. Lansford is the first hire since the decision was made.

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