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Mandy Richardson (right) pins the badge on her husband, newly promoted Earlville police sergeant Tom Richardson during the regular Earlville City Council meeting Wednesday night. Richardson, a retired Sandwich police officer, also was commended for his work with a suicidal subject while providing mutual aid to Leland. A suspect there had what appeared to be a revolver and threatened Richardson with the gun before he was disarmed. Earlville police chief Darin Crask presented Richardson with a certificate of commendation for his bravery during the incident that could have turned fatal without Richardson’s actions.

EARLVILLE — An Earlville police officer was promoted and commended during the regular city council meeting Wednesday night.

Earlville police chief Darin Crask’s request to promote Tom Richardson to sergeant was approved by the council. Crask said the promotion was due to Richardson’s experience after serving as an officer in Sandwich before retiring. While in Sandwich, Richardson worked several high profile cases and instituted a field training program for officers.

After joining the Earlville force, Richardson again distinguished himself and earned a commendation for his actions in defusing situation involving an armed, suicidal suspect during a confrontation in Leland. Earlville and Leland frequently work together and that was the case on June 5 when a suspect armed with a gun was threatening officers and begging them to kill him.

The suspect turned the gun on himself but continued to threaten officers. Richardson was able to disarm the suspect and it was only then that police discovered it as a look-alike pellet gun revolver manufactured to look like a real gun.

“Sgt. Richardson saw an opportunity to resolve this matter without lethal force and tackled the suspect to the ground and subsequently taking him into custody without any more shots being fired,” Crask said.

Along with the promotion, the council also approved the appointment of Scott Nuftul and Nicolas Joe Frederick as part-time police officers.

Council nixes party plans: An application for a summer street party was rejected by the council due to a new ordinance that was just passed last month.

The new ordinance requires all applications be made 90 days in advance of the event. City attorney Mark Anderson said the new ordinance doesn’t give the city any room to waive or amend the ordinance they just approved last month.

“This is absolutely something the city wants….but the ordinance says ‘must’,” he said.

Christine Bend said that would put the event into September, a time she said would make it difficult to attract bands and entertainment due to concerns about the weather.

Alderman Robin Austin said the council debated the ordinance for several months before coming to an agreement last month. Alderman Mark Actis also tried to find a way to proceed with the event while still adhering to the ordinance.

“As much as it pains me, this is the resolution that was passed,” Anderson said. “Either we have rules or we don’t have them.”

The council formally denied Bend’s application, but she still has time to amend the application and bring it back to the council as long as the new event date is 90 days from May 31, the date of the application.

While the ordinance requires 90 days notice of an event for a permit, it can be denied and amended during that 90 day period. That lets the council reconsider it at its next regular meeting.

Smoking age raised: The council approved an amendment that increases the age for the sale and purchase of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to 21. The amendment is in compliance with the state statute.

Tamara Abbey can be reached by calling or texting (815) 539-5200 or mendota@newstrib.com. Follow her on Twitter @NT_Mendota.

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