Thermal imaging system

Osceola Police Chief Ron Pedrys briefed the Osceola Village Board about July incidents at their meeting August 10. Among his presentation was a discussion about the police department’s use of the NOPTIC System. NOPTIC is a thermal imaging system that officers can use when traditional detection methods fail. The system came in handy last month during an attempted burglary. 

In July and OPD officer was called to a two-story apartment building for a report of an attempted entry into an occupied home. 

“They were there to burglarize the house,” Pedrys said. “They tried the doors and windows first and the adult occupant called saying someone was trying to break in.” 

When the officers arrived on scene they were unable to locate the suspect, but were able to use the NOPTIC system to find the suspects on the roof of the building. 

“The NOPTIC system paid off again,” Pedrys said. “In this case it helped nab a couple of burglars. Which is pretty cool. The officer sat back in the dark and was able to scan and easily saw shapes up top (on the roof).” 

Pedrys also updated the board on the hiring process for the full-time officer position. Two committees recently assessed the possible candidates. 

“I’m happy to report that both committees agreed on one top candidate,” Pedrys said. 

A conditional offer has been given and the department is hoping the new officer will start August 18. 


Desmarais appointment rejected by board

The board discussed and voted down the appointment of Bernie Desmarais to the Osceola Tourism Commission. 

Board president Jeromy Buberl brought the discussion to the board, and said Desmarais had reached out expressing interest in the commission. Board member Deb Rose made a motion to approve Desmarais’ appointment, the motion was seconded by board member Van Burch. 

Following the motion, board member Brad Lutz spoke out against the appointment. Lutz said he believed tourism commission members should represent the local hotel industry and businesses who earn a significant portion of their revenue from tourism. 

“The current applicant, Bernie Desmarais, is a property owner in the village who collects rental income revenue from a tenant,” Lutz said. “Though the building tenant has a vest interest in tourism revenue, I don’t believe that translates to a vest interest to the building owner.” 

Lutz went on to say he believes Desmarais would be a poor fit for the board, regardless of his connection to tourism. 

“I have personally laid witness to some of Bernie’s communications to both village and township residents during a failed campaign for election to the Osceola School Board and activities within the township administration,” Lutz said. “His style of communication is often received by others as arrogant, uninformed, non-topical and lacking relevance. This would be a detriment to productive conversation in a small committee setting where collaboration and understanding are important.” 

Following Lutz’s comments, the board voted unanimously to deny Desmarais’ appointment. 

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