Retired Joliet, Il., police Chief Fred Hayes is angry about the fact that many murder suspects slip across the U.S. border into Mexico, never to face trial, says the Chicago Tribune. “We’re the ones that get the calls from victims’ families,” Hayes said. “They look at me with pleading eyes, as someone they trust, and we can’t deliver. We can’t give them the justice and closure they deserve. Their agony and pain drags on year after year.”
Joliet is being transformed by a vibrant and growing Mexican-American population. It is these “good, decent people” who are disproportionately the victims of border-crossing fugitives, Hayes said. As the years pass with no progress in the manhunts and word spreads of fugitives who live with impunity, the perception takes hold that Joliet police are as corrupt or incompetent as some of their Mexican counterparts, Hayes said. Trust erodes between the police and the community. The Joliet police files offer a searing portrait of America’s faltering extradition system from the frontline perspective of local cops in one of America’s fastest-growing counties.