Saturday, September 23, 2006


St. Charles Police Chief Tim Swope on right congratulating Eric Gentz, District Supervisor for Motomart on their vigilance. FIRST CAPITOL NEWS PHOTO BY TONY BROCKMEYER

Police Chief Commends Motomart For Vigilance

By Phyllis Schaltenbrand & Tony Brockmeyer

According to St. Charles Police Chief Tim Swope, a police sting Wednesday night at package liquor establishments in St. Charles netted his officers seven violators.

St. Charles Police School Resource Officers, Dare Officers and selected minors working undercover, all under the command of Sergeant Mike Akers visited 35 package liquor establishments in the City. The minors attempted to purchase alcohol and in seven instances were successful.

“We will not tolerate this illegal behavior in our City,” said Police Chief Swope. “We are doubling our efforts to bring the illegal purchase of alcohol by minors to a halt.”

Working with a grant provided by the State that paid for the overtime, on Wednesday evening between the police detail visited 35 of the 41 St. Charles businesses licensed to sell package liquor. At seven of those businesses clerks sold liquor illegally to minors sent in by the police.

Sgt. Akers said, “The minors we use are volunteers from the local schools. Usually that have suffered a tragedy in which a relative or friend has been killed or injured by an intoxicated driver. We do not try to fool anyone, it is obvious they are under the legal age to purchase liquor.”

“We tremendously appreciate the grant money from the state but it doesn’t pay for all of the program expenses,” said Chief Swope. “”Even if we did not receive the grant our enforcement efforts would continue. We have doubled our efforts from last year. We have had too many kids deaths caused by intoxicated drivers in St. Charles County. Even one death at the hands of a drunk is too many.”

When asked about punishment for the offenders Chief Swope said, “There will be an administrative follow up by our City Liquor Control Board and also a follow up by the State Liquor Control.”

When asked for the names of the businesses that sold to the minors Captain Gerry Pollard told the First Capitol News, “When the purchase is made the clerk who made the sale is responsible and any charges will be brought against them. Therefore, we are unable to release the names of the businesses until such time as action is taken against the license holder.”

“We are surprised at the number of repeat offenders,” said the Chief. “We will continue our enforcement and believe that the City Liquor Control will start suspending liquor licenses of the guilty parties.”

Motomart Commended By Police
On Liquor Control Policy

By Phyllis Schaltenbrand

Eric Gentz, District Manager of Motomart and Dawn Hecht, manager of the Motomart stores in St. Charles received commendations from the St. Charles Police Department for their stringent liquor sale policy.

Eric Gentz told the First Capitol News, “I have a personal interest in making sure that our employees do not violate any liquor control laws and make any sales to underage individuals in any of our eleven stores. My sister was killed by a drunken driver 25 years ago I am a stickler for this.”
Dawn Hecht, who manages the two Motomart stores in St. Charles and has been with the company for twenty years said, “We do not tolerate sales of liquor to minors. If one of our employees is caught making a sale or in a police sting they are dismissed.”

“Motomart is an exemplary company,” said Chief Swope. “Dawn and Eric deserve a lot of credit for the concern they have shown and the company policy they have developed regarding this serious problem.”
“We provide training tapes and meetings on just the minor issue,” said Eric. “We do not tolerate the illegal sale of liquor or tobacco. We even have a private company that comes into our stores to check out our employees to make sure they are not violating the law. It is automatic termination if they are caught making illegal sales to minors of either liquor or tobacco”

“If our employee is involved in a police sting and they do not make the sale they receive a $100 bonus,” said Dawn. For years I have been writing on their paychecks, ‘REMEMBER TO CARD.”

“Leadership starts at the top,” said Chief Swope. The management at Motomart takes this matter seriously and we appreciate their efforts in helping us prevent these illegal sales.”

Police Sgt. Mike Akers said, “The incidents of illegal sales are still too high and we are working to eliminate this serious problem.”

Motomart, with headquarters in Belleville, Illinois has two stores in St. Charles, South Fifth Street and Highway 94 North and one in Earth City. The South Fifth Motomart has been recently remodeled. “I am a firm believer that if all liquor establishments showed the concern and training as Motomart this would no longer be a problem,” said Captain Gerry Pollard.