Plainfield Schools Security Update: Police, District Officials Meet to Review Procedures
Administrators met Wednesday with police to discuss ways to improve security.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, District 202 officials met Wednesday with representatives of the Plainfield, Joliet and Will County Sheriff's police departments to talk about campus security.
In a letter sent to parents and posted on the District 202 website Wednesday evening, Superintendent John Harper said the purpose of the meeting was to "discuss short, medium and long-range ideas for further improving school security."
Noting that the district meets annually with local law enforcement to review the security plan, along with conducting unannounced "intruder drills," Harper added, "Given last Friday's incident in Newtown, Connecticut, we thought it important to touch bases with our law enforcement partners this week."
Following Wednesday's meeting, Harper said current protocols — namely, keeping doors locked during the school day, buzzing in all visitors and requiring visitors to state their purpose and present an ID to be scanned for a background check — will remain in place.
The district will also continue to have an increased police presence in and around schools "at least through the end of this week," Harper said.
The letter continued:
That being said, as always, there is room for improvement.
The police suggested numerous ways that we can heighten security both immediately and down the road. Some of these ideas may be implemented in the coming weeks. Some will need more discussion by administrators and the Board of Education. In any case, we will keep you informed, as appropriate, of significant security changes.
In the meantime, I have already directed all principals to reiterate to their staff the importance of heightened security, and to make sure all staff members are as vigilant as possible when letting visitors into their schools. This simple step of “awareness” is by far the easiest step we can take.
Likewise, we ask parents to be patient when we ask for your ID’s, or to clarify your reasons for visiting schools. We know that the very steps we take to improve security will also cause some inconvenience, but also know that this is a small price to pay to ensure our students’ and staff members’ safety.
Finally, thank you for the many emails and phone calls this week expressing your support, offering ideas and letting us know where we can improve. All of them are greatly appreciated and very helpful to us. The security of our students and staff members remains our top priority.
On Monday, Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek gave the village board an overview of the policies in place "in the event the unthinkable would happen in Plainfield," noting that police receive regular active-shooter response training.
Konopek told Patch that police presence will be increased on District 202 campuses through the start of winter break.
"Specifically next Friday," he added, referring to Dec. 21, the rumored end of the world, according to the Mayan calendar, and the winter solstice. On Thursday, Oswego school district responded to rumors of threatened violence coinciding with the date.
"Some people are not thinking with straight heads in our country," Konopek said.