It’s that time again: Time for new pencils, notebooks, backpacks and … a new surveillance system?
This fall, in response to tragedies including last winter's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, District 202 is beefing up security on all 30 campuses.
In addition to meeting with Plainfield, Joliet and Will County police to review school safety plans, District 202 will have new wireless security systems in place by mid-October.
Each campus will have yellow emergencies stations located in public places that came be accessed by students and staff to notify authorities of an emergency. Key administrators will also wear mobile wireless pendants that can be used to activate the emergency alarm system; desk-mounted emergency buttons will also be located within easy reach of school personnel.
Normally, the system would cost $170,000. District officials secured a deal to obtain the additional security at no added cost, in exchange for extending their current contract with vendor Alarm Detection Systems by five years.
The wireless systems weren’t the only measure considered to make District 202 schools safer.
Even before the Sandy Hook shooting stirred new fears about school violence, Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek asked district officials to consider allowing school resource officers to keep their rifles locked in a safe on District 202 high school campuses. In a letter to the school board, Konopek said he strongly supported the proposal, which would have given officers quick access to their AR-15 rifles in case of a school shooting or similar emergency.
The proposal, which drew the ire of some parents and sparked an online petition, would have included Plainfield Central, East and North high schools. Plainfield South, located under the jurisdiction of the Joliet Police Department, was not part of the plan. Konopek ultimately withdrew his request, citing media attention that could have compromised the additional security measure.
We want to hear from you:
With the kids heading back to school this week, how concerned are you about their safety?
Do you think local schools have done enough to make campuses secure? Is there anything else that should be done?
Do you think additional security measures are a distraction from learning, or are they an unfortunate but necessary fact of life?
- Plainfield Schools Beef Up Security with Wireless Alarms
- Plainfield Schools: Wireless Security to Be Installed This Fall
- Police, District Officials Meet to Review School Safety Procedures
- No Gun Safes in Plainfield Schools: Police Withdraw Rifle Request
- Mom’s Petition Opposes Rifles in Plainfield Schools
- Police Want to Install Gun Safes, Store Rifles at Plainfield Schools