officials are considering a proposal from the to buy and install gun safes at Plainfield high schools in the event there is an active shooter in the building.
The board will continue to review the proposal next month, but will first work with its legal department on the language for the possible agreement.
Under the proposal brought forth by Chief John Konopek, a secure gun safe would be installed in the office of the on-campus school resource officer, allowing the officer quick access to his or her AR-15 rifle in case there is a shooter in the building.
If approved, the safes would be installed at , , and .
The proposal doesn't include , which falls under the Joliet Police Department’s jurisdiction. Joliet police have indicated they do not intend to take similar steps at PSHS, according ot the district.
The safes would hold “confidential information, evidence and various law enforcement equipment in a safe and secure manner,” Konopek wrote in an overview of his proposal.
According to Konopek's written proposal, if an active shooter were inside a high school, the school resource officer would be first to respond, and officers are better equipped to handle this type of incident with a long gun, such as an AR-15 rifle, rather than with a handgun. The rifle is "much more accurate at longer distances, and allows the officer a greater ability to handle the situation," the memo said.
“Unfortunately, in today’s society active-shooter incidents are no longer something we see on TV. They are reality,” Konopek wrote.
School board president Roger Bonuchi said the police department conducts annual drills to train for an active-shooter scenario.
“The police department is right on top of that to protect our schools,” he said.
District 202 Community Relations Director Tom Hernandez said the board of education has not yet discussed or voted on Konopek's request. The proposal would not go before the board for a vote until it's reviewed by the district's Policy, Planning and Administration Committee, which meets Sept. 19.
What do you think? Is this a good idea, and will it make schools safer? Sound off in the comments.