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Police Want to Install Gun Safes, Store Rifles at Plainfield High Schools

Plainfield police brought the request to the District 202 school board, saying a rifle would better equip school resource officers to handle a Columbine-style activer shooter scenario.

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.

Gary Gnatz August 24, 2012 at 02:26 AM
You have all forgotten a simple thought that not one of you have mentioned these are schools, " places of learning ". They are not armed encampments nor battlefields.
Erica August 24, 2012 at 07:17 AM
Tracy, you are correct that most gun accidents affect children. Unfortuantely, these children were not properly trained in the handling and use of a firearm. Properly trained is the key though. Proper gun training includes lessons in when its ok to use a gun and when it is not - and it is taught that using one to settle a score is NOT ok. I currently have 2 daughters at Plainfield Central and welcome the addition of a high powered weapon that would be available to the trained police officer in the event something horrible happens. One final note since 1996 there have been 44 school shootings in the United States - did all those schools have a history of violence before the shooting?
Vicki Knight August 24, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I totally am 100 % behind the police student resource officer being able to have a gun "locked" up in a gun safe in a secure location while he is in the building with our precious children, being able , if needed to keep them safe. Isn't that what it is about, keeping our children, safe. If, there would happen to be a situation, I'd rather have the possiblity of that officer being able to do something immediately, trying to save as many of our children's lives, right than. OUR CHILDREN SHOULD BE OUR PRIORITY, WHAT DON'T YOU PEOPLE GET. Every day, in our court systems, the police officers, have to lock up their guns in a "gun safe", that is secure. When the police officers go into their jails with prisoners, they have to "lock up their guns in a "gun safe" that is secure. What is the problem having a "secure gun safe" in the schools. I just don't get this issue when it comes to the safety of our children.
Olddeegee August 24, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Thanks for the insightful input. I do believe though, that concealed carry among the public will lead to far more troubles than it can cure.
Hugo August 24, 2012 at 04:03 PM
>>Thanks for the insightful input. I do believe though, that concealed carry among the public will lead to far more troubles than it can cure. Do you have any statisitcally relevant evidence for that? I mean, 49 states do allow it, you know...
Tim August 24, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Not that I disagree with CC, but think of how fun it will be when we can look forward to this type of story; http://news.yahoo.com/man-accidently-shoots-self-nevada-theater-052552414.html We don't let just anyone go out and drive a car, and in most states simply applying for a license is all you need to do to get a CC permit. If the qualifications were a bit more restrictive and the training needed to get one more expanded, I would be for it. This in no way prevents anyone from owning as any guns as they want, it just prevents idiots who are a danger to others out of their own ignorance, from wandering around in public with a loaded firearm.
BitterBluePoison August 25, 2012 at 12:31 AM
While all of us concerned people of Plainfield debate this issue, the terrorists & our enemies are arming & training their children to destroy us. You have a very good life thanks to men & women who fight & die for you. Keep your guns where you want to just leave mine alone. Why would you not trust your child with a weapon but you will trust a stranger just because he wears a police uniform!?
BitterBluePoison August 25, 2012 at 12:45 AM
So am I however, experience has taught me to be suspect of any human being, especially if they are wearing a sidearm or any other weapon. I don't put blind faith in anyone carrying a weapon. Maybe I am a little paranoid but I beleive any person is capable of any act in the right situation & under the the right circumstances. I trust no one so to my way of thinking I feel we should all be armed & ready for combat every second of every day. Why hope someone will be there to protect you...just protect yourself. Americans have become so complacent with all the electronic distractions we are mostly all easy targets.
BitterBluePoison August 25, 2012 at 12:53 AM
RB read my other posts on this subject. You wait for a man with a gun to run and protect you while you cower hiding from a man with a gun. You must be kidding me. How much military service do you have? Is your family safe with you as a defender? I give up!!! You do gooder people amaze me.
BitterBluePoison August 25, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Thank you John. Well said.
JohnS August 25, 2012 at 04:59 AM
That is why concealed carry is a recipe for disaster. The only terrorists about to enter Plainfield are the domestic terrorists that already armed their kids, that don’t believe in Government or any other form of authority typical of a civilized society like the police department for example. They claim not to trust any human being specially the ones that don’t look like them. They are the ones that cause massacres like the one in Sikh temple in Wisconsin. They are really nothing new, just the guns available to them now are much more effective. In the past they were focused on persecuting African Americans. But now, after globalization, they have a wide range of people to target – they can go for foreigners (there are quite a few in town), maybe stick with African Americans (because they value tradition), maybe just target a religion like in Wisconsin (with those strange hats they must be bad) or go for a random act of violence and just attack whoever walks by. And that is why the police must be equipped to protect us.
BitterBluePoison August 25, 2012 at 08:25 PM
To JohnS.. Read this article John & maybe your delusions will be lifted. http://www.wnd.com/2012/08/guns-dont-shoot-people-but-cops-might/ GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE … BUT COPS MIGHT
Hugo August 26, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Or we could be completely frank and say inner-city minorities mostly just kill each other. Police homicides are a drop in the ocean. It's statistically demonstrable.
Jon August 26, 2012 at 03:54 AM
There are some crazy people on the internet (yes from both sides). As a student, I don't want these guns in schools.
JJMB August 27, 2012 at 02:26 PM
This plan is insanity and paranoia at its worst. This will save ZERO lives in the event of a massacre, and as mentioned, will only increase the incentives for a bad situation with potential break-ins/ hostage situations, etc. I suggest anyone that is so afraid of a similar situation happening in our schools do one thing- pull them and home school them. The worst policy decisions made are done through reactionary actions to one-time unfortunate situations- even if it is 2- or 3- times.. Absolutely disgraceful to put weapons into a school- teaching kids the only way to prevent violence is with the threat of more violence.
Ernie Knight August 27, 2012 at 02:55 PM
And how shall the SRO respond to an active shooter? Kind words and a pat on the head?
Ernie Knight August 27, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Tim, Of the 8 MILLION (according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office) law-abiding citizens in 49 states licensed to carry concealed firearms, exactly how many have been a problem? By the way, applying is not all that's needed. Do your homework. Almost all require a criminal background check, most require training.
Hugo August 27, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I doubt there will be an armory per se in the schools. More like a lockbox where the school officer will place his rifle as it comes and goes with him on a day-to-day basis. There's already a gun on his hip. I fail to see the dramatic distinction here. Maybe all the nervous nellies should ask themselves why high schools have basically become police sub-stations in the first place. YOUR CHILDREN CAN BE A PROBLEM. Teachers have been stripped of meaningful authority. They have been reduced to liberal weenies whom the kids know they can safely ignore.
JJMB August 27, 2012 at 06:45 PM
How about not creating a problem where one does not already exist. If wikipedia is to be believed- granted, they are not always correct- there were 4 school shooting incidents nationwide this year (5 if you include today's), and 8 in 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shooting While each one is a tragic event, adding indefinite amounts of guns to these schools will not reduce these numbers, especially as these numbers included all 1-on-1 shootings where there was no madman trying to off as many kids as possible. It simply seems that the law of unintended consequences will factor more heavily into the overall success of these well-intentioned plans than anticipated, and the cries to address a problem that does not exist is way too high. For the record, i do have 2 kids in the District and have zero fear of them being the victim of such a rampage
Ernie Knight August 27, 2012 at 07:59 PM
The Columbine parents also had zero fear of a school shooting before that day. We are not supposed to have trained and well-equipped police to deal with this because it is statistically unusual? I'm sure that would make all the previous school shooting victims feel much better.
Eloise Field August 30, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Indulge me for a moment and allow me to paint the picture of the last mock "lock down" described by my daughter at PCHS. She had a substitute, the announcement for the lock down was made, the class continued to talk loudly, disregarding the warning, when the police came to the door to check he asked why the door wasn't locked, the sub answered he didn't have a key. No one took a protective position away from the door, oh and by the way, the only cell reception is in the catwalk, and the phone in the room is by the door..with a window, that they are not supposed to be near. There is something faulty with the drill if you don't implement it, ask your kids. They have become complacent. We are all guilty of it. It's similar to when we watch the safety videos on the airplane. No one thinks, about the life vest, or oxygen masks, but it sure is nice when you need it. And we need it ONLY in an emergency. So, now, let me ask if you were a high school STUDENT...let's not refer to them as children, they are independent young adults, most classes now have 30-35 in a class. Desks, lined up, no room to move, Boys are massive, and girls have purses and talk. They are being asked to "huddle" quietly in a corner of classroom for this lock down. That is unrealistic. They no longer respond to even the unannounced drills. Now, assume your parental role, and you watch the unthinkable unfold on the news... Isn't it better to be prepared? it's just in case of an emergency.
Eloise Field August 30, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Pilots CAN carry in the cockpit. Many flight attendants have taken a self defense training class approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. I know 2 flight attendants who have learned to fly and many who have learned to become fairly good marksmen on the range should they need to shoot because a gun has fallen out of either a terrorist hands or because our Pilot is down. (Flight attendants do not carry) A secure cockpit door is the same as your front door at the school. But it's also the vigilance of the staff, it's monitoring of the campus. Understanding the complexities and needs of certain kids. But there are budget cuts in our district, we have parents struggling, resources stretched. I understand the use of this kind of gun is to allow the officer a more precise aim at a distant, to end the chaos. With a hand gun the officer would not be as effective.
Christopher Reynolds August 31, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Larry, nice, start off by calling names, makes it sound like you put some reasonable thought into this, and makes you look like an idiot. First of all the police need to install rifles in their vehicles first. I was a military police officer for 5.5 years, and honestly, if there was a shooting somewhere, I would be damn if I would be looking for a safe rather than a perp. Next, where does this stop, ok, they want high schools for now, but we know how emotional middles schoolers can get, may want to think about it there too. And we shouldn't keep little Susie and Tommie at the nearest elementary school unsafe, we need to make sure that they have guns there to protect them there, because maybe a student wouldn't hurt them, but a crazy outside person that has voices in their head may go after them too. So now have guns at all schools now, feel safer, especially with the local police officer only has a 9 MM in their possession? What this will cause is someone to think about creating body armor and protecting themselves and also put the police at risk because they are looking for a safe at a school and not the perp. Next time, instead of calling people names because they don't agree with you, how about thinking about the issue first.
Ernie Knight August 31, 2012 at 03:21 PM
OK, Chris. You're the High School SRO in or near your office where the safe could have been. You hear shots being fired. Now you can walk out to the parking lot to retrieve your carbine, then come back in, or confront the shooter with a pistol in hallways 50 yards long or more. And they could be armed with a long gun. Rifle in a safe sounds pretty good now. Ridiculous "logical extensions" of an argument don't make sense.
Christopher Reynolds August 31, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Really Ernie, that is your scenario, what is the odds of that happening?! This logic would mean, every bank, every store, every movie theater, every school should have a gun safe. Which has more violence a bank or a high school. Make the officers carry the rifles in their vehicles.
Larry D Buckhout Jr August 31, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Well Chris I don't give two turds you were an mp,I'm an armed guard and marine what difference does that make.....I still stand by my comment,Ernie has a valid point
Christopher Reynolds August 31, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I guess a turd would know what a turd is. I am not sure why you care, you are not even from Plainfield. Stick to your Wisconsin business and stay out of Plainfield.
Shannon Antinori (Editor) August 31, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Enough with the insults. Stick to the topic of the article.
Larry D Buckhout Jr August 31, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Nice one Chris so much for the name calling born and raised Chicago,transplanted because of your crooked Illinois politicians,I still stand by my original comment
Ernie Knight August 31, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Ridiculous "logical extensions" don't help. Rifles in squads are a fine idea. That does not negate the desireability of having the ON-SITE SRO have access to one. This is a response which came out of analysis of Columbine and Active Shooter situations. But then I'm sure you know a lot more than all those experts.

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