Illinois State Police (ISP) have begun making random checks at schools throughout the district.
Most checks will occur during school days, but will also include afterschool events.
ISP District 16 Interim Commander Lt. Carl Heintz said, “We share the community’s concern about school safety. The ISP is pitching in to support our local law enforcement partners in providing high visibility, added security and peace of mind, for both students and parents.”
According to a press release, District 16 Troopers will pass through campus or park to finish their reports, or walk the hallways to greet students and faculty. “We don’t want anyone to feel alarmed if they see our squads on campus,” Heintz said.
“Troopers may show up at a prom or sporting event. [They may] simply park in the lot during a school day, or sit in the cafeteria for lunch with students,” Heintz continued. “I’ve given our personnel free latitude in making sporadic, oftentimes unplanned appearances at schools… There is a great deal of concern over school safety, especially as of late. The ISP can offer resources to supplement our local partners in keeping schools safe while easing some of the concerns and fears of our communities.”
The ISP is introducing the school checks in response to the wave of school threats, which have followed the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland, Florida.
In an effort to appeal to public safety, administrators at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School notified parents that all students will be required to wear clear backpacks when they return from spring break next week.