by David Maas
ELBURN—Elburn village trustees on Monday discussed current emergency lockdown procedures in the aftermath of Friday’s police high-speed pursuit of a bank robber that concluded in town.
“What happened, are we currently prepared for this, and who notifies the schools?” Trustee Jeff Walter said.
“While we do conduct emergency lockdown drills with the schools, we don’t officially have a procedure currently,” Police Chief Steven Smith said. “We have been planning procedures that we will continue to develop, but this was a perfect storm.”
“I’ve heard from many parents who were upset, that some called the schools and told them not to let out the children, but in that case, how does the district know who is calling?” Walter said.
Aside from the procedures being developed, Smith said a contact system should also be implemented for cases like this.
“Yes, the schools didn’t know who was calling. They had no way of knowing for certain,” Smith said. “We need to have a dispatch center call them, possibly the Sheriff’s office, or a code in place so the schools know who the call is coming from.”
Because both on-duty officers were involved in the chase, there was no one in the department that had time to handle a lockdown situation.
“Nobody knew where the chase was headed,” Smith said. “We would think it was going one way, but he would go another way. There was no indication at all.”
The village of Elburn will now look at this situation, drawing from this instance to further develop procedures to ensure residents’ safety.
“In many situations, especially ones like this, our kids’ safety is the first thing that comes to our minds,” Village President David Anderson said. “Any lessons we can learn from this will help us in the future.”