The Village of Lemont sent out a press release Friday, announcing increased police presence at all local schools, both public and private, in light of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
“Periodically, the Lemont Police Department will be visiting the schools in the community,” the release said. “This will include an increased presence at the schools, which will continue to ensure a safe environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors alike.
“An ongoing assessment of safety will continue between the Village of Lemont and all schools to ensure that the community’s safety needs are met. Education is of the utmost importance in the Lemont community, and the Village of Lemont will continue to take the appropriate actions in order to protect the residents of Lemont,” the release continued.
Police Chief Kevin Shaughnessy said representatives of the village, police department and public and private schools in Lemont met this week to go over safety procedures before children return to school following winter break.
“We are tightening up policies we already had in place,” Shaughnessy said. “As school begins, we know parents are going to be a little concerned, with the recent memory of Connecticut. We want parents to know that if they see a squad car, it does not mean that there is a problem at the school.”
Lemont-Bromberek School District 113A Superintendent Susan Birkenmaier echoed Shaughnessy’s sentiments, emphasizing that increased police presence at local schools illustrates an enhancement of policies that were already in place.
“The village and the police department have always been great partners when it comes to school security,” Birkenmaier said. ”Our police are making an extra effort to be seen at our schools, to reassure our community. It’s a proactive measure.”
“People will see more squad cars around the building,” Birkenmaier said. Our school buildings will be locked as always – and people should know that if they aren’t immediately recognized when attempting to enter, they may be asked to show identification. We want our community to know the safety of our students is very, very important to us.”
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