Plainfield police withdraw plan to store guns in schools
By Janet Lundquist firstname.lastname@example.org September 6, 2012 10:44AM
Plainfield Central High School in Plainfield, IL on Friday August 31, 2012. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 9, 2012 2:30PM
Plainfield police have withdrawn a request to put rifles in the village’s high schools, saying the request and subsequent media attention have shifted the public’s focus from education to guns, and that the scrutiny could compromise the safety of the plan.
Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek sent a letter to Roger Bonuchi, president of the board of education, and Superintendent John Harper late Wednesday saying he still strongly supports the idea, but was withdrawing the proposal.
Konopek, who is also director of the police department’s Emergency Management Agency, had asked board members to consider installing gun safes in the four high schools located in the village — Plainfield North, Plainfield Central, Plainfield East and Plainfield Academy.
The safes could have held rifles for the school resource officers to use in case of an emergency involving a shooting. Rifles are more accurate than handguns at long distances, Konopek said.
Only the school resource officer would have had access to the safe.
The Plainfield School District published a press release Thursday morning with Konopek’s announcement.
District spokesman Tom Hernandez said Thursday the district’s administrators understand Konopek’s reasons for withdrawing the request.
“One (reason Konopek gave) was that it pulled attention away from educating children,” Hernandez said. “I would throw into that mix all the deficit problems ... all the things that are happening in education that kind of got lost in this news cycle.
“There are other potatoes on our plate for sure,” he said.