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This Ain't No Hall Pass: Plainfield Police Seek Permission To Stash Rifles At Area Schools

By Kim Bellware in News on Aug 22, 2012 9:20PM

Students at Plainfield's four area high schools are given lockers to stash their school day necessities, but now Plainfield police are asking the school district for some storage space of their own. Instead of lockers for books, however, Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek is requesting gun safes for AR-15 Semi-automatic rifles, stored in the schools' front office.

According to the Tribune, Konopek says the safe would enable the resource officer at each high school to store a rifle on campus “if a situation involving a shooter arises.”

Though most school resource officers carry guns, ABC7 reports "One of the observations police have is that a standard issue firearm may not be adequate in quickly stopping a well-armed active shooter."

ABC7 also noted Konopek "knew his proposal would stir reaction," and quoted several Plainfield residents who expressed concerns about having assault rifles on campus and questioned how an officer would even access the weapon if a shooter were to enter the schools.

Konopek indicated that "there is at least one local suburban school district that allows its high school-assigned officer to have a semi-automatic rifle on campus under lock and key."

In his proposal, Konopek said, "We as a police department, myself as a parent, we see this as another tool to respond if that worst case scenario does happen."

The school district's spokesman, Tom Hernandez, says the board is willing to consider the request, which will be discussed at the board's upcoming meeting.