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Plainfield Police Chief Withdraws Idea To Store Guns At High Schools

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Plainfield is canceling a plan to store assault rifles in gun safes at four high schools

Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek has withdrawn his request to be allowed to install locked gun safes in three of District 202’s four high schools and its alternative school, Plainfield Academy.

Mayor Michael Collins said he would have supported the idea. But the proposal, which generated intense controversy in the southwestern suburb. has been withdrawn.

Chief Konopek said he advanced the idea strictly to recognize current realities of armed attacks inside schools.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody Reports

Konopek sent a letter to school Supt. Dr. John Harper and Board of Education President Roger Bonuchi late Wednesday, withdrawing the proposal from further district consideration.

The full board first heard the proposal at its Aug. 20 regular meeting. Konopek asked district officials to allow the police to install locked steel gun safes at the four high schools under his jurisdiction: Plainfield High School–Central Campus, Plainfield North and East high schools, and Plainfield Academy

Plainfield South High School is under the jurisdiction of the Joliet Police Department, which did not make a similar request.

The safes would have held “confidential information, evidence and various law enforcement equipment in a safe and secure manner,” Konopek wrote in his original proposal. They were intended to be an extra tool for Plainfield’s school resource officers in case an active shooter were to enter the school, he wrote.

Such equipment could have included a “long gun, such as an AR 15 rifle, (which is) much more accurate at longer distances (and) allows the offer a greater ability to handle the situation,” Konopek wrote. Only the officers could have gotten into the safes, Konopek said.