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Suburban Police Chief Finds Unique Way To Bolster School Security

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A west suburban police chief thinks he’s found a way to beef up security around his village’s schools without putting police in every building.

Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel has ordered police officers to do all their non-arrest paperwork in the parking lots or on the streets outside the village’s seven schools on school days.

He says that after the Sandy Hook massacre and an incident involving an intruder at Riverside-Brookfield High School, he and his command staff were trying to think of ways to provide more security for schools without assigning officers to them, something Weitzel says he doesn’t have the budget for.

Chief Weitzel says he wants residents to know officers are “not just sitting there wasting time.” They’ll actually be doing paperwork that does not involve an arrest.

At no time will there ever be any prisoners in the backs of the squad cars on school property or on the streets outside the schools, Weitzel says.

Weitzel says having squad cars around schools more often will also put police in better positions to respond to calls in those areas.

Weitzel says officers are able to remotely file their paperwork via wireless connections, allowing him to have them do that work around schools.

He says the policy began Monday and that he’s already received a few emails and phone calls from people who say they like it.