O'Fallon Progress

School safety is an ongoing partnership between O’Fallon police, school districts

Herb Roach
Herb Roach

Over the past few months, a number of horrific tragedies have taken place that remind us of the reality of the world we live in, and the need for public safety services.

While last week’s incident at Hinchcliffe was terribly unfortunate, it showed our community that our police, and the schools are prepared and trained to prevent, and if needed, respond to any type of danger that may affect the safety of O’Fallon’s children.

The quick reaction and effective decision making by the O’Fallon Police Department and O’Fallon District 90 last Monday is a result of an ongoing partnership and routine communication. The moment an employee of District 90 discovered graffiti and damage at Hinchcliffe, the school district immediately contacted the O’Fallon Police Department.

Steps were immediately taken by our police, and the school districts to ensure the safety of O’Fallon’s schools and those in attendance.

Due to the excellent work by our police department, the individual was identified and taken into custody quickly. On March 6, the St. Clair County State’s Attorney issued charges against a 15-year-old male juvenile from O’Fallon for his involvement with the damage and threatening message written on the Hinchcliffe Elementary School building. The juvenile took full responsibility and explained the message was written as a joke for attention with no legitimacy.

This incident was very unfortunate and worrisome for many. But, I want to take this chance to let you all know that one of the city of O’Fallon’s priorities is public safety, especially regarding our children and schools.

Our police department regularly works with the school districts to train teachers and administrators how to effectively and efficiently react in the event of emergency. Our police officers routinely monitor school facilities and events.

School safety is an ongoing partnership between the O’Fallon Police Department and O’Fallon school districts. Before the incident at Hinchliffe, a meeting between the city of O’Fallon and all of O’Fallon’s school districts, both public and private, was scheduled for March 7. Of course, we used this pre-scheduled meeting to discuss school safety and to recap the incident at Hinchcliffe. This partnership has existed for years, and will continue to exist, for years.

Please feel confident that the O’Fallon Police Department and O’Fallon’s school districts are taking all of the necessary steps in order to ensure the safety of our schools.

As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open.