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Local

Police chief talks school safety with City Council

Morgan updates council on meeting with lawmaker, other officials

STERLING – The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting has prompted discussion among area officials about school safety.

Sterling Police Chief Tim Morgan updated the City Council on Monday about his meeting Friday with 71st District state Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna; Regional Superintendent Bob Sondgeroth; and other education and law enforcement officials at the Whiteside County Farm Bureau in Morrison.

“Rep. McCombie called the meeting. She asked police and others’ opinions on what we can do to improve school safety,” Morgan said.

The meeting comes after the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 17 people dead and 14 others injured.

One measure in the Illinois Senate’s Education Committee is Bill 2611, which Morgan supports. The bill would amend state codes to allow schools to apply to the regional superintendent’s office for a temporary door-locking device.

Morgan said that during a previous meeting with Sondgeroth, he was told the existing state fire code prevents any device being added to a door as a barricade.

The bill would allow a locking device to be used only by a trained school staff member, and only during an emergency situation that threatens the health and safety of students and staff members, or during an active shooter drill.

Morgan didn’t have a time frame for how long the bill might be in committee.

In other action, the council voted to reappoint Cindy Von Holten to the city fire pension board for a 3-year term, until June 30, 2021.

NEXT MEETING

The City Council will meet next at 6:30 p.m. March 19 at City Hall, 212 Third Ave.

Go to boarddocs.com/il/cosil/Board.nsf/ for agendas and more information.

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