Elgin police chief explains why the public was not warned about the man who brandished a knife

Elgin Police Chief Ana Lalley explained on her weekly radio show on Friday why an extensive and prolonged police response to a man who threatened people with a knife did not qualify this week as a situation for the wider community to be concerned about. to make.

Police closed Willard Avenue from Bode Road to Chicago Street late Wednesday night in response to a man who threatened several people outside his home with a knife. Police urged residents to stay out of the area via a Facebook message, but didn’t send a larger community warning as it would if there was an active gunman case, Lalley explained.

“When the officers got there, the subject withdrew into the house,” Lalley said. “Then it becomes a barricaded topic. What we then do is ensure that the immediate environment is safe. If we have to evacuate neighbors, we report this to schools and use our extra resources.”

The department’s SWAT team and negotiating-trained agents began working on the spot, contacting the man in the house. Meanwhile, other officers contacted the Cook County Attorney’s office to obtain legal clearance to enter the home by force.

Just before 7 p.m., after being on the scene for more than seven hours, the police arrested the man.

Lalley said the difference between a barricaded person with a weapon and an active gunman’s call is that the suspect was in a secured, isolated area and posed no greater threat to the wider community. At the same time, the police board shares as little information about the situation with the public as possible to make people feel safe while at the same time not revealing what tactics the officers are using.

“If someone ran around the neighborhood with a gun, it’s very different,” Lalley said. “They are two completely different types of community reports. In the end we will always say what happened, but some of these things take time to resolve. So thank you to the community for your patience.”

Residents who want to learn more about how the police deal with active shootings, or how to deal with such a situation as civilians, are invited to a training session from 6-8pm on October 10 in the Heritage Ballroom.

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