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School board OKs police at school polling places : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
School board OKs police at school polling places
Approve previously tabled pact with Aurora Election Commission

by Lyle R. Rolfe


The City of Aurora will station police officers in plain clothes at two Oswego School District elementary schools on election day next Tuesday, March 18 under terms of an intergovernmental agreement unanimously approved by the school district board Monday evening.

The officers will be stationed at The Wheatlands and Homestead schools from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. while polling places at the two schools are in operation.

In addition, the agreement calls for police to park a squad car outside of each school.

The city will pay the full cost of stationing officers at the two schools, under terms of the agreement.

The agreement was the product of negotiations between representatives of the city's election commission, Assistant Superintendent Paul O'Malley and Maureen Lemon, an attorney for the school board.

The agreement states the police officers will oversee the polling place at each school to be sure each person entering to vote stays in the polling place and does not enter any other area of the school building. School will be in session on election day.

O'Malley said Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis recommended an officer and squad car be stationed for security purposes at each of the eight district schools being used as polling places.

However, at an earlier meeting, board members tabled action on the agreement with the city's election commission.

Board member Brent Lightfoot said he understood the reason for having the two officers at the schools was to provide extra security.

"However, this hasn't been a problem before. I understand there are stupid people in the world who do stupid things. But I feel this is reactionary. I don't think it's needed and I'm having a difficult time supporting this portion of the request," he told his board colleagues.

Board members did not comment on the agreement during Monday's meeting.

A resolution for the school district to work with the Kendall County Sheriff's Office to provide an officer and squad car at schools being used for voting in areas of the county, also was unanimously approved Monday night.

Police also approved
at six other schools

In a related matter, the board also approved an agreement that allow for a police presence at six other schools in the district to be used next Tuesday as polling places.

The schools are Oswego East High School, Thompson and Plank Junior High Schools, and Fox Chase and Prairie Point Elementary Schools in Oswego; Lakewood Creek Elementary School in Montgomery; and Boulder Hill and Long Beach Elementary Schools in the unincorporated Boulder Hill Subdivision.

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