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SV police continues to look at school safety

School and community safety are at the top of many minds after the Parkland, Florida shooting Feb. 14, and Spring Valley Village Board's April 4 meeting was no exception.

Spring Valley Police Chief John DuBois told the board the police department is working with the school to improve safety. Currently, they are working on numbering all windows and doors at the school.

"We've seen a number of school incidents and mental health issues [in other areas]," DuBois said. "We're trying to find ways to help with school safety."

DuBois said by numbering windows and doors, if an incident occurs teachers, staff or students can easily identify to law enforcement and emergency medical services where they are located. For example, if a teacher needs to evacuate students through a window, as long as law enforcement is aware which room they are in, they can find the corresponding window on the outside and be ready to help students evacuate.

Numbering windows and doors can also aid during other critical times.

"Just in the event of an emergency [such as a medical emergency] in school it just aids emergency responders," DuBois said. "More precisely where to go, where incident is occurring."

The department is also working on a community summer safety program. DuBois said a community member approached him about making a donation to start a program such as other communities have.

Not everything is worked out, but DuBois said if an officer sees a child using correct safety measures (looking both ways before crossing a road, wearing a bike helmet) the officer could give the child a certificate that would be good for some kind of reward/treat. DuBois said this could help "especially in younger kids seeing us in good light."

At the same time, DuBois said if officers see incorrect behavior, they would stop to educate the person about proper safety and hopefully correct the behavior.

"We always find better ways to interact with the community," DuBois said. "We're looking for ways in a small community to better interact."

The department has also purchased active shooter vests to keep in each of the Spring Valley squad cars.

Board briefs

• The board approved moving forward with using Point & Pay for village electronic payments. Spring Valley Village Clerk/Treasurer Luann Emerson said the system will not cost the village anything, but users will be charged a fee when they use it. More information and links to the site will be available once everything is finalized.

• The clerk office will be open from Memorial Day through Labor Day Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and on Friday from 7 a.m.-1 p.m for summer hours.

• Trustee Rich O'Connell said with the possibility of the elementary school being switched to a different location, there would be concerns with the public library. County reimbursement for the library, O'Connell said, is based on circulation. He said right now about 30-40 percent of the circulation is from students, so if the elementary school is moved this could impact circulation and reimbursement.

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