Suburban Ill. police ready to help during Democratic National Convention if needed, departments say By:

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By Richard RequenaChicago Tribune

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CHICAGO — North suburban police departments are preparing and making themselves available to assist the Chicago Police Department, if they are needed, during the Democratic National Conference, which will be held Aug. 19 through 22.

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An estimated 50,000 delegates, staff and public officials are expected to attend the convention at the United Center and McCormick Place.

Many suburban police departments participate in the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System, or NIPAS, a police mutual aid system that operates in Northeastern Illinois. Police departments throughout Illinois can also participate in the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System, or ILEAS, an additional mutual aid system.

Mutual aid systems allow one police department to call on others for assistance if needed. In the case of NIPAS, for example, this usually comes in the wake of natural disasters or “the unexpected results of a special event.” ILEAS was created after 9/11 and says it meets the needs of local law enforcement “in matters of mutual aid, emergency response and the combining of resources for public safety and terrorism prevention and response.”

The following police departments have notified Pioneer Press of what they are doing to prepare for the Democratic National Convention. All of these towns either share a border with Chicago or are less than a mile from the border.

Park Ridge

Park Ridge Police Department Executive Officer Tom Gadomski said officers assigned to NIPAS will assist the Chicago Police Department with special assignments.

“Additionally, we are in communication with neighboring police departments in case there is a need for assistance in Park Ridge or neighboring communities,” Gadomski said.

Harwood Heights

Harwood Heights Police Chief John DeVries said the department will add a few more officers to shifts during the DNC to provide additional support and patrol. He added that the department has an officer on the NIPAS team who can assist the Chicago Police Department.

“Our officers will be more vigilant during this time, we will inform our residents that if they see something suspicious to please dial 911,” DeVries said.

Norridge

Norridge Police Chief Brian Goss said the department is “aware of the DNC and all that it could entail for the village in terms of safety, security and potential drain on resources.”

“This collaboration includes sharing information, resources, and strategies to address any potential issues that may arise during the convention,” he said.

“While we have not finalized all specific plans yet, our proactive approach ensures that we are prepared to assist Chicago and other neighboring communities if needed,” Goss said. “Our priority remains to maintain the high level of safety and service that the Village of Norridge is known for.”

Morton Grove

Morton Grove Police Chief Mike Simo said the police department has officers assigned to the NIPAS Mobile Field Force Team. “If Morton Grove had any events needing crowd control we would call them, and/or request police Mutual Aid through ILEAS if necessary.” The department is also part of NIPAS, he said.

“As of today, we do not know of anything planned in Morton Grove around that time that would be a potential problem for us,” Simo said.

Niles

Niles Police Deputy Chief Nick Zakula said the Niles Police Department is aware of the dates of the DNC and will be prepared to respond if mutual aid is requested.

“(The Chicago Police Department) has not made any direct request of NPD at this time,” he said.

Skokie

Skokie Police Sergeant Brandi Shelton said the Skokie Police Department is prepared to provide assistance to any agency who requests it through the department’s participation in NIPAS and ILEAS mutual aid systems.

“We will remain in regular communication with our local law enforcement partners,” she said.

Lincolnwood

Lincolnwood Police Chief Jay Parrott said “We are always here to help any agency as best we can with the resources available.”

“At this time, there has been no formal request for resources from Lincolnwood.”

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