The Village of Oak Lawn’s response to barricaded man in the home of the 4100 block of 109th Street resulted in the armed man, with suicidal thoughts, surrendering to police after an about an 11 hour standoff.
While the man was safely removed from the home, the attention turned to whether the village issued a sufficient Everbridge Alert to the residents.
One resident, Jan Schaller, posted her thoughts on a Facebook Group page, Oak Lawn Talking Points, taking issue with the sufficiency of the warning and providing a response from one village official to her after she questioned whether an alert was sent.
Schaller reportedly sent an email to village officials questioning whether an alert was sent. Everbridge alerts are controlled by the Village of Oak Lawn and the administration. In the past, the village has chosen not to send alerts even when armed robberies have occurred.
According to Schaller’s post, Oak Lawn Trustee Tim Desmond, who does not represent the area in question, responded to her inquiry, writing: “An Everbridge Safety Alert was sent to select homes in the area (bounded by Komensky, Keeler, Stillwell, and Arnold). There was not a wider release because the Police did not feel there was any imminent danger as the incident was restricted to one home that the police had surrounded, and to keep “busy bodies and nosy neighbors” from bothering the police and interfering with a sensitive police operation.
An “all-clear” message was sent at 7:15 am this morning.”
Schaller and other residents did not appreciate the response from Desmond, with Schaller writing,
Tim Desmond states that an Everbridge alert with regard to the ELEVEN HOUR barricade situation in the 4100 block of 109th Street went out to only certain homes to keep ‘busy bodies and nosy neighbors’ from bothering the police. This is what the Village Board thinks of Oak Lawn residents – that we’re all morons who would immediately RUN to the site where two heavily armed police units are deployed. I contend that residents were put in danger by NOT being notified to avoid the area. Why do we have the Everbridge system if the powers that be decide who should or should not be notified instead of notifying ALL residents. I’m sick and tired of the arrogant, disrespectful attitude of the Village administration towards taxpaying residents.
Other posters joined in questioning why Desmond, who represents the first district, was responding. One resident brought up the idea that the idea that crime is not increasing is false and another resident noted that people throughout the village would be attending the St. Catherine’s Carnival and would not be “nosy busy bodies” as suggested by Desmond.