BY QUINTON R. ARTHUR
LANSING, Ill. (March 3, 2023) — The Lansing Police Department held its first quarterly Community Watch meeting of the year on Thursday, March 2.
Quarter 1 statistics
The department has had 6,908 incidents this year. Of those, 1,963 were premise checks, 954 were traffic stops, and 263 were parking violations. The rest are a combination of EMS medical emergencies, information calls, alarms, domestic disturbances, animal complaints, vehicle repossessions and suspicious vehicles.
Out of the four beats, Beat 2 has the highest number of burglaries, most related to stolen cars. Beat 3 has the highest number of traffic stops, with 404 reported incidents. It was noted that the burglaries were not armed robberies and traffic stops include major and minor incidents.
To combat car theft, the Lansing Police Department will be providing free steering wheel locks to residents who are owners of Hyundai and Kia vehicles. Owners must provide their driver’s license, vehicle registration, and current village sticker with a Lansing address. The steering wheel locks can be obtained at the department.
Sergeant Dana Tatgenhorst gave a brief overview of ALICE, a school safety training.
According to Tatgenhorst, school lockdown procedures originated in the 1990s in Los Angeles due to drive-by shootings. The procedures were implemented for student safety and expanded nationwide.
In 2005, due to internal threats like mass shootings within schools and businesses, ALICE became the updated standard for safety.
The framework operates in two parts: Awareness and Communication, and Response.
For Awareness and Communication, citizens are encouraged to have situational awareness, alert others if a threat is near, and inform the police.
For Response, the first option is to evacuate the area if it is safe to do so. The second option is to lockdown your area if you can not evacuate. The final option is to counter, either by distraction, or subduing the threat if there are enough people.
Chief Al Phillips told the crowd in attendance that countering should only be used if all other options are unavailable.
“We aren’t expecting some of you guys to go out and fight people. But what we’re doing is teaching people not to be sitting ducks, not to go down without a fight. The first thing we want you to do is get out of there,” he said.
The Lansing Police Department has been working with each school district in Lansing to implement the training.
The following additional LPD updates were given:
- Lansing Crime Watch, the village’s crime blotter is scheduled to go out biweekly.
- Currently, officers assigned to each beat are Lieutenant Jason Klausner for Beat 1, Lieutenant Robert Garcia for Beat 2, Lieutenant Michael Lazowski for Beat 3, and Lieutenant Greg Schoon for Beat 4. Each officers’ contact information can be found on the LPD’s website.
- The department has made several new hires, Officers Medina-Bravo, DelCoiro, Galarza, and Liace. All the officers were lateral transfers from other departments, such as Chicago, Park Forest, and out of state.
- There is now a Fleet and Facility Manager for the LPD, Griffin Klausner. This civilian position helps with building maintenance, groundskeeping, and other responsibilities.
- The department is currently hiring for both traditional and lateral hiring police officers, a dispatcher, and crossing guards.
- Lansing Police now use new encrypted radios that cannot be accessed by recreational scanners. “We went with the encryption so that way, only we can have it, and you’ll have to have the encryption key. So that for our safety, we are not giving up our position, our responses, and everything that goes with it,” said Tatgenhorst.
- Residents can sign up for the Citizen’s Police Academy on the Village website. Sessions will take place every Wednesday from March 22 to May 17. Topics include crime scene processing, criminal law and procedure, and more.
- Coffee with a Cop on April 5, 2023, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. The event will take place at Calumet Bakery, located at 18349 Torrence Avenue.
The next community beat meeting is scheduled for June 1, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. Meetings take place at Lansing Police Department’s courtroom, located at 2710 170th Street.