Soon-to-be former Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is credited with saying, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste”, which has morphed into ‘never let a bad situation go to waste’. Emanuel said, “by that, I mean it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before”.
Most recently the ‘crisis’ or ‘bad situation’ was the shooting at the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora where five employees of the company were killed, and five Aurora police officers were wounded. Naperville dispatched 20 personnel officers to the scene of the shooting to work with Aurora officers and numerous other police officers from neighboring communities to resolve the ‘bad situation’, and resolve it they did.
Another glaring example of police officers running towards danger that most of us are programmed to run from. The police do what most of us don’t want to do; run towards danger. It’s in their DNA, and along with intense training and the proper equipment, they can accomplish their goal of providing us with public safety.
A key component to the success of public safety is having the proper equipment. The Aurora police department, has a piece of equipment called a ‘BearCat’, which allows the Aurora PD 100% access, which in the event of an active shooter incident provides an immediate response which proved critical in the shooting at the manufacturing plant. A BearCat is an armored police vehicle or rescue vehicle used to get people who are injured or need to be recovered. The City of Naperville does not own a Bearcat.
Watch and listen to Naperville councilman John Krummen as he says:
- Naperville’s first priority is safety for every member of the community
- He wants to thank first responders
- He can’t assure this type of tragedy will not happen in Naperville
- He can assure that Naperville’s first priority is public safety
- He can assure that “whatever comes our way we have prepared”
No doubt that Krummen’s words are very reassuring and most likely genuinely heart-felt, but words without action are like showing a hungry person a picture of food, or the White Sox executives talking about signing Manny Machado without making it happen. In one word, empty.
Councilman Krummen is not running for re-election this cycle, however council members Judy Brodhead and Paul Hinterlong, along with former councilman Joe McElroy and 8 others are running for city council. Are any of the 11 willing to make public safety priority #1, and be the point-person for pushing and helping Naperville’s police department secure it’s very own BearCat.
If public safety is truly more than just a talking point, then taking a stand to help the NPD obtain a BearCat is tangible support. When Krummen states that he can assure “whatever comes our way we have prepared” is ’empty’ unless the City has truly ‘prepared’. Securing a BearCat for the NPD is preparation. It’s preparation for the NPD to provide the best of public safety for its residents and businesses. It’s a way of saying ‘thank you’ to first responders.
“Never let a bad situation go to waste”. Better yet, never let a bad situation become worse by not having prepared for it.