Police in Streator, Marseilles have plans in place for festivals

Extra patrols already slated prior to Highland Park shooting

Parades scheduled this weekend in Streator and Marseilles downtowns will have extra police patrols.

That’s always been the plan, even prior to the Highland Park parade shooting that killed seven people, said both police chiefs.

Both communities are hosting two of their largest annual festivals of the year. Streator is celebrating its 4th of July festival with several musical acts, a carnival, a fireworks show and parade, and Marseilles is hosting Fun Days with several community events, including a carnival, fireworks show and parade.

Planning to police these events begins well before they occur.

Interim Streator Police Chief Robert Wood said the week is considered a “blackout week” at Streator Police Department, which means no officers can take time off.

“We will be at full staff, and we’ll be patrolling all of the major events — the carnival, the parade, the fireworks,” Wood said.

Marseilles Police Chief Brian Faber said officers rely on their training if a violent situation were to occur. Both Faber and Wood said their officers have attended active shooter and patrol rifle trainings.

“We have a couple of officers who are well-trained marksmen,” Faber said.

The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office typically will assist with extra patrols during festivals. The sheriff’s office has a tactical response team that can be called upon to respond.

“We train annually with all our schools for lockdown/code red/active shooter scenarios,” said La Salle County Sheriff Adam Diss. “La Salle County deputies are trained and equipped to respond immediately and individually if necessary to any active shooter situation at any location, and neutralize the threat.”

Additionally, Wood and Faber said both police departments are members of the Illinois Emergency Alert System, which is a collaborative system that can bring specialized police teams from as far as Kendall, Will and Kane counties to assist in emergency situations, such as an active shooter, a bomb threat, standoff or weather disaster.

Diss said most importantly residents should be vigilant and report any suspicious activities or people to police.

“It’s unfortunate these types of situations occur,” Faber said. “Nobody knows when it can happen and it can happen anywhere, but we also want the public to know we will be there if something does occur and we will do what we can to keep people safe. We don’t want these actions to defeat us, by taking away the ability to do the things we enjoy.”