News - Joliet and Will County

Heightened security planned for Plainfield Fest next week

The modified event also won’t include a carnival again

Plainfield — Expect more security at Plainfield Fest next week in light of the shootings on the Fourth of July in Highland Park.

Mayor John F. Argoudelis said he spoke with John Konopek, Plainfield’s police chief, on the Fourth of July about keeping everyone safe at Plainfield Fest.

Argoudelis said the Plainfield Police Department would likely bring out extra officers and do some deeper strategizing in terms of “Where could danger come from?” and “How can we keep those areas safe?”

“Highland Park police probably did not think someone would be on a roof pointing a gun at people,” Argoudelis said

In an email, Konopek said the police department typically has officers at events where alcohol is present or more than 500 attendees are anticipated. Police presence could range from one officer to the entire department or even additional resources from “mutual aid partners,” he said.

“We evaluate each prospective event on an individual basis and do a threat assessment to help in the determination of personnel needs,” Konopek said in the email. “Even if the event is an annual or more frequent recurring event, we are constantly re-assessing the personnel needs and any threat concerns.”

One resource that won’t be present at Plainfield Fest in the village’s downtown this year is the new state-of-the-art arial drone the Will County Sheriff’s Department recently bought, even though it can do protective sweeps of mass gatherings.

“Our deputies are currently training on the drone and have to be licensed by the FAA,” Will County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Chief Dan Jungles said in a text message. “It will take a few weeks to get that done.”

A modified Plainfield Fest will be held July 15 to July 17 and, again, won’t include a carnival this year, Argoudelis said.

For information on Plainfield Fest, visit theplainfieldfest.com.