Public Safety Helps Make School Bus Stop Safer
By DIANE TURNER-HURNS
Journal & Topics Reporter
Rosemont residents were pleased to learn that not only were their voices heard, but changes were made to ensure safer transportation of local students.
The monthly Rosemont Public Safety community meeting was held Thursday, Sept. 27 at the Barry Recreation Center.
Public Safety Chief Donald E. Stephens III and Detective Joe Balogh said after hearing residents’ concerns about an unsafe bus stop for children on Touhy Avenue, they contacted the school and bus service to find out what the status was and what could be done.
The bus stop serves students attending nearby Orchard Place Elementary and Iroquois Community School in Des Plaines.
“As a result, tonight we are presenting an alternative school bus pickup which could start Monday if you all agree,” Balogh said. “Instead of stopping to pick up the kids in the morning and dropping them off in the afternoon on Touhy Avenue, the bus company can turn here onto Barry Street. They can pick the children up in front of the recreation center here and then drop them off in the same spot.”
Residents overwhelmingly approved of the new stop for the children.
One resident said, “We thank you very much for doing this. When will it go into effect?”
Balogh said, “We wanted to get approval from you, the residents first. So with your approval tonight we will contact the bus service and implement the change to go into effect Monday, Oct. 3. So as of Monday, school bus 66 will stop on Barry Street when picking up kids for school and dropping them off, at the same location.”
At the August community meeting, a parent told officers they had been notified of a possible change in bus pickups, and was concerned. She said she had not heard back from the school or the bus service and asked officers for help.
Many residents noted how motorists ignore school bus laws and often pass the buses on Touhy even when students are getting on and off.
Rosemont officers follow all local school buses as they enter the village in the morning and leave in the afternoon, to ensure children’s safety. They follow the buses in the morning and evening for students attending Rosemont Elementary School and Orchard Place School in Des Plaines.
Officers also escort buses picking up and dropping-off students in Rosemont from Iroquois Community School, Forest Elementary School and Algonquin Middle School, all in Des Plaines.
After providing residents with updates on village events and activities, Chief Stephens reviewed recent area crime statistics. The area is specific to the apartments between Touhy and Lyndon avenues near Allstate Arena.
In the last month (Aug. 28-Sept. 29), Stephens reported:
public safety received 0 domestic violence calls (compared with 1 the month before);
1 call for a suspicious person (0 last month);
2 parking complaints (2 last month);
2 juvenile complaints (0 last month);
1 complaint for a loud disturbance (2 last month);
8 noise complaints (4 last month);
10 well-being checks (1 the month before).
One resident said now that summer has ended, the incidents of loud noise may stop.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Stephens told the group public safety’s free CPR class will be held Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Barry Street recreation center for most of the day. Residents have until Friday, Oct. 7 to register for the class at the recreation center.
For the October community meeting, public safety plans to bring its firearm simulator to the recreation center to provide demonstrations. The large simulator trains officers on how to react in a dangerous situation and how and if to use force.
“It’s a great training tool,” Balogh said.