Oops, Extra Credit Science Project Brings Emergency Bomb Squad Response To Prospect High School, Mount Prospect

VIDEO: Local law enforcement officers from Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights, and Cook County Bomb Squad were on the scene while suspicious devices or bottles were destroyed on the Prospect High School campus on the east side of the high school building.

Concerned parents received an email that Prospect High School was under a soft lockdown this morning, but the email didn’t say anything about what caused the precaution of putting the school under soft lock down.

Early this morning, a suspicious device was discovered outside on the east side of Prospect High School’s campus. As a precaution, Prospect High School initiated a soft lockdown and contacted the Mount Prospect Police Department. Based on the initial assessment of the device, the Mount Prospect Police requested the Cook County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad respond to the scene. The Cook County Bomb Squad rendered the suspicious device safe and later determined the item posed no threat.

The Village of Mount Prospect official website reports that law enforcement officials later determined the device was part of a classroom extra-credit science experiment after Mount Prospect Police officers located a second device in a vehicle in the school parking lot. The second device provided key indicators it did not pose a threat to the school community or the students. An interview with the owner of the car revealed the item to be an extra credit assignment. Based on the makeup of the second device, law enforcement officials determined it posed no threat to students or staff.

The police department and high school’s response followed established protocols designed to ensure the safety of the students and staff. Law enforcement and administrators from District 214 coordinated the response to this incident with the safety and security of the students as the primary concerns.

Arlington Heights police provided mutual aid assistance to Mount Prospect Police Department. The soft lock down was canceled by 11:00 a.m.

Cardinal Note: As of June 5, 2013 — up to and including the date of this article — police incidents related to the above police agency are not reported in real time or within a prompt time period. Police protecting their realm of investigation and police activity, have chosen to use encrypted radios to withhold their police communications, which were previously open to the public and news media via monitoring of public safety scanning radios — with no known negative results locally.

The delayed knowledge or entirely blacked out knowledge resulting from encrypted police communications may protect certain police operations and investigations, but it also puts the public at risk in situations such as when armed and dangerous offenders are at large and when other similar situations occur. In other cases, the delayed or blacked out information inhibits or prohibits the possibility of the public providing early witness accounts before a criminal trail goes cold. Citizens are much more likely to recognize or recall suspicious or criminal activity if they are aware of the criminal incident within minutes or hours of its occurrence. The most serious incident involving dire results would be a trail that is allowed to go cold in the case of child abduction.

The lack of real time information from public police dispatch also weakens an effective neighborhood watch program mostly working to prevent property loss, but also working to prevent possible violent crimes.

Police have alternate ways to transmit tactical, operational or investigative information, while still keeping their main public dispatch channels open for the best balance of public safety and police safety.

Get updates from The Cardinal CRIME BLOG ‘Plus’ on Facebook. Just ‘LIKE’ the ‘Arlington Cardinal Crime & Forensics’ Page (become a fan of our page). The updates cover all posts in the 24/7 Crime Alerts! and sub-categories. See all of The Cardinal Facebook fan pages at Arlingtoncardinal.com/about/facebook …