Home / News / Elgin to hire unarmed guards for Schock Center amid unruly teens, homeless – Chicago Tribune

Elgin to hire unarmed guards for Schock Center amid unruly teens, homeless – Chicago Tribune


The city of Elgin plans to hire three unarmed security guards at the Edward Schock Center in Elgin to deal with an influx of unruly teenagers and homeless people seeking shelter at the downtown recreation center.

“We will have a security guard who will ensure that people who come to the center are there for equipment, an event or another purpose. Otherwise, they won’t be able to use the facility,” City Manager Rick Kozal said at this week’s Elgin City Council meeting.

Andy Frain Services will provide security guards who will be stationed at the center’s three entrances during business hours and will enforce the facility’s policies and code of conduct, Kozal said. Additionally, two security guards will be assigned to Lords Park and Wing Park on weekends during the summer months.

The council approved a $475,000, one-year contract with Frain at its meeting Wednesday night.

Originally, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department had planned to hire a security guard this year to monitor activities at the center and deal with minor incidents involving youth, but plans were upgraded due to problems arising from the number of homeless people visiting the facility rising to 100. Symphony Road.

Kozal said the Gail Borden Public Library was a place where homeless people went to shelter during the day, but “they no longer provide shelter for people experiencing homelessness.”

He said this resulted in some of those people being shifted to the Schock Center and “created issues that impacted the quality of the amenities we provide to our paying customers.”

Gail Borden officials could not be reached for comment.

Some Elgin City Council members applauded the move, but Councilman Corey Dixon said the larger issue was not addressed.

“This is not the usual homeless population… but the increase in the number of people coming into our community has caused significant problems overall,” Dixon said, noting that the library has received a large number of complaints. “We already had a problem with the homeless community because they were homeless and we were trashing. We haven’t done much about it.

“These problems are not going anywhere,” he said. “We can’t arrest our way out of this. We cannot hope that someone will save us from these problems. … These are just Band-Aids and we need surgery.”

Gloria Casas is a freelance reporter for The Courier-News.


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