The most recent board meeting was shortened due to the events on Monday night. The remainder of the meeting will be held this Monday at January 28th beginning at 5PM.
After being informed of the shooting and that the Village Hall was on lockdown (at that time there was no further information), we decided to move forward with the meeting through the consent agenda, which includes payroll, and postpone the remainder of the meeting.
This included honoring the many Orland Park Pioneer Cheerleaders who captured championships at the State cheerleading competition. Additionally, we honored Darvin furniture, a 3rd generation Orland Park business that has been open for 99 years. They were one of 3 retailers given a national award for excellence. One of the others was Amazon. Congratulation to both the Pioneer Cheerleaders and to Darvin for a job well done.
I want to thank the Trustees for remaining calm and steady during these events. It is hard to stand back and not insert yourself into the situation when you are elected leadership.
The following are my two statements made the day after the event and the day after the arrest. These summarize my thoughts. I cannot comment on any of the remainder of the incident at this time.
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR:
On behalf of the Trustees, I would first like express our condolences and good wishes to the victims and their families. Please keep them in your prayers. Second we would like to thank the Orland Park Police Department, Orland Fire Protection District, Cook County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois State Police and all of the other first responders that did a great job last night. Lastly, we would like to thank Village Manager La Margo and Chief McCarthy for their communication with the Board during the event.
I would personally like to thank the Trustees for allowing our well trained Police Department to do their jobs. During an emergency situation this is not easy, but it is critical.
I am aware of the many concerns raised by our residents during and immediately after the incident. At this time, I will not comment on the incident itself as the investigation is ongoing. However, I would like to comment on the Village’s response.
Our Police Department and other first responders are trained to:
1. Ensure that the public is no longer in immediate danger and render aid to those in need.
2. Gather information and facts to ensure there are no other threats to public safety.
3. Communicate with the public once numbers 1 and 2 above are done.
I commend our Police Department for doing exactly that. After the initial incident our first responders ensured that nobody else was in immediate danger on scene and that aid was administered (the number one goal). Second, our department gathered facts and ensured there were no other threats to public safety. Lastly, they communicated to the public once we had control of the situation. We communicated with all press outlets within an hour. Later we sent notifications via social media, email and code red calls (which takes several hours to complete once started). As always we make every effort to keep the public informed while ensuring that we do not jeopardize public safety or hamper our ability to identify/apprehend the perpetrator.
Thank you again to our Police Department, Fire Protection District and all of the other first responders for a job well done during a very demanding evening.
FROM THE MAYOR’S OFFICE
The trustees and I extend our thanks to the Orland Park Police Department, the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force and the South Suburban Emergency Response Team for a job well done.
We congratulate them on the apprehension of the suspected Orland Square shooter and our prayers go out to the victims and their families.
The Orland Park Police Department, the Orland Fire Protection District, the South Suburban Emergency Response Team, the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force and the other first responders followed protocol to keep the people in the mall and the rest of the community safe following this isolated incident.
We also thank Orland Square Mall, their security staff and the stores in the mall for their cooperation, communication and for following protocol during the incident.
The security team at Orland Square has an excellent working relationship with the Orland Park Police Department and the Orland Fire Protection District. This relationship played an important part in the swift and positive response from our first responders.
Lastly, I want to address the many concerns that have been raised over the past several days. As angry as we all are, please remember that this was an isolated incident and historically, Orland Square is the safest in Chicagoland.
Orland Square and our police department employ many different strategies to keep it that way. From the initial response to the tireless efforts to apprehend the suspect, the police department, mall security and other agencies worked together with outstanding results.
Neither Orland Square nor the Village of Orland Park could have prevented this tragedy. The best prevention of future incidents is the quick arrest. This is the strongest message that we can send to anyone considering committing a violent act in Orland Park.
Thank you again to the Orland Park Police Department, the Orland Fire Protection District, the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force, the South Suburban Emergency Response Team and all of the other participating law enforcement and fire protection agencies for their outstanding work.
Keith Pekau, Mayor
Village of Orland Park