Tuesday, April 2, 2019 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Proviso Township High Schools District 209 officials have launched an investigation into the recent discovery of illegal substances found in “an office accessible to security personnel” at Proviso West in Hillside late last month, according to a statement D209 officials released on April 2.
According to the statement, the preliminary results of that investigation “affirm that that Proviso West security personnel informed the school liaison officer, a full-time Hillside Police Officer, of a file cabinet in an office accessible to security personnel which allegedly contained items seized from searches by school personnel.”
The school liaison officer took possession of the substances on March 22, D209 officials said. In a letter Hillside Police Chief Joseph Lukaszek emailed to D209’s administration on March 27, the substances tested positive for heroin, which police said was “packaged for delivery.”
Lukaszek stated that “pills of Xanax” were also located. Most of the items police discovered, however, “are related to cannabis offenses,” he said. The chief also said that the his department has photos of the items and that they were “removed from the desk” of a former security guard at the high school.
A Hillside detective, Sgt. Carlo Viscioni, told WGN 9 reporters that his department learned about the substances from a tip and not from school officials.
“The first thing they should have done, whether it is located, confiscated or discovered it on the premises is contacted the full-time police liaison,” Viscioni said., adding that Hillside police had “no knowledge this stuff was there until we were contacted.”
In his letter, Chief Lukaszek said that “at this point, I am demanding an explanation as to where this heroin came from.”
According to the D209 statement, the district’s “internal communication protocol for urgent matters was not followed, causing a delay in the response of district personnel to the matter.
“Once the matter became known, in a manner inconsistent with effective communication of such issues, an immediate investigation was launched and open communication between district administration and the Hillside police chief was established.”
District officials said that they’ve “communicated to all staff regarding expectations related to the seizure of contraband, the associated risks with handling these materials, and the proper notification and transfer of said contraband to proper authorities.”
They added that school personnel “will receive more in-depth training regarding such matters in partnership with law enforcement in the near future.”
Chief Lukaszek could not be reached for comment on Tuesday afternoon. To read his full letter, click here. VFP
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