Wheeling Passes Law, Bans Concealed Knives

By Cliatt, Cass | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 15, 2002 | Go to article overview

Wheeling Passes Law, Bans Concealed Knives


Cliatt, Cass, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Cass Cliatt Daily Herald Staff Writer

A new law added to Wheeling's books this week should help keep schoolchildren safe from concealed knives, village officials said.

Trustees Monday approved a measure to ban the sale and possession of concealed knives in response to an incident involving a student with a blade at a Wheeling middle school earlier this year.

Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 did not return calls seeking comment about the incident, and Wheeling police would not comment other than to say the school found a student with a knife disguised as a pen.

However, village leaders said the discovery brought to light the potential for greater safety problems.

"In researching this issue, we have found that there are a number of devices manufactured for the sole purpose of concealing a weapon within them, including lipstick cases, air gauges, belt buckles, combs, brushes, umbrellas, walking sticks, et cetera," Acting Village Manager James Grabowski said.

Wheeling police concluded that the devices have no legitimate use other than as a weapon. Most Wheeling trustees agreed.

"I think it's important that we have something in place that is strong and meaningful, so that if someone is caught, people can't say, 'There's nothing in place that says I can't,' " said Trustee Judy Abruscato.

Police Chief John Popadowski pointed out that the school imposed sanctions on the teen with the pen knife earlier this year, but there was no state or local law that allowed police to get involved. …

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