At around 3:00 pm on Wednesday, September 5, as students walked to their homes in Wards 5 and 6 after the second day of the school year, the Geneva Police Department conducted an unannounced training exercise, with guns and tactical gear in full view of passing children and unsuspecting residents, at a city-owned zombie house in a residential North Genesee Street neighborhood.
According to the city, the GPD went door-to-door to notify nearby neighbors about an hour before the training.
No advance notification of the training exercise was provided to city residents by the City of Geneva or the Geneva Police Department.
The training was conducted at a city-owned “zombie house” at 7 N Genesee Street. The house is the second building on the west side of N. Genesee from North Street, which is traveled by dozens of children walking home from school and large numbers of parents driving their children home from school each school day around 3:00 pm.
- Are surprise after-school fake police raids a common use for zombie houses in other residential neighborhoods in the city?
- Who made the decision to spring a surprise fake raid at a heavily traveled intersection at the same time dozens of school children would be walking home?
- Did anyone consider the psychological effect on the young children who might have already experienced trauma related to real police raids in their neighborhoods?
- Would a “trauma-informed city” have signed off on this surprise training exercise?
- Did the GPD consciously select a high profile location for the midday training exercise?
- Did anyone consider actually communicating and notifying the public about the exercise?
- Is this the kind of decision-making we can expect from our new “progressive” Chief of Police Mike Passalacqua?
- Is this the kind of decision-making we can expect from our new City Manager Sage Gerling?
- What do Councilors Ken Camera (Ward 4), Jason Hagerman (Ward 5) and John Greco (Ward 6) think about the children in their ward being startled or frightened by a fake police raid on their walks home from school?
- What does the Geneva Community Compact Committee think about this incident?
- Does this type of surprise training exercise fulfill the goals of the Geneva Comprehensive Plan?