MACOMB — The Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety hosted the second annual Public Safety Expo on Monday in the east arena of Western Hall.
Participants included the Illinois State Police, Macomb Fire Department, Macomb Police Department, McDonough County Sheriff’s Office, McDonough District Hospital and the WIU Office of Public Safety.
“In the OPS we have up to twenty-five sworn police officers,” said OPS Sgt. Derek Watts. “We have officers, corporals, sergeants, lieutenants and our director, Scott Harris.”
“Because WIU is a big law enforcement school, we’re trying to give people opportunities to try different things,” Watts said. “We have a firing simulator, a driving simulator, a K-9 demonstration, and different display tables are people talking about rapid response and investigative techniques. We also have representatives from the State Attorney’s Office in case people have questions.”
Macomb Mayor Mike Inman who attended the expo said the event is a vital part of the local community because it is a collaborative effort of emergency services.
“The expo is a good opportunity for students to portunity for students to get out and see what good these professionals do in our community, and plus there was a learning session earlier just prior to the expo – a simulated DUI crash,” Inman said.
Students from Western Illinois and local schools attended the expo.
“It’s prom time, graduation time for these young people; the community wants them to know how much they are valued,” Inman said. “The fact that we’re willing to expose them to a little bit of drama today underscores the importance of not consuming alcohol while they’re out celebrating regardless of age and the negative consequences that can flow from that.”
According to Watts the intent of a mock DUI is to show the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and other substances.
“It shows students what can happen in a DUI accident,” Watts said. “There were actors who wore make-up to mimic people injured in a DUI accident. We actually had all the medical services come to perform triage just as they would at a real scene. Macomb Fire Department came out to extricate  a couple of people from the vehicle, so they cut off the top of the car, used the Jaws of Life, and stuff like that to gain access to the people inside the vehicle. McDonough County Coroner Eric Jameson arrived to pronounce people dead on the scene of the accident. The driver of the vehicle went through field sobriety tests, placed under arrest in the back of a squad car and transported to jail.”

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