AURORA, Ill. - Police in Aurora shared an example Tuesday of clear and present danger reports working, and their department being proactive.
Just last month, a threatening phone call came into the department.
"I belong to a militia, and we have sat back and watched the outright disregard for law enforcement and their attitude towards drugs, gangs," the message said. "We are gonna be patrolling the various agencies with loaded guns if this does not ******* stop. So I don’t know if you think I’m ******* joking, I’m not! So get ahold of whoever you need to get ahold of and don’t ******* play with us! Enough is enough."
Aurora police took the threat seriously, investigated the same day, and was able to make contact with the man, who willingly handed over his gun and ammunition.
They also filled out a clear and present danger form with Illinois State Police. Three days later, the man’s firearm owner’s identification card revoked.
"We never know what we've prevented, but we know the signs, studying some of the other cases that have happened and saying 'well that happened in this case, maybe it could happen here.' And we just will never know once we intervene," said Officer David Guevara.
There has been a lot of talk about clear and present danger reports lately following the massacre in Highland Park.
Illinois State Police just last week announced a rule change that would allow the state agency to maintain records longer, allowing officers access to older records when issuing FOID cards.
"They'll be able to look at a larger amount of information over a longer period of time, to be able to establish that there is a clear and present danger," said Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly.
The Highland Park suspect was the subject of a clear and present danger investigation just a few months before he was able legally obtain a FOID card.
The emergency rule is temporary for the next 150 days, but state lawmakers can make it a permanent part of the law.
The man who made the call in Aurora still doesn’t have his FOID card, but is not facing any charges.