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Naperville Park District to Modify Outdoor Active Shooter Training for Staff

The Naperville Park District plans to modify its outdoor active shooter training for staff following a training event on Saturday, May 18 at Centennial Beach that impacted scheduled events on the adjacent Naperville Riverwalk and nearby ballfields.

The District held a post-event debriefing session on Tuesday, May 21 for key staff and two of its elected park board officials to discuss immediate changes to be made to its staff training program in addition to considering ways to improve its relations with the organizations that were impacted by Saturday’s training.

“We apologize to the participants of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides Walk and Naperville Little League participants and spectators for causing alarm during our training of Centennial Beach staff,” said Ray McGury, Executive Director of the Naperville Park District. “As a result, we are making some modifications to our future outdoor training sessions. These changes include: not using a public address system to make announcements during the training exercises, and using an air horn as a warning device to training participants instead of a starter pistol.”

The Park District also will ensure that any event organizers using the adjacent properties are made aware ahead of time, and again the day of, regarding any planned training exercises taking place in the area.

McGury explained, “We take very seriously our role to protect patrons and staff at our facilities, and offering Active Shooter Training is one very important way we prepare staff for their roles as Naperville Park District employees. We have heard time and again from staff that this training is well worth their time and participation.”

The Park District provides training based on the ALICE Training Institute model of: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.

The training that took place at Centennial Beach last weekend was the first outdoor training at the Park District, but it was confined to the Beach facility itself. All other staff training exercises have been held indoors.

As an organization that understands the importance of good community partnerships, the Park District has reached out to both the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Naperville Little League to express its regrets and offer to explore ways to lend its support in the future.


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Funds raised through the Naperville Parks Foundation support the Naperville Park District’s Fee Assistance Program. The Naperville Parks Foundation supports the recreation needs and desires of the residents of Naperville – encouraging health and wellness, fitness, family time, and fun. The Foundation supports the mission of making recreation of all kinds accessible to everyone across the community, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
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