Security increased at Quincy vets' home, other facilities - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Security increased at Quincy vets' home, other facilities

Security checking IDs at one of the Illinois Veterans' Home entrances in Quincy. Security checking IDs at one of the Illinois Veterans' Home entrances in Quincy.
12th Street entrance on Friday. 12th Street entrance on Friday.

The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs announced a security program Friday that officials said was built to better protect residents and staff, according to a news release.

Increased security was prevalent Friday at the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy. Security personnel were seen checking people's identification before allowing them to enter.

"(IDVA) has coordinated with other state agencies to build a security program to better mitigate and defend against dynamic threats, minimize risks, and maximize the ability to respond and recover from disasters and attacks of all kinds," the release stated.

Those visiting the deer park at the Illinois Veterans Home say it was strange when security stopped them. 

"I couldn't figure out what he was stopping people for," Holly Smith said. "So when I got up there I rolled my window down and he just asked me if I was coming to work or if I was coming to visit."

One visitor thought it was because of the day.

"I've never seen the security before," Joy Bockhold said. "I initially thought maybe it was because I only come out on the weekends versus being a week day."

State officials say when residents visit the grounds, they'll have to show security an ID and let them know if they're going to be working or visiting.

"This is someone's home," Bockhold explained. "We should respect that. It makes sense that there'd be security for them."

Other residents think it's a good step to keep track of visitors.

"It would be good for them to know who's coming onto the grounds and what they're doing here," Smith added. 

Residents say while they already felt safe, it is a reassurance and keeping the grounds safe and fun for families.

"It's perfect for a Friday afternoon to just hang out," Bockhold added. "I'm grateful to have something like that here in Quincy, Illinois."

The park will still be open from dawn until dusk. The IDVA also stated increased cybersecurity is also a crucial part of this initiative.

“We will do everything possible to protect our residents and hardworking IDVA staff,” IDVA Director Erica Jeffries said. 

Spokesperson Dave MacDonna said the latest emphasis on security is related to the "DoIT" agency establish by Gov. Bruce Rauner last year.

Officials said there is no immediate threat to any IDVA veteran homes. 

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