© Tribune illustration from Googlemaps
Map of the former Tinley Park Mental Health Center.
The Department of Defense is holding an urban warfare training exercise at the former Tinley Park Mental Health Center site tonight and tomorrow, village officials have announced.
The government training exercises "will include building breaching and helicopter operations," according to Mayor Ed Zabrocki.
"Building breaching" involves the use of small explosives that are used to take out doors, explained Pat Carr, the Emergency Management Agency's director in Tinley Park.
"The Mental Health Center grounds provide a very realistic training environment for these different types of exercises," Carr said.
Village officials are notifying the public about the training exercises to avoid frightening local citizens after the Boston Marathon bombing last week.
"The concern we have is that, when this occurs...on the hands of what happened in Boston, it's gonna make people's nerve-endings a little more sensitive," Zabrocki said.
The Tinley Park Mental Health Center will be closed to the public during the event. Carr said there shouldn't be too much noise from the helicopters or the explosives.
In the past two years, the Mental Health Center has been used during training exercises by the Illinois State Police, the Cook County Sheriff's Office, Chicago Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in addition to Tinley Park's public safety agencies.
"What's unique about this one is that it goes on multiple days and it's probably the largest of what we've had so far," Zabrocki said.