A suspicious-looking man who was seen taking photographs last week in a public park in Lisle turned out to be a police officer participating in a classroom exercise, Lisle police said Wednesday.
Watch Cmdr. Ron Wilke issued a written statement clarifying matters because e-mail had been circulated throughout the village concerning the incident.
Police had been “receiving inquiries regarding an incident” that occurred Aug. 28 in Lisle Community Park, Wilke wrote in the statement. The park lies southwest of Short Street and Route 53 and just northeast of the village’s downtown.
“A concerned citizen witnessed a male subject taking photographs in the park and feared for the safety of the children” at play there, Wilke said.
“Several e-mails were sent out to various groups as a warning to be on the lookout for suspicious subjects,” Wilke wrote. One recipient of the mailing contacted police.
“After reviewing this incident, it was determined that the subject in the park taking photos was actually a sworn police officer participating in an advanced evidence technician course (offered) by the Lisle Police Department,” Wilke said. “Part of the course curriculum was to take photos in low light in and around” the park.
Officers from several area law enforcement agencies took part in the course, which was conducted from Aug. 28-30, Wilke wrote. “All of the course was held in the afternoon to evening hours and had several police officers taking photos in the park, so it’s possible other people also witnessed them taking pictures for the class.”
“The purpose of this release is to inform everyone who received a warning e-mail that the incident has been reviewed by the departments involved and found to be unfounded,” Wilke said. He asked recipients of the original e-mail to tell others about the reality of the situation, “and remember to contact the Lisle Police Department (in) any future, suspicious instances.”