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Blagojevich declares state of emergency following NIU shootings

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Rod Blagojevich has declared a state of emergency in the aftermath of Thursday’s shootings at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb The declaration will open the governor’s disaster relief fund for local units of government to reimburse them for their extraordinary expenses related to the response in NIU, according to a news release from his office, and will facilitate the Illinois Emergency Management Agency in providing assistance to local units of government in responding to and recovering from this event. “The State of Illinois will provide whatever assistance and support is necessary to university staff and students, and to local officials,” Blagojevich said in the statement. “The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has the necessary personnel in place to provide whatever help might be needed.” Earlier Thursday, Blagojevich activated the State Emergency Operation Center to coordinate the state’s response, according to the news release. In addition, the state is providing on-site assistance at NIU, including: • Illinois State Police Northern Tactical Response team members, State Police officers and Illinois Department of Natural Resources officers are supporting local and university law enforcement; • Specialists from the Department of Human Services are assisting the university’s metal health professionals in conducting a crisis assessment; • Two Mobile Command Vehicles have been deployed along with one communications trailer; • IEMA Regional Coordinator on-scene to coordinate the state’s efforts at NIU; • Mutual Aid Box Alarm System and Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System have been activated to assist in coordinating response among multiple fire and police departments. That response included: 16 ambulances, two air ambulances, more than 60 fire and EMT personnel, 15 Law Enforcement Officers and two mobile command posts and an Illinois Transportable Emergency Communication System. Source: Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s Office

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