How Arlington Heights police prepared for the Clintons' visit

  • Bill and Hillary Clinton were spotted Saturday in downtown Arlington Heights, where they attended the services for their friend Betsy Ebeling at Metropolis Ballroom. Later, the Clintons attended a luncheon at Tuscany in Wheeling, and dinner on the North Shore.

    Bill and Hillary Clinton were spotted Saturday in downtown Arlington Heights, where they attended the services for their friend Betsy Ebeling at Metropolis Ballroom. Later, the Clintons attended a luncheon at Tuscany in Wheeling, and dinner on the North Shore. Courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times

 
 
Posted8/13/2019 5:20 AM

Arlington Heights police spent nearly a week on behind-the-scenes preparations ahead of the visit of Bill and Hillary Clinton last weekend, officials said Monday.

Police Chief Nick Pecora found out Aug. 5 that the former president and secretary of state were going to be in town for the services of Hillary's longtime friend Betsy Ebeling. That notification, from the Secret Service, came practically at the same time that Village Manager Randy Recklaus named Pecora, a 37-year department veteran, the new police chief.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Law enforcement officials on the local, state and federal levels worked together over the course of the workweek planning logistics, traffic and manpower details.

The Clintons flew into O'Hare International Airport Friday and stayed at an Arlington Heights hotel Friday and Saturday nights, Pecora confirmed.

An Arlington Heights police detective served as a local liaison for the couple, meeting them with their regular Secret Service security detail on Saturday morning, and staying with them throughout their day in the suburbs, Pecora said.

They were among 400 or so to attend the private, invitation-only service at Metropolis Ballroom in downtown Arlington Heights for Ebeling, who grew up five blocks away from Hillary in Park Ridge. Ebeling, who died of breast cancer July 28 at age 72, was matron of honor at the Clintons' wedding and a delegate at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, where she announced that her friend had captured Illinois' delegates.

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Other officials in attendance Saturday included Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Most local Arlington Heights officials on Saturday afternoon were at nearby Arlington International Racecourse for the 37th running of the Arlington Million.

There were "several" Arlington Heights officers and a police supervisor assigned to the area around Vail Avenue and Campbell Street during the memorial service, Pecora said.

Were any issue to have arisen, the officers would have been supplemented by on-duty patrol staff or other area police departments through mutual aid, but everything went smoothly, he said.

"It was a well-planned event and there was no issue at all," Pecora said.

A motorcade -- including Secret Service, state police and Arlington Heights police vehicles -- took the Clintons to Tuscany in Wheeling for a post-memorial luncheon. Later Saturday night, they went to dinner on the North Shore, Pecora said.

Before departing for O'Hare, the couple spent about an hour Sunday morning visiting with the Ebeling family.

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