by Dave Noble, City News Editor
ELMHURST – Carefully cropping a photo of Mayor Steve Morley’s head onto an image of King Kong swatting at low-flying airplanes from atop the Addison St. parking garage, City of Elmhurst Social Media Manager Kenny Grant told reporters squeezed into his cubicle at City Hall Wednesday morning that he believes his job is in jeopardy after he delayed posting a CodeRED Alert to residents about a local manhunt for an “armed and dangerous” suspect during the early hours of Tuesday morning.
“The shit hit the fan right away,” said Grant, referring to an onslaught of criticism from residents who wanted to know why they were not immediately notified about the capture of two robbery suspects and the pursuit and subsequent capture of a third suspect in Elmhurst following a single-car crash off of North Ave. around 1:30 a.m. “It was certainly a judgement call. But I figured everyone was sleeping at the time, and I didn’t want to cause panic.”
Visibly distraught while reviewing the disparaging social media comments regarding his decision to wait until 5:30 a.m. before utilizing the city’s CodeRED system intended for emergency situations and important community concerns like bio-terrorism alerts, boil water notices and the opening of a new yoga studio in town, Grant pointed out that #firekennygrant was currently trending on Twitter, and that a Facebook Page created under a similar name had already garnered 27 Likes.
“They didn’t tell me I’d have to make a big decision like this when I got the job,” continued Grant, a 2013 York High School graduate who noted that he was given “carte blanche” to issue a CodeRED Alert any time and the authority to use the city’s Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts for posting news, announcements and creative memes appropriate for all ages. “Up until now, the hardest part of my job was finding the appropriate emoji to accompany each CodeRED Alert.”
At press time, Grant was seen scurrying into City Manager Jim Grabowski’s office with doughnuts and an idea for a Facebook Event for residents who wish to attend Wednesday’s scheduled natural gas release by Nicor.