We are a busy city of 30,000 residents with an interstate highway running through the middle. We are home to bustling neighborhoods, a hospital, business districts, a major music festival, schools, parks, ravines and beaches, and our police work hard to keep our kids, seniors, businesses, visitors and residents safe. We are an involved public and the Police Department is appreciative when we call with a concern or observation of something that looks questionable.
You are our eyes and ears. When you hear about a crime being solved in Highland Park, note that it has been through the efforts of this professional department and its strong partnerships, locally, regionally and within the community. We are all active partners in our city’s public safety.
We are fortunate. Public safety is not something we need to worry about every day. It is something we think about when we need it or hear about it in the news. It is part of the foundation that defines our community. This is why public safety is at the forefront of this Council’s decision-making, and maintaining an accredited, professional, community-focused police department is our priority.
Our police are visible on the street enforcing laws, providing traffic management and general safety patrol. They answer approximately 22,500 calls annually at our full-time emergency and non-emergency call center, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
It has been a busy summer for our Police Department and the past few months are reflective of the exemplary work our police do to keep our community safe. While it may seem simple, the operations are complex. Here are a few highlights of the behind the scenes work being performed on our behalf:
- Police officers provide protection, assistance and education to School District 112 and 113 students and staff, the Park District, Ravinia Festival, North Shore Special Education District (NSSED), private daycare centers, businesses, houses of worship, residents and more.
- Detectives regularly work with neighboring communities, other governments and law enforcement agencies to identify and solve adult and juvenile crimes.
- Our Traffic Unit conducts major crash investigations, parking, and traffic safety campaigns.
- Our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) provides specially trained residents the opportunity to assist first responders in the event of an emergency.
- Our Police Department maintains and updates our Emergency Operations Plan and collaborates with county, state and federal emergency management agencies in case of, during and after major emergencies.
- In-house specialty teams provide specific expertise including: major accident investigation, fire investigation, bicycle patrol, canine unit, evidence collection and management, elderly assistance and social work.
The police work hard, but they cannot be everywhere. That’s why our partnership is so important. Thank you for being involved and for picking up the phone when something looks strange. They are happy to hear from you and in the end, we all benefit. The police non-emergency number is 847-432-7730 and of course, dial 911 in an emergency.
As you know, our 2014 Budget discussions are underway. Public safety is one of our top three priorities along with infrastructure and fiscal stability. If you have comments or suggestions, we look forward to your input during the budget planning sessions this fall. For a schedule of upcoming meetings, check the City’s website www.cityhpil.com.