We believe that strong relationships between our police personnel and the citizens they serve are vital to maintaining a healthy community that works in partnership to fight crime and address quality of life issues. Embracing a strong community-policing philosophy, all police personnel receive advanced training in procedural justice, civil rights, and community policing concepts. While the Park Forest Police Department has a Sergeant assigned to Community Policing tasks such as organizing our many public outreach events, all personnel are part of our community policing team. Outreach events include Coffee with a Cop, Outdoor Roll Call, Unity Day, National Night Out, our B.I.C.Y.C.L.E. program, participation in Neighborhood Meetings, and attendance and numerous Village of Park Forest and community organizations’ events.
The Police Department has engaged in community outreach via social media since 2011 when the Park Forest Police Facebook page was created. While on-line interactions will never replace face-to-face interaction between a law enforcement agency and the community it serves, social media allows for exponential reach, which becomes vital for public education, crime prevention, community notifications and crime alerts, obtaining public assistance in identifying offenders, and general public relations. The following chart shows the Police Department’s continued increasing reach via social media.
Number of followers
The Police Department also has footprints on NextDoor, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and is continually evaluating its social media strategies. In spring of 2018 the Police Department transitioned from one personnel managing all Department social media accounts to a social media team being formed to handle social media outreach.
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/parkforestpolice/
On Twitter at https://twitter.com/ParkForestPD
On Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/parkforestpolice/?hl=en
In 2016, the Police Department began systematically tracking citizen complaints. Citizen complaints include any allegation of misconduct or improper job performance that, if true, would constitute a violation of department policy or of federal, state or local law. Inquiries about conduct or performance that, if true, would not violate any of the above may be handled informally by a supervisor and are not considered a citizen complaint. Such inquiries generally include clarification regarding policy, procedures or the response to specific incidents by the Police Department. Citizen complaints are investigated by a supervisor and each case is closed with one of the four following dispositions:
Unfounded - When the investigation discloses that the alleged acts did not occur or did not involve department members.
Exonerated - When the investigation discloses that the alleged act occurred but that the act was justified, lawful and/or proper.
Not sustained - When the investigation discloses that there is insufficient evidence to sustain the complaint or fully exonerate the member.
Sustained - When the investigation discloses sufficient evidence to establish that the act occurred and that it constituted misconduct.
The below chart provides citizen complaint data regarding police officer conduct by year.
Total Citizen Complaints
In many cases, exonerated complaints are found to have originated due to a citizen’s misunderstanding of police authority under state law or basic law enforcement procedures. Complaints which are sustained result in discipline and/or additional training. Additionally, citizen complaints may be found to be unsubstantiated but their investigation still result in the discovery of performance-improving steps that can be taken. All citizen complaints are taken seriously.