Policing Practices, Accountability & Transparency

Policing Practices, Planning and Preparing!

Our community expects good policing, accountability, and transparency. It is a tall order, but it is certainly important.

On July 7, 2020 Palos Park Police Commissioner Dan Polk has announced the mid-year review will address past and present concerns and weaknesses through an ongoing examination into emerging issues and the ability of the Men & Women of the Palos Park Police Department to meet the challenges of 21st century policing. People demand good policing, accountability, and transparency within their Police Departments.

The Palos Park Police Department 2020 & Beyond Strategic Plan which serves as the guiding light to enhance safety and the quality of life in the Village of Palos Park. Commissioner Polk said that “2020 has been an unprecedented year in policing and how police officers perform their jobs and the role of law enforcement in general has come to the forefront of national discussion.”

Commissioner Polk said, “We want to ensure that we explore best practices and procedures in operating the Palos Park Police Department and we remain vigilant in holding examination and peer reviews in training, use of force, oversight, and interactions with the public.” He pointed out everything is on the table and will be assessed, crisis diversion (e.g. substance abuse, mental/behavioral issues, homelessness) - evaluate PPPD CIT Teamwork. All geared to assess how well PPPD is doing with community policing and what more should be done to build the bond between police and community.

We must examine and expose those areas we can improve, a national conversation on everything from police brutality, the appropriate response to situations, the claim of systemic racism in America, and the defunding of law enforcement agencies are discussions we must have.

When officers see things across the country that they had no part of, it can change the way people perceive them or officers in general. That can be disheartening, and by doing what we do with a roadmap (Palos Park Police Department’s 2020 & Beyond Strategic Plan) is one of many guiding foundations that identifies our organization’s priorities and represents our vision for the future.

Polk noted, “We place a high value on the safety of our residents, business owners and visitors and remain committed to having a road map for ensuring a safe community by maintaining professionalism, increase levels of service, use our resources effectively, be fiscally responsible, encourage teamwork, and preserve a people-centric manner of leading. We encourage all to review the plan as it is our roadmap to success.”


The Six Pillars of 21st Century Policing White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Palos Park Police Department will embrace and adhere to each one:

 Pillar One: Building Trust and Legitimacy

Simply put, if relationships and collaboration can be established between police departments and the communities they serve, the legitimacy of the department in the eyes of the public, is enhanced. The community develops higher trust and more fully engages the department and its team members. This also provides a stronger foundation on which the entire community can better survive a critical incident involving the police.

Pillar Two: Policy and Oversight

Policies and procedures should reflect community values and should be open to oversight by members of the community. Policies should account for the nature of contact with members of the community (demographic data collection) and policies should be reviewed often to ensure they are current with best practices and new laws.

Pillar Three: Technology and Social Media

The use of technology and social media to increase transparency, accountability, and engagement must be embraced. As our communities become more entwined with social media and never-ending news cycles, police departments must engage the community in a timely and open manner. As accountability tools are made more readily available, departments should strive to incorporate them into their practices.

Pillar Four: Community Policing and Crime Reduction

Police departments must embrace partnerships and collaborations with community groups. Such relationships can identify problems before they become unmanageable. Relationships built between the community and police departments should allow for a culture of respect for all with every person’s dignity always left intact.

Pillar Five: Training and Education

As the world, society and our communities become more complex, more is being asked of our police officers. Police departments need to adapt to evolving community needs and problems. Training must stay current with these developing and changing situations. Police departments should embrace training that assists with mental health issues as well as complex societal issues.

Pillar Six: Officer Wellness and Safety

A police officer’s health, both physical and emotional, is key not just to the wellbeing of the officer, but also to that officer’s ability to safely and effectively handle the demands of law enforcement work. Police departments should provide suitable protective equipment, as well as mandate that safety equipment be used by all members of the department.