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In December of 2014, President Obama commissioned the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. This Task Force was chaired by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and was comprised of law enforcement professionals, community and youth leaders, and academics. The President’s Task Force sought to identify best practices in policing and provide guidance on how to promote effective crime control while focusing on building public trust in the police. The Task Force released a comprehensive report in 2015, presenting six main topic areas or ‘pillars’ for law enforcement agencies to focus on: Building Trust and Legitimacy, Policy and Oversight, Technology and Social Media, Community Policing and Crime Reduction, Officer Training and Education, and Officer Safety and Wellness. Within each Pillar’s subsection of the report, the Task Force made numerous recommendations for law enforcement agencies to adopt. Use of force, de-escalation strategies, community policing, and partnership building were major areas of concentration in the report. The Task Force report became a significant topic of conversation within the law enforcement profession immediately upon its release.
As an agency, we took an in-depth look at the report and all the recommendations made under each pillar. A comprehensive report on Hanover Park PD’s compliance with the Task Force Report was completed and disseminated in June of 2016. We found that most of the recommendations made were things we had already done or were in the process of doing. While the report is now several years old, we consider it to still be an excellent guiding document for managing a police agency in the United States. The Hanover Park compliance report was unique, and we are proud to say we were one of the first agencies to undertake this. The report itself has been shared with police agencies in several states, and Deputy Chief Johnson, who compiled the report, was a guest blogger on the International Association of Chiefs of Police Social Media Beat blog, discussing how the department analyzed and implemented the Task Force Report’s recommendations. The report can be viewed here.
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De-escalation is an integral part of our officers’ training beginning at the police academy. In the State of Illinois, the Police and Community Relations Improvement Act (50 ILCS 727) and the Illinois Police Training Act (50 ILCS 705) provide training mandates for police officers in a variety of relevant areas. These include:
These concepts are then reinforced in ongoing online training officers receive annually. Further, the Hanover Park Police Department has set as a goal that all officers will receive the 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training. CIT training has been a major training development in law enforcement in the past several years. CIT focuses on better preparing officers to work with people who are in crisis and employ alternatives to the use of force that can be employed when possible. While CIT is a comprehensive, multi-faceted program, the general focus of it is:
Overall, we seek to train officers that the use of force, while sometimes unavoidable, should be a last resort when there are other strategies that can be attempted safely.
By Illinois state law, officers may not use chokeholds unless they are in a situation in which lethal force is justified against that person (720 ILCS 5/7-5.5). This means that the force must be reasonable and in direct response to a threat of imminent death or great bodily harm to themselves or another person. We do not train officers to use these holds; they would be considered a last resort type of maneuver.
By policy, Hanover Park Police Officers are not permitted to transport prisoners in the prone position. Additionally, policy requires that if a subject is subdued in a prone position, officers must get the subdued person out of the prone position as soon as possible and monitor for the need of medical assistance.
Hanover Park Police Officers are required to report any employee of the department engaged in any type of criminal behavior or inducing another employee to commit an unlawful act or violation of a regulation. Officers failing to abide by this policy would be subject to disciplinary action.
Officers are forbidden from firing at moving vehicles except in self-defense or defense of another. They are also not permitted to fire from moving vehicles.
Hanover Park Police Officers must use only the objectively reasonable amount of force that is necessary to neutralize an unlawful assault, overcome resistance of taking a person into custody, or to accomplish another lawful objective. Force must always start at the objectively reasonable level considered safe and appropriate considering the resistance and threat confronted. The scale of use of force options ranges from verbal persuasion to non-deadly force, and then to deadly force. Officers are limited to the use of weapons that are approved by the department, and any other items are prohibited.
Hanover Park Police Department policy does not ever permit force that is ‘excessive.’ Any force used must be objectively reasonable and necessary under the circumstances in which it is used. Officers must report all uses of force and are held accountable for each use of force. Officers are only permitted to use deadly force when the officer reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to the officer or another person. By policy, the use of a firearm is always considered force likely to cause death or great bodily harm regardless of the extent of the injury inflicted.
Officers may only use the objectively reasonable amount of force that is necessary in a given situation. Hanover Park Police Policy states that, when practicable, verbal commands should accompany all levels of force in an effort to gain compliance. Officers are held accountable for all force that is used and must report each use of force conducted.
Yes. All uses of force by officers must be reported to the on-duty supervisor immediately and then, as soon as is practicable, in written form via the Response to Resistance Report as well as documented in a standard police report. If the use of force involves the use of a Conducted Electrical Weapon (a TASER or similar device), a CEW Deployment Form must also be completed. Once submitted, these use of force reports are reviewed by supervisors at multiple levels of authority, culminating with the review of the Deputy Chief of Operations. Use of force incidents are complied and analyzed by the Deputy Chief of Operations, who submits an annual review of use of force by the department.
Yes. The Hanover Park Police Department hiring and background process is stringent and comprehensive. Police Officer candidates must pass a written exam, an oral interview, a polygraph exam, and a thorough background investigation. Upon receiving a conditional offer of employment, the candidate must complete a psychological examination and medical examination. A review of the candidate’s past work history, social media, arrest history, and many other areas are thoroughly reviewed. Candidates whose background investigations turned up evidence of any of those listed issues would be disqualified from the process.
Any time force of any nature is used against a person, it is the initial responsibility of personnel using the force or making the arrest to ensure that the subject of that force receives medical attention if needed. Any injuries that are sustained must be documented in the Response to Resistance Report. Additionally, the on-duty supervisor is required to ensure that medical attention is provided to every person who has been struck by a less lethal extended range impact device or conducted electrical weapon (CEW or TASER).
The Hanover Park Police Department records, reviews, and evaluates every single incident involving use of force by an officer. Each incident is reviewed at multiple levels of supervision, culminating with a review by the Deputy Chief of Operations. On an annual basis, the Deputy Chief of Operations completes a comprehensive analysis of all use of force incidents by the department.
There is no set number of incidents that is established when determining police officer discipline for use of force. When inappropriate force is used, a determination will be made following the completion of an internal investigation. It could be that one incident, if egregious enough, could lead to an officer’s termination.
If a civilian death occurred in police custody, for any reason, an investigation would be conducted by the DuPage or Cook County State’s Attorney’s Offices, and the Illinois Department of Corrections. It is anticipated that, should an in-custody death occur as a result of an excessive use of force, an investigation would be conducted by the Illinois Attorney General and the United States Department of Justice. There have been no in-custody deaths that have occurred resulting from any use of force by Hanover Park Police in the past twenty years.
The Hanover Park Police Department takes and investigates ALL complaints. This practice is prescribed by our written policy, which is reviewed by personnel on at least an annual basis. It is important to note that we will take complaints in any form. Historically, we have received complaints in person, voicemail, email, written letters, and social media messages as examples. Complaints can also be transmitted internally (i.e. employee complaining about another employee’s conduct).
Complaint forms are available at the front desk of the PD. Additionally, they can be emailed, faxed, or mailed to complainants. Once a complaint is received, the Deputy Chief of Support Services oversees the handling of this complaint. For less serious conduct, an informal inquiry is conducted. For serious policy violations, illegal activity, or other significant allegation, a formal inquiry is conducted. Formal inquiries generally involve allegations that, if found to be factual, could result in a suspension of more than three days or termination of the officer.
Following the investigation, the Deputy Chief ensures that the complainant is notified of the outcome of the case. This is done in writing. The Deputy Chief also tracks all internal investigations and completes an annual analysis. The results of this analysis are published here on this website and in the Annual Report for transparency purposes. Historically, we experience only a handful of internal investigations each year.
To learn more about internal investigations, click here.
The Hanover Park Police Department, with the full support of Village officials and administrators, is nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). CALEA is a joint effort of law enforcement’s major executive associations:
CALEA accreditation is an on-going process that requires our Department to:
We are a Gold Standard agency, having been accredited continuously since 2001. We comply with 100% of the mandatory CALEA standards and over 97% of the non-mandatory standards.
Hanover Park Police Department directives clearly define police officer and civilian employee authority, procedures, and responsibilities. Annual reviews are conducted in many areas, such as use of force and commendations/complaints, to guide policy development and management decisions. CALEA compliance ensures the Department is prepared to properly address daily operations, critical incidents, training needs, and to build community relationships.
With CALEA guidance, the Hanover Park Police Department is dedicated to policing in a manner that provides services properly and enforces laws fairly, while demanding all our employees protect the rights and dignity of all people equally.