As the leader of the Wilmette Police Department, I am disgusted and saddened at the death of George Floyd. Such excessive force and brutality have no place in law enforcement. I wanted to take this opportunity to share how our Department strives to provide impartial law enforcement, community-oriented services and police protection to all citizens.
The men and women of the Wilmette Police Department are dedicated to serving with compassion and empathy. Officers of the Wilmette Police Department are a highly skilled, trained and dedicated group of professionals who pride themselves on community engagement efforts which foster meaningful interactions with our residents, visitors, and businesses. The Wilmette Police Department is committed to the principle that all individuals will be treated with dignity and respect.
Our efforts begin with hiring. Our Department only accepts applicants who meet the high moral, ethical and educational standards of the Board of Fire & Police Commissioners. We only recruit officers who meet our departmental values including acknowledging our responsibility and accountability to citizens, treating each person with respect, dignity and compassion; and promoting mutual trust. For over thirty years we have required entry level applicants to possess a bachelor’s degree. This requirement combined with our continuing education ensures our personnel continue to develop as individuals.
We are committed to providing the highest quality training available to our employees. Every new entry level Officer attends a state certified police academy for 560 hours of instruction. Upon their return, all Officers must successfully complete a minimum of a 12-week field training program. We then provide continuing education, with officers receiving an average of 87 hours of training annually. This includes subject matters such as cultural competency, procedural justice, mental health, de-escalation, use of force, biased based policing and crisis intervention. These areas of education are foundational to our mission and values.
As a Department we hold ourselves to a high standard. This is represented by recognition as a nationally accredited Police Department through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). CALEA’s mission is to improve the delivery of public safety services by maintaining a body of policing standards. In 1986, the Wilmette Police Department was the 3rd agency in the State of Illinois and 29th in the Nation to be accredited. We continue to maintain this status through consistent improvement in our policing methods to best serve the public and to evolve to meet challenging issues, including biased policing, human rights, and deadly force. To meet these standards and maintain these goals, we must prove that our practices follow our policies.
The Wilmette Police Department is committed to building and maintaining the community’s trust and confidence. We were early signatories to the shared principles of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the NAACP regarding the relationship between law enforcement and the communities and people they serve.
When an issue does arise, we as an organization are prepared to appropriately respond to these events. We have had in squad recording systems, including Officer worn microphones for over 20 years. Officer citizen interactions are periodically reviewed to ensure standard compliance. While we currently do not have body worn cameras, we do regularly review this program. All complaints against department personnel are thoroughly investigated. On occasion, Officers will need to use force in the performance of their duties. These incidents are documented and reviewed by multiple supervisory levels to ensure policy and law compliance and identify training, procedural, or equipment needs.
In addition to our continual efforts of improvement, we are committed to transparency. Each year the Police Department prepares an Annual Report which is published on the Village website. The Annual Report provides detailed information and analysis of the Department’s training, crime statistics, use of force, traffic stops, and other policing metrics. To view these reports, click this link.
I want to thank you for your continued support. I encourage all members of the community to stay connected with the Village via E-News, Facebook, Twitter as well as the Community Notification System for emergency messages.
710 Ridge Rd.
Wilmette, IL 60091