Our citizens are served by the Highland Park Department of Public Safety (HPDPS) a name that reflects our commitment to serving the community with Excellence, Innovation and Integrity. This includes cross-training all first responders as firefighters, paramedics and police officers. Our department has a response time of under 3 minutes to priority calls and our police vehicles are equipped to allow officers to provide immediate medical assistance when needed.
Recently, there has been discussion among some police agencies across the country about 8 points of change (#8CantWait). The HPDPS policies, training standards, and hiring practices support all 8 points. In addition, following the death in 2014 of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, our department initiated several recommendations found in the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
Public Safety Director Rick Pyle continues to promote and expect a culture of respect and fairness in the application of law for all people and utilizes the following matrix to achieve these goals.
- Policies - Based on national best practices, evaluated, and updated as needed to reflect new innovations and national best practices
- Training – Officers and supervisors receive extensive training including anti-bias training, crisis intervention training and realistic scenario training in a simulator and 40 hours of specialized mental health crisis intervention training
- Supervision - Active supervision and accountability including review of body-worn and car-based footage by supervisors and review of all use of force incidents by the chief of police
- Recruiting – We strive to recruit and retain individuals who share of our goals of excellence in public service. Our standards include having a bachelor’s degree or 60 hours of college and 4 years of military experience. Less than 2% of those who apply for a position with our department are hired.
- Evaluation - Analysis of statistics and data from the police and our municipal courts by outside consultants on traffic stops, searches, and court proceedings to identify any potential bias or profiling
- Transparency - On a regular basis, Director Pyle presents to the Town Administrator and Town Council a report by an outside expert utilized at the federal level and by other departments who has found no evidence of bias or racial profiling in traffic stops, searches or the municipal court.
Our department appreciates the continued support of our citizens and elected officials who have provided the funding and support needed to support these efforts. We strive to meet the high standards set for us by the community and continue to earn your trust and support.
Our department is committed to continuing an ongoing dialogue with the greater community about the issue of policing and welcome inquiries regarding our department.