We Stand Together HP Anti-Bullying Initiative (2015)
Mayor Rotering signed on to support the national Call to Action Against Bullying initiative sponsored by the United States Conference of Mayors. The City’s elected officials and staff actively promoted, together with the school districts, park district, other government entities and community partners, the “We Stand Together” campaign and associated events with trained counselors, educators, and national experts. Residents were encouraged to join the City’s senior staff in taking the pledge against bullying, which emphasizes the right of all youth to be safe, included, valued, and accepted.
Health & Public Safety Initiatives
Premise Alert Program
The Premise Alert Program provides dispatchers with information to assist in responding quickly and appropriately to individuals with non-verbal or non-visible disabilities such as autism, dementia, mental illness, and others. The Police Department provides free, voluntary identification bracelets for residents with non-visible disabilities as part of this program.
My Medical Information
The Highland Park Fire Department provides free My Medical Information kits to senior citizens, individuals with special needs, and others within the City. Each kit consists of a magnetic red plastic pouch that is designed to attach to the individual’s refrigerator for easy access by paramedics responding to an emergency. The pouch contains a pamphlet for individuals to write personal information, emergency contacts, medications, allergies, medical conditions, and advanced directives. This information assists paramedics in providing emergency care.
Dementia Friendly Community (2020)
The City is working to connect across sectors, adopt dementia-friendly practices and goals, and include and encourage people with dementia to lead efforts to advance dementia friendliness, through this program of Dementia Friendly America.
The City’s effort to become a Dementia Friendly Community was led by Police Social Worker Dr. Cynthia Plazas, PhD, LPC, and Senior Center Social Services Coordinator Jennifer Aiello, MS, LPC. City Council affirmed the City's commitment to the principles of a Dementia Friendly Community at the March 9, 2020 meeting. As of June 2020, City Council and City Department representatives have completed training provided by Dementia Friendly America to better engage and support Highland Park's aging population.
Police Beat Coordinator Program (PBC)
The PBC system is designed to strengthen communication and engagement between officers and community members. PBCs organize beat meetings and work directly with residents and business owners in their respective areas.
Public Education & Engagement
Citizens Police Academy (CPA)
The CPA is designed to promote public safety and awareness training, and increase community knowledge of law enforcement practices and priorities. CPA participants receive hands-on Police Department training in many areas, including patrol, investigations, and administration, and leave the program with a deeper knowledge of the many Police Department functions.
Citizens Fire Academy (CFA)
The CFA program helps participants to better understand the work performed by firefighters on a daily basis. Participants learn about fire prevention and investigation, emergency medical services and live fire training. Along with the CPA, this eight-week program promotes public safety, awareness and community engagement with the City’s emergency services.
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
CERT provides essential community education on topics such as disaster preparedness, fire safety, light search and rescue, traffic control, and more. With this training, CERT members are able to assist others in their neighborhoods and workplaces, and support professional responders as appropriate. Currently, 50 individuals are trained volunteers for the CERT program. New volunteers are always welcome.
School Engagement Initiatives
Highland Park Police Officers partner with School Districts 112 and 113 to provide programs and community engagement events which support the development of positive relationships with students including the Highland Park Career Exploration Program (HPCE). Highland Park officers attend student and community-led events to understand important issues that intersect with law enforcement, such as immigration, homelessness and housing, and domestic violence.
Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR) & World Cafe Student Edition program
Opportunities to partner with School Districts 112 and 113 afford students and officers a forum for dialogue and education. In 2019, the Highland Park Police Department was glad to be invited to engage with students in the SOAR program, and was able to hear firsthand about the challenges and concerns that young students of color are facing. Students were invited to share their experiences and insights, and gained an understanding of the roles law enforcement agencies play in promoting safe communities. The Highland Park Police Department’s goal in participating in these and similar events is to understand how we can all improve relationships between residents and law enforcement agencies, particularly communities of color.
Community & Family Engagement Events
National Night Out
National Night Out, held annually on the first Tuesday of August, is an opportunity for police officers to build positive relationships with community members through family-friendly activities.
Sweet Ticket Campaign
Officers congratulate young residents for making good and safe choices with a “ticket” for a free sweet treat from local businesses.
Coffee with a Cop
Residents are invited to enjoy a cup of coffee and conversation with Highland Park Police Officers in an informal setting.
Cop On a Rooftop
Highland Park Police partner with local businesses to raise money to support Special Olympics during this annual event.
Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics
Highland Park Police personnel, other City staff, CERT volunteers, and their families help carry the Special Olympics torch to raise money and celebrate the athletes during this annual event.