The City has made a concerted effort to implement strategies for increasing diversity in the recruitment process, particularly within the Police Department. All City staff complete mandatory, annual diversity and cultural sensitivity training.
The City of Highland Park operates under a Council-Manager Form of Government whereby the Mayor and City Council appoint a city manager to oversee the day to day operations of the city, and to carry out the policies that have been enacted by the Corporate Authorities.
The City Manager provides policy advice, directs the daily operations of City government, handles personnel functions (including the power to appoint and remove employees) and is responsible for preparation of a budget. The City Manager oversees the six departments of the City:
- City Manager's Office
- Community Development
- Finance & General Services
- Fire Department
- Police Department
- Public Works Department
More information about the City’s organizational structure is available at cityhpil.com/government/index.php.
Oaths of Office
The City Manager, Police Department Employees and Fire Department Employees take an oath of office upon employment with the City. Following are their commitments through their oaths of office:
City Manager Oath:
I, Ghida Neukirch, do solemnly affirm that I will support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Illinois and the ordinances of the City of Highland Park.
I will adhere to the International City/County Management Association Code of Ethics that serve as the foundation for the local government management profession.
I will faithfully discharge the duties of the Office of City Manager of the City of Highland Park, Illinois, according to the best of my ability.
Police Department Oath of Office
I, [NAME], do solemnly affirm that I will support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Illinois and the ordinances of the City of Highland Park. I will faithfully discharge the duties of the position of [TITLE] of the City of Highland Park, Illinois according to the best of my ability. On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust, and I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions.
Fire Department Oath of OfficeI, [NAME], do solemnly affirm that I will support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Illinois and the ordinances of the City of Highland Park. I will faithfully discharge the duties of the position of [TITLE] of the City of Highland Park, Illinois according to the best of my ability. On my honor, I will never betray my integrity, my character or the public trust, and I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions.
Implicit Bias & Cultural Sensitivity Training (Anti-Defamation League, 2018)
Implicit bias training helps individuals become aware of unconscious attitudes, stereotypes, and biases that may impact how they interact with others. This training allows participants to take action and be aware of their own behaviors, because individuals are not aware of implicit biases, which may be in direct conflict with a person’s values. The ADL works specifically with law enforcement agencies to assist in protecting people and communities from all forms of hate, extremism, and terrorism.
Police Department Training (103 hours/year required of all Officers)
- Procedural Justice training (University of Illinois/Department of Justice, 2019)
- Cultural Awareness training (Police Academy, all new officers)
- Crisis Intervention Team Training (nearly all officers, ongoing)
- Ethics, Cultural Sensitivity, and Hate Crime Training (Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, ongoing)
- Ethics Training (biennial)
- Cultural Diversity Training
- De-escalation/Use of Force Training
- Procedural Justice Training
- Civil Rights Training
- Human Rights Training
- Cultural Competency Training
- Constitutional and Proper Use of Law Enforcement Authority Training
- Mental & Behavioral Health Training
Inclusive Recruiting Practices
The City of Highland Park is known for its unparalleled quality of life for residents, high-quality public services, active citizen participation, and progressive government. It is critical that employees representing the City embrace and share the City’s mission and values, are professional, responsive, provide high quality services, and demonstrate a high level of character and integrity. The City’s recruitment efforts are varied and focus on the following principles:
- Respect for Diversity
The City actively pursues a diverse employee force through its the recruitment and selection process.
This principle pertains to the City’s high quality customer service. Public service to the community is of utmost importance and one of our greatest priorities.
Having a high degree of character and integrity is a critical component to the City’s employee force. These principles are evaluated based on a candidate’s behavior and actions during the interview and interview exercises and workshops that are coordinated, and also based on recommendations from personal and professional references. Dishonesty or lapse in moral integrity results in immediate and permanent disqualification of a candidate. The partnership we have with our community demands we expect nothing less from current and future employees.
- Recruit for vacancies and hire for the future.
The philosophy behind this principle recognizes that the recruitment and selection process is the first and most important step an organization takes in acquiring and retaining employees that will not only excel in their position, but contribute to the success of the Department, City and community.
Inclusive Recruitment within the Police Department
- Broadening community outreach to regional colleges and job fairs
- Offer written test online to facilitate applications from as broad an applicant pool as possible, regardless of location
Social Work Services
The City contracts for a full-time social worker who serves as a key support and resource for adults, children, and families, providing professional assistance and referrals. The contractor focuses on services to the public following emergency responses from the City’s Police Department. The City employs a full-time social worker focused on providing services to seniors through the City’s Senior Center.
Procurement of Services
The City of Highland Park follows local, State and Federal procurement policies on projects. The projects are bid in accordance with the City’s Purchasing Policy. The Policy highlights providing Prevailing Wage Rates on all construction-related projects. In addition, on projects requiring the use of Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), the City complies with such requirements by including the language in the bid specifications and verifies MBE compliance during project payouts.