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Commitment to Fair and Equitable Policing

Published May 31, 2020

Police Department Mission Statement
The Highland Park Police Department is dedicated to safeguarding persons and property through a committed community partnership by upholding public trust, fostering mutual respect, and providing services to enhance the quality of life.

Commitment to Fair & Equitable Policing
The City of Highland Park, in accordance with its values, is committed to fair and equitable policing, and to that end has invested in training, community engagement, and recruitment strategies to  foster positive relationships between the police and communities of color. 

Recognizing the need for purposeful, actionable dialogue with communities of color around the intersection of race and policing, in 2018, the Highland Park Police Department adopted the Shared Principles of Public Safety, which were developed jointly by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois NAACP State Conference. Through adoption of these principles at the April 9, 2018 City Council meeting, the Police Department affirmed publicly the City's core values, including: valuing the life of every person, treating every person with dignity and respect, rejecting discrimination, endorsing the four pillars of procedural justice, developing relationships between law enforcement and communities of color, encouraging citizens to gain a better understanding of the law, supporting diversity within the department's staffing, and using de-escalation training and tactics to reduce the potential for confrontation. Chief of Police Lou Jogmen participated in the discussions and drafting of these principles, and the Highland Park Police Department was the first agency in the state to officially endorse them. All new officers are trained on these principles. 

Officers at all levels receive significant, consistent, mandatory training in support of this commitment to equitable policing on topics such as civil rights, human rights, procedural justice, cultural competency, and Constitutional and proper use of law enforcement authority. Officers also complete biennial ethics training and participate in citywide, annual cultural diversity training. Officers may further elect to pursue additional elective trainings in this regard. The City has also hosted implicit bias training presented by the Anti-Defamation League. Within the profession, Chief Jogmen and Deputy Chief Bonaguidi serve in leadership capacities with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, working on issues of diversity and inclusion. 

The City of Highland Park is  committed to engaging in meaningful discussion and action around these issues at the county and state levels. Through partnerships with local organizations such as the Lake County NAACP, Lake County Black Lives Matter and the Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR) high school program, officers are active participants in building relationships with communities of color, particularly through outreach to young people.  

The Highland Park Police Department  is dedicated to building positive relationships with residents  and developing understanding of the law through community engagement. Residents interested in learning more about community policing and procedural justice concepts are encouraged to consider participating in the Citizen Police Academy program. Participants who commit to the full, free program learn about various aspects of the work of the Police Department, including patrol, investigations, and administration. To learn more about the program, click here

Hate Has No Home Here Statement
The City of Highland Park unequivocally condemns any racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT, ableist, or otherwise hate-motived groups or individuals who are threatening any form of violent acts, bigoted harassment on, or discrimination against our residents, visitors, or city staff. This behavior is never acceptable, but it is particularly outrageous that any groups would further an agenda of hate and fear.

Highland Park will take every possible action to ensure that residents, workers, and visitors will not face discrimination or harassment. Violent threats have no place in our country, state, or city, and will not be tolerated. Reports of such hate crimes are of great concern. Be assured that the City’s Police Department will continue to work closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies to ensure the continued safety of our community.

It is vitally important that our community holds to our values and stands together in denouncing all acts of bigotry and violence. Hate has no home in Highland Park or anywhere.