Once upon a time, before Evanston became Evanston …
In 1836, Major Mulford and his wife Rebecca bought 160 acres of land in what was known as Grosse Point Territory , becoming the first permanent settlers (i.e., landowners) in the area. There they built "Ten Mile House," both a tavern and their home. (The site is near what much later became the site of St. Francis Hospital .) Major Mulford was appointed the first justice of the peace, and the first court in Cook County was held in his tavern…which did not serve liquor, even on holidays. The Township Act of 1849 authorized people to organize government, and the Gross Point District became Ridgeville in 1850.
Recently elected supervisors address the matter of policing the new Township of Ridgeville by establishing an animal pound and issuing a strict ban against dueling.
Robert Simpson, a local butcher, becomes the first policeman in the newly incorporated Town of Evanston .
John Alexander Dowie (founder of Zion City , Illinois ) holds a rally of his followers at Fountain Square . The police force - now doubled in size (Simpson and a partner) - employ fire hoses to quell the “Dowie Riot.” The group is arrested, charged with disorderly conduct.
The Town of Evanston transforms into the Village of Evanston , but its police force continues to number just two - Evanston natives Chief William Carney (appointed January 1) and his brother John.
John Carney is appointed chief of police on December 5.
For the first time an Evanston police officer loses his life in the line of duty. While on patrol about 3 a.m. , Officer Daugherty and his partner Officer Patrick Hayes approach with drawn guns two figures they suspect are burglars carting away the proceeds from a break-in. The two suspects run when ordered to halt. Officer Hayes quickly catches a young man. After a chase and a warning shot, Officer Daugherty exchanges rounds with the other suspect. After taking a shotgun charge in his lower abdomen, Officer Daugherty dies in his home sixteen hours later. Inquiry reveals that a local tinner and his teenaged son carrying duck decoys on their way to an early hunt thought they were being robbed at gunpoint.
The City of Evanston comes into existence when three towns - Evanston , North Evanston , and South Evanston - merge, creating a single municipality. During this decade a combined police/fire station is built at Grove Street and Sherman Avenue .
The merger makes John Carney the first chief of police for the new City of Evanston .
Wheeler Bartram is appointed chief of police on June 26.
Newell C. Knight is appointed chief of police on May 1.
The City of Evanston's speed limit is established at 8 mph.
Sunday speed traps are set up at Sheridan Road and Ridge Avenue: Police officers equipped with stopwatches hide in bushes and time cars passing between tape markers on the pavement.
Colonel Alfred S. Frost is appointed chief of police on July 1.
Fred G. Shaffer is appointed chief of police circa 1907 or 1911.
The police department purchases a belt driven motorcycle - probably the first department in Illinois to do so. Leo Larkin is the first motorcycle police officer.
Baldy, the last full time police horse, is put to death after being bitten by a rabid dog. In the mid 1930s, mounted traffic duty is revived briefly at Fountain Square during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Charles W. Leggett is appointed chief of police on July 20.
Officer James Shea, age 28, dies of a gunshot wound he suffered while on duty and attempting to arrest a person passing a worthless check at a downtown haberdashery. Officer Shea served the department over seven years and was the second of its officers to die in the line of duty.
Photo of Officer Shea submitted by David Werts.
William A. Wiltberger is appointed chief of police on July 1.
Evanston is the first city outside Washington , D.C. , to obtain and use a civil service promotional examination under the direction of the Federal Civil Service Commission.
Officer Warren H. Omslaer, age 27, dies of injuries sustained in a traffic accident at Lee Street and Chicago Avenue involving a car driven by a former police officer and a police motorcycle on which Omslaer was a passenger in the sidecar. The third Evanston officer to die while on duty, Officer Omslaer had served only eighteen months with the department.
William O. Freeman is appointed chief of police on May 18.
Three “firsts” for the department: (1) A stolen automobile detail is established; (2) Evanston’s first traffic signal is installed; and (3) newly appointed Chief Freeman creates the Detective Bureau, supervised by Lieutenant Carl Ekman.
Under the direction of Frank Kreml [see 1932, 1936, 1995, and 1999], Evanston establishes the nation’s first Accident Prevention Bureau. The later success of this bureau was recognized and imitated by other police departments throughout the country.
Under Kreml’s leadership [see 1929, 1936, 1995, and 1999], Evanston’s Accident Prevention Bureau wins the first of many National Safety Council traffic safety awards, causing Evanston to be named America’s Safest City. (Only eight years earlier the city ranked fifth in U.S. traffic fatalities—due in large part, ironically, to the fact that many of its residents were wealthy enough to afford autos.) This marks the beginning of Evanston ’s long term leadership in innovative traffic control techniques.
The Evanston Police Department becomes the first department in the nation to own and operate a lie detector.
Frank Kreml [see 1929, 1932, 1995, and 1999] is appointed director of the newly created Traffic Institute at Northwestern University . Still located in Evanston , the institute not only is acclaimed for innovative research and training, but also has become the traffic division of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, headquartered in Washington, D.C. (The institute changed its name to the Center for Public Safety in 2000.)
Early in the 1930s, one way radios (receivers) were used for police calls; the calls themselves were broadcast over WGN radio. Keeping up with the technology of the day, the Department installs two way radios in its fleet of 11 vehicles. The new police radio station is located in the tower of the Orrington Hotel and operated by remote control from the police station at Grove and Sherman. The entire cost ($12,000) of new radios and a broadcast station is raised by the Police Benevolent Association through the proceeds from policemen’s balls.
Charles L. Paasch is appointed chief of police on August 21.
“30 Minutes” Elmer Reiters retires—the first police officer in the nation to check overtime parking from a 3 wheeler motorcycle, a system copied widely both here and abroad.
Carl Ekman Sr. is appointed chief of police on September 29.
Evanston installs its first parking meters.
The new police/fire/municipal court building opens at 1454 Elmwood Avenue. Considered a police officer’s “dream come true,” the building houses a modern firing range, exercise rooms and equipment, and the latest in communication and evidence technology. The new facility replaces the former station built in the 1890s at Grove Street and Sherman Avenue.
NOTE: During the late 1940s, the Department becomes the first in the area to appoint a youth officer. Formerly, young people in trouble were referred to an official at the county level of government.
Peter J. Geishecker is appointed chief of police on October 3 following the August 13 death in office of Chief of Police Carl Ekman Sr.
Hubert G. Kelsh is appointed chief of police on November 10 following the November 9th death in office of Chief of Police Peter J. Geishecker.
Bert Giddens is appointed chief of police on June 1.
Officer Kip MacMillan is assigned to the newly created position of school liaison officer (grades four through eight)—a position intended to establish a better rapport among educators, young people, and the police. Officer Gerry Brandt later assumes a similar role, becoming the department's first Officer Friendly and interacting with students in kindergarten through third grade.
In keeping with its long-standing tradition of handling youth problems locally with a person-centered approach [see 1949 note ref. youth officers], the Department creates a Youth Outreach Program staffed by civilians professionally trained to work with troubled young people and their parents.
The Department begins its participation in LEADS (Law Enforcement Agencies Data System), a computer and Teletype network connecting Evanston ’s police department to a computer in Springfield and, through that computer, to the National Crime Information Center operated by the FBI. The system provides the rapid exchange of information regarding missing and recovered property, as well as missing, wanted, or suspicious persons. [See 1991.]
William C. McHugh is appointed chief of police on October 7.
Evanston ’s police officers elect, by secret ballot, the Combined Counties Police Association to represent them in the negotiation of wages, hospitalization insurance, vacations, and other working conditions.
Portable two-way radios become part of the standard equipment of Evanston ’s police officers, thereby making it possible for each officer to be in continuous direct contact with the police dispatcher and with each other. The introduction of portable two-way radios is a major technological advancement that improves both officer safety and performance. This new level of communication technology permits officers to spend more time out of their cars and in contact with the public. The Evanston Police Department is one of the first departments in the Chicago metropolitan area to equip all its officers in this way.
Officer Hank White becomes the department’s first crime prevention officer, a position assigned to the Community Relations Bureau.
Recognizing the needs and problems facing the victims and witnesses of crime, the Department establishes the Victim-Witness Advocacy Bureau, staffed by professionally trained civilian social workers. Victim assistance units based in police departments are a rarity at this time. Over the ensuing decades, this program receives national attention and becomes a model program in the areas of support, crisis intervention, counseling, and referral services for victims and witnesses.
Eleven members of the political terrorist group Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional (FALN) are captured in Evanston on April 4. Nine are apprehended as the result of a citizen’s tip regarding suspicious activities. Despite the numerous weapons recovered in this incident (shotguns, rifles, automatic pistols, revolvers), not a shot is fired and no one is injured.
The Illinois Law Enforcement Administration grants the department funding for the Police/Community Comprehensive Crime Prevention Program. This, its first year, is spent researching and developing crime prevention strategies to address specific crime problems and citizen concerns. This initiative marks the employment of a new philosophy of crime control that provides a greater role for citizens to work with police in detecting, solving and preventing crime problems in the community. Innovative programs are designed for the residential, educational, and commercial sectors of Evanston .
The first computer terminals are installed in the Records Bureau, starting a multiyear automation project. Automation of police department records is expected to assist the department in day-to-day operational decisions, including resource allocation, identification of crime patterns, crime prevention planning, and assessing department operations and practices. [See 1982.]
Howard L. Rogers is appointed chief of police on January 4. During his first year, Chief Rogers completely reorganizes the department, increasing four divisions to five, and creating a number of specialty units reporting to the chief.
The Department helps initiate and plays a role in several new community-based organizations, such as the Residential Crime Prevention Committee, the Police/Clergy Crisis Team, the Evanston Citizens Police Association, and the Police/University Consortium. The Chicago Crime Commission recognizes the Residential Crime Prevention Committee for its contributions to the community.
Most of the programs initiated in conjunction with the department’s Police/Community Comprehensive Crime Prevention Program now are fully underway, such as foot patrols, security surveys, crime prevention training/seminars, neighborhood watches, and property identification. Among these strategies, two are especially innovative: a crime prevention newsletter and a crime prevention curriculum.
The ALERT Crime Prevention Newsletter —recognized nationally—provides detailed crime information for each police beat, broken down by type of crime, date, street, and block number. The Department is the first to release and distribute such location-specific crime data to its community. In addition, the newsletter contains articles delineating methods of crime prevention. The ALERT is distributed by block clubs throughout Evanston .
The School-Focused Delinquency Prevention Program, designed for primary and middle schools, is intended to help youth avoid involvement in delinquent activity and to teach them how to avoid becoming victims of crime.
Bulletproof vests—purchased through funds raised by Evanston ’s Kiwanis Club—become part of the standard equipment issued to each officer at time of hire.
The Records Bureau begins September 1 using PIMS (Police Information Management System), a fully automated record-keeping system. The manual system runs in tandem with PIMS through the balance of the year. Through PIMS, data from field and arrest reports is electronically transmitted from terminals at the police station to a central computer in Chicago , where it is stored and processed. Many police departments in the Chicago metropolitan area use PIMS, thereby increasing the amount of information shared among them. [See 1980.]
Terry Gough is named the department’s first full-time crime analyst to track crime patterns and trends via computer. Previously, crime patterns were analyzed using manual methods, and the task was merely one facet of a position handling a variety of functions.
The police department begins sponsoring Law Enforcement Explorer Post 921 in April. Explorer scouts are a division of the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women age 14 through 20. The post is started to provide interested youth with hands on experience in law enforcement careers and the criminal justice system, and to promote character development and citizenship training.
Evanston native William Logan is appointed Evanston 's first African-American chief of police on March 30.
Work begins in May on a $900,000 building renovation, due to be completed in 1987.
Chief Logan establishes a semi-annual awards program to give citizens and department members formal and public recognition of outstanding acts in support of law enforcement.
On July 17 serial killer Alton Coleman, 28 and Debra Brown, 21 were apprehended in Evanston, thereby ending their 53-day murderous rampage through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky.
Coleman abducted nine year old Vernita Wheat from Kenosha, Wisconsin on May 29. A week later, in Waukegan, Illinois she was found dead by strangulation—the first homicide in a crime spree that resulted in one of the largest manhunts in recent history, caused the FBI to add Coleman to its Ten Most Wanted List as a “special addition” (only the tenth time the list included anyone in that manner since its inception in 1950), and resulted in eight homicides, seven rapes, three kidnappings, and 14 armed robberies.
On July 17 a casual acquaintance saw Coleman in the area of Mason Park and reported it. A detective subsequently spotted Coleman and Brown on the park’s bleachers and radioed that information, causing two sergeants driving by the park to turn back and approach the two. Each was armed, but neither put up any resistance. In custody they were identified by fingerprints. Coleman was executed by lethal injection in Ohio (4/26/02). Brown is serving two life sentences without possibility of parole, also in Ohio.
The International Association of Women Police bestows a special merit award upon Sergeant Kathryn Hynds for several career achievements—notably being Evanston ’s first female Officer Friendly, its first female sergeant, and a member of the team that arrested multiple murderers Alton Coleman and Debra Brown.
Evanston participates for the first time in what is to become an annual event—the National Night Out anti-crime demonstration sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.
Law Enforcement Explorer Post 921 is named post of the year by the Northeast Conference of the Boy Scouts of America. Officer Curt Kuempel, advisor to Post 921, is named advisor of the year by the conference.
Deputy Chief Ernest A. Jacobi is appointed chief of police on September 2.
Evanston assigns two officers to NIPAS—the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System, a fully equipped, multiple agency, emergency mutual aid system serving northeastern Illinois .
After three years as a pilot program, the foot patrol unit becomes a formal component of the police department—the Foot Patrol Bureau—assigned to the patrol division, staffed with a sergeant and five officers. In addition to traditional policing activities, foot patrol officers interact laterally across bureau and divisional lines within the department and perform many community-based problem-solving activities in neighborhoods.
In the late 1970s, the EPD began developing ways to form a working partnership with all aspects of the community to control and prevent crime more effectively. To formally acknowledge the combined efforts of the many residents, community groups, and police personnel who have contributed to the successes of this effort, the Department formally names this alliance The Partnership. And, as a reflection of the success and popularity of the foot patrols, the chosen motto is We Walk Together.
The new Evanston Animal Shelter at 2310 Oakton Street is formally dedicated. A volunteer support group—CARE, Community Animal Rescue Effort—is established to assist the animal wardens with the care of the animals and the operation of the facility. The volunteers are credited with increasing the adoptions of animals from 56 during the first six months of 1987 to 166 during the second six months.
After four years in preparation, the Evanston Police Department is awarded accredited status by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Established in 1979, the commission administers a national accreditation program similar to those established for schools and hospitals. CALEA standards guide law enforcement agencies in the management of all major police functions. The Department was an early supporter of the new accreditation program: The EPD helped review early drafts of the standards, which were approved by the commission in 1983. Based on an on site inspection in May by a team of commission-appointed assessors, who verify compliance to over 900 applicable standards, CALEA awards the Evanston Police Department its initial accredited status at its meeting on July 29 in Columbus, Ohio. At the time, only 116 other law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada are accredited.
An employee drug-screening program is established in an effort to enhance the safety and well being of employees and, by extension, residents of the city.
Officer Greg Tomczyk is assigned January 1 and trained as the first DARE officer, followed by Officer Charley McNeal later in the year. The newly-formed DARE program (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) provides 500 students enrolled in Evanston ’s middle schools with instruction on resisting peer pressure and making affirmative life-choices. (The following year, 1008 students receive instruction.)
The Department’s Vice & Narcotics Bureau and its Gang Crimes Bureau merge to form the Drug-Gangs Crime Task Force, a major component of a new initiative to control gangs and drugs. In January, the department launches an approach to fighting gangs and drugs that is more comprehensive and aggressive than previous efforts. Aptly named Working to Eliminate Drugs and Gangs in Evanston (WEDGE), the program includes many components: the task force, an external advisory council, anonymous hotlines for reporting drug/gang activity, police/citizen “Two Party Agreements,” youth education (DARE), plus community education by task force members, crime prevention specialists, foot patrol officers, victim advocates, youth outreach workers and youth officers.
Twenty-one at risk Evanston youths—all but one of them freshmen at ETHS, all having prior police contacts, and most suspected of gang involvement—participate in a wilderness experience at Camp Echo co sponsored by the Department, ETHS, and the YMCA (owner of the camp). The weekend has two objectives: to show youths an alternative way of thinking about themselves and their futures and to provide them with a positive law-enforcement contact.
The Department establishes its first K-9 unit consisting of a trained police dog and a police-officer handler, Sue Trigourea. The team is called out to assist with tracking, building/area searches, evidence recovery, and narcotics detection.
Terry Vrabec becomes the first full-time civilian crime prevention specialist, reflecting a trend toward civilianization in law enforcement agencies.
The Victim/Witness and Youth Outreach Bureau is separated March 1 into two components. The director and two victim advocates become the Victim Services Bureau. The City’s Youth-Advocacy Program is absorbed into the department’s Youth Outreach Program, thereby creating a Youth Services Bureau.
For the second year in a row the Department is recognized by the National Association of Town Watch for its excellent leadership in mobilizing Evanston for National Night Out—the annual anti-crime demonstration involving 23.4 million people in 8,370 communities from all 50 states and U.S. territories, as well as military bases worldwide.
The Department becomes part of ALERTS (Area-wide Law Enforcement Radio Terminal System), a computer network developed and managed by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. By combining traditional radio technology with data communications, ALERTS allows police officers to use in car computers (thus far ten Evanston squad cars are computer-equipped) to access LEADS [see 1969] and the FBI’s National Crime Information Center for information about stolen vehicles, wanted and missing persons, drivers’ licenses, vehicle registrations and state criminal history files. The direct access to such data provides officers in patrol cars with the information they need for making quick, effective decisions on the street. The in car computers also can be used to communicate between squad cars and the communications center.
For the first time, the Department is represented on a multi-disciplinary advisory board addressing the emerging issue of elder-abuse. A detective attends monthly meetings of the Elderly Abuse Board with legal, mental health, financial, clerical, and medical practitioners to discuss specific cases of elder abuse. The Family Counseling Service of Evanston and Skokie Valley is the state-designated elder-abuse agency for this area.
Gerald A. Cooper is sworn in November 1 as chief of police.
The transition from 1993 to 1994 is celebrated with Evanston ’s first "First Night Celebration," a family-oriented alternative to the traditional New Year’s Eve celebration. The City plans a variety of events, including musical and dramatic entertainment, food and beverages, late-night shopping and a fireworks display. The event requires one of the year’s largest police special operations plans, and the night is a great success.
COPPS—Community-Oriented Policing and Problem Solving—is expanded to a department-wide strategy. Members are encouraged, through trainings and retreats to focus on the community and use problem-solving methods in all divisions and bureaus.
Fixed beats and long-term shift assignments are enacted to enhance The Partnership and neighborhood problem solving. Previously, officers rotated through three shifts on a 28 day cycle. Spending more time in the same beat and shift is expected to help officers be more familiar with the community and problems in their assigned areas.
Foot patrol officers begin using specially equipped bicycles in their beats. Bicycles greatly improve the formerly “foot patrol” officers’ mobility while retaining their close contact with people in their beats, especially pedestrians and neighbors in their yards. Bicycles also are a very effective and versatile means for police to participate in patrol, tactical and enforcement operations.
To free up officer time for problem solving and improved response to incidents, a differential response assignment is implemented in the patrol division. To apply differential response on a shift, an officer is assigned to take selected reports by phone and conduct delayed in person follow ups.
As part of the Anti Panhandling Strategy intended to quell aggressive panhandling in the downtown business district, police officers and volunteers attempt to persuade citizens to change their response to panhandlers (many of whom are neither homeless nor needy). Citizens are encouraged to make donations to social service agencies serving people known to be homeless or needy, rather than simply handing over cash to anyone who requests it.
A state-of-the-art Enhanced 911 Communication Center opens May 9. The new high-tech equipment enables telecommunicators to respond to lost or interrupted calls, or to callers who cannot communicate well. For all 911 emergency calls, it provides the phone number from which the call initiates and the address at which that phone number is located. The center features an automatic vehicle-location system that allows telecommunicators to determine the police vehicle closest to an emergency call for service.
At its meeting on July 30 in Grand Rapids , Michigan , the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) accredits the Evanston Police Department for the second time. A team of assessors visited the Department in May and verified the Department’s compliance to over 700 CALEA standards (2nd ed.). The Department was initially accredited in 1989.
The Foot Patrol Bureau is renamed the COPPS Bureau (Community-Oriented Policing and Problem Solving) to reflect a broader bureau mission.
The ETHS Beat School/Liaison Program is created to coordinate safety and police-related issues at the Evanston Township High School and in the surrounding neighborhoods. Officer Carl Babb-Fowler, a 1978 ETHS graduate, becomes the first beat officer assigned to the high school.
A Citizen Police Academy is established for the purpose of offering evening instruction (2 hours/week for 10 weeks), free of charge, to citizens wanting to learn more about the functioning of the police department. In addition to classroom instruction, students spend several hours observing police dispatch in the Communication Center and ride along with patrol officers in their squad cars. The first series of classes begins on March 7. Frank Kreml [see 1929, 1932, 1936, and 1999] is the featured speaker at the first graduation with 19 students. With strong public interest, a second class of 21 students was held in the fall of 1995. Two graduating classes each year, spring and fall, become the academy’s tradition.
NET, the Neighborhood Enforcement Team, replaces WEDGE [see 1990].
Deputy Chief Frank Kaminski is promoted October 14 to chief of police.
After 27 years as bargaining agent for sworn personnel and telecommunicators, the Combined Counties Police Association lost reelection—garnering only four votes. The Fraternal Order of Police received 37. The Teamsters were elected, with 84 votes. No votes were cast in favor of not being represented by a union.
To rejuvenate the department’s commitment to serving the community, the Partnership logo and motto is changed to The Evanston Police and Community Working Together
The change from The Partnership—We Walk Together (1987) emphasizes the shift in community policing from specialized units to a department-wide strategy. The Partnership also is made a part of the department’s new mission and value statement.
Princess Di’s visit to N.U., the Olympic Torch Train, the Chicago Bulls’ continued NBA championship, and the N.U. Wildcats’ first winning football season in many years—all provide a challenge to the department’s special events planning abilities.
Chief Kaminski significantly reorganizes the department to streamline management and to work more effectively with the community using community-oriented policing methods. The last deputy chief position is eliminated, reducing the layers of management from five to four: chief, commander, lieutenant, and sergeant. A specialized unit, the Problem Solving Team, is placed under the direction of the chief and staffed with youth/school officers, community policing officers, crime prevention officers and park rangers. Retaining the bicycle patrols, the new unit is an expansion of the COPPS unit, formerly assigned to patrol. The PST unit is placed centrally in the organizational structure to allow team members to work with each division and the community to solve crime and disorder problems.
The Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association is formed to create an organization of citizen volunteers to assist the department and the community. Some of their first contributions include sponsoring retraining classes for CPA alumni, participating in the 4th of July parade, and assisting with the annual citywide community/youth picnic.
Twenty-seven citizens accept Chief Kaminski’s invitation to form the Police Advisory Board. Representing Evanston ’s diverse community, the board is formed to advise the chief about the community’s perception of crime and disorder, to provide feedback about the department’s plans and activities, and to discuss police and community problems.
The DARE Program, formerly operated by youth officers in the Juvenile Bureau, is incorporated into the new School Liaison Program, operating out of the new Problem Solving Team. DARE officers John Lindley and Charlie McNeal are joined by youth officers Carl Babb-Fowler and Michael Keenum to become the new school resource officers. Under the new program, the SROs, while continuing to present the DARE program, are more involved in other school activities and are available to assist with youth problems in and around the school neighborhood. Local businessman Joe Levy donates three colorful classic cars—a burnt-orange 1982 Buick Century, a turquoise 1973 Chrysler Newport, and a black 1971 Pontiac Grand Prix—for the officers to drive, heightening the visibility of the program.
The department’s first police chaplaincy program is started with three members from the Police Clergy Team: Reverend John F. Norwood of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church , Rabbi Dov H. Klein of Tannenbaum Chabad House, and Father Robert H. Oldershaw of St. Nicholas Catholic Church. Youth/school officer (and chaplain program coordinator) Charlie McNeal laid the groundwork for implementing the program to provide spiritual support and guidance to all members of the department and to people in crisis throughout the community.
Members of the Detective Bureau, with members of twelve other north suburban police departments, form the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force (NORTAF) to provide participating departments with greater investigative resources and skills than any one department could apply to a major crime within its own jurisdiction. Evanston 's Commander Charles Wernick is appointed NORTAF’s first Operations Commander. [See 1999]
For the first time in many years, a new, permanent eighth beat is added to the existing beat structure. Beat 78 is established on the evening and midnight shifts to increase police visibility and improve police response in southeast Evanston .
Twenty-five police officers initiate the department’s Police Officer Baseball Card Program. Like the cards of big league athletes, each of the police baseball cards has an officer’s name and photo on the front and biographical information and a personal comment on the back. Young people are encouraged to collect all 25 cards.
Two initiatives further involve citizens in department activities and community problem solving. Under the Disabled Parking Enforcement Project, trained citizens issue 513 parking citations to violators of disabled parking restrictions. The department loans radar guns to trained citizens under the Speed Awareness Program to monitor speeding vehicles in their neighborhoods. The citizens cannot issue citations, but the chief sends identified speedsters a letter of reprimand and warning.
At its meeting on July 31 in Montreal , Quebec , the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) accredits the Evanston Police Department for the third time. A team of assessors visited the Department in May and verified the Department’s compliance to over 400 CALEA standards (4th ed.). The Department was initially accredited in 1989 and again in 1994.
The NET unit (see 1995) and members of the Investigative Services Division apply for and are granted access to GRAB (Gang Reduction Analysis Bulletin), a computer intelligence network newly developed by the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department. The system is designed to be a resource for gang-drug intelligence gathering.
Partially funded by a grant, the department purchases a large van to serve as a mobile police outpost for promoting the police/community Partnership. Fully equipped with office space and equipment, the van also serves as a mobile command post for large special operations.
A new, part-time Senior Crime Prevention Specialist position is established to address the needs of the senior population. Evanston resident and Citizen Police Academy graduate Amanda Jones is the first to be hired under this program, which is funded by a grant from the Levy Foundation.
Frank Kreml, former EPD lieutenant and founder of Northwestern University ’s Traffic Institute, dies. A special ceremony honoring Mr. Kreml for his contributions to policing and traffic safety [see 1929, 1932, 1936, and 1995] is held at the police station, and a commemorative picture of Mr. Kreml is hung in the chief’s reception office.
After many months of work, renovations to the police station are completed. The project includes moving the Service Desk to the middle of the entrance hall (under the spiral staircase), opening customer service windows to the lobby for the Patrol and Traffic offices, adding a meeting room to the main lobby, and renovating office spaces in the Patrol Division area. In addition, the firing range is renovated and returned to full operation.
Commander Charles Wernick is appointed to Task Force Commander of NORTAF (North Regional Major Crimes Task Force), placing him in charge of the entire multi-agency task force [see 1997].
The Problem Solving Team, consisting of the COPPS/bicycle officers and the Dodge Avenue Impact Car, moves back to the Patrol Division to better interact with motorized patrol units and to support the use of COPPS methods as a department-wide strategy. The remainder of the PST, namely the crime prevention programs, school liaison programs, and community development, remain under the direction of the chief and is named Community Strategies.
The Victim/Witness Services Bureau and the Youth Services Bureau are combined on September 1 under one director, Cynthia Harris, to form the Police Social Services Bureau.
The department’s first street -surveillance video camera is installed at the intersection of Howard Street and Custer Avenue , a “hot spot” of trouble for many years. Activity on the street is recorded on videotapes and stored for thirty days. The goal of deterrence seems to be achieved as activity and calls for service are reduced.
A new position is created October 8 to help the police department coordinate and manage the department’s computer systems. The new Technical Systems Coordinator is Gerry Morin.
The new Police Outpost opens at 633 Howard Street . Formerly a synagogue, the City purchases and renovates the building to include a large conference room in front and three offices in back. The outpost is used for meetings and activities by the police department, other city departments, and community groups. Chicago 's Rogers Park community organizations, as well as the Chicago Police Department, 24th District, are welcome participants at many outpost meetings and events.
Using grant money, the department’s first in car video cameras are installed in squad cars to record traffic stops.
The police station undergoes a major renovation project that expands the property room; converts the old fire station bays into offices for Fire Department administrators; upgrades the space above the fire station bays to include more offices, a training room, and lockers for police personnel; and adds a large sally port to the north side of the building. The very out-of-date and poorly functioning cooling and heating systems are upgraded, also.
The police officers assigned to the Service Desk begin April 1 to be replaced by civilian desk officers. Cross-trained civilian telecommunicators for many years supplemented the traditional sworn desk officers who were the first contact with visitors (and nonemergency callers) to the police station. Sworn desk officers return to street duty as civilians are hired. The first civilian Service Desk Officer is Archie Oliver, a recently retired police officer who spent many years at the Service Desk.
The Neighborhood Enforcement Team along with the Chicago Police Department completed a six month long undercover narcotics investigation along Howard Street. Dubbed "Operation Border Patrol," 17 individuals involved in gang and narcotics activity along the Evanston/Chicago border were arrested.
The Citizen Police Academy Graduated classes number 17 and 18 this year, bringing the total number of graduates to 436.
Reverand John Norwood-founder of the department's Police Chaplaincy Program announced his retirement. As the department's first Senior Chaplain, Reverand Norwood left a rich legacy.
To be continued…