HISTORY - the 21st Century
The  DeKalb Police Department has gone through many changes through the years and we certainly anticipate many more changes to come.
 
During 2000, the department remained at 54 sworn personnel.  The Communications Division increased by one giving us a total of eight full-time Telecommunicators.  In August 2001, City Council approved another full-time Telecommunicator giving us nine.  This increase is largely due to maintaining two full-time Telecommunicators on duty at all times.  The Police Department also hired a Community Service Officer.  The fleet of 20 squads remains the same with future plans of increasing the marked squad cars.

In 2002, the department increased it sworn personnel to 57 and the Communication Division to nine full-time telecommunicators.  One additional part-time Community Resource Officer was also hired.  The department received a 1997 Dodge Stratus through a drug seizure.  This vehicle is used for drug and alcohol enforcement.

In 2002 the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) was organized. The purpose of ILEAS is to provide a system of mutual aid among participating law enforcement agencies.  Those agencies signing an agreement express their intent to aid and assist other participating law enforcement agencies during an emergency by assigning some of their resources, equipment, and/or law enforcement personnel to the agency affected by natural or man-made emergencies.  The DeKalb Police Department signed an agreement.

The department received a $311,482.00 federal grant.  These monies went towards the purchase of 14 laptop computers that were installed in the squad cars.  The laptop computers allow officers to make LEADS (Law Enforcement Agency Data System) inquiries such as criminal histories, vehicle registration information, driver's license information and property information.  It also allows the officer to inquire the department's RMS (Records Management System) for person, property, and location information. 

The fleet of 20 was increased to 22 in 2003. 

In August 2003 LiveScan and Digitial Booking were installed.  LiveScan was made possible due to a grant received from Illinois Criminal Justice Authority. 
LiveScan is a system where fingerprints are taken using a touch-screen display and the person’s identifiers are entered into the computer.  Both are then submitted to the Bureau of Identification electronically.  Identification of the person is then returned to the department within minutes.  LiveScan helps cut down the redundancy of data entry performed by the clerical staff. 

Digital Booking is a computerized system that captures, stores and retrieves criminal mug shots, images and data    These images and data can be used to create photo lineups and mug books to help identify suspects involved in a crime and speed the investigative process. The system interfaces to the department's Records Management System where retrieval of a person’s photo can be viewed from any computer.

Both systems were made available through grants. 

A grant was also received this year allowing us to purchase an additional squad car.  This additional squad car brings the department’s fleet to 24.

In 2004  the department began the collection of racial profiling data. This new law was to be a four year statewide study of traffic stops to collect data to identify racial bias. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will be responsible for collecting and compiling the data.  A racial profiling module was added to our record management system (CRIMES) in order to collect this data.  The data is collected on every traffic stop and it is then submitted to IDOT once a month.  The study was changed to now be 1 years of data collection.

During 2004 the Communications Division upgraded both of its main dispatch positions with new desks and chairs.  The desktop workspace was greatly increased.  The desks feature a “lift” feature allowing the desks to be adjusted from seated to standing positions and allows the dispatchers to adjust the height of the keyboard and mouse, desktop and monitor heights for better ergonomic positioning. 

A police officer was chosen to reside in a housing project where deteriorating conditions existed.  The officer is the liaison between the neighbors and government resources.  Identifying problems and finding solutions will be one of the goals in creating a safe neighborhood. 

The neighborhood to initiate the program was at 14th Street and Lewis Street.  The DeKalb County Housing Authority provided an apartment to the officer in this complex rent free.  The Resident Officer is assigned a marked squad car, which they take home.

In 2004, the Police Department received a federal grant, COPS MORE, to hire three more police officers.  City Council authorized the additional three hires and in January 2005 those three officers were hired—bringing the total of sworn officers to 60. 

In 2004 the department received grant money from the DeKalb County Community Foundation and from WalMart.  The money was used to purchase four automated external defibrillators (AED’s.) The AED’s were placed in squad cars to be used by police first responders. It is the department's goal to equip all squad cars with AEDs.

T
his past year the department switched over to using LiveScan exclusively for fingerprinting.  LiveScan is a system where fingerprints are taken using a touch-screen display and the person’s identifiers are entered into the computer.  Both are then submitted to the Bureau of Identification electronically.  Identification of the person is then returned to the department within minutes. 

In April 2004  an additional officer was added to the Bike Patrol – increasing the number to five and a new Giant© mountain bike was purchased to accommodate the new officer. 

The DeKalb Police Department joined the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force in June 2004.  DeKalb has assigned one officer to work undercover assignments in the multi-jurisdictional enforcement group.  The goal of the Task Force is to work in close partnership with state and local law enforcement agencies in the investigation of major drug trafficking organizations. In 2009 the undercover officer returned to the department due to budget constraints and shortage of officers.

In July 2004 City Council authorized adding the motorcycle to our fleet.  It had been over 20 years since the department has had a Motor Unit. The Motor Unit began service on September 8, 2004. The Motor Unit will be used for traffic enforcement, special events and as a tool to interact with the public - especially children and youths.  Traffic enforcement will occur in high crash locations and in residential neighborhoods within the City.   In addition to traffic enforcement, the Motor Unit will patrol the parks and bike paths in the City.  They will be involved in the department's traffic safety and community relation programs.  

Officers assigned to the Motorcycle Unit are known as “motormen.”  They must pass an 80-hour certified training program, which is put on by Northwestern University's Department of Public Safety and Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. 
  
The motorcycle is a low cost addition to the fleet as the department grows.  The motorcycle is leased from Kutter Harley Davidson in Janesville, Wisconsin for $1 a year.  The motorcycle also helps to control fuel expenses. 

The motorcycle unit was the lead position in the Vice Presidential motorcade this fall. 

This year, Officer Johnson was selected to be part of a Regional Law Enforcement Team (Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm Systems Region 3 [ILEAS]), Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Special Response Team (SMT).  Members of this team were formed to provide a local tactical capability of response to situations where a hazardous materials and a human threat exists at the same time and place. ILEAS was organized in 2002 and formed for the purpose of providing to aid and assist other participating law enforcement agencies during an emergency.

I
n the Fall of 2004 the department, along with the DeKalb County Housing Authority, worked together in an effort to combat crime in deteriorating neighborhoods.  The location chosen are the Lewis Court Apartments on 14th Street.  The program approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been successful at other HUD properties across the country. The goal of the Resident Officer Program is to eliminate problems caused by visitors and unauthorized boarders at the low-income apartment complex.
  
The program allows the officer to live at the complex rent free, paying only his utilities.  Officer Quist was chosen and he is also provided with a take-home squad car to increase the omnipresence not only at the complex but in the surrounding Pleasant St./Lewis St. neighborhoods. 

In 2005 the first Citizen Police Academy was held.  The academy helped us inform citizens about law enforcement practices and issues.  Fifteen citizens graduated from this 10-week course. 

In August 2005 Officers Burt Johnson and Jason Watson responded to the call for aid to assist in the Hurricane Katrina battered areas of Louisiana.  Officer Johnson joined about 100 officers from Illinois as part of the first wave of the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) team sent for a two week deployment.  Officer Watson volunteered to go in the second wave of assistance.

The motorcycle unit was expanded to three officers.  Officer Keith Rominski attended the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety Motorman School creating this third position.

The department purchased a digital mugshot system.  In the past persons arrested were photographed using a 35mm camera.  The film was sent off and two copies were made of each photograph.  Records clerks hand wrote the persons' identifiers, charge, and a negative number on the back of each photo.  One photo was filed in an arrest jacket and one photo was filed using the Identi-Kit IDMO Photo Classification Chart (IDMO).  The negative was filed in a book in the event it was needed later.  Officers created line-ups by manually going through the photo file and inserting the pictures into a handcut file.  Thanks to today's technology, pictures and lineups are stored on a server and retrieved via any in-house computer.  Creating line-ups are as simple as click, drag and drop.  Photos and/or line-ups can be e-mailed to other agencies, inserted into tip sheets, wanted posters, missing persons, etc., or sent to a local printer for internal use.  

In 2005 our dispatch center was a beta test site for its CAD system manufacturer - Sungard H.T.E.  This upgrade (CAD 6) was a major undertaking.  The end results were for a much improved CAD system, as well as a Windows-based CAD Admin tool. 

The FY2005-2006 budget was $7,429,329.  There were 12 marked patrol vehicles and 16 unmarked patrol vehicles, along with one motorcycle and five bicycles. 

The department continues to undergo many changes.  In 2006 a sixth sergeant position was created for the patrol division to serve as Administrative Assistant to the Patrol Lieutenant.  This position fills in for patrol sergeants when necessary; however, the main duties are spent on projects and programs that were normally performed by the street sergeants.  This position frees up the street sergeants' duties - allowing them to concentrate more on street level issues.

The department has increased to 62 sworn and 17 civilian and one part-time canine unit.  In 2006 the department's fleet is made up of 13 marked squad cars, two motorcycles, six bicycles, one speed trailer, six detective cars, one community service officer car, one "drug forfeited" car and five administrative cars.  Three cars are used for drug enforcement (two are owned by the state).  One additional squad car was added to our "Take Home Squad" program.  A program to use to increase visibility in neighborhoods. A squad car today is equipped with a mobile laptop computer, digital in-car video system w/in-car playback, moving radar unit, AR-15 rifle, digital camera, AED, tire deflation devices and a police scanner, as well as various other equipment.  In 2006 approximately 488,487 miles were patroled.

In 2006 a metal detector was installed in the Municipal Building for the safety and of the courtroom personnel and public.  The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department provided the metal detector.  It is mandated that a police officer and a community service officer work court security on Mondays for traffic and city court.

In 2006 the department has its first canine unit.  This came with the assistance of the North Central Narcotics Task Force (NCNTF) where approximately $18,000 was paid for by the NCNTF using drug forfeiture funds.  K9 Nick is a three year old German Shepherd, born in Holland.  He is provided with body armor that was donated by the Illinois Vest Dog - a charitable organization.  "Nick" will work for the Task Force the first three years and then he will be with the DeKalb Police Department full time.  He is trained in narcotics detection, suspect apprehension, handler protection, tracking and article searches. 

The 2006/2007 budget is $7,942,415.00.  In 2006 a starting patrol officer makes $24.73 per hour.  In 2006, 10,989 911 calls were received directly into the department.  *This number does not reflect how many 911 calls were transferred from the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

In the 2006/2007 school year the first Teen Police Academy was held at the DeKalb High School.  The Citizen Police Academy continues to be held once a year.

In 2006 the department instituted a new rifle program.  Rock River Arms AR-15 carbines were purchased with the intention of replacing the shotguns.  An intense training program was instituted, including a qualification course of fire.

In the 2007/2008 school year another officer was assigned to the DeKalb School District full time - increasing this to two full-time officers.  The school district assists in paying for this second officer.

2008 has presented many challenges to the DeKalb Police Department.   Due to the economy, a hiring freeze has occurred - leaving the department at 63 sworn personnel.  Some of the budget cuts within the department have been decreasing training, eliminating teaching D.A.R.E. in the schools, and only purchasing one new squad car.

Despite the declining economy, we are working hard at moving forward in building a new police facility as we have grossly outgrown our current home.  City Council has agreed for the need of a new police facility; however, they struggle with how to pay for it.  A Citizens' Police Facility committee was formed to review a previously conducted space needs analysis, determine if the project should be delayed, and how to pay for the facility.  A space study needs was done six years ago when our first attempt was made at building a new police department.  It was recommended that a 55,000 square foot building would be needed for our current needs and to meet future needs.  We currently reside in a 17,500 square foot area of City Hall.  Meetings were held between the architect hired to assist the committee and City staff members.  The committee's recommendations to City Council included building a 56,500 square foot facility, funding it with a property tax and restaurant and bar tax increase and to begin the project immediately. 

On February 14, 2008 a tragedy struck Northern Illinois University and the community.  It is a day we will never forget.   A lone gunman entered NIU Cole Hall, a large lecture hall, and opened fire with a shotgun and switched to handguns with about 100 students in attendance.  A total of 24 people were shot - six of whom died, including the suspect.  Our thoughts and prayers will always be with the family and friends of those involved.

This year the department underwent a new look.  The Administration Division went from wearing a police uniform to a monogrammed shirt with dress pants.  Sworn personnel went from wearing medium blue shirts to dark navy blue with the bullet proof vest being worn on the outside of the shirt.  The Chief of Police and Lieutenants continued to wear the white shirts. 

The FY09 budget was $8,947,484.

In 2009 a few changes occurred.  The department went to a new parking ticket system - Complus.  This system rids of handwritten tickets and allows officers to use a handheld computer that prints the ticket onto thermal paper.  The handheld allows officers to select the appropriate citation from a drop-down menu and the "ineligible handwriting" will no longer be an issue for the data entry people or the courts.  The handhelds also have the capability of capturing a picture of the violation.

The department, also in alliance with other nearby agencies, was part of the Prairie Shield Regional Alliance grant.  This project replaced the old radio console and portable radios with a Motorola Starcom 21 radio system.  This system allows us to talk to any Starcom agency across Illinois. Plans also were made to move the dispatch center into the conference room and vise versa.

The department sent a sergeant to the Marijuana Leaf Identification course at the Illinois State Forensic Lab in December.  This was an 80-hour course learning how to analyze the plant material and determine if it is cannabis.  The minimum score on the written and practical test is 100% - which he passed.  This certification allows him to testify in court as an expert witness.

In 2010 the City budget was greatly reduced due to the severe recession.  This impacted the department by not filling three officer positions and two secretaries were laid off - replacing one of the secretaries through attrition.  This has greatly impacted the department.

The dispatch center, conference room and records room underwent a remodel.  The dispatch room moved into the conference room - allowing for four workstations.  The conference room was then moved into the dispatch center.  The file cabinets that homed the department's arrest jackets were disposed of, the wall separating the records room of the interior vestibule was eliminated - opening up the room. 

The department received a grant from the DeKalb County Community Foundation allowing the purchase of two new squad car computers; a grant from Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) gave us the ability to purchase five new squad car laptops and a grant from Sigma Alpha Mu allowed us to purchase two laptop computers - one for administration and one for investigations.

This year the City also handled a nationally recognized homicide case that occurred in Prairie Park.  The victim was a NIU student. Antinette "Toni" Keller, who was reported as missing.  Numerous investigative hours resulted in the suspect's arrest - Billy Curl.  Investigators worked around the clock to solve this heinous crime - giving the citizens and students their sense of security back.

The FY11 budget was $9,440,572.

In 2011 talks again took place to build a new police facility.  Unfortunately this time it will be with less money and a smaller building.  The City finally voted to have PSA Dewberry as the architect.  Many plans/changes have occurred in order to build this new facility.  The location will remain the same - 800 block of W. Lincoln Highway. 

On February 1st thru February 2nd the City prepared for a blizzard.  Officers were asked to bring in their personal snowmobiles in order to respond to calls for service.  The blizzard brought 18.7 inches of snow with wind gusts of 50+ miles per hour.  The officers had to assist several stranded motorists not only in the City but in the County. 

As the department continues to move forward in the 21st century, we know that one thing will remain the same - to maintain peace and protect the citizens of DeKalb.

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