What a remarkable year 2016 was for the Naperville Police Department. It was a year for implementation, innovation and excellence that kicked off with our 8th reaccreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). This international recognition affirms that our Department meets the high standards developed by the Commission and reinforces the strength of our Department’s policies, procedures and practices.
In addition to our continued focus on fundamental areas like rapid response to emergencies and maintenance of a low crime rate, we made great strides in 2016 to enhance the services we provide to the community. We implemented a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) to help our first responders better recognize, respond appropriately to and follow up on the growing number of calls for service involving mental health. With CIT, we believe we can have a positive impact on residents’ lives while also reducing the frequency of critical situations that can arise from mental health issues, such as suicide, domestic violence, drug abuse and others.
In response to the growing national concern about substance abuse and addiction, our Department launched the Connect for Life initiative in 2016 in partnership with the community to immediately connect residents seeking help with an addiction to treatment. Existing initiatives like the Prescription Drug Take Back Program (through which we collected nearly 530 pounds of unwanted/expired prescription drugs last year) and educational presentations at schools and community meetings continue to receive attention and made an impact in our city.
As an active participant in the national What Works Cities initiative, the City of Naperville has committed to using data to improve services, inform local decision-making and engage residents. In 2016, we started informal, quarterly “Chat with the Chief” meetings to supplement the numerous town hall and community meetings we already attend to connect with residents. We also launched the Public Safety Incident Map, which geographically plots crimes, incidents and calls for service on an online map. With this tool, the public is able to designate a desired timeframe, view the general location of incidents, and customize which incident types they want to see displayed on the map. I am hopeful that it will deepen community trust in the Police Department and engage our residents by giving them the ability to view and analyze our data, spot patterns or trends, and simply be more informed.
As you will read in this report, this introduction provides an overview of just a few of our successes in the past year. This Department has plenty to be proud of and plenty of successes to build upon as we look to 2017. We will continue our focus on mental health, addiction and communication, and we will continue to use data to measure the effectiveness of our programs, improve police services and operate more efficiently.
In 2016, 86 percent of our residents surveyed voiced satisfaction with the quality of police services in Naperville. You have my word that we will work hard each and every day to maintain this vote of confidence and to enhance the quality of life in Naperville into 2017 and beyond.