As an innovative and progressive department always striving to excel in its service to the community, I am proud to say that the Naperville Police Department had a remarkable year, both in proactive prevention efforts and effective response to crime.
Consistent with our department’s mission, our officers protected life and property through the use of standard patrols, investigations, targeted enforcement campaigns and public education. They responded to thousands of calls for service and made a number of significant arrests for serious crimes such as attempted child abduction, armed robbery, burglary, aggravated battery and possession of narcotics with the intent to deliver.
Our department also strengthened our community policing initiatives in 2017 through the creation of an Impact Team. This dedicated of group of officers is given assignments throughout the city to address community concerns and advance our community policing initiative.
We also continued our commitment to combating the opioid epidemic. We received a $74,400 grant to help place individuals without insurance into addiction recovery treatment through our Connect for Life program, and our officers saved numerous lives through the use of department-issued Narcan, a drug that counteracts the life-threatening effects of opioid overdoses.
As the number of calls for service involving mental health continue to rise, we continue to build on the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model to help de-escalate crisis situations, properly identify the root cause of the incident and connect residents with mental health conditions to available services. Sixteen additional police department personnel were certified in crisis intervention techniques in 2017, bringing our total to 34 individuals. For our efforts, our Department’s Crisis Intervention Team was awarded the “Community Partner of the Year” award by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) DuPage.
The Naperville Police Department also spearheaded a project with the Collaborative Youth Team in 2017 to bring the national Crisis Text Line to all Naperville residents. This service provides free, 24/7 support from a trained crisis counselor by simply texting ‘REACH’ to 741741.
While looking out for the community, we also recognized the need to look out for our own. With officer wellness a top priority for our Department, we engaged in the development, training and implementation of a Peer Support Program for employees and their families.
Another highlight of 2017 was the work that our department engaged in collaboratively with neighboring agencies in an effort to maximize impact and improve efficiencies. We negotiated the consolidation of Naperville’s Emergency Telephone Systems Board (ETSB) with the ETSB from Aurora and North Aurora, and we partnered with the City of Aurora on a $1.3 million Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant, which we received to help better prepare for and respond to potential coordinated terrorist attacks.
As we move through 2018, our commitment to serving the City of Naperville will continue along with our efforts to ensure the continuous operation of this high-performing department and its initiatives. This includes a number of technology updates to our 9-1-1 and report management systems as well as the continued support and strengthening of mental health, addiction recovery, and other community initiatives. It also includes personnel initiatives with emphasis being placed on enhanced training as well as succession planning. As the number of eligible retirees in our department grows to 24 employees in 2018, and 71 within the next five years, it is more important than ever that we assess the strengths of our staff and continue to provide professional development and training to ensure a broad spectrum of talent while also focusing on the recruitment and retention of quality employees.
We have documented significant progress in 2017 and have every intention of building upon that success in 2018 and beyond. We thank the community for its support of our staff and for its partnership in making Naperville one of the safest cities within our demographic group.