21st Century Policing

4. Community Policing and Crime Reduction

“The vision of policing in the 21st century should be that of officers as guardians of human and constitutional rights.”

 “Community Policing must operate under the premise that officers enforce the law with the people, not on the people.”

“The absence of crime is not the final goal of law enforcement. Rather, it is the promotion and protection of public safety while respecting the dignity and rights of all.”

These are three profound quotes from the report that encapsulate the sentiment of this section. The report also suggests community policing must be a way of doing business by the entire police force, not just a specialized unit of that force. It goes on to recommend that officers work in the same beat or district for extended periods of time, often years, in order to get to know the residents, businesses and leaders within that community. Officers should be evaluated on their community policing efforts, deployment strategies should allow officers time to engage in community policing efforts, and law enforcement agencies should actively partner with schools in order to engage the youth in their community.

  • Officers are assigned permanent beats at the beginning of each year to establish familiarity with that specific area and its residents, businesses and unique attributes. 
  • School Resource Officers in each of Naperville’s public middle and high schools are responsible for fostering positive relationships with youth, assisting school staff in developing strategies to resolve problems affecting youth, and protecting all students so they can reach their highest potentials. All of our resource officers are certified school resource officers, are juvenile certified officers and have additional training in cultural diversity, harassment prevention and sex assault investigation.
  • The Department’s Internship Program offers an inclusive, high-quality, safe and advanced educational experience for students considering a career in Law Enforcement.
  • The Cadet Program is an opportunity for youth to learn about the duties and responsibilities of a police officer. 
  • A Strategic Response Unit was created to proactively solve specific policing and community concerns and reduce victimization through the use of analytics, strategy, education, enforcement and positive community interactions.
  • Every Naperville officer and supervisor is trained in mental health awareness, which aids in de-escalating crisis situations, properly identifying the root cause of the incident and connecting residents with mental health conditions to available services throughout the community.
  • We regularly utilize data and analytics in an effort to reduce crime. 
  • The Connect for Life program was created to help those struggling with opioid addiction receive the help and treatment they need.