The Elmhurst Police K-9 Unit is comprised of Officer Cappitelli and K-9 Ozy. K-9 Ozy performed numerous deployments for tracking missing or wanted subjects, locating articles of evidence, and detecting narcotics. The K-9 Unit had a very successful year with 6 burglary suspects located and seizure of controlled substances.
The K-9 unit was also able to resume community outreach programs this year as some of the COVID restrictions were lifted. Ozy was able to demonstrate his expertise for the Citizen’s Police Academy class in addition to several other groups. Ozy also successfully completed the State of Illinois Canine Team Drug Detection Test (IL Detector Dog Certification) and re-certification as a Dual Purpose K9, meaning he is certified in both tracking and detecting the presence of drugs.
Tactical Patrol Officers (TPO)
The Elmhurst Police Department's Tactical Patrol Officers (TPO) team was formed with the assignment of 6 patrol officers and 1 sergeant. The mission of the unit was to train for, and respond to, unusual or high risk situations that are periodically encountered in law enforcement.
In recent years, the TPO is comprised of specially-trained patrol officers. Specialized equipment has been added to enhance the TPO's ability to conduct narcotic raids, high-risk search warrant execution, rescue operations, barricaded subjects, hostage incidents, suicide threats, and other high-risk situations.
In order to maintain their high level of expertise, TPOs train on a frequent basis and participate in training exercises taught by some of the nations leading tactical instructors.
During all training, a strong emphasis is placed on teamwork, physical fitness, and innovative responses to challenging and unique situations. A successful TPO mission is one that is resolved swiftly and safely. Officers assigned to the team are cross-trained in a variety of areas and are capable of filling any number of roles at a moment’s notice.
All team members belong to state and national tactical officer associations to keep up with the latest techniques and equipment.
Evidence Technicians are officers who are specially trained to document, photograph, and collect evidence left behind at a crime scene. The Elmhurst Police Evidence Unit is comprised of thirteen evidence technicians, plus an evidence custodian who are supervised by a Commander and Sergeant. Elmhurst Evidence Technicians (ETs) are assigned to all shifts to provide 24/7 coverage for the department.
The evidence room contains a total of more than 16,000 items of evidence. In 2021, there were 4,392 items of property received into the Property Room as evidence or “found property.” In 2021, 373 items of evidence were returned to identifiable owners, 399 items were transferred to the DuPage County or State Police Crime Laboratories for analysis and processing, 2,612 items were appropriately destroyed, 46 items were auctioned in accordance with applicable laws regarding disposal of found or relinquished property, and 32 items were donated to an approved not-for-profit organization. Additionally, over 800 items of digital evidence were copied for the State’s Attorney’s Office, the City Attorney’s Office, and/or as a result of Freedom of Information Act requests.
Crisis negotiation is a set of communication skills designed to reduce the risks of a critical incident and increase the options available to resolve a situation peacefully.
The Elmhurst Police Crisis Negotiation Team is made up of 7 full-time, sworn officers who have obtained additional training in negotiation and crisis intervention tactics. These officers respond to critical incidents where a person poses a threat to themselves or others.
Some of the incidents the team may respond to include those involving:
- Barricaded persons
- Domestic problems
- Emotionally disturbed persons
- High risk warrant service
- Hostage incidents
- Persons trapped in the act of committing a crime
- Suicidal persons
The goal of the Crisis Negotiation Team is to peacefully resolve crisis situations by listening and responding to concerns through the use of effective communication tactics. The crisis negotiators are another group of professionals within the Elmhurst Police Department who are dedicated to maintaining the safety of the residents and visitors to the City of Elmhurst.
To address traffic issues, the department uses a three-pronged approach--termed "The Three Es"-- Engineering, Education, and Enforcement, to address traffic safety issues.
- The Police Department works with the Engineering Division of Elmhurst Public Works to analyze and evaluate traffic issues and traffic safety.
- Educational programs are designed to build awareness among motorists, promoting traffic safety. Speed Monitoring Awareness Radar Trailers (S.M.A.R.T.) are currently being used to make drivers more aware of their speed while traveling in Elmhurst.
- The entire police force is trained to Enforce traffic safety laws as a part of their regular duties. In addition, the department has a Traffic Unit consisting of officers working special enforcement details paid for by grants from the IL Dept. of Transportation. The Traffic Unit monitors streets and intersections with high crash frequencies and enforces truck weight limits, routes, and seatbelt and DUI laws.
- On average 13,000 Americans are killed every year in speed related crashes
- 30% of all fatal crashes involved speeding
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young drivers
- Of drivers under 21 involved in fatal crashes, 38% of the males and 24% of the females were speeding
- The economic cost of speed-related crashes in the United States is estimated to be more than $29 billion annually
- The minimum cost of a speeding ticket is $75 (more than 98% of speeders are found guilty in court)
Did You Know?
- Elmhurst passed an ordinance reducing the speed limit on all residential streets to 25 mph
- On average, the Elmhurst Police Department handles a total of 2,500 traffic accidents per year
- Speed is a contributing factor in 31% of all crashes in the U.S.
- A significant number of speeders in Elmhurst actually live in Elmhurst
Summer Mobile Patrol
The Summer Mobile Patrol is a two-fold unit involving both the Bicycle Unit and the Side-by-Side vehicle purchased in 2016 with a grant from the Union Pacific Railroad. In 2018, the Summer Mobile Patrol logged over 700 hours of activity.
Last year, the Bike Patrol program had 10 police officers participating with 5 police bicycles. This program involves police officers riding into areas of the community that have high pedestrian and bicycle traffic, providing a police presence and enhanced rapport with residents, especially community youth. In addition to neighborhood patrols, the Bike Unit also covers the Memorial Day parade, the Immaculate Conception Bike Safety Day, Rock the Block nights, the Elmhurst Park District events like Safety Town, Park-a-Palooza, and “Touch a Truck,” the City Bike Parade, the Elmhurst College Cycling Classic, The YMCA Bike Registration & Safety Information Day, Booti-ful Saturday, the Elmhurst Fire Department Open House, and special bike patrols on Halloween night. The Elmhurst Police Bike Unit is active from May thru October each year.
Like the bicycle unit, the Summer Mobile Patrol Side-by-Side provides officers with additional opportunities for community engagement while they are out on patrol. The SMP not only provides greater police visibility in areas that squad cars cannot access but also makes officers more approachable to our residents while they are out in the community.
In 2017 & 2018, a special City Centre SMP detail was undertaken on Friday and Saturday evenings over the summer to place officers downtown among citizens. The Summer Mobile Patrol is also used during the St. Patrick’s Day and Memorial Day Parades and the Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot.