Citizen Police Academy
The Citizen Police Academy offers citizens, 18 years and older, insights into how police officers perform their duties and how the department serves the community. The purpose of the academy is to foster better communication between citizens and police through education. The academy will create a nucleus of well-informed citizens who possess greater insight into police practices and services. Graduates of the academy can share their knowledge and experiences with the community as opportunities arise -- creating a win-win situation for the police department, participants and the community.
The Explorer Program is the preeminent career orientation and experience program for young people contemplating a career in law enforcement or a related field in the criminal justice system. Its mission is to offer Oak Forest High School students a personal awareness of the criminal justice system through training, practical experiences, competition, and other activities. Additionally, the program promotes personal growth through character development, respect for the rule of law, physical fitness, good citizenship and patriotism. Interested students must apply for the program through the high school's guidance office. Students who are selected to become cadets will wear a uniform and report to the police department for training in July. Training will continue throughout the 2015-2016 school year. Click here to learn more about the value of police explorer programs.
Police Chaplain Program
The Oak Forest Police Department has established a police chaplain program to provide residents with spiritual guidance, counseling and comfort in times of crisis. As part of the volunteer program, professional clergy members from various denominations are on-call 24 hours a day to assist police personnel with a variety of situations in the field, such as death investigations or notifications, lost or missing persons, serious accidents, or other major incidents. In addition to responding to crisis situations, the chaplains participate in ride-alongs, conduct station visits, and take part in special events. The chaplains do not have police powers or authority. However, they do have identification badges to let residents know they are a part of the program. The chaplain program is open to any ordained member of the clergy who either lives in Oak Forest or is the leader of a place of worship located in Oak Forest.
For more information, contact Police Chief Tim Kristin.
The City of Oak Forest has joined Project Lifesaver – a public safety service that uses technology to track and rescue adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer's, autism, and other related conditions or disorders. The program is spearheaded by police, fire and emergency management personnel, who have been trained and certified by Project Lifesaver International staff. Residents who enroll in the service wear a radio transmitter – about the size of a wrist watch – on their wrists or ankles. The transmitter constantly emits a radio frequency signal, which can be tracked regardless of where the person has wandered – even into a densely wooded area, a marsh, or a concrete or steel structure. When a loved one goes missing, the caregiver notifies the Police Department, which dispatches a trained emergency team to the wanderer's area. The average rescue time is approximately 30 minutes.
For more information, contact Officer Lori Manning at 708-687-4050.
Too Good for Drugs
Too Good for Drugs for elementary school students is a school-based drug prevention program designed to reduce students' intention to use alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs, while promoting pro-social attitudes, skills, and behaviors. The program seeks to build the self-confidence of students so they are better able to make healthy choices and achieve success. Although there are different objectives across grade levels, promoting positive, pro-social attitudes, and fostering healthy relationships is a running theme throughout the program’s curriculum. Overall, Too Good for Drugs seeks to develop positive peer norms; appropriate attitudes toward alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use; personal and interpersonal skills relating to alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use; knowledge of the negative consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use; and finally the knowledge of the benefits of living a drug-free lifestyle.