In a conversation with Chief Kaminski, Action Ridge Policing and Criminal Justice Committee Chair Alissa Goldwasser learned that the PRPD has made nine new hires this year, replacing officers who have retired or left the department. Whereas finding qualified candidates had been challenging a year ago, the department has been successful recently, hiring officers with one to three years of experience who were interested in leaving the Chicago Police Department. Chief Kaminski is conscious of hiring officers without baggage from less progressive policing environments and is sensitive to increasing diversity across gender, race and ethnicity with the PRPD.
The provisions of the SAFE-T Act, which became law earlier this year, are behind schedule in implementation at the state level, particularly in areas related to training. The entity which is supposed to provide training and guidance on eligible training programs is short-staffed.
Prior to the pandemic, Maine Township and the police departments of Park Ridge and Des Plaines partnered on a Peer Jury program, to which juveniles with minor offenses were sometimes referred, side-stepping the formal criminal justice system. The Peer Jury became inactive during the pandemic and has not reformed yet. This is an area for further consideration by Action Ridge.
Finally, the episodes of teen misbehavior and vandalism that led to patrols by civilian groups associated with the PRPD this summer have abated with the beginning of school. Action Ridge had been concerned with the use of civilian patrols and the profiling of teenagers.
Action Ridge is making a difference – Thank you for joining us in this important work!