With the incorporation of the Village of Park Forest in 1948 as a pre-planned community for GI’s returning from World War II, the need for police services soon followed. Tthe Park Forest Police Department was created the following year in 1949. The original police department consisted of a Director of Police and four patrol officers.
The earliest days of patrolling Park Forest were before the use of radios in police work was common. Call boxes were located throughout the village, and dispatchers would light up a call box so officers would know they had a call for service. The officers would then use a telephone at the call box to contact the police station to learn their call for service.
The Park Forest Police Department kept current with trends in modern policing, and this meant adding radios and eventually Mobile Data Terminals (in-car computers) to make communicating easier. It also meant the eventual conversion from revolvers to semi-automatic hand guns, and the uniforms did not go unchanged either as styles changed from cowboy hats in the 1950′s to Chicago-style 5 star caps in the 1980′s.
Today 42 sworn Park Forest Police Officers use 800 MHz digital radios, touch screen lap-tops, carry .40 caliber Glocks and video-enabled Tasers, and have the option to wear baseball-style embroidered caps. Technology and trends will always change, but the mission of the police officer does not.