South Suburban Emergency Response Team
The Park Forest Police Special Operations Group (SOG) was one of the first SWAT teams in the Chicago area. However, a change in policing philosophy and a need for more personnel and resources for major incidents lead to an increase in multi-agency task forces. Special Operations is no different, and in 2005 the Park Forest Police SOG Unit was officially retired as the Park Forest Police Department joined the South Suburban Emergency Response Team (SSERT), a multi-agency SWAT team that operates in the Fifth and Sixth Districts of Cook County, Illinois. Currently the Park Forest Police Department has two personnel assigned to this team. Two additional personnel go through the 96-hour SSERT SWAT certification course each year.
Park Forest police officers who show an aptitude for self-initiated activity on patrol, tactical skills, and a dedication to the 24 hour demands of Special Operations are considered for positions on SSERT. Assigned officers still perform their day-to-day duties at the Park Forest Police Department, but train 16 hours per month with SSERT and are on call 24 hours a day, responding for high risk search warrants, barricaded gunmen, and hostage situations as required.
ILEAS Mobile Field Force
The Park Forest Police Department has two officers assigned to the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) Mobile Field Force, another multi-agency team that provides riot control for major incidents and additional man-power in disaster situations. After attending a basic certification course, assigned personnel generally train 8 hours per month with their Mobile Field Force unit, and may be deployed across Illinois or even across the country as needed.
Suburban Major Accident Reconstruction Team
SMART is a special investigation task force that investigates major accidents, usually involving serious injury or fatalities. The Park Forest Police Department has two personnel assigned to this unit. Assigned members received specialized traffic crash investigation training and remain on call 24-hours a day to respond to major accidents throughout the Chicagoland area. Members train monthly and receive additional advanced training throughout their assignment.
One full time Police Officer is currently assigned to a special federal drug task force operated by the Drug Enforcement Administration; the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area or HIDTA unit. By being a member of this local/federal partnership, the Police Department benefits by having access to federal resources. In addition, the Police Department receives a share of any funds or assets seized during narcotics investigations made by the HIDTA unit. Currently, monies received are being used to pay the salary and benefits of one additional police officer position hired to replace the officer assigned to the unit. This translates into one police officer position not being tax-supported. This task force assignment is open ended and reviewed yearly in partnership with the DEA.
South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force
All detectives are members of this specialized homicide investigation task force, responding to homicides and other major crimes throughout the 6th and 5th districts of Cook County on a rotating basis. Members are certified in homicide investigation and are on call 24-hours a day.
Please see our K9 Unit link for additional information about the Park Forest Police Department K9 Unit.