The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Police Department to participate in open house competition

Oct. 10, 2013 – The Oak Park Police Department has been selected to participate in Police Station Visitors Week, an annual competition Nov. 3 - 9 that invites residents, community groups and local leaders into police stations around the country.

The international event, organized by the New York-based Vera Institute of Justice, is now in its sixth year. Police departments in Africa, Asia and Latin America participated in the 2012 event, as well as six U.S. police departments across three states. This is the first year a municipality from Illinois will participate.

Visitors will be greeted by Community Policing Sergeant Dave Jacobson, the event’s police liaison, to discuss how the station carries out its day-to-day operations, with a focus on transparency and accountability. Each tour will wrap up with a simple questionnaire that asks visitors about their perception of the station after their visit.

Oak Park Police Department officials see the event as an opportunity to build on relationships with community groups and local leaders in Oak Park the surrounding region.

“Given that our station serves the community around the clock, it is important to learn how the public feels about aspects of our facility and the services we provide that will be evaluated during Police Station Visitors Week,” says Police Chief Rick Tanksley.

Five core areas will be examined by the post-tour questionnaire – community orientation, physical conditions, equal treatment of the public, transparency and accountability, and detention facilities.

The Oak Park Police Department has gathered plenty of information over the years on police-citizen interactions, but officials say this event will provide an opportunity to review data about the public’s perception of the police facility itself.

The event also is a friendly competition. The police station in each region that scores the highest on its questionnaires will be invited to attend an all-expenses-paid global conference on policing strategies.

Community groups and local organizations interested in touring the Oak Park Police Department as part of Police Station Visitors Week are encouraged to contact Caitlin Gokey of the Vera Institute to schedule a visit. Gokey can be reached at 212.376.3149 or

For more information on the Oak Park Police Department, call 708.386.3800 or email