Elgin (IL) Police Department Wins COPS Office Photo Contest
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) is pleased to feature the Elgin (IL) Police Department (EPD) as its “Community Policing in Action” Photo Contest winner for June 2022.
The winning photo features an EPD squad car at the 2019 Chicago Pride Parade, wrapped in the rainbow colors of the Pride movement. “Everybody was cheering us, including the LGBTQ community,” says EPD Lieutenant Travis Hooker, “who made it clear they were glad we were in the parade.”
Pride is just one of the themes that periodically wrap two of the department’s cars, which rotate messages related to domestic violence, autism, breast cancer, and suicide prevention, among other concerns. “We do a lot of community initiatives, so people in Elgin are comfortable with us,” says Hooker. “And the decorated cars are part of the effort to encourage that. When they see us driving a vehicle that addresses a cause they identify with, they can feel assured that we understand their concerns and support them.”
The EPD credits community policing for its positive relationships with Elgin residents. The department has rolled out programs such as the Resident Officer Program of Elgin (ROPE), in which officers and their families live in high crime areas in the city, and the Neighborhood Officer Program of Elgin (NOPE), in which officers are assigned to areas with a high number of crime calls. Both programs have been very successful, with a significant decrease shown in areas once overwhelmed with crime. “If our job is to represent everybody in our community, we have to be out there showing that we do serve everybody,” says Hooker.
View the winning photo on the COPS Office website, as well as on the COPS Office’s official Twitter profile and Facebook page. EPD’s commitment to community policing and its dedication to protecting members of the Elgin community are also chronicled in the June 2022 edition of the COPS Office e-newsletter, the Community Policing Dispatch.
The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. The only Department of Justice agency with policing in its name, the COPS Office was established in 1994 and has been the cornerstone of the nation’s crime fighting strategy with grants, a variety of knowledge resource products, and training and technical assistance. Through the years, the COPS Office has become the go-to agency for law enforcement agencies across the country and continues to listen to the field and provide the resources that are needed to reduce crime and build trust between law enforcement and the communities served. The COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 135,000 officers.