[Editors’ Note: Rodney Scott had been promoted to Chief of Police of the Loves Park Police Department after this article was written.]
Loves Park faces community change and new challenges.
Loves Park, Illinois, is a diverse city 90 miles northwest of Chicago with a wide range of socioeconomic groups. “Loves Park has changed over the last 20 years. We have more single parents, some neighborhoods have turned into rental areas, and there’s been an increase in property crime, criminal damage, and burglaries,” noted Deputy Chief Rodney Scott of the Loves Park Police Department.
To help combat this rise in crime, the deputy chief makes a point of involving the community in department activities and information. Aside from an active Neighborhood Watch program and a thriving, user-friendly website, the department alerts the community when there is a rash of crime. “We recently started alerting the community through text or email when there is a burglary or other crime,” said Scott. “We can get the community’s feedback and let them know they need to be more vigilant.”
IACP Net enables the Loves Park Police Department to streamline operations and consider new ways of doing things. “We’re always evaluating everything we do here, to be better, cheaper — more efficient and effective,” pointed out Scott. “IACP Net is an important tool for that. I probably log on to IACP Net every day.”
Create Revenue with IACP Net
Like most law enforcement agencies, the Loves Park Police Department is facing tough financial times. “We’ve had budget cuts, so we have fewer dollars than last year,” noted the deputy chief. That said, the department has avoided laying off officers and other employees by cutting only discretionary funding and using IACP Net to discover new ideas to generate revenue.
“I’ve used IACP Net to find creative ways to create revenue,” said Scott, who used IACP Net’s Quest-Response service to seek revenue-generating ideas. “We implemented a $200 administrative towing fee for citizens whose cars are towed.” Scott also used Quest-Response to find information about charging insurance companies for processing accident scenes. “It’s a good way for the city to recoup money,” said the deputy chief. IACP Net itself is a money-saving tool for the Loves Park Police Department. “IACP Net more than pays for itself by making our department more efficient and effective. It’s a great investment,” Scott noted.
Confirm Hunches with IACP Net
Deputy Chief Scott was also able to confirm his suspicions about the potential dangers of adding “sleeper holds” on suspects as a part of the department’s use of force policy. After posting a Quest on lateral vascular restraints, he received feedback from other departments on the self-defense move. “We were leaning toward not implementing that restraint in our department. IACP Net solidified my decision to exclude that from our policy manual,” he noted. “We’re not going to implement lateral vascular restraints — an officer had suggested it, but it’s not widely accepted in Illinois.”
Deputy Chief Scott encourages other departments to join the service and use it to solve problems at their agencies. “I consider IACP Net a one-stop shop for any question any police administrator may have about law enforcement,” he said. “When you’re juggling this many issues — as every department is — it’s great to have a support system like IACP Net.”
[Editor’s Note: Chief Scott has retired from the Loves Park Police Department. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.]