The Explorer Program is the preeminent career orientation and experience program for young people contemplating a career in law enforcement or a related field in the criminal justice system. Its mission is to offer high school students, who reside in Oak Forest a personal awareness of the criminal justice system through training, practical experiences, competition, and other activities. Additionally, the program promotes personal growth through character development, respect for the rule of law, physical fitness, good citizenship and patriotism. Students who are selected to become cadets will wear a uniform and report to the police department bi-weekly for training in areas such as:
- Building searches
- Traffic stops
- Accident investigation
- Firearms training
- Drug awareness
- Control tactics
- Use of force
- Arrest, search and seizure
- Evidence collection and processing
Find My Home
The Find My Home program has been designed to help adults and children with disabilities that may be unable to find their way home in our town. It is a database only accessible to the Oak Forest Police Department to assist the individuals in finding their residence when they cannot communicate it. The database includes a picture of the child or adult, information on their disability, physical description and emergency contact information. If the individual is encountered alone or is reported missing, the officers can access the database by their name or description to locate their information. This is a free service offered to the developmentally and cognitively disabled citizens of Oak Forest. This program is open to any adult OR child who may have difficulty communicating due to a developmental or cognitive disability, while lost or in an emergency situation. These individuals tend to be at risk for wandering and may include people with disabilities such as Alzheimer’s, Autism, Dementia, Down Syndrome etc. We ask that anyone enrolling an individual is either a family member, legal guardian or is turning in a signed registration form on behalf of the individual’s family with their permission.
For additional information, contact Community Programs Officer Tracy Weiland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Citizen Police Academy
The Citizen Police Academy offers residents, 21 years and older, insights into how police officers perform their duties and how the department serves the community. The purpose of the academy is to foster better communication between citizens and police through education. The academy will create a nucleus of well-informed citizens who possess greater insight into police practices and services. Graduates of the academy can share their knowledge and experiences with the community as opportunities arise – creating a win-win situation for the police department, participants and the community.
The next Citizen Police Academy will be held in spring 2024.
Police Chaplain Program
The Oak Forest Police Department has established a police chaplain program to provide residents with spiritual guidance, counseling and comfort in times of crisis. As part of the volunteer program, professional clergy members from various denominations are on-call 24 hours a day to assist police personnel with a variety of situations in the field, such as death investigations or notifications, lost or missing persons, serious accidents, or other major incidents. In addition to responding to crisis situations, the chaplains participate in ride-alongs, conduct station visits, and take part in special events. The chaplains do not have police powers or authority. However, they do have identification badges to let residents know they are a part of the program. The chaplain program is open to any ordained member of the clergy who either lives in Oak Forest or is the leader of a place of worship located in Oak Forest.
Project ChildSafe is the largest, most comprehensive firearms safety education program in the United States. It was developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry, and is committed to promoting genuine firearms safety through the distribution of safety education messages and free firearm safety kits. The kits include a cable-style gun-locking device and a brochure (also available in Spanish) that discusses safe handling and secure storage guidelines to help deter access by unauthorized individuals. Project ChildSafe is a real firearms safety solution that helps make communities safer. Since 1999, more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies have partnered with the program to distribute more than 37 million firearm safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and five U.S. territories.
Too Good for Drugs
Too Good for Drugs for elementary school students is a school-based drug prevention program designed to reduce students' intention to use alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs, while promoting pro-social attitudes, skills, and behaviors. The program seeks to build the self-confidence of students so they are better able to make healthy choices and achieve success. Although there are different objectives across grade levels, promoting positive, pro-social attitudes, and fostering healthy relationships is a running theme throughout the program’s curriculum. Overall, Too Good for Drugs seeks to develop positive peer norms; appropriate attitudes toward alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use; personal and interpersonal skills relating to alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use; knowledge of the negative consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use; and finally the knowledge of the benefits of living a drug-free lifestyle.