Community Policing Unit

Community Policing is based on the broken windows theory, which states that if there are broken windows, abandoned autos, or homes in disrepair then residents will care very little for what goes on in their community. If, however, the community repairs broken windows and removes those abandoned autos, then residents will have a stronger bond to their community and neighborhood and will become involved in what goes on there. As a result, crime is reduced, neighbors become friendlier, and the quality of life improves.

Community Policing Unit
In 2001, the Niles Police Department instituted an aggressive Community Policing Unit (COPS), whose goal is to improve the quality of life in the assigned beats. In order to achieve this goal, officers meet monthly with residents, property owners, and business owners to address specific issues in their beats. As the public's point of contact, the beat officer can direct the appropriate village service to assist and solve problems. Dedicating a uniformed police officer to a specific beat provides a sense of pride and ownership, making the officer's work more personal and rewarding as problems within the beat are resolved. The COPS Beats are usually formed in the areas where there are multi-unit residential units.

The Niles Community Policing Unit has initiated four dedicated beats during the history of the program. As problems are rectified and the quality of life improves, the need for monthly meetings decreases. The Beat stays intact and there is still an Officer acting as a liaison with the residents. Currently only the Nordica St. Beat is having monthly meetings as the other Beats have addressed the issues of concern and the residents no longer feel the need for the frequency of meetings. If issues arise, the Beat Officer will schedule a meeting for the Beat.

The four designated COPS Beats are:
  • Dempster St: This Beat covers an area bordered by Dempster to Ballard and Cumberland to Prospect. this was the 1st COPS Beat in Niles and after numerous initiatives, the quality of life was raised and the amount and severity of crimes decreased. This Beat no longer has the need for monthly meetings. Officer Gene Krause is the Beat Officer for this area and still maintains contact with residents to address issues as they arise.
  • Washington Park: This Beat involves the area of Washington Park located at Ballard and Washington. This area also saw a decrease in the criminal activity that was occurring in the area. This Beat relied heavily on the cooperation of the Niles Park District and the businesses of Assi Plaza to improve the quality of life issues.The Beat Officer for this area is Officer Paul Murphy.
  • Courtland Park: This Beat involves the area of Courtland Park at Washington and Lyons. Officer Paul Murphy is also the Beat Officer for this area.
  • Nordica St: This Beat covers the area around Civic Center from Nordica to Waukegan and Oakton to Howard. Officer Anthony Scipione is the Beat Officer for this area. Over the years several of the issues have been addressed in this area, however there are still ongoing projects and the residents feel the need to maintain the frequency of meetings. This Beat meets at the Niles Police Station monthly. The meeting dates are set by the Beat Officer after consulting with the residents for the convenience of all involved.
For information on the COPS program contact Sgt. Ron Brandt at 847-588-6563.