From 1891 to 1967 the DeKalb Police Department shared this location with City Hall. The building was built for $8000, plus $1,140 for the land. On June 6th, 1891, it was ordained that the building be erected to accommodate a portion of the Fire Department, City Council, Police Magistrate, City Calaboose, and the Public Library.
From 1968 to 2013 the department moved to 200 S. 4th Street where we again shared the building with City administrative offices with a total cost of $898,000 for the building and the land.
On November 22, 2013, the DeKalb Police Department moved to its current location at 700 W. Lincoln Highway. The cost for the building was $12 million dollars and the land was a little over $1.5 million.
In 1885 A. Isaacson was appointed special or merchant police by the Mayor. I. Shoop was named as special policeman whose duty it shall be to work on the streets and sidewalks as much as possible when not complicating with his said duties as special police. Shoop was paid $50 per month in consideration of which Shoop was to furnish for use of city, one horse, one wagon and harness.
From 1884 to 1893 seven marshals served the city, including J.M. Shoop, Marsh L. Brown, David Riddle, John Howard Balis, James Shaw, Conrad Springer and Joseph C. Bennett.
On July 22nd, 1885 the DeKalb Police Department was officially established. In 1894, a city marshal and a night watchman were all that was needed to keep law and order in DeKalb. The city marshal received a salary of $40 per month and the night watchman earned $15 per month. During this time, there was very little activity and no traffic problems.
By 1899, the city marshal earned $50 per month and the night watchman received $20 per month.
In 1916 an ambulance was purchased, which also doubled as a patrol wagon. This replaced the horse drawn vehicle.
In 1923 the department grew to 6 officers. During this time, DeKalb had the reputation of being one of the most orderly cities of its size in Illinois due to the highly efficient police force.’ Chief James Scott won his way up to the ranks and was respected by lawbreakers. Especially since the prohibition amendment and the Volstead law went into effect and the supplementary state regulations, DeKalb took pride in being clean and orderly in every way.
In 1924 a Gamewell police alarm system was installed with 12 boxes being strategically placed about the city where officers could contact the police station. Lights were placed on poles along Lincoln Highway from John Street to the railroad tracks at 10th and Oak streets. When the desk officer received a call he would turn on these lights. The street officer would then go to one of these locations and call into the station to receive his call for service.
During this time, one of the main problems for law enforcement were traffic violations. To handle this problem, the department created a traffic division where a motorcycle was used to deal with these violations. It was known that the motor officer was courteous but he did not hesitate to be severe when necessary.
In 1947 the department grew to a workforce of 12 – 1 Chief of Police, 1 Lieutenant, 1 Captain, and 9 officers. The Chief of Police earned $214 per month; the Captain and Lieutenant received $197.50 per month; and an officer made $192.50 per month. Two part time officers were hired to work during the regular police officers days off. They also worked part time for the fire department.
During the 1940s, the Mayor hired police officers. Every July the Mayor would submit a list of employees to the City Council. If a person’s name was not on the list, they were dropped from the city payroll. The officer would check this list to see if he was still employed.
Employees of the police department received little benefits. If an officer was injured on the job, the city would pay them for 6 months. If the officer was unable to return work after this time, he was terminated. The city paid for the officer’s first uniform – 2 pairs of pants, 2 shirts, 1 overcoat, a gun belt and holster (used), one .38 caliber pistol (used) and 2 stars – sometimes the stars had different numbers on them.
The duties of a police officer were to handle accidents, traffic control, bar fights, family disputes collect parking fines, serve as a school crossing guard, and assist on ambulance calls. An officer was expected to work off duty with no extra pay for special events – street dances, sporting events, concerts, etc. It was common for a police officer to make house checks for citizens on vacation, deliver Sunday papers to political friends, and deliver prescription drugs to shut-ins. I
In 1949 DeKalb service clubs bought 2 way radios for the department. This allowed communication between squad cars, as well as to other departments. The 2 squad cars and city ambulance were equipped with the 2-way radio. Two service cars and a motorcycle were equipped with 1-way radios. This allowed the department to become modernized and have the ability to cope with rapid travel.
The department also had the need to keep a more efficient means of record keeping. A card file system was utilized – information was kept on 3 inch by 5 inch index cards of persons who came in contact with the police.
In 1954 members of the DeKalb Police Department were still under the direction of the Mayor. The department consisted of 14 men – approximately 1 for every 1000 residents. The staff consisted of the Chief of Police, 2 Lieutenants, 3 Desk Sergeants – 1 for each shift, and 7 Patrol Officers – 2 of whom serviced the parking meters.
In addition to the regular police staff there was an auxiliary police force composed of 21 uniformed men – all trained in first aid and basic police work. The auxiliary officers were used for special events and in times of emergency. The auxiliary force was financed by police benefits to raise the required funds.
The total budget in 1954 for the police department was $52,790, about 10% of the total city budget.
In 1961 the DeKalb Police Department grew to 20 men. No longer were members of the department under the direction of the Mayor. The City Manager appointed the Chief of Police, which was Victor Sarich. The Board of Police and Fire Commissioners was formed and took over the hiring of police officers. The department consisted of the Chief of Police, 2 Lieutenants, 3 Desk Sergeants, and 14 Patrol Officers. The department also employed 1 plain clothes officer who worked with juvenile delinquents. There were 3 women now a part of the department – 2 meter maids and 1 clerk. A probation officer and a welfare officer also worked in conjunction with the juvenile officer. The auxiliary police still assisted the department in special events.
The police department added another squad car to its fleet – giving the department a total of three squad cars.
The budget for the fiscal year ending April 30, 1960 was $112,000, about 10% of the city budget.
On April 28, 1968 the new municipal building was dedicated and is located at 200 South 4th Street, which still holds many city offices and the police department today. The municipal building has 31,130 square feet of floor space, costing $23.67 per square foot. The total cost for the building was $898,000.
The department was staffed with 27 police officers and five civilian employees. The staff included the Chief of Police, 2 Lieutenants, 4 Patrol Sergeants, and 18 Patrol Officers. The department was also staffed with 2 plain clothes officers to work with juvenile delinquents and to conduct criminal investigations. Four women assisted the department – 2 meter maids and 2 clerks.
The fleet consisted of 6 squad cars, 2 ambulances, 2 services cars and 1 motorcycle – all equipped with 2-way radios.
The budget grew to $290,000, about 20% of the city budget.
In 1971 the Police Department employed 35 sworn personnel and 10 civilians. Two of the civilians were part-time. The budget was $484,960 – an approximate 18% increase from the previous year. The fleet grew to seven marked squad cars and five unmarked squad cars.
In 1977 the Fraternal Order of Police (F.O.P.) labor union was chartered having 44 members. For several years, the police were unionized through AFSCME. It was decided that when AFSCME endorsed presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, the police officers would leave the AFSCME union and form the Fraternal Order of Police.
In 1978 police communications started handling emergency calls for fire and ambulance services. Prior to this, the Fire Department received and dispatched these calls. It was projected that this would add an additional 2000 calls for the police communication center.
In 1980 a Kodak Microimage terminal, camera and processor was purchased. A clerk was hired through a CETA program to microfilm about 75,000 police reports dating back to 1966.
The Communication Center was remodeled replacing the radio consoles with up to date equipment. To improve the safety of the dispatchers, the citizen’s complaint window was replaced with safety glass, an electric lock was installed on the door leading from the police department lobby into the police department.
In 1981 the completion of the programming and installation of an IBM System 34 computer was done, which was reprogrammed and leased from NIU in 1979. The Crime Analysis and Management Information System CAMIS was installed and allowed for data base maintenance, uniform crime reporting, and data retrieval. This system was one of the most modern and versatile systems available to law enforcement.
By 1989, the department consisted of 1 Chief, 3 Lieutenants, 5 sergeants, 34 Patrol Officers, and 10 civilians. A patrol officer started at $11.29 per hour; a sergeant at $16.51 per hour and a Lieutenant at $19.09 per hour; a telecommunicator started at $8.20 per hour and a secretary started at $6.89.
The North Central Narcotics Task Force (NCNTF) was incorporated in 1989 due to the increase of drug activity in the community and the need for undercover officers to work this type of detail. Efforts were made in 1988 to form the Task Force by pursuing the Illinois State Police and requesting their assistance to organize the Task Force. The State of Illinois receives federal monies to assist the Task Force in its operation, as well as being supplemented by monies received from seizures. Members of the NCNTF are comprised of officers from the State, DeKalb County and Municipalities within DeKalb County. The undercover officers investigate and apprehend those citizens selling, using, and producing narcotics and/or cannabis. The Task Force has been successful and very useful to law enforcement agencies.
The FY1988/89 budget was $2,493,254.
During this time, the department began a time consuming project in looking for a new computer system for the department. The current system at that time was 10 years old and lacked adequate storage capabilities. The department formed a steering committee and hired a consultant in researching a new system. The new computer system, Marks Systems, was installed in 1991.
The department also worked on buying a new police radio system. After researching and request for proposals were sent out, the department bought a General Electric radio system, mainly due to its encryption feature. The encrypted transmission could not be picked up by scanners and it gave an additional level of security when sensitive police information was needed to be transmitted. Another feature included a “help” key on the portable and mobile units. This help key, when pressed, sent a signal to the radio room alarming them that an officer was in need of assistance. The new system was installed in 1990.
In 1990 an Emergency Telephone Systems Board was formed to oversee the implementation of the new E911 system. The board consisted of nine members – three from the police department. Considerable time and resources were spent bringing the E911 system to operation. The E911 system became operational on April 26, 1993. The E911 system allows the telecommunicator to see the name and location of where the call is coming from.
In 1993 the 3 Lieutenant positions left the F.O.P. union and became a part of the city administrative staff. This was largely due to younger F.O.P. members taking on a leadership role and it becoming an untenable position for the Lieutenant to remain in the union and have a command presence.
By 1995, the department increased to 52 sworn, and 11 full time and 7 part time civilian employees. A corporal position was created to assist the street sergeant with their duties, as well as take over their duties when a sergeant is unavailable. Four officers serve at this rank. This was the 2nd year the school liaison officer continued to serve the high school and junior high.
In 1995 a police officer started at $14.788 per hour; a corporal at $20.49 per hour; a sergeant $21.50 per hour; a telecommunicator started at $10.86 and a secretary at $8.86.
The budget for the FY1995/96 was $3,146,980.
In 1996 the Communications Center was equipped with a Data Transmission Network (DTN) terminal. This is a comprehensive weather monitoring system, which is fed via satellite. It has the capabilities of past, present, and future weather conditions. This assists the city and department when inclement weather is imminent in the area. The department also receives weather reports from the National Weather Service and Murray and Trettel – both giving watches and warnings to the DeKalb County area.
Due to the flood of 1996, the City of DeKalb purchased a computer system - Reverse 911. This system is totally separate from Emergency 911. Reverse 911 enables the Police Department to contact residents in a specific geographic area or from a select list of phone numbers. Situations where Reverse 911 would be used is heavy rains, flooding, missing children, crime information and crime alerts. Reverse 911 has the capability of making 400 to 600 calls per hour depending on the number of lines used, length of the message, and number of callback.
In 1997 Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) were installed in all marked and unmarked squad cars. This enables the police to participate in the Area Wide Law Enforcement Radio Terminal System (ALERTS), which is a data system developed for law enforcement purposes throughout Illinois. It provides the officer on the street with information they need for quick, effective decision making such as LEADS inquiries, criminal history access, car-to-car and car-to-station communication regional broadcast capabilities, and interfacing to CAD systems.
Members of the department worked on a new design for the police patch that is worn on the uniform. Three patches were designed and voted on by members of the department. The new patch was then incorporated. The original police patch had been used from the 1960s to 1997.
In 1998 discussions and training were held to establish a DeKalb County Major Case Squad. By May 27, 1999, the first meeting was held. The mission of the Major Task Case Squad is to enhance the ability of the law enforcement agencies in DeKalb County to solve major crimes. Major crimes are defined as: homicide, attempted homicide, kidnapping (non-parental), serial arson, rape, or sexual assault, police-involve shooting or deadly force incident and other exceptionally heinous offenses.
The Major Case Squad consists of members from law enforcement agencies of DeKalb County, DeKalb County State's Attorney office, DeKalb County Coroner's office, and the Illinois State Police. Since 1999, the Task Force has investigated 6 major cases.
In 1999 the department increased to 54 sworn personnel and 12 full time and 8 part time civilian personnel. On August 11 the department instituted Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and 1 month later the Records Management computer system, which involved many hours of planning and implementing. This was purchased from H.T.E. of Lake Mary, Florida – a computer system used by police departments throughout the United States. This system has brought the department up to the ever-advancing technology. There are now 29 computers located within the department.
In 1999, a police officer started at $17.30 per hour; a corporal at $23.97 per hour; a sergeant at $26.42 per hour; a telecommunicator at $12.72; a secretary at $10.37 and a senior secretary at $14.54.
The DeKalb Police Department has gone through many changes through the years and we certainly anticipate many more changes to come.
During 2000, the department remained at 54 sworn personnel. The Communications Division increased by 1 giving us a total of 8 full time Telecommunicators. In August 2001, City Council approved another full time Telecommunicator giving us 9. This increase is largely due to maintaining 2 full time Telecommunicators on duty at all times. The Police Department also hired a Community Service Officer. The fleet of 20 squads remains the same with future plans of increasing the marked squad cars.
In 2002, the department increased it sworn personnel to 57 and the Communication Division to 9 full-time telecommunicators. One additional part-time Community Resource Officer was also hired. The department received a 1997 Dodge Stratus through a drug seizure. This vehicle is used for drug and alcohol enforcement.
In 2002 the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) was organized. The purpose of ILEAS is to provide a system of mutual aid among participating law enforcement agencies. Those agencies signing an agreement express their intent to aid and assist other participating law enforcement agencies during an emergency by assigning some of their resources, equipment, and/or law enforcement personnel to the agency affected by natural or man-made emergencies. The DeKalb Police Department signed an agreement.
The department received a $311,482 federal grant. These monies went towards the purchase of 14 laptop computers that were installed in the squad cars. The laptop computers allow officers to make LEADS (Law Enforcement Agency Data System) inquiries such as criminal histories, vehicle registration information, driver's license information and property information. It also allows the officer to inquire the department's RMS (Records Management System) for person, property, and location information.
The fleet of 20 was increased to 22 in 2003.
In August 2003 LiveScan and Digital Booking were installed. LiveScan was made possible due to a grant received from Illinois Criminal Justice Authority. LiveScan is a system where fingerprints are taken using a touch-screen display and the person’s identifiers are entered into the computer. Both are then submitted to the Bureau of Identification electronically. Identification of the person is then returned to the department within minutes. LiveScan helps cut down the redundancy of data entry performed by the clerical staff.
Digital Booking is a computerized system that captures, stores and retrieves criminal mug shots, images and data These images and data can be used to create photo lineups and mug books to help identify suspects involved in a crime and speed the investigative process. The system interfaces to the department's Records Management System where retrieval of a person’s photo can be viewed from any computer.
Both systems were made available through grants.
A grant was also received this year allowing us to purchase an additional squad car. This additional squad car brings the department’s fleet to 24.
In 2004 the department began the collection of racial profiling data. This new law was to be a 4 year statewide study of traffic stops to collect data to identify racial bias. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will be responsible for collecting and compiling the data. A racial profiling module was added to our record management system (CRIMES) in order to collect this data. The data is collected on every traffic stop and it is then submitted to IDOT once a month. The study was changed to now be 1 years of data collection.
During 2004 the Communications Division upgraded both of its main dispatch positions with new desks and chairs. The desktop workspace was greatly increased. The desks feature a lift feature allowing the desks to be adjusted from seated to standing positions and allows the dispatchers to adjust the height of the keyboard and mouse, desktop and monitor heights for better ergonomic positioning.
A police officer was chosen to reside in a housing project where deteriorating conditions existed. The officer is the liaison between the neighbors and government resources. Identifying problems and finding solutions will be one of the goals in creating a safe neighborhood.
The neighborhood to initiate the program was at 14th Street and Lewis Street. The DeKalb county Housing Authority provided an apartment to the officer in this complex rent free. The Resident Officer is assigned a marked squad car, which they take home.
In 2004, the Police Department received a federal grant, COPS MORE, to hire 3 more police officers. City Council authorized the additional 3 hires and in January 2005 those 3 officers were hired-bringing the total of sworn officers to 60.
In 2004 the department received grant money from the DeKalb county Community Foundation and from WalMart. The money was used to purchase 4 automated external defibrillators (AED’s.) The AED’s were placed in squad cars to be used by police first responders. It is the department's goal to equip all squad cars with AEDs.
This past year the department switched over to using LiveScan exclusively for fingerprinting. LiveScan is a system where fingerprints are taken using a touch-screen display and the person’s identifiers are entered into the computer. Both are then submitted to the Bureau of Identification electronically. Identification of the person is then returned to the department within minutes.
In April 2004 an additional officer was added to the Bike Patrol - increasing the number to 5 and a new Giant© mountain bike was purchased to accommodate the new officer.
The DeKalb Police Department joined the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force in June 2004. DeKalb has assigned one officer to work undercover assignments in the multi-jurisdictional enforcement group. The goal of the Task Force is to work in close partnership with state and local law enforcement agencies in the investigation of major drug trafficking organizations. In 2009 the undercover officer returned to the department due to budget constraints and shortage of officers.
In July 2004 City Council authorized adding the motorcycle to our fleet. It had been over 20 years since the department has had a Motor Unit. The Motor Unit began service on September 8, 2004. The Motor Unit will be used for traffic enforcement, special events and as a tool to interact with the public - especially children and youths. Traffic enforcement will occur in high crash locations and in residential neighborhoods within the City. In addition to traffic enforcement, the Motor Unit will patrol the parks and bike paths in the City. They will be involved in the department's traffic safety and community relation programs.
Officers assigned to the Motorcycle Unit are known as motormen. They must pass an 80-hour certified training program, which is put on by Northwestern University's Department of Public Safety and Harley-Davidson Motorcycles.
The motorcycle is a low cost addition to the fleet as the department grows. The motorcycle is leased from Kutter Harley Davidson in Janesville, Wisconsin for $1 a year. The motorcycle also helps to control fuel expenses.
The motorcycle unit was the lead position in the Vice Presidential motorcade this fall.
This year, Officer Johnson was selected to be part of a Regional Law Enforcement Team (Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm Systems Region 3 [ILEAS]), Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Special Response Team (SMT). Members of this team were formed to provide a local tactical capability of response to situations where a hazardous materials and a human threat exists at the same time and place. ILEAS was organized in 2002 and formed for the purpose of providing to aid and assist other participating law enforcement agencies during an emergency.
In the Fall of 2004 the department, along with the DeKalb county Housing Authority, worked together in an effort to combat crime in deteriorating neighborhoods. The location chosen are the Lewis Court Apartments on 14th Street. The program approved by the United states Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been successful at other HUD properties across the country. The goal of the Resident Officer Program is to eliminate problems caused by visitors and unauthorized boarders at the low-income apartment complex.
The program allows the officer to live at the complex rent free, paying only his utilities. Officer Quist was chosen and he is also provided with a take-home squad car to increase the omnipresence not only at the complex but in the surrounding Pleasant St./Lewis St. neighborhoods.
In 2005 the first Citizen Police Academy was held. The academy helped us inform citizens about law enforcement practices and issues. Fifteen citizens graduated from this 10-week course.
In August 2005 Officers Burt Johnson and Jason Watson responded to the call for aid to assist in the Hurricane Katrina battered areas of Louisiana. Officer Johnson joined about 100 officers from Illinois as part of the first wave of the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) team sent for a 2 week deployment. Officer Watson volunteered to go in the second wave of assistance.
The motorcycle unit was expanded to 3 officers. Officer Keith Rominski attended the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety Motorman School creating this third position.
The department purchased a digital mug shot system. In the past persons arrested were photographed using a 35mm camera. The film was sent off and 2 copies were made of each photograph. Records clerks hand wrote the persons' identifiers, charge, and a negative number on the back of each photo. One photo was filed in an arrest jacket and 1 photo was filed using the Identi-Kit IDMO Photo Classification Chart (IDMO). The negative was filed in a book in the event it was needed later. Officers created line-ups by manually going through the photo file and inserting the pictures into a handcut file. Thanks to today's technology, pictures and lineups are stored on a server and retrieved via any in-house computer. Creating line-ups are as simple as click, drag and drop. Photos and/or line-ups can be emailed to other agencies, inserted into tip sheets, wanted posters, missing persons, etc., or sent to a local printer for internal use.
In 2005 our dispatch center was a beta test site for its CAD system manufacturer - Sungard H.T.E. This upgrade (CAD 6) was a major undertaking. The end results were for a much improved CAD system, as well as a Windows-based CAD Admin tool.
The FY2005/2006 budget was $7,429,329. There were 12 marked patrol vehicles and 16 unmarked patrol vehicles, along with 1 motorcycle and 5 bicycles.
The department continues to undergo many changes. In 2006 a 6th sergeant position was created for the patrol division to serve as Administrative Assistant to the Patrol Lieutenant. This position fills in for patrol sergeants when necessary; however, the main duties are spent on projects and programs that were normally performed by the street sergeants. This position frees up the street sergeants' duties - allowing them to concentrate more on street level issues.
The department has increased to 62 sworn and 17 civilian and 1 part-time canine unit. In 2006 the department's fleet is made up of 13 marked squad cars, 2 motorcycles, 6 bicycles, 1 speed trailer, 6 detective cars, 1 community service officer car, 1 drug forfeited car and 5 administrative cars. Three cars are used for drug enforcement (2 are owned by the state). One additional squad car was added to our Take Home Squad program. A program to use to increase visibility in neighborhoods. A squad car today is equipped with a mobile laptop computer, digital in-car video system w/in-car playback, moving radar unit, AR-15 rifle, digital camera, AED, tire deflation devices and a police scanner, as well as various other equipment. In 2006 approximately 488,487 miles were patrolled.
In 2006 a metal detector was installed in the Municipal Building for the safety and of the courtroom personnel and public. The DeKalb county Sheriff's Department provided the metal detector. It is mandated that a police officer and a community service officer work court security on Mondays for traffic and city court.
In 2006 the department has its first canine unit. This came with the assistance of the North Central Narcotics Task Force (NCNTF) where approximately $18,000 was paid for by the NCNTF using drug forfeiture funds. K9 Nick is a 3 year old German Shepherd, born in Holland. He is provided with body armor that was donated by the Illinois Vest Dog - a charitable organization. Nick will work for the Task Force the first 3 years and then he will be with the DeKalb Police Department full time. He is trained in narcotics detection, suspect apprehension, handler protection, tracking and article searches.
The 2006/2007 budget is $7,942,415. In 2006 a starting patrol officer makes $24.73 per hour. In 2006, 10,989 911 calls were received directly into the department. *This number does not reflect how many 911 calls were transferred from the DeKalb county Sheriff's Department.
In the 2006/2007 school year the 1st Teen Police Academy was held at the DeKalb High School. The Citizen Police Academy continues to be held once a year.
In 2006 the department instituted a new rifle program. Rock River Arms AR-15 carbines were purchased with the intention of replacing the shotguns. An intense training program was instituted, including a qualification course of fire.
In the 2007/2008 school year another officer was assigned to the DeKalb School District full time - increasing this to 2 full-time officers. The school district assists in paying for this second officer.
2008 has presented many challenges to the DeKalb Police Department. Due to the economy, a hiring freeze has occurred - leaving the department at 63 sworn personnel. Some of the budget cuts within the department have been decreasing training, eliminating teaching D.A.R.E. in the schools, and only purchasing 1 new squad car.
Despite the declining economy, we are working hard at moving forward in building a new police facility as we have grossly outgrown our current home. City Council has agreed for the need of a new police facility; however, they struggle with how to pay for it. A Citizens' Police Facility committee was formed to review a previously conducted space needs analysis, determine if the project should be delayed, and how to pay for the facility. A space study needs was done 6 years ago when our first attempt was made at building a new police department. It was recommended that a 55,000 square foot building would be needed for our current needs and to meet future needs. We currently reside in a 17,500 square foot area of City Hall. Meetings were held between the architect hired to assist the committee and City staff members. The committee's recommendations to City Council included building a 56,500 square foot facility, funding it with a property tax and restaurant and bar tax increase and to begin the project immediately.
On February 14, 2008 a tragedy struck Northern Illinois University and the community. It is a day we will never forget. A lone gunman entered NIU Cole Hall, a large lecture hall, and opened fire with a shotgun and switched to handguns with about 100 students in attendance. A total of 24 people were shot - 6 of whom died, including the suspect. Our thoughts and prayers will always be with the family and friends of those involved.
In 2009 the department underwent a new look. The Administration Division went from wearing a police uniform to a monogrammed shirt with dress pants. Sworn personnel went from wearing medium blue shirts to dark navy blue with the bullet proof vest being worn on the outside of the shirt. The Chief of Police and Lieutenants continued to wear the white shirts.
The FY09 budget was $8,947,484.
In 2009 a few changes occurred. The department went to a new parking ticket system - Complus. This system rids of handwritten tickets and allows officers to use a handheld computer that prints the ticket onto thermal paper. The handheld allows officers to select the appropriate citation from a drop-down menu and the "ineligible handwriting" will no longer be an issue for the data entry people or the courts. The handhelds also have the capability of capturing a picture of the violation.
The department, also in alliance with other nearby agencies, was part of the Prairie Shield Regional Alliance grant. This project replaced the old radio console and portable radios with a Motorola Starcom 21 radio system. This system allows us to talk to any Starcom agency across Illinois. Plans also were made to move the dispatch center into the conference room and vise versa.
The department sent a sergeant to the Marijuana Leaf Identification course at the Illinois state Forensic Lab in December. This was an 80-hour course learning how to analyze the plant material and determine if it is cannabis. The minimum score on the written and practical test is 100% - which he passed. This certification allows him to testify in court as an expert witness.
In 2010 the city budget was greatly reduced due to the severe recession. This impacted the department by not filling 3 officer positions and 2 secretaries were laid off - replacing one of the secretaries through attrition. This has greatly impacted the department.
The dispatch center, conference room and records room underwent a remodel. The dispatch room moved into the conference room - allowing for 4 workstations. The conference room was then moved into the dispatch center. The file cabinets that homed the department's arrest jackets were disposed of, the wall separating the records room of the interior vestibule was eliminated - opening up the room.
The department received a grant from the DeKalb county Community Foundation allowing the purchase of 2 new squad car computers; a grant from Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) gave us the ability to purchase 5 new squad car laptops and a grant from Sigma Alpha Mu allowed us to purchase 2 laptop computers - 1 for administration and 1 for investigations.
As the department continues to move forward in the 21st century, we know that one thing will remain the same - to maintain peace and protect the citizens of DeKalb.
In 2011 there were 60 sworn officers and 16 civilian personnel. The FY12 budget was $10,142,254. The department had 15 marked patrol cars, 16 unmarked squads, 2 motorcycles, 6 bicycles, and 1 K9.
In 2011 the city also handled a nationally recognized homicide case that occurred in Prairie Park. The victim was a NIU student. Antinette "Toni" Keller, who was reported as missing. Numerous investigative hours resulted in the suspect's arrest - Billy Curl. Investigators worked around the clock to solve this heinous crime - giving the citizens and students their sense of security back.
The FY11 budget was $9,440,572.
In 2011 talks again took place to build a new police facility. Unfortunately this time it will be with less money and a smaller building. The City finally voted to have PSA Dewberry as the architect. Many plans/changes have occurred in order to build this new facility. The location will remain the same - 700 block of W. Lincoln Highway.
On February 1 through February 2 the city prepared for a blizzard. Officers were asked to bring in their personal snowmobiles in order to respond to calls for service. The blizzard brought 18.7 inches of snow with wind gusts of 50+ miles per hour. The officers had to assist several stranded motorists not only in the City but in the county.
In 2012 the Police Department underwent big changes. Chief Feithen retired after 12 years as Chief of Police. Retired Lt. Ron Pearson was appointed as Chief Administrator to serve until a new Chief of Police was hired. He served from February 27th until May 31st. Gene Lowery was hired as the new Chief of Police. Upon the hiring of Chief Lowery the department started reorganizing. The department's first Deputy Chief was created appointing Lt. Wes Hoadley to fill this position.
Construction began for the new police department in September with the goal of a move in date in the Fall of 2013.
The implementation of new software for the department began. Many hours were spent converting old data into the new system, setting up the new system, training everyone on the new system, and having a go-live date in April. The new system, Sungard OSSI, is a windows-based system having many applications. The Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and a Records Management System (RMS) are the hub of the system. Additional modules were purchased to aid the department in record retrieval and analysis, as well as for property and evidence, gang information, internal affairs, and a web based program for citizens to view calls for service on the world-wide web.
Another big change the department underwent was the redesign of the squad cars. The squad cars went from green and white to a traditional black and white look.
Additional officers were hired bringing our strength to 63 sworn officers. A lateral entry program was also initiated for new hires.
In 2012 the department joined the social media world with Facebook and Twitter. The department primarily uses Facebook with the plan to use Twitter in the future. The department also implemented a mobile application for crime reporting called "iWatch." Crime tips can be submitted via text and sent into our dispatch center.
In 2012 the department reassigned an officer to the Department Enforcement Administration (DEA) to help improve the quality of life for our citizens and reduce crime.
The FY12/13 budget for the department was $9,656,419.
In 2013 the department moved from the old station at 200 S. 4th Street to our new headquarters at 700 W. Lincoln Highway. Starting at 200 S. 4th Street a processional of squad cars, with their red lights flashing, proceeded down Lincoln Highway making their way to the new facility. Visit our Dedication and Opening Ceremony page.
The department implemented the Crime Free Housing Bureau to help reduce crime in the nearly 9000 rental properties in the City.
A Resident Officer Program (ROP) also began in the Pleasant Street Neighborhood in an effort to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in this neighborhood. The City purchased a home in this neighborhood, renovated the home, and an officer and his family moved in.
A Community Relations and Training section was formalized helping to improve community relations and improve training for the department's staff. This section consists of 1 officer.
The department also introduced a Domestic Violence Unit to review incidents of domestic violence in an effort to help with the prosecution of cases and attempt to decrease repeat calls for service.
A Targeted Response Unit (TRU) was deployed to serve as a proactive policing measure to address street crime, narcotics trafficking, and gun violence within the City. This unit consists of 1 Sergeant and 3 patrol officers.
Re-established was the department's Canine Unit. "Tach," a Belgian Malinois born in Slovakia, joined the department and serves as a dual purpose drug detective and patrol dog. He is trained in narcotics detection, handler protection, suspect apprehension, building and area searches articles searches and tracking.
The department added a prisoner transport vehicle to its fleet by reconditioning a former DeKalb Fire Department ambulance. It is called "Squad 300."
The department joined forces with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department to form the county's 1st multi-jurisdictional Special Operations Team (SOT). This team is used to address high risk warrant service and arrests, as well as any hostage or barricaded gunmen situations.
In 2014 an Open House was held on April 26th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held with the Mayor, past and present City Council members, and staff. Citizens were invited and given a full tour of the new police facility with presentations regarding the history and evolution of the DeKalb Police. Visit our Open House page.
In 2014 the department was authorized to increase their strength to 65 sworn police officers. The hiring of these two additional police officers will be completed in 2015. The civilian strength was 24.
The department continued to work closely with the Northern Illinois University (NIU) Police Department in ways to work together to address student and community needs.
The implementation of "GovPay," a vendor that facilitates credit card payments for parking tickets, posting bond, and other administrative fees, was installed in 2014. This system distributes payments to the intended recipients, such as the Circuit Clerk office for bond. This system increased officers' time on the street opposed to having to transport prisoners who are unable to post bond.
Another implementation was the automated traffic accident reporting system - "APRISS." This system allows officers to electronically complete and submit traffic accident reports, streamlining the process of dissemination to motorists, insurance companies, and the Illinois Department of Transportation. It currently does not integrate with our OSSI computer system and a portion of the report is still manually entered in the Records Management System by Records personnel.
The "Narcon program" was implemented to the Patrol Division, which trained officers on how to administer a drug known as Narcon. This drug is used to counteract the effects of a narcotics overdose. The drug is administered by the first responder, which increases the victim's chance of survival when "seconds" count.
On December 27th two patrol officers attended the funeral of a New York Police officer who was one of two officers killed in the line of duty while sitting in their squad car. The death of the two NYPD officers occurred due to an incident in Ferguson, Missouri that sparked civil unrest a few months prior. Thanks to JetBlue Airlines they offered to fly two officers per department, across the country, for free so they could attend the funerals. Attendance to both funerals was in excess of 30,000 police officers. Unfortunately, several other officer deaths continue to occur due to the ongoing civil unrest, including another NYPD officer killed in 2015. JetBlue Airlines again flew officers to attend that officer's funeral for free.
The budget for the department was $11,286,463.
Chiefs of Police
April 3, 1871: John Bennett
May 6, 1872: Weston Cheeney
July 2, 1872: Robert Speer
May 8, 1875 Oscar Scott
April 20, 1878 Robert Speer
May 14, 1878 A.P. Mennis,
April 19, 1879 E.S. Perry
April 24, 1880 Henry Morrell
April 22, 1881 J.A. Raleigh
April 19, 1882 Nathan King
May 1, 1886 Conrad Springer
May 2, 1887 Marsh L. Brown
May 5, 1888 David Riddle
May 9, 1889 John H. Bale
May 1, 1890 Jas. Shaw
July 5, 1890 Conrad Springer
May 1, 1893 Joseph C. Bennett
May 1, 1894 Thomas J. Adams
June 6, 1903 C.S. Rowe
July 2, 1904 M. Fleming
May 1, 1905 F.J. Adams
May 2, 1908 C.A. Peterson
June 19, 1909 Thomas J. Adams
May 2, 1914 James Scott
May 1, 1915 Frank Riddell
April 30, 1924 James Scott
May 5, 1925 F.W. Bull
May 3, 1927 Horace Youngs
May 7, 1929 Sidney Rowe
May 5, 1931 Alf M.Deisz
May 4, 1937 Ben Peck
June 7, 1949 John Remsey
May 5, 1953 Victor Sarich
May 14, 1956 John Remsey
May 1, 1957 Victor Sarich
October 18, 1971 Joe Maciejewski
February 19, 1989 Donald W. Berke
July 8, 2000 to February 24, 2012 William E. Feithen
February 27, 2012 to May 31, 2012 Ronald D. Pearson
May 29, 2012 to May 31, 2019 Eugene Lowery