Park Forest Police Reach Out To Public To Curb Gun Violence: “Let’s be real here. We can’t do this alone.”

Park Forest police shield
Inside the Park Forest Police Station. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Park Forest Police reached out to residents via Facebook in an attempt to curb gun violence, and, indeed, all crime.

The entire statement follows:

The Park Forest Police Department is investigating a Reckless Discharge of a Firearm incident which occurred on 2/27/16 at approximately 6:30 pm on the 100 block of Algonquin St. There were no reported injuries or damage.

According to news reports, Chicago had 2 people killed and 24 wounded in shootings over the weekend. This doesn’t include the suburban areas around Chicago, which would bring shooting totals much higher.

What is the Park Forest Police Department doing about gun violence? At the beginning of February the Park Forest Police Department created a Special Assignment Team whose focus is disrupting gun crimes in Park Forest. This team is working to make arrests connected with violence and take illegal guns off of the streets of Park Forest. This is in addition to our Patrol Division which works to take guns off the street through proactive enforcement, and an Investigations Division which works to clear crime involving weapons that have already occurred.

But let’s be real here.

We can’t do this alone.

A police department can’t be everywhere. (And do you really want us to be everywhere?) We’re limited in resources. And societal problems which cannot be addressed by a law enforcement agency, or at least not entirely, affect issues of crime. Here’s where we need help:

Residents: If you see something that doesn’t seem right, call us. We will never know your neighborhood as well as you, nor be in it as often as you. Park Forest residents have an incredible history of being proactive about protecting their neighborhoods this way- thank you, and keep it up!

Witnesses/ Victims: We’re not the bad guy. And your theory of “We’ll take care of it ourselves” only perpetuates the problem and makes it likely that at some point you’ll be sitting in a jail cell, or worse. We have several cases that could be cleared today and result in the arrest of the offender if the people who know something simply say something. Saying you saw someone commit a violent crime isn’t “snitching”. It’s called being a responsible citizen.

Parents: A disturbing amount of our problems are being committed by young people who should have had parents intervene long before we were needed. We have some incredible youth in Park Forest- future leaders, and we couldn’t be prouder of them. We also see examples of wasted opportunity, and the difference is often the adults in their lives. Our suggestion? Know your children’s friends. Know those friends’ parents. Monitor your minor children’s use of social media. Set clear rules. Have real consequences when they aren’t followed. And reiterate that despite the message of today’s culture, the police aren’t here to make things difficult for young people, but to keep them safe- and at the Park Forest Police Department, from the Police Athletic Activity Center each summer to sponsoring Teen Zone, Safe Halloween, and bicycle give-aways at our schools, we take extraordinary steps to connect with our young people.

We want the gun crimes to end, Park Forest. And while one police department of 41 sworn officers can’t affect what’s taking place across one of America’s largest metropolitan regions, we are going to do everything that we can to affect what’s taking place in the Village we have sworn to protect.

We can’t do it alone, but with your help, we can do it.

Source: PFPD