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The officers in the Patrol Division are the front-line, immediate first responders of the Sheriff’s Police. Their primary responsibility is to provide basic police services to the 109,000 citizens in unincorporated Cook County. Additionally, Sheriff’s Police patrol units respond to requests from suburban law enforcement agencies for assistance in areas of traffic control, back-up response and additional manpower.
Community Relations Section
The Community Relations Section’s goal is to make the Sheriff’s Department user-friendly for the citizens of Cook County. Community Relations representatives regularly attend neighborhood and community watch meetings, updating residents on area activity and often providing safety tips and other useful information.
Members of this unit are permanently assigned to Proviso East and Shepard high schools as school resource officers. Additionally, Community Relations representatives annually coordinate Leg 5 of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics and conduct week-long P.A.C.T. (Police And Children Together) Camps for students each summer.
North Area Patrol
Working out of the Rolling Meadows and Skokie Districts, the North Area Patrol Division responds to calls for service in Northern Cook County bordered by Lake County (north), DuPage County and Sheriff’s Police South Area Patrol (south), Lake Michigan (east) and Kane County (west). The 350 square miles that make up the North Area is divided into 12 patrol beats that include the unincorporated townships of Leyden and Maine, as well as other towns, forest preserves and unincorporated areas. In 2009, officers working in the North Area Patrol Districts arrested approximately 2,500 individuals for crimes ranging from homicide to burglary to DUI. Additionally, more than 44,000 tickets for various Illinois vehicle code violations were written.
South Area Patrol
The South Area Patrol Division responds to calls for service in Southern Cook County, bordered by the Illinois/Indiana state line (east), Will County (south and west) and DuPage County and the Sheriff’s Police North Area Patrol (north). Based out of the Bridgeview and Markham Districts, officers assigned to the South Area Patrol respond to calls from the nine beats within the 375 square miles encompassed by that area. Additionally, the South Area Patrol is responsible for assigning officers to patrol the Village of Ford Heights which dissolved its police department in early 2008.
In 2009, officers working in the South Area Patrol Districts made approximately 4,000 arrests for crimes ranging from homicide to drug possession to driving on a revoked license. Additionally, more than 41,000 tickets were written for various violations of the Illinois vehicle code.
Truck / Traffic Unit
The Truck/Traffic Unit has specially trained and highly motivated officers assigned to enhance efforts to make the roads safer for the citizens of Cook County. The DUI enforcement teams conduct roadside safety checkpoints throughout the County on a regular basis to ensure impaired drivers are arrested and removed from the streets. In 2009, the DUI Unit arrested more than 300 drunk/drugged drivers from the streets. The Truck Unit sets up temporary weigh stations, utilizing mobile scales, throughout the County. In 2009, this unit cited hundreds of commercial vehicles for overweight violations. Trucks hauling more than their specified weight can damage roads and adversely affect the truck’s braking system and possibly making the truck unsafe. The efforts of this unit combat these issues by periodically conducting weight and equipment safety inspections of trucks travelling on roadways in Cook County.