The Village of Hanover Park was incorporated on August 14, 1958 with a population of 305. Clyde West was appointed the first Police Chief. Chief West used his house as the village’s first Police Department. His house was located at the southeast corner of Evergreen and Church. He resigned in February 1959.
Carl Ahlstrand, a trustee, volunteered to take his place as acting Chief. Chief Ahlstrand was tragically killed on February 22, 1959 when a semi-truck struck him after he had pulled over a speeding car in the area of Lake and Walnut. While Chief Ahlstrand was questioning the two people in the car, a semi-truck driver lost control of his truck and smashed into the two cars killing Chief Ahlstrand and the two people in the speeding car. Chief Ahlstrand's name is on the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Panel 15, W-3). The year Chief Ahlstrand died 102 other officers nationwide were killed in the line of duty.
Walter Cliff who was with Chief Ahlstrand at the time of the crash and had been injured in that crash was then appointed to serve as the village’s third Police Chief.
- In 1960, the police department was moved to a barn on Irving Park Road. The village population of Hanover Park had reached 451. In 1962, Walter Cliff resigned and the one full-time Police Officer, Sam Polotto, was appointed Chief of Police. He remained Chief until 1976. During 1962, the village population reached 1,845.
- In 1963, the population of Hanover Park grew to 3,713. In 1964, the Police Department moved into a small white house at 2121 West Lake Street. The Village Hall occupied the same building. By 1965, the population was at 6,620.
- In 1970, the salary for the Chief of Police was $11,900.The starting salary for a police officer was $8,500.
- In 1971, the business corridor along Irving Park Road was taking shape with businesses such as Brown’s Chicken, Chicken Unlimited, Tri-Village Drive Inn, Eagle Discount Store, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts and K-mart.
- In 1973 the Police Department moved to 1700 Jensen. The Village Hall was left behind at 2121 West Lake Street.
- In 1975 the salary for the Chief of Police was $21,984. The starting salary for a Lieutenant was $14,892. The starting salary for a Sergeant was $13,512. The starting salary for a Police Officer was $11,664.
- In 1976 the Police Department moved back to 2121 West Lake Street. It was decided that it would be better if the Police Department was located in the same building as the Village Hall. This police facility had a total of 19,960 square feet and was built for a police department of approximately 40 employee's. Over time the police department expanded to 99 employee's. Chief Robert Sauer was appointed Police Chief and remained Chief until 1992.
- The first Community Service Officer, Jorge Martinez, was hired on March 3, 1977.
- In 1992, Commander Gary Altergott was promoted and appointed as Chief of Police and remained Chief until 1997.
- In 1997, Phillip Bue was hired and appointed Chief of Police. Chief Bue served as Chief of Police for eleven months. During Chief Bue's tenure, the Crisis Resolution Team (CRT) was formed. In 1998, Ron Moser was hired and appointed Chief of Police.
- In 1999, the Hanover Park Police implemented a canine unit which brought the number of total sworn officers to 49. Officer Atkinson was partnered with Canine Officer "Rumble."
- In 2001 under Chief Moser, a Crime Analyst position was created within the department which began to focus the department on the beginnings of intelligence-driven policing.
- In 2007 the police department was awarded the Community Innovation Award by the Illinois Municipal League. The award recognized the police department for their new innovative staff meeting format which helped to contribute of the lowest Part I crime rate in the village's history.
- In 2008, the Police Department had 52 sworn officers.
- In 2009, Chief Moser was appointed Village Manager, and Deputy Chief David Webb was then promoted to Chief of Police. During 2009, the Police Department increased to 55 sworn officers.
The Hanover Park Police Department first received Accreditation status in 2001 under Chief Moser. The accreditation had been a long time goal for the department, and put the Hanover Park Police Department among only 3% of the 18,700 police agencies in the United States to reach this objective. To gain accreditation, the department had to comply with hundreds of standards and pass an on-site assessment, which was conducted in August 2001. Since 2001 the department has been re accredited every three years. The most recent re-accreditation was completed in August of 2016 where the department received the distinguished "With Excellence" and "Meritorious" recognitions.
- In 2010, Chief Webb changed the way we police and implemented a new community policing concept called ART (Area Response Teams). This community policing effort, along with the staff meeting formats, began to focus on the needs of the Hanover Park Community and empowered the officers and the citizens to be a part of the solution.
- Officer Atkinson and Rumble worked together continuously until March 19, 2010 when Rumble was retired. On April 3, 2010 Rumble passed away.
- In 2011, the Department obtained another canine and selected Officer Atkinson to be its handler. A naming contest was held in Hanover Park and in the Village’s schools. The name that was selected for the Department’s second canine was "Ajax."
- In 2015, Officer Atkinson retired along with his canine, Ajax. The Department also added a Bicycle Patrol Unit. Officers are assigned to this unit in addition to their regular assignment.
- In 2016, Officer Wiebe was selected to be the Department’s next canine handler, and the police department added our third canine. A naming contest and vote was held on social media to name the new canine. The name that got the most votes was "Echo."
- In 2016, Chief David Webb was appointed Deputy Village Manager, and Deputy Chief Michael Menough was promoted and appointed as the Chief of Police for the Hanover Park Police Department.
Under Chief Webb, the department began to receive recognition for its use of technology making our policing efforts more efficient and effective, thus driving home the concept of policing smarter and not harder. The Police Chief magazine and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, in August 2011, recognized our use of SharePoint technology for effective communication with our officers and we were awarded the Excellence in Technology award. In November 2011 the police department was again recognized for their innovation and commitment to their community policing effort. The International Association of Chief’s of Police and CICSO recognized us with the Webber Seavey Award for our Area Response Team (ART) community policing program. At the time the department had seen consistently low Part I crime statistics over the years however in 2011, the department recorded its lowest Part I rate in the history of the police department.
Part I crime is the benchmark used by the FBI to determine the crime rate in villages and cities. This significant accomplishment was noted following the addition of a community policing strategy being coupled with the department’s current intelligence driven style of policing. Also in 2011, the police department number of sworn officers had increased to 61.
Recognizing that it was time to expand, work began on designing new police facilities for the village. The new headquarters building was designed by PSA Dewberry (now Dewberry) and construction was by Leopardo Construction Company. On site operations for construction of the new police headquarters building began July 12, 2010 with the demolition of the existing structures on the 2011 Lake Street site. The building spans 63,670 square feet (including the 9,570 square foot garage) and was substantially completed in January of 2012. The police department moved into the new building on February 21, 2012. The new building includes state of the art evidence processing and storage facilities, a modern detention facility, an OSHA/EPA compliant firearms range as well as a Community Room that seats 50 people.
In 2012 the police department was recognized for its third straight year of crime rates dropping to all time lows. Our Department moved into our fifth police station at 2011 Lake St.
In 2013, in efforts to improve communication efforts with the community and enhance our community policing efforts, Chief Webb implemented the Police and Community Connected (P.A.C.C.) program. This program involved the use of the various forms of social media, and allows information to be pushed out to the community in real time, and solicits information from the community to assist the department with fighting crime. This program has proven to be very successful and we continue to expand as new formats are developed.
Every year since 2013, the police department and the Village has been recognized as one of America’s Top 100 Safest Cities. This is a direct result of the dedication of the officers and the efforts in which they display on a daily basis.
In 2014, as an ongoing process of keeping the community informed, a new public crime mapping program was implemented. This allows residents in the community to view what is happening in their community and shows any crime trends. This is posted in real time. It also enhances our officers ability to predict crime and identify "hot spots" within the Village so that attention can be immediately focused on these areas. The mapping system also incorporated a program called "Offender Watch" which posts information in regards to offenders required by law to register. This information is pushed out to the public and will alert those who have signed up with the program to receive notification if an offender moves in near them.
Today, the Police Department has 61 sworn police officers; 24 full-time non-sworn employees and 10 part-time non-sworn employees for a total of 96 employees. Thanks for visiting Hanover Park Police’s history page.