About Us

MISSION STATEMENTThe mission of the Lake Forest Police Department is to provide the highest quality professional police services in partnership with our community.  Our members are entrusted to consistently seek and find ways to affirmatively promote, preserve, and deliver a feeling of safety and security while providing service and problem resolution to all persons within the City of Lake Forest.

Vision Statement - "In This We Believe"These values shall serve as a foundation for all facets and form the basis of all functions of the Lake Forest Police Department.

The Lake Forest Police Department Believes in the Value of Human Life and Dignity
All persons shall be treated with courtesy and respect.  Abuse of police authority is not compatible with the trust vested in us by the community.

The Lake Forest Police Department Believes Integrity is the Basis for Community Trust
Our members will conduct themselves in the most professional manner possible so as to serve as role models for the community.  A higher standard of conduct is expected of those who carry out the goals of the criminal justice system.

The Lake Forest Police Department Believes in the Principles of the Constitution
We respect the basic rights and freedoms afforded persons by the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.

The Lake Forest Police Department Believes in Professional and Personal Excellence
We are committed to high standards of agency and individual performance.  We encourage the pursuit of higher education by our members to enhance themselves, the department, and the police profession.

The Lake Forest Police Department Believes in the Quality of our Work Force
We strive to employ capable, hard working people who are doing important and satisfying work for the citizens of Lake Forest.  We carefully screen our personnel to ensure compliance with the highest standards possible, provide the best training available, and guide them with exemplary supervision.

The Lake Forest Police Department Believes in Maintaining High Standards of Fiscal Responsibility in the Expenditure of Resources Entrusted to Us
We believe that all such resources should be directed to the achievement of departmental goals and objectives in service to the public.

The Lake Forest Police Department Believes in Cooperation
We believe in community policing to enhance public safety.  We will work with the community to address problems that cause crime and disorder.

The Lake Forest Police Department Believes in Crime Prevention
We believe our basic mission is to prevent crime and deliver vigorous law enforcement services when crime occurs.  We welcome community participation to help us deter and successfully investigate crime.

The Lake Forest Police Department Believes in Fairness and Equality to All Persons
Fair and equal treatment will be afforded to all individuals we come in contact with and our actions will be tempered with compassion.

HistoryEarly 19th century officerOn July 2, 1894, Mayor Calvin Durand, Jr. affirmed the ordinance that established the Lake Forest Police Department. The first Lake Forest police officer, James Gordon, was appointed in 1895 and patrolled the City on a bicycle.  Policemen patrolling their beat on bicycles, Lake Foresters riding in open horse-drawn carriages, and  signs advertising "All the Root Beer You Can Drink for a Nickel" were sights the traveler took in while visiting this city in 1895. During that time, the police force of Lake Forest  consisted of one man.  Our second police officer, Walker Sales (pictured), was hired in 1902 and patrolled on a motorcycle.

Until 1932, policemen on beat were able to contact headquarters only by a system of call boxes located at eight strategic places in Lake Forest. Temporarily meeting the problem was the installation of a one-way radio system. Receivers were installed in the three squad cars and messages from the station were relayed by phone to the Chicago Police Department's transmitting unit. In 1934 two-way radio sets improved communication, and in 1935, several officers were schooled in fingerprinting and photographing, after which the department inaugurated a Bureau of Identification.

During World War II, the strength of the agency reached its peak with more than 50 members. Approximately 30 of these were auxiliary police, resident civilians who became members of the City's Office of Civilian Defense and who trained for whatever emergency the war could have staged.

Today the department continues to stay in pace with the growth of Lake Forest.

Please visit the Lake Forest Police Foundation website and click on the LFPD History tab for more photographs and historical documents from the archives.
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