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Cicero community contributes to policing

Chief of Police Advisory Council, working since 2008

Almost two years ago, the Cicero Police Department's Chief of Police Advisory Council was formed in order for the department to have better communication from its residents.

Beginning with five members, the council now includes 19 Cicero residents who have volunteered to serve the town in "community policing," a key initiative in the mission.

Cicero Police Chief Joseph Snell works closely with the council on a monthly basis and individually with council members when community members pose questions and concerns about the town.

CPAC Chairman David Kirk said the council is the connection the community has with its police department.

With the use of E-policing, releasing emergency information to the community, Kirk said he has seen better awareness for the town's safety.

"It lets you know what types of crimes are being committed," Kirk said of the Web-based system. "It gives you a picture of how the department is getting into the neighborhood."

Snell said the system has been a "huge success" in serving the 1,400-plus households in Cicero. E-policing has been utilized by the Cicero Police for more than three years, according to Snell.

The amount of feedback received from Cicero residents has been growing, according to Kirk, who has chaired the council since it was established.

"If things are not going right, then the community should talk to the police department," Kirk said.

Bringing concerns to the Cicero Police Department is where the council's duties begin, he said. Working together to identify issues such as heavy speeding in an area or suspicious people in the neighborhood, is how the council represents the community, Kirk said.

"There have been so many successes," Chief Snell said. "To bounce ideas off this group; if programs are important or not."

Among many collaborative efforts, the council has contributed to forming new policies such as domestic violence and Internet safety for children.

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