Range instruction is a vital part of continuous training for Forest Park Police officers. Not only do the range officers train thirty nine full- time officers, they also train part-time and auxiliary officers. This comes to almost seventy officers. Detective Sergeant Michael Keating has been the Supervisor-in-charge of the Range since 2002. In that time officers have been allowed to carry a wider range of weapons, which was once limited to only 9mm weapons. Calibers have been expanded to include 40 cal, 45 cal, shotgun and long guns like M-4’s and M-14’s that are high powered. It might seem like overkill, but unfortunately bad guys these days have out fire-powered the usual police arsenal, not unlike what happened in the North Hollywood California shootout in 1997. Although both perpetrators were killed in this bank robbery gone bad, twelve police officers and seven civilians were shot, and numerous vehicles and other property were damaged or destroyed by the nearly 2,000 rounds of ammunition fired by the perpetrators and the police. Properly trained patrol officers carrying long guns will be able to professionally address these incidents and hold their own until the Special Response Team is able to deploy.
Forest Park Range Officers include Officer Tom Hall, who is in charge of the research and development. His innovative methods keep our officers on the cutting edge of the developmental aspects of police work as it relates to the use of force, training methods and the implementation of those methods. Officer Scott Frey is in charge of training, and he writes the operational plans for our bi-annual departmental shoots. Officer Nick Kozak has recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan and has brought back infinite knowledge on engagements that can be translated and adapted for police applications. Tactical Officer Young Lee was a combat Marine for three years, and he is also one of our SRT members. Officers are required to qualify once a year to fulfill the Illinois State Police Standards, but officers are also trained in defensive tactics, weapons retention and use-of-cover techniques that ensure that our officer will go home to their families after their tour of duty.