Frequently Asked Questions
General frequently asked questions that the Police Department addresses are listed below. For other questions see the FAQ sections on the left.
Q: When should you call 911?
A: When there is an emergency, lives are in danger, serious injury, serious medical condition, crime in progress or any other situation needing immediate attention. If you think about calling 911 or wonder if you should call 911, please CALL 911.
Q: What should you do if you see a crime occurring?
A: Call 911 immediately.
Be observant and make mental notes, including asking yourself:
• Are there any weapons involved?
• What is the address?
• Are there any physical characteristics such as height, weight, race, beard or scars?
• Can you give any clothing description?
• How many people are involved?
• Are the persons involved on foot or in a vehicle?
Q: Do I have to give my name when I call 911?
A: If you wish to remain anonymous or keep information confidential, just tell the communications operator.
Q: Why did it take so long for the police to come when I called?
A: All calls for police officers are handled on a priority basis. Calls requiring a police officer to make a report on a previous crime will have less precedence than crimes in progress where life and property are in serious danger. Due to high call loads during certain times of the week and day, you might be slightly inconvenienced until a police officer becomes available to take your call.
Q. When is my power going to be restored?
A. The Police Department has no control over power utilities. During power outages, our dispatchers are very busy. Calling them to ask when your power will be restored may delay an emergency response. Please call 1-800-EDISON-1 (800-334-7661).
Q: What is the curfew law and times?
A: Forest Park curfew hours: Eleven o'clock (11:00) P.M. on any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, inclusive, until six o'clock (6:00) A.M. of the following day; and one minute after twelve o'clock midnight (12:01) A.M. until six o'clock (6:00) A.M. on any Saturday or Sunday.
Q: How do I become a police officer?
A: Applicants must pass a written exam, medical exam, psychological exam, physical ability exam, medical screening, background and character investigation. On the day you are hired, you must be a U.S. citizen, at least 21 years old, possess 60 college credit hours from an accredited college, have a valid driver’s license without restrictions and not have been convicted of a felony.
Q: How do I become a part-time crossing guard?
A: You can call the Police Department’s non-emergency telephone number at 708-366-2425 and ask to speak to the Lt. Michael Cody for information and an application.
Q: How long do I have to wait before I report someone missing?
A: There are several ways you can report someone missing depending upon the circumstances. For example, if you become separated from a child in a crowd, you can notify a police officer or call 911. In non-emergency situations, you can call 911 or come to the Police Department at 517 Desplaines Avenue. It is always helpful if you can provide a recent picture of the missing person and a description of what the individual was wearing when last seen.
Q: How can I get my fingerprints taken?
A: The Forest Park Police Department provides fingerprinting services free of charge to Forest Park Residents only; you must provide your own fingerprint card. We do not provide fingerprint service for immigration purposes.
Q: I recently bought my child a motorized skateboard. Are they allowed to drive them in the street?
A: Motorized skateboards are not allowed on any Forest Park streets or public sidewalks.
Q: Does the Forest Park Police Department provide house checks while we are away on vacation?
A: Yes. The Forest Park Police Department provides both physical and visual checks. You must come to the Police Department located at 517 Desplaines Avenue to complete a request form.
Q: What if an organization claiming to be the Police calls asking for a donation?
A: The Forest Park Police Department NEVER solicits money over the phone. If you get a call claiming to raise money for the Forest Park Police Department, report the call to the Forest Park Police Department at 708-366-2425. All calls will be kept confidential.
Q: I am being stopped by a Forest Park Police Officer on a traffic stop. What should I do?
A: Getting pulled over by a police officer can be intimidating, frustrating and even dangerous for the motorist and the police officer. However, remembering some simple steps will help make your traffic stop as safe and as pleasant as possible.
Respond to the red and blue lights, and signal your intentions. The safest thing to do is to pull as far to the right as possible – using turn indicators to let the officer and other motorists know what you plan to do. If the roadway is clear and the officer does not pass you, assume that your vehicle is the one being pulled over. Drive slowly on the right until you find a suitable and safe place to stop. Drive defensively. Choose a safe location to pull off the road where you will not impede the normal flow of traffic. The officer will understand if you drive slowly looking for a suitable location.
Be aware that the violation may have occurred 1 or 2 miles before the traffic stop. This delay is due to the fact that most departments have developed strict procedures for officers to follow to ensure your safety and theirs. They are required to give the location, vehicle and occupant description, and license plate to the communications operator. The officer is also trying to locate the safest place to initiate the stop.
Remain in the vehicle unless the officer instructs otherwise. Distracted motorists have been known to leave the roadway and strike vehicles or individuals at a traffic stop, causing injury or even death.
Listen to the officer and comply with instructions. Drivers often assume they are being stopped for a routine traffic matter, but the officer may be stopping you because your vehicle is similar to one just seen leaving the scene of a crime. Additionally, many people have warrants out for their arrest, are mentally unbalanced or simply do not like police officers. Many officers have experienced verbal and physical confrontations as a result of traffic stops. Consequently, the officer may initially be acting under the assumption that you are a safety threat. Control over the situation can be accomplished by keeping yourself and your passengers in the vehicle with your hands visible.
If it is a case of mistaken identity, you will be on your way as soon as it is cleared up. If it is a traffic stop, the officer will request your driver's license, registration and insurance card. The officer may allow you to explain your actions; if so, you should speak calmly. If the officer saw you commit the violation, your statement is not necessary.
If your complaint is about the validity of the citation, then it must be handled through the courts. If you comply with the rationale behind an officer's actions by following these steps, a traffic stop can be a pleasant experience.