The Investigations Section plays an extremely significant role in the department's efforts to detect and apprehend offenders who commit crimes in Vernon Hills.
Investigation Section Officers
The investigations section is headed by an investigations commander. There are seven additional officers who function as non-uniformed investigators in various ways. Three of these investigators perform most of the follow-up investigations; two serve as school resource officers; and two are tactical officers.
The investigations section, a part of the operations division, is responsible for the follow-up investigations of crimes and the implementation of a variety of proactive measures to reduce and stop crime.
Investigators process evidence at crime scenes and analyze patterns and criminal intelligence utilizing modern resources and techniques. The investigations section's work includes:
Finally, two investigators function primarily as tactical officers. The tactical officers conduct proactive operations (sometimes undercover) and are also available to assist the patrol section when necessary.
School Resource Officers
The School Resource Officer (SRO) Program is a partnership between the Vernon Hills Police Department and the two school districts in Vernon Hills.
Role in the Community
The SRO has a diverse role in the school community and has many duties and responsibilities. The SRO's primary goal is to become a positive role model for the youth of the community. The SRO is specifically trained to perform the roles of law enforcement officer, law-related counselor, and law-related education teacher.
Assisting in the School Districts
The participating school districts are Community High School District 128 (Vernon Hills High School) and Hawthorn District 73 (with a total of six schools). As a police officer, the school becomes the SRO's beat.
The SRO assists the school administration in maintaining a safe and secure learning environment. Currently, one officer is assigned to Vernon Hills High School and another officer is assigned to the middle schools.
Benefiting School Administrators & Staff
School administrators and staff benefit from the SRO's training, knowledge, and expertise in handling emergency situations, drug-related issues, underage drinking, and truancies. The SRO is also responsible for investigating violations of criminal law and making arrests when appropriate.
Making an Impact on Youth
The SRO is in a unique position to make a significant impact on the youth of the community. The SRO helps to generate a positive understanding of the law enforcement community, and promotes good citizenship through daily interaction with the students and staff.
In addition, the SRO works in collaboration with the school and the community as a resource for safety and security issues. The SRO's sworn duty to enforce the law does not contradict the need for the SRO to be a positive role model, in fact, it supports it.
Lake County Major Crime Task Force
When a serious or complex crime occurs, almost all law enforcement agencies lack the staffing needed to thoroughly and successfully investigate the incident. Many cases involve a multitude of needs including (to name a few) crime scene processing, evidence collection, locating and interviewing victims and witnesses, conducting surveillances and interviewing suspects.
That's where the Lake County Major Crime Task Force comes in.
The LCMCTF was formed in 1992 in response to a mutual need for vast investigative resources and expertise from all Lake County law enforcement agencies. In addition to the Vernon Hills Police Department, the LCMCTF is comprised of members from approximately 30 law enforcement agencies including the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Illinois State Police.
One of the most recent cases that the task force investigated was the December shooting of a motorist on Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville. The investigation culminated in an arrest in which the suspect was charged with murder.
The residents of Lake County can indeed be proud that this group of dedicated and highly trained law enforcement professionals are available at a moment's notice. Their skill and expertise are unmatched.