The village of Oak Park will be hosting a series of meetings to gather the community’s feedback on how the Oak Park Police Department can provide greater equity in its services. The meetings are the beginning of the public input phase of the independent community safety study commissioned by the village board. The study itself is part of the board’s wider effort to promote racial equity in law enforcement by identifying, addressing and rectifying the areas that encourage bias-based policing.
All three meetings will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. The first is scheduled for March 10 and will be held on Zoom. The focus of that meeting, according to a village news release, will be on police operations. The police department’s calls-for-service model and its operations will be the focus of the second meeting, which will be held in person March 16 in the east café of Oak Park and River Forest High School. A third meeting, focusing on the calls-for-service model, will be held on Zoom March 23. Meeting footage will also be archived on the village’s website.
Representatives from national consulting firm BerryDunn will lead the meetings.
Those who wish to can also directly submit feedback into a dedicated web portal accessible through this link: www.oak-park.us/policeassessment. A racial equity survey and links to the two virtual meetings can also be found on the web portal.
The village board engaged the services of BerryDunn for the study back in August in a contract worth $159,250. Through the study, BerryDunn will assess police operations, internal and external racial equity issues within the department and how police respond to calls for service. The study is expected to last into late summer or early fall. BerryDunn representatives will present a report of their findings to the village board upon the assessment’s completion.
Community members who wish to participate in the March 10 meeting can do so here: https://oak-park-us.zoom.us/j/81224547596, meeting ID 812 2454 7596.
The March 23 meeting is accessible through this link:
https://oak-park-us.zoom.us/j/81670546427, meeting ID 816 7054 6427.