Scheduled to appear monthly and exclusively in the RoundTable, the column will reach out to the greater Evanston community to foster a better understanding of the Evanston Police Department among residents, of course, but also workers and guests who come to our City on a daily or periodic basis.

The questions-and-answers format will offer readers the opportunity to ask the kinds of questions that arise in neighborhood conversations or solitary reflection.

Some of these questions might be

• What is the Citizens Police Academy, who may apply, and how does one go about applying?

• If requested, will the police department conduct residential security surveys? Even without one, are there things a homeowner can do to make the premises safer? How do residents create a neighborhood watch program?

• What is the best way to react when one is stopped by a police officer for a traffic violation? Are there things that can be done on both sides (police and citizen) to make the encounter less intimidating?

• What is inside the Evanston Police Department?

• Before the start of school next fall, what are some safety tips that students and parents can adopt?

Questions can be emailed to info@evanstonroundtable.com with “Blue and You” in the subject line. It is the hope of the Evanston Police Department that residents will become better informed about police programs and policies, how the police department and its officers work with the community.

Here is a bird’s eye view of the Evanston Police department, headquartered at 1454 Elmwood Ave., with a satellite outpost at 633 Howard St. Headquarters is open 24/7 while the satellite office is used at various times by beat officers and officers of the Community Strategy Division.

Behind the brick and mortar at 1454 Elmwood is the police force, 164 police officers and 63 civilian employees. There are three levels in the building. The ground level includes the defendant processing area where interviews and finger-printing are conducted and where holding cells
are located.

The lobby level contains the Evanston 311 Center, the Records Bureau where complainants can obtain copies of incident reports and where citizens can complete fingerprinting requirements as part of employment background checks. On the lobby level one finds roll-call rooms and the offices for the Deputy Chief, Commanders and Sergeants. Lastly, the lobby level contains four cells for women.

The second level of the building holds nine cells for men, Police Chief Richard Eddington’s office and offices for Professional Standards, Victims’ Services, the Juvenile Bureau, the Detective Bureau, the Neighborhood Enforcement Team, Community Strategies and the 911 Center.

A tour of the police station is offered to all participants in the Citizens Police Academy  (CPA) – and that is the topic
of next month’s column. Until then,
“Let’s be careful out there.”