Multi-Agency Task Forces
The Park Forest Police Special Operations Group (SOG) was one of the first SWAT teams in the Chicago area. However, a change in policing philosophy and a need for more personnel and resources for major incidents lead to an increase in multi-agency task forces. Special Operations is no different, and in 2005 the Park Forest Police SOG Unit was officially retired as the Park Forest Police Department joined the South Suburban Emergency Response Team (SSERT), a multi-agency SWAT team that operates in the Fifth and Sixth Districts of Cook County, Illinois.
Hours & Training
Today, Park Forest police officers who show an aptitude for aggressive patrol, tactical skills, and a dedication to the 24 hour demands of Special Operations are considered for positions on the SSERT. Assigned officers still perform their day-to-day duties at the Park Forest Police Department, but train 16 hours per month with the SSERT and are on call 24 hours a day, responding for high risk search warrants, barricaded gunmen, and hostage situations. The Park Forest Police Department generally has two to three officers assigned to the SSERT. Team members receive 40 hours of initial training at Basic SWAT school prior to becoming active members.
Mobile Field Force
Additionally, officers can also be assigned to the ILEAS Mobile Field Force, another multi-agency team that provides riot control for major incidents and additional man-power in disaster situations, such as for the recent flooding in southern Illinois. Basic Mobile Field Force training is conducted at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anninston, Alabama. The Park Forest Police Department currently has one officer assigned to the Mobile Field Force.