Rita Mullin

Palatine Police Department

1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

Providing police service to a diverse community such as Palatine requires that officers have an understanding of the various cultures and ethnic backgrounds represented within the community. Too often there are barriers between the police and the community they serve. Part of the philosophy of the Palatine Police Department is to break down these barriers and become a partner with the community. Being aware of and sensitive to the cultural and ethnic differences and diversity of the community is the first step to delivering the same quality service to every member of the community.


The raison d’etre of the Palatine Police Department is summarized simply and concisely. These beliefs were composed and delineated over a three day period when the entire department, sworn and civilian were trained in leadership concepts.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Palatine Police Department is to ensure a safe community in which to live and work and to improve the quality of life in the Village of Palatine by working cooperatively with the public to protect life and property, to preserve law and order and to respect the rights and dignity of all people.

2. When was the program created and why?

The mission of the department was developed along with the vision and values in 1994 by department employees and is how members of the agency view the reason for our existence. The final version was not instituted until each and every member of the department had the opportunity to review and sign off in agreement with the philosophy reflected. Our mission statement says why we are here—to serve the public.

To maintain a forward-looking stance, the department has developed a statement of its vision. Excellence is a one-word summation of our vision. We see ourselves as being innovative and being working partners with the Palatine community to deliver quality service. Our vision sees beyond the community and focuses upon intra-departmental relationships.

Vision Statement

The Palatine Police Department strives to be the innovative leader in neighborhood-based policing by working in partnership with each other and the community to provide quality service and to preserve the public safety. Our professional work environment will be based upon the fair and equal treatment of all members, shared decision making throughout the organization, and working relationships based upon mutual respect, trust and pride. Ethical behaviors, lacking within our society today, are valued by our department. The employees identified four critical values as follows: integrity, respect, service and innovation.

3. How do you measure the program’s effectiveness?

Values Statement

The Palatine Police Department shall accomplish its mission and achieve its vision for the future by living and working within our organizational values:

Integrity - We are committed, at all times, to maintain the public trust with honest, moral, and ethical behavior that is above reproach.

Respect - We strive for just enforcement of laws, equal protection of constitutional rights, and reasonable use of force. We are dedicated to the objective, fair, consistent and compassionate treatment of the general public and fellow employees in all of our actions. We are committed to treating others like we want to be treated.

Service - We are dedicated to preserving public safety and to improving the quality of life in our community. In partnership with the public, we strive to provide responsive, efficient, effective and quality service through team work, problem solving and personal accountability.

Innovation - We value the continuous improvement, growth, and development of ourselves and our organization through the use of creative problem solving methods to achieve professional excellence.

4. How is the program financed?

The training was financed by the department. The instructor and facilitator for the three days was FBI Academy instructor Richard Ayers.

5. What are the major lessons learned that would be helpful for others trying to implement a similar program?

The key lesson was that the entire department of 120 individuals could work together to develop a common vision for their mission, vision and values. Civilian records clerks and secretaries successfully teamed up with command staff and officers to create these declarations.

6. What specific advice do you have for mayors interested in replicating a program such as yours?

Every agency needs to have a specific mission. Employees need direction to focus their efforts and to provide understanding of their purpose. People need vision—in their lives and in their work. Vision gives individuals the picture of what the agency as a whole is striving to attain. Values are what the individuals hold dear, not only to themselves but to their organization and how the organization relates to them and the community. Values help to personalize the agency for the individual worker.

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