Police information 2016-07-30 054
Local News

Homewood police reach out to the community

Homewood police offers greeted residents Saturday in front of Village Hall to provided information about best practices for traffic stops. The police department will also host National Night Out from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in Irwin Park, an opportunity for residents to get to know police officers.

Homewood Police Officer Vince Stark, right, talks 
with Joe Buschmann, center, of Flossmoor and 
Buschmann’s sister, Cheryl Burlone of Houston,
Texas. The police outreach effort Saturday preceded
a bigger outreach event Tuesday, Aug. 2, when 
the Homewood Police Department will host 
National Night Out in Irwin Park.

(Photo by Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Patrol Officer Vince Stark was one of several offers posted at the entrance to Village Hall on Saturday, July 30, to greet residents and offer information about safe interactions during traffic stops.

With the weekly Meet the Mayor session going on in Village Hall and the Homewood Farmers Market attracting a crowd across the street, officers were in a good spot to meet people.

Stark, a veteran officer with 25 years experience, 14 in Homewood, said helping people understand traffic stop protocols could prevent the tragic results that have occurred across the nation in recent years.

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He said the community policing approach used in Homewood works well and helps maintain good relations between police and residents.

Anyone who missed the opportunity to talk to officers Saturday will have another chance Tuesday when the Homewood Police Department sponsors National Night Out from 5 to 8 p.m. in Irwin Park, 18120 Highland Ave.

The annual event is intended to give people an opportunity meet neighbors and talk in an informal setting with local police officers.

Homewood Police Deputy Chief Denise McGrath said the opportunity to meet at a community event is important, because frequently interactions with police occur during times of stress.

hether a person is stopped by police for a traffic violation or is the victim of a crime, the situation doesn’t lend itself to conviviality.

National Night Out will be a chance for residents to relax, have fun and get to know their officers better. The tone will be set with a number of fun activities including water balloon tosses with an officer, rides on trackless train Lil’ Obie, a jumpy house and face painting, according to a recent village e-newswire notice.

There is a medical helicopter set to land in Irwin Park, although McGrath notes that if the crew receives a call for assistance it would have to leave the event.

She said the police department will have some of its vehicles and equipment on display.

Food vendors include Wiley’s Grill, Aurelio’s Pizza and Homewood Dairy Queen.

In addition to the police department, the event is co-sponsored by the Village of Homewood and the National Association of Town Watch.

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