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updated: 9/1/2011 3:53 PM

Arlington Heights police win praise at public hearing

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Residents praised the Arlington Heights Police Department this week as it held a public hearing for its recertification by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement.

Among them was Ann Marie Lundstrom, who said she appreciates the department's Citizen Observer program that sends emails alerting residents to crimes and allowing witnesses to respond to police.

She also likes the reverse 911 system through which homes and businesses get a call when there is a serious incident nearby.

And Lundstrom is particularly pleased that the police department is now using the fourth floor of village hall because the lack of vacant space might keep her husband from referring to the building as the Taj Mahal.

Burt Jensen, chairman of the board for Journeys from PADS to HOPE, praised the department for its cooperation with the social service agency that works with the homeless.

"To my knowledge there is no place else in the country with the cooperation of law enforcement and social service agencies like here in the Northwest suburbs," said Jensen, a retired FBI agent.

Jim Bertucci, a member of the board of Crime Stoppers, thanked the department for its work with the organization that encourages witnesses to crimes to come forward with information either for money or a sense of civic responsibility.

Roylene Gallas enjoyed the department's Citizen Police Academy so much she and other graduates started an alumni group. In the last year, members have donated 865 hours to help officers at 16 events, she said.

And Peter Kinsey, the new police chief in Lincolnshire who served 30 years with the Arlington Heights department, said he has modeled changes in his new department on the way things are done in Arlington Heights.