About the Lake Forest
Policemen patrolling their beat
on bicycles, Lake Foresters riding in open horse-drawn carriages, and signs advertising
"All the Root Beer You Can Drink for a Nickel" were sights the traveler took in while visiting this city in 1895. During that
time, the police force of Lake Forest consisted of one man.
During World War II, the strength
of the agency reached its peak with more than 50 members. Approximately 30 of these were auxiliary police, resident civilians
who became members of the City's Office of Civilian Defense and who trained for whatever emergency the war could have staged.
In 1895, when Lake Forest's one
policeman rode his bicycle through town, his ambition was to have a motor propelled vehicle in order to cover the area more
efficiently. Later, with the invention of the auto, the City purchased a vehicle, then a motorcycle, steadily advancing communications.
Until 1932, policemen on beat
were able to contact headquarters only by a system of call boxes located at eight strategic places in Lake Forest. Temporarily
meeting the problem was the installation of a one-way radio system. Receivers were installed in the three squad cars and messages
from the station were relayed by phone to the Chicago Police Department's transmitting unit. In 1934 two-way radio sets improved
communication, and in 1935, several officers were schooled in fingerprinting and photographing, after which the department
inaugurated a Bureau of Identification.
The department today continues
to stay in pace the growth of Lake Forest.