City of Highland Park Suspends Walk-in Services at the Police Department In Response to COVID-19
New staffing plan transitions operations to remote staff where possible
March 18, 2020 – Effective March 19, 2020, the City of Highland Park will suspend walk-in services currently provided at the Highland Park Police Department. Essential services will be offered by appointment only. The City encourages residents to use online or mail services for necessary requests. The action follows guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health emphasizing social distancing as the most effective method of preventing the spread of COVID-19. This new, by appointment only process replaces previously announced walk-in hours at the Highland Park Police Department.
The City’s staffing plan ensures continuity of service in its most critical areas of emergency response and water treatment/distribution, and prioritizes social distancing through staggered shifts and limited non-essential field interactions with members of the public. These changes are part of the City’s emergency response plan and implementation and represent the City’s ongoing effort to balance the community’s needs for administrative services and the best interests of public health.
As part of this plan, the Police Department will implement new protocols to prevent the spread of illness, primarily by resolving non-emergency requests for service via phone. Examples of non-emergency requests include information for police reports, delayed reports, non-emergency calls or ordinance violations.
City Manager Ghida Neukirch stated, “This staffing model will allow us to continue to provide important services in a way that protects the health of residents and City staff.”
Along with the reduction in hours, the following changes will also be implemented:
- Urgent requests for vital records and real estate transfer stamps may be accommodated by pre-arranged appointment only, by contacting the Finance Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847.432.0800.
- Certain services will be suspended entirely, including the sale of refuse stickers, parking permits, and vehicle and motorcycle stickers.
- Citations for parking permits, vehicle stickers and dog licensing are suspended. Any citations received prior to March 19 should be paid through the mail, to the attention of the Finance Department, City Hall. Payments received prior to March 19 will be processed and permits or stickers will be sent through the mail.
- The sale of refuse stickers continues at Jewel-Osco, Mutual Ace Hardware, Sunset Foods, and Walgreens in Highland Park. Questions about refuse and recycling should be directed to LRS at 773.685.8811.
- The Electronics Recycling Center is closed until further notice, but all other services of the Department of Public Works continue.
- All landscaper licenses applications, payments, and supplemental documents should be mailed to the City Manager’s Office, City Hall 1707 St. Johns Avenue. Late fees for landscaper licenses will be suspended. Licenses will be mailed when processed.
Late fees, penalties, and interest are suspended for water bills and parking tickets, although the City encourages on-time payments where possible. Payments may be made online at cityhpil.com.
Questions regarding these matters should be directed to email@example.com or 847.432.0800. Additional information is available on the City’s website, cityhpil.com.
The City will also scale back services provided by the Community Development Department, including suspension of all in-person walk-up customer service operations. Staff will respond to mail, voicemail, and email requests. The Department’s field staff will only perform essential construction-related and life safety inspections by appointment only on Mondays and Thursdays. Appointments can be made by calling 847.432.0808; the City will be asking screening questions for COVID-19 as recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Building-related Plan Review services and Planning and Zoning related services will be conducted by mail, email, and phone. More information, including contact numbers, email addresses, and mailing addresses is available at cityhpil.com.
Questions regarding COVID-19 should be directed to the Illinois Department of Public Health hotline at 1.800.889.3931 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and residents who notice symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath should contact their medical providers. Individuals contacting 911 should disclose any risk factors for COVID-19 exposure, including recent international and domestic travel or contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
The City will continue to provide regular updates to the community on the developing COVID-19 pandemic via its website at cityhpil.com/covid-19, social media, and e-newsletter. Residents are also encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts with Smart911.