Community Services

Lt. Chad Gessner
Non-Emergency Number: (815) 802-7144
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The Community Services Division of the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Police Department performs many tasks and programs that are extremely important for community awareness. Below are activities and events:

Senior Citizen Police Academy - The department provides a 10 week program to show the public how the local law enforcement offices work. Social service agencies are brought in to show how networking takes place. Instructions are also given to the group on how to be a better witness if this should be needed.

 Monitoring of Alarms in the Kankakee County – If a residential or business alarm system is installed or changed, owners must alert and register changes/installations with the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Police Department. The Kankakee County False Alarm Ordinance, which was enacted May 13, 1997, requires all Alarm System users within the unincorporated areas of Kankakee County to register with and obtain a permit from the Sheriff’s Police Alarm Administrator. Nearly 700 alarm users are registered with this office currently. Routine monitoring of these alarms and the associated dispatch of officers to alarm activations is conducted by this office. False alarms are addressed with the owner and actions are coordinated to minimize any repeat violations.

Upon notification, the new / updated alarm systems owner will receive a copy of the applicable County Ordinances along with an application for registration of their alarm(s).

Public Relations - The Community Services Office works with organizations and groups interested in knowing more about the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department. Should your group or agency wish to host a seminar or have need of a specific type of briefing, please contact our office.

The Community Services Office provides a variety of briefings tailored for the various segments of our community. The following list represents the variety of agencies / organizations to which presentations have been made in 2007:

Senior Awareness Briefings: In this seminar, we identify various cons, scams and how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of Cons/Scams occurring in Kankakee County. Identity theft protection is but one of the items covered in this presentation.

Workplace violence issues. This session includes information on how to identify and respond to potential or actual incidents of violence occurring in the workplace.

Beverage, Alcohol, Seller and Server Education and Training: Five, six-hour seminars were completed this year with attendees being certified as BASSET team members with the following goals:

“Avoid Service Problems with Beverage, Alcohol Sellers and Service Education and Training (BASSET).” People don’t always act responsibly when they are drinking. As a result, liquor establishments encounter bar fights, drunken driving fatalities, property damage, unruly patrons, underage sales and lawsuits more often than other types of businesses.

Bar and restaurant owners can reduce their risks by participating in the BASSET program. The Illinois Liquor Control Commission licenses and administers the BASSET program which provides training to owners, operators and employees in the alcohol beverage industry. By acquiring BASSET training, establishments can reduce their liquor liability insurance.

Participants in BASSET training will be equipped to serve alcohol responsibly and prevent underage sales. In addition, they are able to:

  • Recognize when a patron is intoxicated
  • Be empowered to tell an intoxicated customer that they need to discontinue service
  • Intervene and get an intoxicated person alternative transportation
  • Determine whether an ID card is phony
  • Document all incidents and potential incidents
  • Provide better customer service
  • Gain a working knowledge of Illinois Laws

 Children and Young Adult Programs - The Kankakee County Sheriff’s Police Department offers Child Identification Card Program as well as programs such as Stranger Danger, Drug and Alcohol Awareness, Bicycle Rodeos, Operation Lifesaver and specific programs as requested.

 Neighborhood / Vacation Watch Programs - Neighborhood Watch Programs are a great way to work with your neighbors to enhance the safety and security of your community. A deputy will assist you in tailoring a program to fit your needs.

Home Safety Checks - Do you want to enhance the security of your home? Maybe a “home security survey” is what you need. With you, an officer will conduct a walk-around of your property to recommend possible measures to decrease your potential for victimization.

Tobacco Compliance Checks: The purpose of these details is to determine the level of sales of tobacco products to minors occurring within the unincorporated areas of Kankakee County along with those incorporated areas having no enforcement plan on file. To ensure the retail merchant is fully aware of the requirements of state statute 720 ILCS 675/2, a representative of the Sheriff’s Office contacts over 90 tobacco vendors throughout the County each year. Utilizing a training program provided by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC), our officer provides training to merchants and their employees regarding over the counter sales and / or operation of vending machine sales of tobacco. A series of three compliance checks are conducted each year. On average, eight vendors are identified during each check as having sold tobacco products to a minor. A fine of not less than $200.00 plus court costs may be levied for each of these offenses. Upon notification that an improper sale has occurred, the Sheriff’s Office offers additional training the vendor / clerks of the offending establishment. For additional information or training in this area, please contact the Community Services Office at 815-802-7100.

9-1-1 Cell phone collections: Over the past three years, this office has collected used cell phones. Upon recycling these phones, we have received over 100 phones pre-programmed for 9-1-1 service in our area. These 9-1-1 phones are in turn donated to area residents, Harbor House, KC-CASA and other groups who have expressed a need for emergency phone service. If you or anyone you know is in need of this service please call us immediately. Do you need an extra incentive to get one of those old cell phones out of the house? If so, we have combined efforts with the local McDonald’s and BarBeck Communications to offer you sandwich and discounts on new cell phones when you turn in an old one. Additionally, you will be helping us to support the Ronald McDonald House Foundation.