Vernon Hills law enforcement expo set for Sept. 8-9
Sarah Silliman, a 911 telecommunicator, works in the dispatch area of the combined communication center at the Vernon Hills Police Department. This weekend's police expo will feature a 911 simulator. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 7, 2012 6:36AM
VERNON HILLS — The Vernon Hills Police Department will host its eighth annual Law Enforcement Exhibition Saturday and Sunday at Westfield Hawthorn Mall.
“The expo is an opportunity for us to showcase the positive aspects of police work,” said Vernon Hills police officer Sharon Joseph, the event coordinator. “There’s so much more to what we do than what you see on television. We want people to come out and see what it’s really like — ask us questions, see some of our equipment, get to know us better.”
Joseph added that area law enforcement and related agencies will take part to allow participants to see specialty vehicles, equipment and demonstrations and to interact with officers. The expo is also used as a public education and recruitment tool by police, she said.
The displays will include a six-wheel ATV, a Hummer, a crime scene vehicle, motorcycles and police bicycle units, as well as additional surprises. An interactive alcohol and tobacco display will be run by the Niles Police Department.
Other interactive displays will include a 911 simulator, “drunk goggles” and a thermal imaging camera.
Police exhibits will be available for public viewing during the entire weekend. There will also be free handouts and giveaways.
Five police K-9 demonstrations are planned as well, including sessions at noon, 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday; and at 1 and 5 p.m. Sept. 9. The demonstrations will be held on the lower level in front of the Victoria’s Secret Life is Pink store, half way between Sears and the center court.
Depending on weather conditions, a police helicopter is scheduled to land at 2 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot outside Sears and will stay for about an hour.
The Illinois Freemasons will supply detailed identification kits for children, including fingerprints, photos and video interviews on the lower level next to the children’s play area.
Mall hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Westfield Hawthorn is located at state routes 60 and 21.
For more information and a full listing of participating agencies, visit www.VHPD.com and click “Upcoming Events.”
The Mundelein Police Department also is reaching out to residents this weekend.
In Mundelein, residents are encouraging the public to attend an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the department, 221 N. Lake St.
The program provides residents the chance to get to know their local police officers and to ask them questions.
Attendees can take a building tour that will show off the department’s firearms range, telecommunications center, investigations division, evidence processing area and the prisoner holding unit.
Activities and seminars include a women’s self-defense demonstration, a weapons presentation, a distracted- and impaired-driving simulator, and a crime scene evidence recovery and fingerprinting presentation. There also will be a bike safety presentation and child safety seat installation demonstration.