"A Way Out" Program

The Crystal Lake Police Department participates in McHenry County's "A Way Out" program, which offers substance abuse treatment to McHenry County residents. Interested persons may enter the Police Department lobby and request to participate in the program. After normal business hours, the phone near the Police Department entrance may be used. Qualified persons will be transported to Centegra Hospital in Woodstock for an evaluation. Health insurance is not required.

Those interested in participating will be required to turn over to police any drugs or contraband in their possession. In most cases, the participants will not be arrested or charged for possessing any unlawful substances; however, depending on the quantity of narcotics and/or other investigative information, the Police Department retains discretion to arrest and charge if appropriate. A person cannot participate in this program if they currently have an active warrant for their arrest or they are using it as a means to avoid prosecution of other criminal charges.

This program is available to McHenry County residents only through the Crystal Lake Police Department, but we will assist non-McHenry County residents by facilitating a connection with another appropriate law enforcement agency. Click here for a list of other participating agencies.

Bicycle Registrations
Every year the Crystal Lake Police Department recovers approximately 100 bicycles. Unfortunately, only a few bikes are returned to their owner, and all unclaimed bicycles are taken to auction after six months. If you have lost or had your bicycle stolen, please call the Crystal Lake Police Department to see if we have recovered your property.

Along with keeping your bike locked up, it is important to register your bike with the Police Department. The information allows the police to return your lost or stolen bike to you if it is recovered, and best of all, it’s free! Monday - Friday, register your bike at the Police Department between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM. A printable Bicycle Registration application may be completed prior to your arrival.

Car Safety Seat Inspections
Free child safety seat inspections are offered to parents and caregivers by the Police Department's certified child seat technicians. The educational service does not include installation therefore all child seats must be installed prior to arrival. Surveys indicate that 90% of all child safety seats are not properly installed. 

Child safety seats are inspected by appointment only. Please call the Police Department to schedule an inspection. However, the Police Department also periodically offers free car seat inspection events which are advertised on the City's website and social media platforms.

Care Trak System
The Care Trak system is a transmitter worn by individuals with the potential to wander, such as those with Autism, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Down’s Syndrome, or a traumatic brain injury. Care Trak proudly reports that every individual outfitted with the monitor has been located within 30 minutes or less.

The McHenry County Mental Health Board volunteered to monitor and maintain the system for the Crystal Lake Police Department. The Health Board manages the screening process as well as the monthly maintenance transmitters. 

Citizen Police Academy
The Citizen Police Academy, a free 11-week program, provides a working knowledge of the Crystal Lake Police Department. The Academy consists of a series of classes, discussions, and demonstrations of the Department's operations and divisions. The Department uses this educational program to enhance community safety, increase positive communications, and foster a partnership between the public and the Police Department.

Enrollment is open to all, with priority given to Crystal Lake residents and those who work in Crystal Lake. Participants must be at least 18 years of age, pass a criminal background check, and sign a waiver as well as a hold harmless agreement. The class size must be between 10-25. The next session's information will be posted City's website and the Police Department's social media pages. Fill out the Citizen Police Academy Application and contact Officer Eddie Pluviose at (815) 356-3731 for questions. 

Fingerprinting
The Crystal Lake Police Department will only fingerprint residents who reside within City limits or employees of Crystal Lake businesses located within City limits. Businesses will only be accommodated for employment purposes.

Fingerprinting occurs through appointments only. Call (815) 356-3620 to schedule your appointment. For security reasons, fingerprinting cannot be done when prisoners are in custody.

Impact Program
The Internal Measures to Prevent Alcohol Consumption in Teens (IMPACT) program is an innovative measure to assist in the reduction of underage consumption of alcohol. The IMPACT program establishes the means by which businesses can work with the Crystal Lake Police Department to initiate internal compliance checks, sponsored by the business owner, after application and approval of the City through its Chief of Police or designee.

The stings will be conducted by third party impartial participants through a relationship with the McHenry County College. This program is designed to encourage a reduction in the incidents of underage drinking by means of a voluntary partnership between the Police Department and local business owners who sell alcoholic beverages. 

Internship Program
The Crystal Lake Police Department Internship Program gives high school seniors and college students, studying the field of law enforcement or criminal justice, an opportunity to gain real world, job-related work experience.

The program covers all divisions and operations of the Police Department to provide the most comprehensive experience possible. To be eligible for the Internship Program, the student attend an accredited college or university and major in law enforcement, criminal justice, or a related field.

For more information on the Crystal Lake Police Department Internship Program, please contact Sergeant Mark Szumanski, Training Coordinator, at (815) 356-3777. Required forms: Internship Application and Internship Waiver of Liability

Neighborhood Watch Program
Participating in a Neighborhood Watch group is a great way to meet your neighbors and communicate neighborhood concerns. If you are interested in finding a local chapter or starting a new one, please contact Officer Ed Pluviose at (815) 356-3731.

Crystal Lake Police will provide training to Neighborhood Watch groups so residents possess the tools to recognize and report suspicious activity. Police can also attend group meetings to address concerns.

Nixle Alert System
Nixle is a computer messaging system recognized by law enforcement as one way to provide timely information to the public. Users who have signed up for the free service will receive instant notifications from the Police Department.

Messages from the Crystal Lake Police Department may be received by cell phone text, e-mail, or both. There is no spam or advertising to those who sign up for this service. To sign up for this free service and begin to receive informational updates, please click here.

Operation Stop On Signal
Operation Stop On Signal, created in response to the high occurrence of stop arm violations reported to the Police Department, helps to avert potential tragedies the bus stop arm prevents. Police Officers ride along on specific bus routes that experience a high number of violations and report offenses directly to officers waiting in squads nearby.

Volunteers in Policing
The Volunteers In Policing (VIP) program allows residents to volunteer their time at the Police Department. Volunteers serve in non-sworn positions to supplement and support the Police Department. Some of the duties of a VIP include: parking enforcement, assisting the Records Unit with clerical work, and helping the Patrol Unit with nonhazardous calls such as disabled vehicles, vehicle lockouts, and traffic control.

Volunteers help to increase police responsiveness, service delivery, information input, and new program opportunities. Volunteers also bring enthusiasm, new skills, and expertise to the job. The Crystal Lake Police Department uses qualified volunteers for specified tasks and duties to improve overall services to the community. Volunteers are intended to supplement and support, not replace, sworn officers and civilian personnel. To download an application, click here.