Patrol - This unit is the most prominent unit and is considered the backbone of the Police Department. The primary responsibilities of the Patrol Unit include preventative patrols, traffic management, enforcement of federal, state and local laws, response to calls for police service (which include initial reporting of vehicle accidents and burglaries), and positive community relations.
Traffic - The Police Department takes a proactive approach to the enforcement of our traffic laws. The Traffic Unit focuses on enforcement of those traffic laws in order to minimize vehicle accidents, property damage and injuries. Every officer in the department is trained to carry out these responsibilities, with specialized officers certified in criminal patrol and interdiction, accident reconstruction and enforcement of tractor-trailer regulations. Some of our traffic officers are part of the regional Lake County Crash Reconstruction Unit - a group of specialized crash investigators who work as a team on the most serious crashes.
K-9 - The Canine Unit consists of a police canine handler and highly trained police dog. They are utilized for search and tracking operations, finding missing persons, drug detection, building searches and, occasionally, the control of aggressive or unruly persons or parties. Due to its highly specialized capability, this unit is occasionally called upon to provide support and assistance to other local jurisdictions as well.
Detective Bureau - This unit conducts in-depth investigations of crimes and crime scenes to determine the components of the crime, including the fundamental questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how. They are specially trained in the collection and processing of evidence at crime scenes, including crime scene photography, collection of trace evidence, fingerprints, and footwear impressions for comparison and identification.
E.R.T. - The Western Lake County Emergency Response Team is comprised of W.H.P.D. officers and others from Western Lake County Police Departments. Officers serve on this team to provide a professional and coordinated response to critical incidents in our area. These types of incidents are complex and diverse, such as hostage/crisis negotiations, barricaded subject situations, high-risk search and arrest warrant service, terrorist incidents, and security operations. Team members routinely train in specialized firearms and equipment, less than lethal options, building entry to include explosive breaching, building clearing procedures, active shooter training, and sniper and counter sniper operations. The team also includes a Tactical Medic from the Willoughby Hills Fire Department who is able to provide immediate emergency medical services at critical incident scenes.
Drone Team - Our Drone Operators are assigned to the Lake County Drone Team and provide airborne support to police operations in a safe, responsible, and transparent manner to preserve the peace, reduce response times, and increase the quality of life in our community and throughout Lake County. Small, remotely operated Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), also commonly referred to as drones, are an efficient and effective way of providing law enforcement critical information to respond to calls for service and emergency situations, or to conduct criminal investigations. Some examples include; providing an overhead view of an area or incident for ground personnel, safely clearing the interior of buildings, providing detailed documentation of crime and accident scenes, and searching for lost or missing persons.