Police Department

Frequently asked questions submitted by the Lincoln Police Department

Question: How can I help prevent being a victim of theft or burglary?


Follow these prevention tips --
• Keep your doors locked at all times
• Use a deadbolt lock in addition to a normal doorknob lock
• If your door has glass or is near a window use a double key deadbolt lock
• External doors should be solid wood or metal clad
• Install heavy duty strike plates on doors. They are available at hardware stores.
• Place a wood block on a sliding door track to prevent it from opening.
• Make sure your windows are locked when leaving your home.
• Install additional locks on windows.
• Use vision obscuring window coverings to prevent thieves from looking in.
• Do not set empty boxes outside that identify what you have recently purchased.
• Have appropriate outdoor lighting. Burglars like to work in the dark.
• Use motion sensor lights at all doorways. This also helps prevent accidental falls.
• Do not let shrubbery or other objects obscure doors and windows from plain view.
• Do not leave your garage door open for view for long periods of times.
• Do not leave your vehicle unlocked at any time, even in the garage.
• Do not leave items of value in plain view in your vehicle or yard.
• Use a bicycle lock on a bicycle left outside.
• Do not carry or display large sums of cash unnecessarily.
• Do not carry or display more credit cards than you need to.
• If you purchase or own a safe, make sure it is securely fastened to a wall.
• Do not hide spare keys outside your home. Give them to someone you trust.
• Make sure your house numbers are large and lighted to be seen from the street clearly.
• Use light timers and have your mail picked up when you are on vacation.
• Do not advertise your vacation plans on Facebook or other media.
• If you can afford an alarm system, install one. it provides security and peace of mind.

Just in case you are a victim, it helps to have photographic or video evidence of your property for
identification and insurance purposes. You should record all model and serial numbers of
valuable electronics. Engraving valuable items can help in recovering those items. Check with
your insurance agent to see if you need any additional coverage for jewelry, guns, or other
valuables. Rental insurance is available for those who do not own their homes.

Question: What should I do if I see some suspicious activity or a crime in progress?


1. Call 911 if it is an emergency. You may call the Police Department’s phone line (732-2151) if it is a non-emergency.

2. Be observant and try remember what you see/saw. Stay on the line with the dispatcher.

3. Look at the physical characteristics of any suspects such as height, weight, hair, beards, scars, tattoos.

4. Look at the clothing and note colors and style.

5. Look for other suspects.

6. Look for any weapons or items in the hands of the suspect.

7. If a vehicle is involved, try to observe the license plate, make, and model, of the vehicle.

8. Always keep yourself in a safe location.

Question:   What steps should I take to ensure a fun and safe Halloween Trick or Treating?



  • Test makeup in a small area first to avoid severe allergic reactions. Keep it away from the eyes and mouth.
  • Wear well fitting costumes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
  • Stay away from candles and luminaries and wear flame resistant costumes.
  • Do not trick or treat alone, you should go with groups and with a trusted adult.
  • Adults should plan their route ahead and stay in neighborhoods they are familiar with.
  • Only trick or treat at houses that are lit. If their lights are off, they do not wish to be bothered.
  • Carry a working flashlight with you so can see where you walk and others see you.
  • Only walk on sidewalks or on the far edge of the road facing traffic. Reflective tape should be fastened to clothes and bags to help drivers see you.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street and use crosswalks when possible.
  • Do not carry any sharp objects or weapons that are real.
  • Examine all treats for choking hazards and for tampering.
  • Only eat factory wrapped treats. Do not eat homemade treats unless you know the cook.
  • Enter homes only if you are with a trusted adult.
  • If you are a host, have your steps and walk well lit.

Question: What can I do to help make Christmas safer.


Answer: Always park in well-lit areas and park close to the entrance of the store or mall. Don’t talk on a cell phone when walking to and from your vehicle. Keep your full attention on your surroundings. Don’t electronically unlock your vehicle until you are within door opening distance. This helps stop a thief from getting into the car and waiting to strike when you least expect it.


If you are ready to leave the mall and feel uneasy about entering the parking lot or garage by yourself, stay in the mall and ask for a security escort. Do not open your car door to anyone in a parking lot or garage. If you believe you are in danger, call 911 immediately.


Do not flash large amounts of cash or offer tempting targets for theft such as expensive jewelry or clothing. Carry a purse or shoulder bag close to your body, not dangling by straps. Put your wallet in an inside pocket of your coat or front pants pocket.


Do not fumble for house or car keys. Have them in your hand, ready to use when you reach the door. ALWAYS lock your car and residence, even if you are away for only a few moments. Do NOT leave valuables - gifts, cell phones, GPS, purse or clothing - in open view in your car. Take valuables with you, lock them in your trunk, or cover them in an unobtrusive way.


Leave lights turned on both inside and outside your residence after dark. Criminals don't like bright places. If you will be away from home for several days, make arrangements for someone to pick up your mail and newspapers. An overstuffed mailbox is a sure sign that no one is home, and burglars are tempted to check those envelopes for holiday gifts.


Carry only the credit cards you intend to use and leave the others behind. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Use checks or check cards when possible. Use ATMs wisely. Have the card ready before approaching the machine, and use ATMs in high traffic areas.


Do not announce recently acquired gifts such as TV’s or other electronics by leaving boxes on the street for pickup. Turn inside out and crush/fold those boxes to avoid letting burglars know what Santa got you for Christmas.


Have a Great Christmas!

Chief Ken Greenslate

Question:  What are the requirements to become a police officer?


Answer:  There are several mental, physical, and legal requirements to become a police officer.


Illinois law requires that applicants must be 21 years old unless they have graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Law Enforcement, in which case they may be 20 years old. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens and have no felony convictions. Some misdemeanor convictions will also disqualify an applicant.  Applicants must have a valid driver license. Applicants cannot be older than 35 years old.


Applicants must first pass a POWER test (physical fitness), a written exam, an oral exam, a background check, a psychological examination, a medical exam, a credit check, a fingerprint check, and a polygraph examination. Approximately 80 percent of all applicants do not pass all of the testing requirements. All of this testing is conducted by the Lincoln Board of Police and Fire Commissioners. Applicants are then placed on a hiring list in the order of the points earned during the testing.


Applicants with previous college and/or military experience are preferred and receive extra points.


The Lincoln City Council then determines when to hire a new officer to fill a vacancy.


After hiring, brand new officers must attend and pass a 12-week Police Academy. The training includes firearms, criminal law, traffic law, first aid, emergency vehicle operation, baton and pepper spray use, and unarmed personal combat training. Cadets must pass all tests including a state-mandated exam upon completion of the academy.


Upon return to the department from the academy, probationary officers begin a field training program that lasts nine months. Probationary officers must learn local laws and local procedures and policies. Probationary officers are evaluated daily, weekly, monthly, and at the end of field training. Probationary officers may be dismissed at any time for failure to meet standards.


Upon the successful completion of the first year, officers are then sworn and certified in as full-time police officers. It still takes several years of experience, however, to make a well-rounded police officer.


Information is available on the following sites:
Logan County Current Statistics

Memorial Health System  - Includes daily statistics for MHS and a COVID-19 Risk Screening

Local Business Resources
Logan County Department of Public Health
Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)



Contact Information


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City Hall
700 Broadway Street
Lincoln, Illinois 62656



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