Special events, such as parades, concerts, and street fairs, require
additional civil services from local government to ensure everything
runs smoothly and efficiently. While all government departments are
involved in the planning and execution of these events, the police
department is responsible for enforcing city/village policies and
ensuring that all participants are safe. To assist with their annual
Fourth of July celebration, the Village of Winnetka Police Department
started to using map products to provide more information to officers
regarding the holiday’s planned events.
The Village plans three primary events for their Fourth of July
holiday celebration. This includes a 5K run, parade, and a fireworks
display. In the past, the Police Department issued special orders to all
department members and other village departments listing the routes of
the parade and 5K run, officer postings for each event, parking
restrictions, etc. While these orders are helpful in providing pertinent
information on police operations, they don’t provide a visual reference
point of the operations to new officers or assisting officers from
other communities. To help improve the transfer of information within
the department and to visiting agencies, the GIS Department was asked to
create a series of maps using the existing special orders documents.
The maps are a supplementary tool that the department can use to improve
the communication of department regulations between officers during the
From the special order documents, three maps were developed for the
department. These maps included a parade route map, a 5K run route map,
and a fireworks display operations map. While these maps are primarily
intended for departmental use, a secondary function is to provide
information to the general public. The maps can be posted on the Village
website or in other public forums to allow residents and visitors to
see parking restriction enforcement zones, road closures, and route
information. Providing this information to the public allows for
visitors to these events to be more informed about temporary event
regulations, which helps to reduce the number of possible violations.
This helps to improve the overall efficiency and operation of each event
by allowing the department to focus on tasks such as traffic and crowd
control rather than regulatory enforcment.
Using GIS to help develop map products for each event provides the
department with a visual reference tool for conveying department
regulations and policies. This helps to improve communication within the
department and with the general public, which helps to ensure that each
event runs more efficiently.