Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Project

Embracing a Culture of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Village of Arlington Heights strives to be a welcoming and inclusive place for all. One of the Village Board’s Strategic Priorities since 2019 is to “Find new ways to embrace diversity within the Community and Village Government.”  The Village recently hosted a virtual Town Hall on December 3 to hear about your experiences, perceptions and expectations regarding this project, sharing an update on our progress thus far, and planning our next steps as we continue to sustain a welcoming community for all.

If you were unable to attend the virtual Town Hall, you can view it by clicking the link below and then entering the passcode that is included. We also welcome any comments you would like to share regarding this topic. Please email us at administration@vah.com

Virtual Town Hall Recording:

Access Passcode: 03m4Ih?y

In order to achieve the Village Board's strategic priority on embracing diversity within our community and Village Government, the Village Board unanimously approved a contract on September 8, 2020, with the Kaleidoscope Group, a consultant group experienced in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The Kaleidoscope Group, LLC, is recognized among the top 10 pioneers in the Diversity and Inclusion industry. They are a certified minority organization enterprise (MBE), headquartered in Chicago. The consultant is committed to providing customized strategic solutions to address the specific needs of an organization’s culture and to providing customized strategic solutions to address the specific needs of an organization's culture. They drive sustainable measurable results in the workforce, workplace, community, supplier base and marketplace.

In partnership with the Village, the consultants will review community demographics and current Village practices, meet with Village officials, internal leadership and staff, and will host community engagement sessions to listen to the perspectives of community members about these issues in Arlington Heights. This information will be reviewed to determine what potential improvements can be made in terms of the Village’s approach to DEI. The review will help ensure the Village is doing all it can do to optimize a sense of belongingness, outreach, engagement and inclusiveness for all Village employees and members of the community.

The Kaleidoscope Group’s role is to provide the Village with recommendations, best practices, and strategies for this important effort in creating an audit of current practices and a strategic framework for the future.  Learn more of about the Kaleidoscope Group's work with the Village by reviewing the materials they shared at the September 8th Village Board meeting. 
This effort will begin in fall 2020 with final recommendations in early 2021. 

Current Practices

  • Strategic Priorities:

    Every two years the Village Board works together in completing a list of Strategic Priorities. Since 2019, the Board’s priorities include “Find new ways to embrace diversity within the Community and Village Government.” These priorities are the framework of the Village’s Business Plan where staff members are held to these goals.
  • Ongoing Employee Training:

    Unconscious-bias training was held for all managers with additional training currently underway for all employees. Additional training may be recommended as part of the Action Plan to ensure that the Village Government maintains an inclusive and equitable culture for its employees, customers, and other stakeholders. 

  • Bias Free Policing:

    The Arlington Heights Police Department values impartial and unbiased policing and view it as a critical cornerstone for upholding professional ethics in law enforcement. All persons having contact with any member of the Department shall be treated in a fair, equitable, and objective manner, in accordance with the law, and without consideration of their race, ethnic background, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, economic status, or any other identifiable group as defined by Department policy. 

  • Police Response to Resistance Policy:

    The preservation of human life is the highest value the Arlington Heights Police Department has. Our officers are trained on an annual basis to use de-escalation techniques whenever possible to reach an outcome that does not involve the use of force. As a nationally accredited agency through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), our policies are reviewed on an annual basis and held to a high standard. For more information, please review the Police Department's Response to Resistance Policy.
  • Policing policies:

    Learn more about the Arlington Heights Police Department policies by viewing this summary presentation on Policing that was presented to the Village Board in June, 2020.

    Police Officer Recruitment:

    The Village is working with 6 other area communities and Harper College to increase the number candidates for open law enforcement positions within our organizations with a special emphasis on the attraction of more female and minority candidates. A special recruitment event will be held virtually and/or at Harper College in March of 2021. More information will be coming soon.
  • Disability Accommodation Assessment:

    The Human Resources Department is working with the Health and Human Services Department to review the Village’s current recruitment practices to identify opportunities to eliminate barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities who are qualified for Village positions. This effort is underway and will conclude in the second quarter of 2021. 
  • Current Village Employee Demographics Compared to Community Demographics: 

       Community  Village Staff
     White Alone  81.7%  92.2%
     Black or African American Alone  1.5% 1%
     American Indian and Alaska Native Alone  0.1% 0.0%
     Asian Alone 10% 0.5%
     Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Alone  0.1% 0.5%
     Two or More Races 1.7% 2.5%
     Hispanic or Latino 5.6%  3.4%