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July 6, 2011

Welcome to the home of the Park Forest Police Department on the internet.  Please take time to click on the pages on the right to learn more about the Park Forest Police Department, and scroll down below to view our interactive blog.

The men and women of the Park Forest Police Department are proud to serve the Village of Park Forest, Illinois, enforcing local and state laws, and protecting life and property.  Together, with the help of the community, we will keep the Village of Park Forest a safe and friendly place that is welcoming to all.

-Chief Clifford R.  Butz

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November 23, 2011

Officer Lee Elliot was named Officer of the Year at the 8th Annual Honors Ceremony on Sunday, November 20, 2011.

Officer Elliot is serving in his 11th year with the Park Forest Police Department, and he is a second generation officer at this department.  His father, Brent Elliot, retired as a Corporal in 1995.  Officer Lee Elliot was selected Officer of the Year by his peers for his leadership among patrol officers, his service as a Field Training Officer, and his work with the Sex Offender Registration program.  Due to planned retirements, it is expected that he will be promoted to the rank of Corporal in the coming year. 

This is the 26th year that the Park Forest Police Department has named an Officer of the Year.

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November 6, 2011

The Park Forest Police Department is proud to announce this year’s Officer of the Year nominees as Officer Lee Elliot, K9 Officer Paul Shulman, and Detective Kris Vallow. 

Officer of the Year nominations can be made by any police department employee, and nominations are narrowed down to three nominees by the Awards Board.  Each member of the police department may then vote for their choice of the nominees. 

The 2011 Officer of the Year will be named at the annual Honors Ceremony on November 20, 2011 at noon at Freedom Hall.  This full dress uniform event is open to the public.  In addition to the Officer of the Year being named, the Term Award for each of the four terms in 2011 will be awarded, as will other awards and honors earned by members of the Park Forest Police Department throughout 2011.  Citizen awards earned will also be awarded, as will awards to officers from outside agencies who have been instrumental to the Park Forest Police Department throughout 2011. 

Please feel free to attend the annual Honors Ceremony on November 20th and help celebrate the accomplishments of the men and women of the Park Forest Police Department throughout 2011.  The even takes approximately 1 1/2 hours.  A luncheon will be hosted following the ceremony at Dining on the Green.

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October 20, 2011

On Monday, October 31st the Park Forest Police Department, in partnership with the Community Relations Department, will hold the annual Safe Halloween festivities in Downtown Park Forest from 3 to 6 p.m. There will be a Haunted Maze with Spooktacular stops along the way, goodies, and a costume contest at 300 Victory Blvd., and downtown businesses will be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.

For more information, or if you have questions, call 708-283-5621.

Trick or treating hours in Park Forest this year are from 3 to 6 p.m.

Please make sure trick-or-treaters use cross-walks when crossing the street, have costumes that do not obstruct their vision, and have flashlights or reflective material if trick-or-treating as dark approaches.  If you plan on handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, please put your porch light on.  And please be extra cautious for little ghouls and goblins crossing the street if you’re driving about Park Forest on Halloween!

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October 12, 2011

About These Crimes:

Residential Burglaries (Offenders entering homes while residents are away and stealing property) are occurring at an increased rate, particularly in the Lincolnwood/East Lincolnwood Area. Most of these incidents are taking place during the daytime and early evening hours. Offenders look for homes where nobody appears to be home: they may knock on the door to confirm this. The offenders then force entry into the home, usually through a back door or window on the back of the house. They remove property, including televisions, electronics, jewelry, video games, and money.

Incidents:

  • 200 Block of Early- Oct. 10, 2011
  • 300 Block of Herndon- Oct. 8, 2011
  • 300 Block of Springfield- Oct. 2, 2011
  • 200 Block of Berry- Sept. 19, 2011
  • 200 Block of Hickory- Sept. 6, 2011
  • 300 Block of New Salem- August 28, 2011
  • 400 Block of New Salem- Aug. 15, 2011
  • 100 Block of Larue- July 15, 2011
  • 300 Block of Early-July 4, 2011

Offenders’ Descriptions:

Several Offenders have been arrested, but others remain. They are generally:

  • Teenage males and females
  • In the area during daytime hours when teens should be in school
  • Driving in a vehicle, dropped off, and then vehicle leaves
  • Re-entering the vehicle a block or so away after committing the crime

What You Can Do:

  • Report any suspicious people, particularly if they are seen knocking on your door or your neighbors’ doors.
  • Pay special attention to anyone loitering in the area or unusual vehicles in the area.
  • Be aware of the incidents and alert your neighbors to be watchful.
  • Make your home appear occupied: lights on in the evening, cars in the driveway.
  • Lock your doors and windows, including garage doors and windows: several incidents involved residents leaving their doors unlocked.
  • Utilize your home alarm system if equipped.

If you have information regarding these incidents, or information about any criminal activity, call the Park Forest Police Department at (708) 748-4701.

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September 1, 2011

The Park Forest Police Department is proud to announce the promotion of four of its finest.  On Tuesday, September 6th during the Village Board Meeting the Village of Park Forest will swear in four veteran officers to their new ranks.

First to be sworn in will be James Varga, who has been promoted to the rank of Corporal.  Corporal Varga has been with the department since 1998 after serving with the United States Marine Corps.  During his time at the Park Forest Police Department, Corporal Varga has served in the Patrol and Investigations Divisions.  He was a member of the South Suburban Major Crime Task Force during his tenure in detectives. He will be a street supervisor of one of the departments Patrol platoons.  Corporal Varga was the 2007 Officer of the Year and also received the department’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor in 2006.

 

Michael Baugh has been with the department for twelve years, with the majority of that time spent in the Investigations Division. He has been the Detective Corporal for the past four years.  Commander Baugh has received numerous commendations from the department including the Officer of the Year in 2004.  He has been a member of the South Suburban Major Crime Task Force since 2005.  Commander Baugh will take Command of one of the department’s four Patrol platoons. 

Pete Green is a twenty-one year veteran of the Park Forest Police Department.  He has been a Commander since 2004 and has been the Detective Commander since 2006.  Pete is a second generation Park Forest Police Officer. His father, Wally, retired in 1978 at the rank of Lieutenant. Deputy Chief Green was the department’s Officer of the Year in 2002 and has received various awards and commendations including Ten Meritorious Service awards.

Cliff Butz is in his twenty-ninth year as a member of the Police Department. He has come up through the ranks having served in virtually every capacity available within the department.  He has spent the last seven years as a Deputy Chief.   Chief Butz is a highly decorated officer who has received over 65 department awards including the Combat star in 1990 after being shot in the line of duty.  He was the department’s Officer of the Year in 1988, 1995 and again in 2000. He is the eleventh person in the sixty year history of the village to be chosen to lead the Police Department. 

  The swearing in will take place at Village Hall and is open to the public.

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August 28, 2011

The Park Forest Police-Fire Charity Softball Game was postponed due to heavy rain which flooded the Central Park ball fields. 

The date for the charity game has been set for Saturday, September 17th. 

There will be a home run hitting contest open to the public from 5pm to 6pm.  $2 for 3 pitches, each home run will result in a raffle ticket for one of three great prizes from the Chicago White Sox, the Windy City Thunderbolts, and Deep River Water Park.

The charity softball game begins at 6pm, with the police and fire departments facing off.  Admission is free.   

There will be free face painting, jump houses, and Wii games for the kids.  Additionally, there is a cash raffle with a $1,000 first prize, $500 second prize, and $250 third and fourth prizes.  Tickets are $5.  There will also be $1 raffles for a wide variety of prizes.  Your public safety departments are proud to be splitting all money raised between the Illinois chapter of Concerns for Police Survivors and the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Burn Camp. 

Spend the day at the Park Forest Art Fair in Downtown Park Forest on Saturday, September 17th, and then spend and evening watching your police and fire departments battle in out in Central Park for the Charity Softball Game Champion’s trophy!

 

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August 20, 2011

The 2011 Police-Fire Charity Softball Game has been cancelled due to weather. The  Parks and Recreation Department determined that the field was unplayable due to the heavy rain earlier in the day.

A rain date has not yet been set, but will be determined this Monday.

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August 3, 2011

Acting Chief Cliff Butz has been officially named Chief of Police by Village Manager Tom Mick.

Chief Butz has been in law enforcement since 1979 and has served with the Village of Park Forest since 1983.  In that time he has climbed through the ranks, serving as Patrol Officer, Detective, Patrol Corporal, Detective Corporal, Patrol Commander, Detective Commander, and Deputy Chief of Field Operations.  Early in his career he was also assigned to the Metropolitan Enforcement Group, a task force which conducted narcotics enforcement.  In that capacity Chief Butz worked largely undercover, investigating narcotics sales throughout the Chicagoland area.

He has been awarded the Park Forest Police Officer of the Year award three times, in 1988, 1995, and 2000.  He also received the department’s Combat Star when he sustained a gunshot wound in the line of duty in 1990.  In all, he has received more than 65 commendations for his service with the police department. 

Chief Butz is a graduate of the Northwestern University’s School of Staff and Command and holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Western Illinois University.  He is also a Certified Police Chief through the Illinois Association Chiefs of Police.  About his recent promotion Chief Butz said,  “I am honored to be the eleventh person chosen, in its sixty year history, to lead the fine men and woman of the Park Forest Police Department. It is a privilege that I do not now, or will I ever, take lightly.”

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August 1, 2011

After a several year hiatus, the Park Forest Police Department and Park Forest Fire Department will again be facing each other in a friendly game of 12″ softball on August 20th at Central Park.

The events of the day will begin with a home run hitting contest open to the public at 5pm.  Prizes include tickets to a Chicago White Sox game, Deep River Water Park passes, and a Family Fun Pack to the Windy City Thunderbolts. 

For those not inclined to swing for the fences, there will be raffles with a wide variety of prizes, including items from the Chicago Bears, the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Star Plaza Theater, and many, many more.  All proceeds benefit the Illinois Chapter of Concerns for Police Survivors and the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Burn Camp.

Your police and fire departments will then face off in a softball game at 6pm.  Concessions will be sold (proceeds to benefit Park Forest Baseball) and there will be activities for the kids.  As always, watching the game and partaking in the kids activities are free.  So mark your calendars, bring a blanket or some lawn chairs and stop by Central Park on August 20th to cheer on your favorite team.

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Deputy Chief McNamara Celebrates 30 years of Service

July 7, 2011

30 years ago this week, Deputy Chief Michael McNamara began his policing career with the Village of Park Forest.  Rising quickly through the ranks, he excelled at the detective position, becoming known for his skill at interview and interrogation techniques and for specializing in investigating sex crimes.  Throughout his career he served as the head of both the Investigations Division and patrol shifts before being named Deputy Chief of Administrative Services.  He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and earned his Masters Degree in Public Administration. 

Beyond the walls of the police department, Deputy Chief McNamara is known for his creation of the nationally recognized non-profit which teaches high school-aged students about the dangers of drinking and driving.  He volunteers hundreds of hours each year, teaching high school students how to make wise decisions when it comes to alcohol use and driving. 

Additionally, Deputy Chief McNamara is a World Champion martial artist and a member of the Illinois Karate Hall of Fame.  He holds the record for the most medals of any athlete in the karate competitions at the World Police and Fire Games, an international sporting event that draws thousands of competitors.  He is planning on fighting in the karate competition at the upcoming World Police and Fire Games in New York City in late summer 2011.

Deputy Chief McNamara, congratulations on reaching this important milestone, and thank you for your dedication to the Park Forest Police Department and the people of the Village of Park Forest.

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