Park Forest Police Department

  • Agency: Park Forest Police Department
  • Address: 200 Lakewood Blvd, Park Forest, 60466 IL
  • Chief:
Phone: 708-748-4701
Fax: 708-748-7044

Park Forest Police Department is located at 200 Lakewood Blvd, Park Forest, 60466 IL. The Park Forest Police Department phone number is 708-748-4701.

Park Forest Police Department News

Mark your calendars! Our spring Coffee with a Cop is right around the corner! Come by on April 28, 2018 at the 7-Eleven from 8am-11am to meet some of your fine Park Forest Police Officers. Stop in, say hi, grab a cup of coffee and get to know the men and women that protect your community.

At Monday nights village board meeting, Officer Vanessa Gauna, who is currently in Field Training, was officially sworn in and had her badge pinned. Chief Christopher Mannino also received the Police Chief Certificate from the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, presented by Westchester Police Department Chief Steven Stelter. Whether you have less than a year on, or more than twenty, law enforcement is a career where one can constantly learn and improve.

To highlight Children’s Exposure to Violence Prevention Week, the Urban Youth Trauma Center, along with the Village of Park Forest and the Park Forest Police Department held a Teen Zone Basketball Tournament last night! Approximately 50 teens from the area participated in basketball games, a 3 point contest, a free throw contest, and eating large amounts of pizza! It was a terrific opportunity for us to interact with the local youth in a positive environment and give them a safe and welcoming space to spend a few hours. A great time was had by all!

On Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at approximately 12:30 a.m., officers were dispatched to a residence on the 200 block of Minocqua St. reference a call of shots fired. Upon arrival, responding officers discovered two victims of an armed robbery, one of whom had suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the leg. Initial investigation indicates that the incident is drug-related. Additional information is not being released at this time as it is an active investigation. Anyone who has information about this incident is urged to call the Investigations Division at (708) 748-1309.

Community violence involving children can be reduced and prevented through various means, one being an overall increase in public awareness regarding the effects of violence and how to mitigate it’s impact. April 15 – 21, 2018 is dedicated to this cause and is officially known as Children's Exposure to Violence Prevention Week. Everyone can take action to improve the lives of children who have been impacted by violent or traumatic experiences, and prevent it from occurring in the future. The Park Forest Police Department continues to create programs to support youth, such as the Adverse Childhood Critical Events & Safety Screener (ACCESS), which helps identify and assist children exposed to violence, and strengthening long-standing programs, such as The Police Athletic Activity Center, a youth sports program sponsored by the police department. Ofc. Walden pledges to help prevent violence by noticing when parents need help and offering resources. What can you pledge to improve our community? Share in the comments section! #StopCEVChicago #IfYouthCan

Today one of our very own was inducted into the Park Forest Historical Society’s Hall of Fame. Gregory C. Baker began his career in law enforcement in 1983 with the Park Forest Police Department. In his 23 years of service in Park Forest, Chief Baker worked as a patrol officer, detective, arson investigator, Community Policing supervisor and he managed the department’s Field Training Program. Chief Baker is also the first African-American in the department’s history to reach the rank of Commander, Captain and Deputy Chief. Chief Baker is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and he is also a past President of NOBLE (The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives). In 1992 and 2001, Chief Baker was recognized as the Village of Park Forest Police Officer of the Year. After retiring from the Park Forest Police Department in 2006 as a Deputy Chief, Chief Baker became the Chief of Police for the Village of Riverdale and later the Chief of Police for the Village of South Holland until his retirement in 2017. Chief Baker, we salute you and thank you for your many years of service and dedication to the Village of Park Forest. Congratulations on your induction into the Class of 2018 Park Forest Hall of Fame! #parkforestpolice #halloffame

The Park Forest Police Department is proud to announce that Officer Harrison was nominated by his peers to receive the Term Award for the first quarter of 2018. Ofc. Harrison was chosen in part due to his outstanding patrol work, including two felony traffic arrests that resulted in the recovery of illegal narcotics and eight misdemeanor traffic arrests, five of which involved intoxicated driver’s who were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition, Officer Harrison maintains a community-based approach to policing by routinely engaging in positive interactions with the public, whether it involves handing out free slurpee coupons to children or assisting a stranded motorist with a disabled vehicle. Officer Harrison was recently selected to become a certified Field Training Officer, a testament to his excellent work. Congratulations Officer Harrison!

Today Recruit Vanessa Gauna officially became Officer Vanessa Gauna after graduating from the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy (SLEA). Officer Gauna grew up in Plano, Illinois, and graduated from Plano High School. She attended the University of Illinois at Chicago and majored in Criminology, Law and Justice with a double major in Psychology and Disability and Human Development. Officer Gauna is bilingual in Spanish. The first person in her family to enter the career of law enforcement, she is also the first female Hispanic officer in the history of the Park Forest Police Department. Officer Gauna now begins her Field Training, so look forward to seeing her on the streets in uniform soon!

🕑Throwback Thank-You Thursday 🕙 Back in early October, a young lady from neighboring Richton Park was devastated when a scrapper mistook her bicycle for trash, adding it to the pile of discarded junk in the bed of his truck. Her mother called PFPD asking for help in locating the bicycle. Knowing only that it was a red pickup truck, there wasn’t much hope for the bike being returned. Around midnight that night, a patrol officer located a red pickup truck parked on one of our residential streets. The bed of the truck was piled high with scrap. Lo and behold, Abby’s bike was near the top of that pile and was returned to her the next day. Abby sent PFPD this card along with a treat for our officers. Sure, the treats disappeared more quickly than her bike first did, but it was enough reward for us to reunite her with what she thought was lost.

Whether you’re a sister from another mister, a brother from another mother, bonded in blue, or bound by blood we hope you have a very Happy Siblings Day! (Sgt. DeCeault and his sister Brittani had to be bribed with candy for this touching sibling moment.)

CAR BURGLAR NABBED “What is this, a union meeting?” It’s a joke as old as, well, police unions, and is expected to be heard any time a supervisor walks in on more than two of our officers in the report writing room at the same time. Police officers have to be social creatures and can banter with the best of ‘em. However, despite this picture being taken shortly after 3am, this is no social gathering. Around 10:30pm last night a concerned citizen reported seeing someone who appeared to be breaking into a vehicle near downtown Park Forest. Officers quickly arrived and located a 22-year-old Chicago man inside a vehicle with a broken window. Further investigation revealed he had just broken into two other cars prior to unlawfully entering this one. After consulting with a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney, the man was charged with 3 felony counts of burglary and was held for a felony bond hearing. The amount of paperwork that must be completed after a felony arrest with multiple victims can seem overwhelming for a moment. As a result of this team pulling together, all union and Mensa meeting jokes have been stored away for use at a later time.

Although it doesn’t feel like spring, the time of year is upon us that brings homeowner scams. If someone comes to your door trying to sell you services for things like roof repair, driveway blacktopping, landscaping, or utility work and they don’t have a Village of Park Forest permit or proper identification please call 911. Often times these individuals distract homeowners while an accomplice enters the residence to remove valuables. We don’t want this to happen to you. Always remember if something doesn’t look or feel legitimate,call us, we’re happy to help!

Officer Walden begins the “shadow” phase of field training today, where his field training officer simply observes and cannot offer input or answer questions for him. Ofc Walden’s first task was to take this old, good boy into custody so that he could be reunited with his owner. Reading body language is an important tool of a police officer. Unfortunately for Ofc Walden, Rafiki the Doggo offered none and had to be approached slowly and with caution. Rafiki was cooperative and we are on the way to identifying his owner.

Some of the most important first responders are rarely seen by the public, so every year we recognize them during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, which occurs during the second week of April. The Park Forest Police Department would like to thank emergency dispatchers nationwide for always being a lifeline for patrol officers and citizens alike. A special thanks goes to SouthCom Dispatch Center for all their hard work.

Pizza, basketball, a free bike giveaway and a few of your favorite officers. Did we mention pizza? On April 18th, 2018 from 3:30-6:30 pm the Park Forest Police Department is hosting a Teen Zone Basketball Tournament in support of Children’s Exposure to Violence (CEV) Prevention Week, which occurs annually during the third week of April. The week is dedicated to raising awareness about the effects of childhood exposure to violence and promoting preventative measures. The April 12th deadline to sign up is quickly approaching, time to improve your jump shot is limited.

In late March, the Park Forest Police Department responded to the 300 block of Merrimac St. to assist the Park Forest Fire Department with an elderly gentleman who fell and injured himself. Police assistance wasn’t needed or requested, but an officer made a brief appearance to provide additional reassurance to the injured man and his concerned wife. Pictured is a letter of appreciation authored by the man's wife. There’s an old adage that says it’s the small things in life that matter most, and we agree. This letter wasn’t penned to praise a record breaking narcotics seizure or the capture of America’s most wanted fugitive. It was written to acknowledge paramedics who arrived to perform their duties in a prompt and professional manner, and an officer who responded, when assistance wasn’t requested, as an added layer of comfort. Oftentimes, the acts of a first responder may go unnoticed, so we'd like to take a second to spotlight a job well done. Kudos to all involved.

The Park Forest Police Department would like to provide a brief lesson on traffic control devices. The pictured sign does not indicate children are on a teeter-totter nearby. It means children are playing in the vicinity and extra caution should be exercised when driving. On second thought, the playing may involve a teeter-totter, but that’s really getting too specific, the general purpose of the sign is most important. So please, always be diligent when operating a motor vehicle, and use extra care when you observe this and other cautionary traffic signs. Plus, you never know if it’s going to be officers on that teeter-totter instead of children.

Status Update on Missing Person John Beringer: We are still actively looking for John Beringer. What follows is a case summary and status update. On March 18, 2018 at approximately 8:30 a.m., a family member reported seeing Mr. Beringer leave his home by bicycle, having advised he was heading to a local convenience store. Shortly before noon that same day, a family member reports receiving a text from Mr. Beringer that contained suicidal comments. On March 19, 2018, Mr. Beringer's cell phone is used last. On March 20, 2018, Mr. Beringer is reported missing by family. They indicate that they did not report him missing sooner as he had left before under similar circumstances and had always returned. Mr. Beringer is not known to have any credit cards on his person and has not been to work. The Park Forest Police Department has conducted limited searches on foot, however, cell tower information cannot narrow down Mr. Beringer's last cell phone location beyond an area of over 12 square miles, and it is possible that he moved after the last cell phone activity. Due to this, the Park Forest Police Department has obtained the assistance of the Cook County Sheriff's Police and the DEA to conduct two separate searches by helicopter. The Park Forest Police Department continues to use other investigative means to determine Mr. Beringer's location. Mr. Beringer is described as a white male, 51 years of age, 5'08" tall, 140 lbs., with a shaved head. He has a small cross tattoo on his left arm and his left thumb is slightly deformed and scarred due to a previous work injury. It is unknown what clothing he is currently wearing. It has been reported by family members that Beringer may be suicidal, if you come into contact with Beringer please do not approach him, but immediately call 911. If you have any information about the whereabouts of John Beringer, please call the Park Forest Police Department Investigations Unit at ‪(708) 748-1309‬. Please help by sharing this information.

The Park Forest Police Department has received numerous reports of a suspicious subject, described as a 5’11” tall, 180 lb, furry, bipedal rabbit. All reports were deemed unfounded. To those who celebrate, Happy Easter.

On March 29, 2018 at approximately 1700 hours, Officer Vold responded to the area of Western Ave. and Monee Rd. to investigate a dog running at large. Upon arrival, Ofc. Vold located a large brown and black-spotted Great Dane in a nearby wooded area. Additional investigation identified the dog as the fictional cartoon character Scooby-Doo. As the weather warms animals tend to spend more time outdoors. Please remember to keep pets under your control, either in a fenced yard or on a leash. Busy roadways can make the hunt for Scooby Snacks dangerous, as the spilled stuffing indicates.

The Park Forest Police Department is proud to introduce our two newest officers, Jim Johnson (left) and Jennifer Keith. Prior to joining us, Johnson served in the United States Marine Corps and worked for the Cook County Department of Corrections. Keith has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from San Diego State University and previously worked as a 911 dispatcher for a local communications center. Both officers are currently attending an in-house academy prior to beginning the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy (SLEA) in April. Let’s take a second to welcome our new officers!

A parent’s worst nightmare: their seven month old infant is choking and unable to breath. On March 28, 2018 at approximately 3:00 pm, Commander Sweitzer responded to the area of Well Ct. to this very situation. Upon arrival, Commander Sweitzer performed a life-saving maneuver that dislodged the object obstructing the infant’s airway, allowing the infant the ability to breath again. The Park Forest Police Department would like to commend Commander Sweitzer’s fast, professional, and life-saving action. 👏👏👏 When we say we’re here if you need us, we mean it.

Earlier this morning, we succumbed to Facebook advertising and checked our daily horoscope. Apparently, today is going to be full of success and satisfaction. Although we understand that horoscopes can vary, depending on one’s date of birth and the alignment of the cosmos, we’d like to offer some life pro tips to help your day also be successful and satisfying. 1. Follow the rules of the road. They’re written to keep you safe and citations are expensive. 2. Do not let your vehicle touch other vehicles. This is commonly referred to as an accident and tends to be a major inconvenience. 3. Abide by social norms. Keep your hands to yourself, don’t take what isn’t yours, and treat others how you’d like to be treated. The above tips cannot guarantee a successful day, as life is known to produce unforeseen obstacles, but they can increase the probability of it. If one of life’s unpredictable circumstances arises and you find yourself in need of assistance, call us and we’ll be there to help.

Cook County Forest Preserve Police are conducting a controlled burn in the area until 6:00pm. The smell of campfire reminds us that summer is just around the corner, but for those that don’t share our opinion remember controlled burns now can prevent future larger fires and promote new vegetation in the area.

Over the past few years, the Illinois National Association for the Advancement of Colored People State Conference (NAACP) and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) have engaged in several productive conversations. In 2014, ILACP reached out to NAACP in order to begin a partnership with the goal of bridging gaps between law enforcement and communities of color. Over time, leaders from the law enforcement community and the black community worked together to establish 10 shared principles that both sides recognized as being crucial elements for establishing trust and ensuring safety, dignity and justice on both sides. The 10 Shared Principles can be found in the provided link. The Park Forest Police Department supports the resolution and is taking a proactive approach to following its principles. One example is our commitment to annual training in procedural justice. Developing and maintaining a relationship with the community we serve is a passion of ours. Have an idea of how we can do it better? Let us know below!