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Park Forest welcomed its newest police officer to the community during Monday night’s board meeting at Village Hall.
David Ayala was sworn in before Village board members and a roomful of onlookers. The 29-year-old was born in Harvey, Illinois, and grew up in Beecher, Illinois. He graduated from Beecher High School and went on to attend Western Illinois University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Ayala spent seven years as a 911 dispatcher with the Lansing Police Department. He credits the experience for furthering his interest in law enforcement. Ayala said he wanted to become an officer to do more to help people.
Members of Ayala’s family, including his mother, Linda, who pinned on his badge during the swearing-in ceremony, were in attendance to witness him be recognized Monday.
After being pinned, Ayala received a round of applause from the audience before approaching the dais to shake hands with each board member. Several went on to offer hearty welcomes to Ayala.
“You’re joining a top-notch team,” said Village Trustee Erin Slone. “These are the best professionals you’re going to find around in the area, and we have a very high standard of respect and care for our community and you will come to learn from the absolute best.”
Ayala said when he's not on duty, he enjoys spending time with his family and watching his favorite baseball team, the Chicago Cubs.
Ayala is slated to graduate from the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy in Glen Ellyn, Illinois next month.