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Park Forest Police Chief Christopher Mannino is closing the chapter on his law enforcement career.
Mannino will retire next month following 25 years of service with the Park Forest Police Department.
“I’ve spent my entire adult life serving as a police officer in Park Forest, so it’s a community I know better than any other,” Mannino said. “What an incredible place. There’s so much to be proud of here. I’ve been very fortunate to have had a career serving in this Village.”
A native of Richton Park and a second generation police officer whose father, Vito Mannino, retired from the Richton Park Police Department as Chief of Police, Christopher Mannino began his career in policing in 1997. He went on to hold an array of positions with the Park Forest Police Department over the next 20 years before becoming police chief in 2017.
Park Forest Village Manager Tom Mick calls Mannino “one of the best police chiefs to ever serve the village.”
Mannino is credited with greatly increasing the police department’s public communication efforts through social media, media relations, and in-person events, with a strong focus on transparency and building relationships between the police department and community.
Under Mannino’s direction, the Park Forest Police Department established a sizable following online, using social media platforms to enlist the public’s help in catching criminals, alerting residents of critical incidents, and humanizing the policing profession often through the use of humor.
“Chief Mannino has been tremendous in leading the Park Forest Police Department,” Mick said. “He is responsible for raising the standard for the important goal of keeping the public informed.”
Mannino also brought significant change to the department’s juvenile justice process. Park Forest Police divert non-violent youth from the formal criminal justice system to the department’s Youth Violence Prevention Engagement where they receive education, support and services. In 2019, the department hired its first-ever juvenile specialist and engagement coordinator due in part to Mannino’s vision. The efforts have helped to decrease juvenile arrests in Park Forest nearly 75% since Mannino became chief of police in 2017.
“The Park Forest Police Department has become internationally recognized for the leadership, innovation, and courage of Chief Mannino,” said Park Forest Mayor Jonathan Vanderbilt. “The board and I wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Mannino intends to pursue a role in the private sector after his retirement. His last day is set for March 25.
Twenty-four year veteran of the force and current deputy chief of the Park Forest Police Department Paul Winfrey will succeed Mannino as police chief.