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Several high-ranking members of the Park Forest Police Department were sworn in during Monday night's Board meeting at Village Hall.
Sergeants James Kessler, Kristopher Kush, Commanders Julius Moore, Paul Morache, Deputy Chief Kristopher Vallow, and Police Chief Brian Rzyski were all promoted to new posts following recent retirements in the department.
Kessler is an 18-year veteran of the Park Forest Police Department. He began his career in law enforcement with the Sauk Village Police Department in 2003 and joined the ranks of Park Forest's Police Department in 2004. During his career, Kessler has served as a Truck Enforcement Officer, Juvenile Officer, Liaison Officer with the former Rich East High School, Field Training Officer, and K-9 Officer. Most recently, he was assigned to the Illinois Statewide Auto Theft Task Force in Jan 2022. Kessler received 17 service awards and was awarded the Medal of Valor in 2016.
Kush is in his 17th year of service with the Park Forest Police Department, with the past year serving in the investigations division. He's earned several awards throughout his career, including one Life Saving Award. Kush is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Criminal Justice. Next month he will graduate from Purdue with a master's degree in criminal justice before pursuing a doctoral degree in homeland security.
Moore started his law enforcement career in 1997 with the Jacksonville Police Department in downstate Illinois. Moore is in his 17th year of service with Park Forest, with the last eight years as an administrative and patrol Sergeant. Moore is a certified drone operator and oversees the drone program for the police department. He's received ten service awards, including one Life Saving Award, and in 2018 received the Medal of Valor.
Morache is a 23-year veteran of law enforcement. He began his career in 2000 with the South Holland Police Department and spent eight years in the patrol division. Paul was hired by the Park Forest Police Department in 2008. Morache is a Calumet College of Saint Joseph graduate with a bachelor of science in public safety management. He also earned a master of science degree in public safety administration.
Vallow is a second-generation police officer, following in his father's footsteps. He started law enforcement with the East Hazel Crest Police Department in 2002. In 2009, Kristopher joined the Park Forest Police Department, and within a year, he was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Unit. Vallow has 30 service awards, including the Medal of Valor in 2014 and Office of the Year in 2019. Vallow earned a bachelor's degree in public safety management through the Calumet College of St. Joseph. Kristopher credits his strong work ethic to his late father, Kenneth Vallow, and his success to his wife of 17 years, Jillian Vallow, because of the overwhelming love and support she has provided through the years.
Rzyski is currently in his 24th year of service with the Police Department. He has served the last five years as Deputy Chief of Field Operations and Support Services. Rzyski has earned 26 service awards and was voted by his peers as the 2008 Officer of the Year. Chief Rzyski is a proud graduate of session 261 of the F.B.I. National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Rzyski holds a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from Governors State University.
Also introduced at Monday’s meeting was new K-9, Lorde, an 18-month-old German Shepherd that specializes in tracking offenders, searching for missing persons, and detecting narcotics. Lorde and his handler, Officer Evelyn Piszczor, recently graduated from Shallow Creek Training Facility in Pennsylvania.
Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow's office made funds available to the Village for the purchase of the K-9. Glasgow was in attendance at Monday night’s meeting to watch Lorde be introduced to the community for the first time.