Orland Park Police Chief Joseph Mitchell and his officers picked up another award for safety. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park Police Chief Joseph Mitchell and his officers picked up another award for safety. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park officials Geeked up over new safety ranking

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By Jeff Vorva

The Geek has spoken.

And Orland Park officials liked what it had to say.

The MoneyGeek personal finance technology company ranked Orland Park eighth safest out of 952 United States cities between 30,000 and 100,000 residents for 2021.

“As crime continues to rise in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, we are putting forth our efforts to keep crime at bay,” Trustee Joni Radaszewski said at Monday night’s board meeting. “Winning these awards speaks volumes of the effort of our police department.”

Safety.com named Orland Park the safest city in Illinois in 2020.

“These results are not an accident,” Mayor Keith Pekau said. “We achieve these results for several reasons. We support our police department. We hire the best officers and then we hold ourselves accountable by taking every complaint seriously.

“We engage our residents and our businesses to make them a part of the solution. We invest heavily into investigations. We utilize modern technology throughout the village to catch criminals.”

He said that working with Orland Square Mall to implement the Youth Supervision policy also helped to cut retail theft there last year.

Three Chicago area communities made the top 10. Buffalo Grove was ranked first and Bartlett fifth. The most dangerous small city in the nation was Petersburg, Virginia.

Results were based on cost of crime, violent crime rate and property crime rate.

“It comes down to board support and the passion and dedication of the officers,” Orland Park Police Chief Joseph Mitchell said. “Working with the businesses have helped. The Youth Supervision program has been phenomenal. And we’re working well with our residents.”

Pekau said the awards and honors mean something.

“It makes it clear to potential criminals that if they commit a crime in our jurisdiction, they will be caught and they will face consequences for their crimes,” Pekau said. “The results speak for themselves.”

Banding together

The Villages of Orland Park, Tinley Park and Orland Hills are combining resources in an effort to combat crime that has grown more frequent at local car dealerships.

The newly established police department-based task force is an initiative put into place as a proactive measure to prevent and deter burglaries and thefts that have become troublesome in recent months.

Mitchell said it has not been a big problem in this area yet, but with so many dealerships in the area, the initiative will help serve as an informational tool for those businesses to take precautions.

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