Eric Rossi takes over as Orland Park's interim police chief on March 25. (Photo courtesy of the Village of Orland Park)

Eric Rossi takes over as Orland Park's interim police chief on March 25. (Photo courtesy of the Village of Orland Park)

Orland Park residents involved in county and state election races

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By Jeff Vorva

There will be no municipal elections in Orland Park in June, but Orland Park residents will be key players in several county and state races.

Orland Park resident Liz Gorman, a Republican, is running for the Cook County Commissioner of the 17th District, a post she held from 2002-2015. Former Village of Orland Park board member Dan Calandriello, an attorney, is throwing his hat into the race for the Cook County Democratic bid for the 17th District spot.

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau filed his petition for Congress in the 6th District and Scott Kasper of Orland Park will be one of several opponents.

Orland Park’s Brett Mahlen is one of several Republicans running for lieutenant governor and Maryann Mahler is running for United States senator.

The primaries for these races take place June 28.

Chief component

Due to a reporting error Eric Rossi was not named the new police chief in Orland, as reported in the March 10 Regional. He will serve as the interim chief starting March 25 and the board approved terms of that deal at the March 7 meeting.

The interim chief has been a member of the Orland Park Police Department for more than 18 years and has served as a patrol officer, bicycle patrol officer, field training officer, investigator, patrol sergeant, lieutenant in administration, Investigations Commander and Deputy Chief.

He has also served on the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force as an investigator and assistant commander.

Rossi is a graduate of Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Lewis University. He is married and has two children.

He takes over for Joseph Mitchell, who is leaving the village to become the chief in Wilmington.  Mitchell was with the force for 27 years including that past two years as chief.

Good deeds

In an effort to provide assistance in the form of vital supplies in support of Ukrainian refugees, the Village of Orland Park is organizing a collection event to be held on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Village Hall, 14700 S. Ravinia Ave.

Those who cannot attend the day of the collection event but still wish to contribute can drop off items at Village Hall at any time prior to the event. Collection bins will be located in the lobby.

Sponsors are needed, should local businesses wish to assist with transportation, packaging or donations as well.

Items being collected will focus on the needs of the many Ukrainian women and children who are refugees in Poland at this time.  The village requests that all items be new and unexpired.

Items requested include baby items (clothing, diapers, blankets, rash cream, wipes, bibs, sippy cups, teethers, etc.), sleeping bags and blankets, feminine hygiene products, first aid (Antibiotic ointment, Aquaphor ointment, Band-Aids, digital thermometer, lip balm, tissues, antibacterial wipes, fever reducer) women’s and children’s clothing (hats, gloves, scarves, socks, underwear, thermal undergarment, etc.), backpacks and refillable water bottles.

In addition to items, monetary donations are needed to cover shipping fees and those who are available to volunteer can donate their time. A signup form can be accessed at

Also, surplus ballistic vests have been sent from the Orland Park Police Department to assist Ukrainian volunteer combatants.

“We are happy to do whatever we can to help with this urgent request,” Mitchell said.

The vests, which are no longer needed by the Orland Park Police Department, were sent to Wroclaw, Poland and will be given directly to Ukrainian civilians to help protect them from sniper fire they may encounter during the war.

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