Bridgeview Village Trustee Patricia Higginson laughs as Police Chief Ricardo Mancha adjusts her chair at the board meeting, (Photos by Steve Metsch)
Bridgeview hires four part-time police officers
By Steve Metsch
The Bridgeview Village Board hired four part-time police officer – each with backgrounds in law enforcement – at its most recent meeting.
“We’re adding to our staff, a way to help the community,” Police Chief Ricardo Mancha told the board on Feb. 1.
The four new part-timers are Joseph D. Keeter, John D. Daniel, Ryan Michael Wager and Michael Spizzirri.
Keeter retired after 30 years with the Chicago Police Department, including 20 as a sergeant. His specialties include SWAT certification and threat assessment.
Keeter applied after he learned Mancha, who formerly worked with Keeter in the Chicago Police Department, is the chief in Bridgeview.
Daniel spent five years as a Cook County Sheriff’s deputy after serving 16 years in the Army.
Daniel is coming from the Department of Homeland Security. He also is skilled in SWAT and threat assessment.
Wagner was a police officer from 2006 to 2022, working 14 years s in Forest View and two years in neighboring Stickney. He was a patrol officer and a detective.
After working five years as a Chicago police officer, Spizzirri changed careers and spent the past year as a Chicago firefighter. He still has an interest in policing, Mancha said.
After the meeting, Mancha said the part-time officers will patrol the streets.
“One of them may help us inside as opposed to being on the street because a couple of part-timers we had helping the detectives are gone now,” Mancha said.
Part-time officers are required to work a minimum of four eight-hour shifts per month, he said, with an option to work more.
It’s possible for part-time officers to become full-time officers, he said.
In other business, the board unanimously approved a parking variation to allow construction of a two-story school building owned by MAS Quran Blossoms, 9101 S. Oketo Ave.
The variation decreases the required off-street parking spaces from 22 to 20. The building is for a pre-school.
Trustee James Cecott, who oversees public works, said a Bobcat and backhoe ordered a few months ago were delivered sooner than expected.
“They arrived yesterday. Thank goodness for Caterpillar, an American company. They delivered a couple of months sooner than we planned. They are in the garage, ready to go,” Cecott said.
In public comments, resident Devin Andrews spoke to the board about Bridgeview becoming a “dementia friendly” community, as are 25 others in Illinois. Andrews said his late grandmother suffered from dementia while his other grandmother is fine.
He urged the village to consider joining Dementia Friendly Illinois. Mayor Steve Landek said the village will look into Andrews’ suggestion.
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