Forest View Mayor Nancy MIller with Police Chief Bianel Zarate. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Forest View Mayor Nancy MIller with Police Chief Bianel Zarate. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Forest View names Zarate as police chief

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McGuffey swears in Zarate

Forest View Clerk Laura McGuffey swears in Chief Bianel Zarate at the lastest board meeting.

By Carol McGowan 

There’s a new chief in town in Forest View.

It was a full house at their August 22 village board meeting, when longtime village police officer, Bianel Zarate, had a ceremonial swearing in as police chief by Village Clerk Laura McGuffey.

He had taken over as police chief on August 3.

Those filling the board room on August 22 were Zarate’s parents, family, friends, and residents who wanted to be there for the ceremony, and to congratulate him.

Zarate has been a police officer for 19 years.

He started his law enforcement career as a part-time office with the Berwyn Police Department.  He left Berwyn and was hired as a full-time officer in Forest View in December of 2008.

Before being promoted to chief, Zarate had been a sergeant in charge of patrol.

Zarate pin

Chief Bianel Zarate’s parents assist with putting his Chief pin on his uniform.

He’s looking forward to his new role.

“It’s an honor being selected to be the new chief of Forest View,” he said.

When asked if there’s anything he would do differently, or set as a goal, “Where do I begin?  I would try to work more with the community to bridge the gap and lack of trust for law enforcement that exists in many communities due to the lack of accountability and transparency.  I would also provide more training … so officers are more versed in problem solving and de-escalation tactics.

“I want this to be a department that our village, officers, and residents can be proud of, and look forward to being able to make proper changes needed to better this department.”

Forest View Mayor Nancy Miller was pleased with his promotion to chief.

“I am very happy and excited to welcome our new police chief, Bianel Zarate,” she said. “Chief Zarate was officially sworn in on August 3. We wanted Chief Zarate to start his new role in Forest View immediately as he has many new fresh ideas that he wants to bring to our police department and village.”

“This has been a long-awaited, positive move for our Police Department. Chief Zarate is young, energetic, and eager to move our police department in the right direction in these changing times.”

In other village news, Village Administrator Mike Dropka discussed a resolution and an intergovernmental agreement for the Wenonah Storm Sewer Project with the MWRD, that will extend the sewers from 46th and Wenonah to go under the railroad tracks and then turn west to connect into Harlem Avenue.

The board approved the resolution supplementing the agreement with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago for the design, construction, operations, and maintenance of the Wenonah Avenue Basin Food Relief Improvements. The board also approved the agreement between the village and the MWRD for that purpose.

Superintendent of Water and Public Works Frank Filec discussed a proposal from M.E. Simpson Co. to perform hydrant flow/water main capacity testing in the village at a cost of $7,050.  That was approved.

Approval was also granted for rentals that are needed for the annual Oktoberfest.

The board unanimously approved Fire Chief Mark Jones’ request for an official appointment of Zachary Marcolini as part-time fire inspector.

The Stickney-Forest View Lions Club will use the kitchen in the Art Trickler room in village hall on Sunday, October 29, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for preparation to host their Pork Chop Dinner drive thru event that will be held that day from noon to 3 p.m.

In his report, Dropka mentioned that companies that have gas tanks on their individual properties, and haven’t been giving the village its share of motor fuel taxes, will be doing so.

He also mentioned that the fire and police pension fund is over 100% funded.  The village’s website should be up and running in September.

Dropka said the village Oktoberfest celebration for its residents will be, “Bigger and better than last year!”

Filec said he’s working on trying to obtain grant money for the village’s infrastructure.

2 Comments

  1. Mark on September 8, 2023 at 7:03 pm

    I may just be old fashioned? But, I remember a time when a police officer’s appearance commanded respect. How much does a razor cost these days?



  2. […] Story continues […]



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