Worth Police Chief Tim Denton (fifth from left) joins members of the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force who were honored during the village board meeting Tuesday night. The task force was instrumental in solving the murder of Jonnie Angel Klein last month by two offenders who they identified the following day and were charged two days after that. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Worth Police Chief Tim Denton (fifth from left) joins members of the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force who were honored during the village board meeting Tuesday night. The task force was instrumental in solving the murder of Jonnie Angel Klein last month by two offenders who they identified the following day and were charged two days after that. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Worth honors task force’s tenacity in helping to solve murder

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By Joe Boyle

Worth Police Chief Tim Denton said that the work of officers is often overlooked until their efforts receive headlines.

Case in point was the work of the Worth police, detectives and the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force who collaborated to solve a murder quickly that occurred in Worth last month.

reporter jonnie angel klein headshot

Jonnie Angel Klein

Jonnie Angel Klein, 31, had stopped at the Chase Bank ATM in the 6800 block of 111th Street the afternoon of Nov. 4 when a vehicle pulled up next to her. The offenders attempted to rob her and during an altercation, she was shot in the chest.

She was able to drive across the street to the parking lot of another bank. By the time police arrived, she had died from her injuries.

Worth police and the task force then tracked down the offenders quickly after receiving a call about the two offenders being spotted in Posen. The two offenders were apprehended the following day and charged two days later.

“The fact that we were able to identify the two offenders within 24 hours is nothing short of amazing,” said Mayor Mary Werner following the arrests. “We thank the police for their hard work.”

Denton was proud of his department but personally wanted to give credit to the South Suburban Task Force. Members of the task force attended the Worth Village Board meeting Tuesday night and received a plaque honoring them for their hard work and diligence in arresting the offenders.

“We have been working with this task force for 25 years,” Denton said. “Some of them I know personally and others are new. What they do is completely unbelievable.”

While this incident became a major news story, Denton reminded the board and residents at the meeting that the task force consistently solves crimes and helps to get convictions. Denton said their efforts has resulted in a 70% conviction rate.

“They have a large turnover rate every couple of years because they get promoted because they are so good,” Denton said.

“It’s nice to have you guys in here today for something nice instead of for something bad,” said Denton during the award ceremony.

“We are much safer here because of you,” said Trustee Laura Packwood.

“The south suburbs are much safer for having them here,” added Denton.

In a related matter, two Ford police interceptor utility vehicles from the Currie Commercial Center in Frankfort were approved for purchase by the board. While the original stated amount was for just over $49,000, Denton said the figure will actually be for $45,000.

Delivery from the dealership will occur after May 1, according to the information in the approved ordinance.

The Worth Police and Fire Commission has recommended that Armando Delgado be hired as probationary police officer, effective on Feb. 1. Trustee Pete Kats, chairman of the public safety committee, said he was happy with the hire of Delgado, a lateral transfer.

Kats said that 43 criminal arrests were made in the village last month. Eleven offenders were arrested for either having no driver’s license or having it revoked. Nine others were arrested for having no driver’s license at all, Kats said.

“I still can’t believe that 20 people were arrested for not having a driver’s license,” Kats said.

Village Clerk Bonnie Price said that the Tag Days request from the Bread of Life Outreach Program Inc., was approved to solicit donations at the corners of 111th and Harlem; 111th and Southwest Highway; 111th and Ridgeland; and 115th and Ridgeland on Friday, Dec. 22, and Saturday, Dec. 23.

Trustee Brad Urban, chairman of the public works committee, said that water main breaks occurred at 108th and Octavia, 76th Avenue and 109th Street, and 107th and Harlem but have since been repaired.

Sewer repairs also took place at several locations, Urban said.

Werner also said that the Worth police provided plenty of support assisting the Marrs-Meyer American Legion Post 991 and Auxiliary for the annual Christmas baskets to assist struggling families. The event took place Sunday at the post.

Denton pointed out that the officers often assist at charitable causes and do this on their own time.

“This is why so many people want to work for us because they get great leadership,” Kats said.

Urban added that the “Adopt A Sailor Event” will be held on Christmas Day at the Marrs-Meyer Post, 11001 S. Depot St. Thirty Navy recruits will be greeted at 9 a.m. by bagpipers and residents. Urban said residents are invited to attend and will also be served food after the recruits dine first.

An ordinance was adopted to provide paid leave benefits for all workers. Another ordinance was approved for an intergovernmental agreement between the village and Cook County on behalf of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for 911 dispatch services.

An ordinance for the levy and assessment of taxes for the 2023 tax year for the village was also approved.

Trustee Rich Dziedzic, who is the head of the Worth Cruisers Club, said the Christmas party was a lot of fun on Monday. He was not able to attend because he became a grandparent that day.

Packwood, who serves as the chair for the golf committee, said the Breakfast with Santa was also a success on Sunday. She added that Orion, managers of the Water’s Edge Golf Course, appreciated the assistance of the Worth Park District and other volunteers.

Packwood said the golf course, aided by warm weather in the summer and mild temperatures in the fall, have a surplus of $526,000. Through November, 31,216 rounds of golf had been played this year at Water’s Edge, Packwood said.

A business license was tentatively granted to Bilal N. Farhan, who is the new owner of the Fattoush restaurant, 10700 S. Harlem Ave. He takes over from his father.

“We hear nothing but good things about Fattoush,” Werner said. “It’s all over Facebook.”

Another familiar name receiving tentative business approval was Rodeo Burgers and Chicken, 11111 S. Harlem Ave. The eatery has been at the location for some time and now has a new owner in Khalid Ganem.

Price said that Village Hall will be closed on Monday, Dec. 25, for Christmas and Monday, Jan. 1, for New Year’s Day. Price said the next board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2.

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