John Balzhiser pins a police badge onto his son, Daniel’s, uniform in Hickory Hills. (Photos by Nuha Abdessalam)

John Balzhiser pins a police badge onto his son, Daniel’s, uniform in Hickory Hills. (Photos by Nuha Abdessalam)

Hickory Hills police bid adieu and say welcome

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reporter 5 5 24 HH Lieutenant Glenn Tienstra Chief Jason Bray

Police Chief Jason Bray chats with retiring Lt. Glenn Tienstra.

By Nuha Abdessalam

The Hickory Hills Police Department bid a fond farewell to Lieutenant Glenn Tienstra and welcomed new Officer Daniel Balzhiser.

On a memorable Thursday evening, April 25, city hall was filled with the warmth of community family, friends, officers, and council members, all gathered to joyfully celebrate Officer Balzhiser and respectfully commemorate Lieutenant Tienstra’s retirement.

Originally from Sandwich, a town 41 miles away, Balzhiser is not just a new addition to the city’s police department. With his mother, Michelle Balzhiser, a Palos Hills native and alum of Conrady Junior High School, and his grandmother’s favorite restaurant, Peppo’s Subs, Balzhiser brings a sense of familiarity and connection to the community.

Balzhiser spent much of his upbringing in Romeoville. He graduated from Plainfield East High School in 2018 and earned a B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in 2022, where he also played baseball.

City council members and the community applauded as John Balzhiser, Balzhiser’s father, pinned him during the swearing-in ceremony.

Chief Jason Bray also gave a heartfelt speech, bidding farewell to longtime Hickory Hills lieutenant Tienstra. He said, “Glenn, your contributions will be deeply missed but never forgotten.”

Chief Bray added, “We have many stories and are grateful for your service and the impact you’ve had on our community.”

With an impressive career of over 30 years with Hickory Hills Police Department, the now retired Lt. Tienstra said, “I have loved this city and this place; this has been such a great career. Everyone works together, making this city as fine as it is. We have great people and management. I leave here very happy for you all, who are in good hands.”

In other city news, the city council approved the city’s second half of April 2024 bills to be paid for $257,111.

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