Gross and Chin hold top positions in the police department

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Forest Park Police Chief Ken Gross chose Chris Chin as his senior deputy, and the two men were celebrated in a swearing-in ceremony at Forest Park Village Hall on Friday, November 12.

Dozens of friends, family, and former and current law enforcement officials attended the ceremony in the basement of the village hall, including about 20 Forest Park police officers in uniform.

Gross’s hiring was made official on Monday, November 8 when the village council unanimously approved his appointment by Mayor Rory Hoskins. Gross was emotional on Friday, speaking about his journey to become a police chief, explaining that he was working in marketing when he lost his job around the turn of the century and started looking for a new path.

“On March 27, 2000, I showed up here and took the oath,” Gross said at the ceremony. “Then on April 3, 2000, that’s when I went to the police academy. … I look back and say to myself: “How did I get here? “”

Gross’s appointment was applauded by those in attendance, including his former boss, now retired Police Chief Tom Aftanas, who praised the work of Gross and Chin, a lieutenant before being promoted to deputy chief.

“Everyone here does a great job and I always said they made me look good,” Aftanas said. “They will continue to make you both look good and the department is in good hands.”

In an interview after the ceremony, Mayor Rory Hoskins, who chose not to conduct an external search when Aftanas retired earlier this year, said he had no reason to look beyond limits of Forest Park, based on the work he has seen from the department since he took office.

“I have a lot of confidence in this police department,” Hoskins said. “And if this is not a department where I see glaring problems, glaring problems, there is nothing to disrupt right now. If it is not broke, do not fix it.

New Deputy Police Chief Chris Chin stands in front of other officers on Friday, November 12, 2021, during a swearing-in ceremony at the Forest Park village hall. | ALEX ROGALS / Personal photographer

Chin, 42, who, like Gross, started in a different field before his law enforcement career began in 2008, would be the first Asian American to hold a leadership role in the history of the department. Chin’s father was born in China, and her mother is a first generation Chinese American. Both were present on Friday.

Chin downplayed the importance of his appointment, but said he’s someone who has always appreciated bringing as many perspectives as possible into big decisions.

“I’m in the police department and adding to the diversity of the department, but now I’m in a leadership role. Is it significant? I guess from what everyone tells me, but for me it’s a job. My responsibility is to do my best, to take care of everyone around me, and I guess that’s one of the reasons I’m where I am, ”he said in a statement. interview.

“You don’t want a group of people around you who are going to tell you what you want to hear,” he added. “I don’t have the answers, but I always know who to ask. It is important. Can I add this from my experience? Yes, I think so, but it’s not just a purely cultural thing.

Chin worked as a veterinary technician after attending college and for a while planned to study to become a veterinarian before becoming disillusioned about the path. He consulted with his family and ended up getting a job as a cop in Forest Park.

“It was less of a career and it seems a bit hokey, but all helping others,” Chin said of the decision. “It’s less about fighting crime. You think more about the victims than the aggressors.

Chin quickly rose through the ranks at FPPD, where he was in charge of the department’s training division and oversaw the deployment of body cameras, which have been fully integrated throughout the department since November 1.

Shortly after joining the police department, Chin was invited to join the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS), a commuter service collaboration, and was chosen to lead the Mobile Field Force bicycle unit. in charge of crowd control.

He graduated from Loyola University in Chicago. After changing careers in law enforcement, he continued his education at Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, and then earned a Masters of Public Safety Administration at Lewis University.

Gross, who was deputy head of Aftanas before being promoted, was already setting the stage for Chin’s next move at Friday’s ceremony.

“I think Chris is going to do a great job,” Gross said. “He’s the right person for the job and he’s going to do great things once I leave.”

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