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The Park Forest Police Department is looking to add new officers.The 55-member police force with 41 sworn officers began a new recruitment period Monday and will accept applications through Oct. 10.The department is encouraging those in pursuit of an exciting and rewarding career to consider one in law enforcement.Park Forest Police Chief Christopher Mannino says that while strong qualifications are important, diversity is just as important to the applicant pool.“Our hope is that our recruitment efforts attract more than the traditional law enforcement applicant,” Mannino said. “We want the criminal justice major who just graduated, but we also want the business professional who is looking to change careers, and the stay-at-home mother who wants to re-enter the workforce.”Mannino says it’s the diversity in the background of each applicant that has proven to be a strength of the Park Forest Police Department.“Police departments are better when they are made up of people with a variety of backgrounds and life experiences”, Mannino said.Those interested in applying begin by picking up an application at Park Forest’s Village Hall or by downloading one on Park Forest’s website at villageofparkforest.com/policecareers and returning the completed applications, including all supporting materials, by Oct. 10. A mandatory orientation is Oct. 15 and applicants must then complete a written exam on Oct. 19. Oral Interviews before the Park Forest Board of Fire and Police Commissioners are tentatively scheduled for the week of Nov. 18.The Park Forest Police Department offers a highly competitive starting salary of $62,265 for new officers and up to $77,366 for those with law enforcement experience.Park Forest Police currently have one police officer vacancy though several officers are usually hired from an eligibility list created through a recruitment period.Park Forest is also accepting applications for the position of firefighter/paramedic with the Park Forest Fire Department, with the same application deadline of Oct 10.About the Park Forest Police DepartmentThe Park Forest Police Department serves the people of Park Forest, Illinois, a community of approximately 22,000 people in the suburban Chicago area. Responsible for law enforcement duties in both Cook and Will Counties, Park Forest Police Officers handle approximately 18,000-20,000 calls for service every year. The Park Forest Police Department is an award-winning, state-of-the-art law enforcement agency with approximately 55 members, 41 of them sworn officers. Divided into divisions of Patrol, Investigations, and Support Services, some officers also specialize in assignments such as K-9 handler, special operations (SWAT), accident investigation, and a variety of specialized teams and task forces.