Forest Park has a new deputy chief of police. Michael Keating, a 28-year veteran of the department, will fill the vacancy, which resulted when then-Deputy Chief Thomas Aftanas was promoted to police chief this past June.

Keating, a graduate of Lewis University with a degree in criminal justice, began his impressive law enforcement career as a patrol officer in 1987, followed by an eight-year stint in the criminal investigation unit as a tactical officer and detective. He was promoted to patrol sergeant in 2001. Keating is credited with developing Forest Park’s Crime Scene Investigator Unit and has received training at Northwestern University and from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He has also worked on the West Suburban Major Crimes Task Force (WESTAF) and the West Suburban Drug/Gang Task Force (WEDGE). He became a detective commander in 2013.

After introducing Keating at Monday’s meeting, Chief Aftanas said, “He is definitely highly qualified.”

Unlike chief of police appointments, which require the council’s approval, deputy positions are unilaterally decided by the police chief.

Mayor Anthony Calderone called Aftanas’ selection “a fine, fine choice.” After administering the official oath, in front a council chambers packed with family and friends, Calderone told Keating, “You have a lot of challenges in front of you … from time to time [the Forest Park Police Department] will require and need the leadership abilities that you are bringing to this position.”

Keating thanked his family, the assembled police officers, and Aftanas.

“I love this village” he concluded.

No outside search was conducted before Keating’s appointment, but Aftanas told the Review he considered all the sergeants and commanders currently serving in the department. When asked what informed his decision, he pointed to his own experience working alongside Keating as a tactical officer during the 1990s, as well as Keating’s administrative and investigation skills.

“I am extremely confident in his abilities.” said Aftanas. “Twenty-eight years on the job and his drive has actually never diminished.”

Keating’s appointment was not the only promotion made official Monday night.

Chris Chin, a Forest Park police officer since 2008, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Aftanas described Chin, a graduate of Loyola University, as “humble and engaged.” Calderone presented Chin with the Life Saving Award as a result of his actions on the night of July 31. Chin was one of the responding officers when a semi-tractor truck struck a pedestrian near I-290. He is credited with swiftly applying a tourniquet to the victim’s leg and ultimately saving her life.

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