In letters to Forest Park residents over the past week, Mayor Rory Hoskins has made it clear that the village is in communication with state, local and county health departments and is ready to handle an emergency.
“I want you to know that the village of Forest Park is planning for any contingencies,” said Hoskins in a March 18 letter.
Hoskins assured residents that the department heads are regularly communicating, and that Forest Park fire and police departments have plans to respond to the expected surge in medical calls due to the pandemic. The fire and police chiefs are in contact and have strong working relationships with other local departments, he said, and mutual aid agreements exist between them.
Hoskins also spoke about the experience of village staff, stating, “The heads of our public safety units all have at least 28 years of experience in their roles and working in this community.” He noted that Forest Park’s police and fire departments include National Guard reservists, and some are military veterans with experience working in rapidly constructed military field hospitals.
“I believe we can rest assured knowing that key members of our staff have experience with our National Guard in disaster settings,” said Hoskins in his letter.
Residents should be aware of the following village changes:
- Village hall is closed to in-person traffic. Staff will be on hand to answer phone calls to both the village hall phone number, 708-366-2323 (from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday), and the non-emergency police number, 708-366-2425 (24 hours a day).
- Emergency services will not be affected in any way; residents with an emergency should call 9-1-1.
- Parking boxes have been shut off, and there is no fee to park on Madison Street.
- The overnight parking ban is not being enforced until further notice.
- Local ordinance court has been suspended.
- Business and liquor license renewals are suspended until further notice.
- The April 1 deadline for the purchase of vehicle stickers has been extended until further notice.
- All non-critical village meetings and events have been canceled until further notice.
- The 2020 Census will proceed as planned. Forms are being mailed to residents or can be completed online per the mailed instructions.
- Forest Park will continue to receive guidance from the Cook County Department of Public Heath (CCDPH) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
- All village and park district playgrounds are closed.
- Residents who wish to volunteer to help those in need can contact the village at 708-615-6203.