It’s been a year since Mayor Rory Hoskins took office amid plans to “talk” with Police Chief Tom Aftanas about Forest Park’s problematic auxiliary police force. But since that initial talk-about-a-talk, there has been no public report of this mini-summit and, more importantly, no public comment about what Forest Park’s new mayor plans to do with the village’s under-trained but fully armed “volunteer” police cadre.
Hoskins’ interest in the issue was prompted by Better Government Association reporting — I was a co-author — that detailed a long history of problems with the village’s fake-cop outfit, including nepotism, alleged violence, and, of course, a stolen handgun that led immediately to an execution-style murder on the streets of Forest Park.
When we were writing that story, former Mayor Anthony Calderone, a one-time auxiliary cop himself, flatly refused to answer our questions and Aftanas, whose salary is, as they say, taxpayer-funded, ignored dozens of written questions seeking details about the auxiliary unit, including why his own son was on the force.
So, Mayor Hoskins, perhaps you can answer a couple questions:
- Is Joseph Aftanas still an auxiliary police officer in Forest Park?
- Why is anyone still an auxiliary police officer in Forest Park?
South Bend, Indiana
Editor’s Note: Brett McNeil, former editor of the Review, published a story on the topic of auxiliary police in Forest Park. It won a Lisagor award and ran in the Review in April 2019.