By Maria Maxham
Lieutenant Kenneth Gross will be promoted to the rank of deputy chief of police on Oct. 28, and Sergeant Peter Morrissette will be promoted to lieutenant.
Gross will fill the position vacated by Mike Keating, who retired as deputy chief, the second-highest post in the department, on Aug. 2.
Gross has been with the Forest Park Police Department for over 19 years, since 2000. Police Chief Tom Aftanas has worked with Gross his entire career in Forest Park.
"Ken leads by example," said Aftanas. "That's why he has such a high level of respect from everyone who works for and with him." A big part of this is that he doesn't delegate everything to other people.
"He gets busy and does the work himself," added Aftanas. "He's very fair, and that's how you earn people's respect."
Gross, who will be sworn in at the regularly scheduled Forest Park Village Council meeting on Oct. 28, said he's honored to receive this promotion.
"I'm thankful to everyone I've worked with and for," he said. He echoed Aftanas' thoughts about him, saying that although he'll be in a supervisory position and overseeing things from a higher level, he always wants to show his colleagues and those who work for him that he's willing to "get his hands dirty."
"The job is never beneath me," said Gross, and that's something he's learned from people around him after whom he's molded himself.
He will be joined at his swearing in by his wife and children, parents, in-laws and some friends.
Morrissette will be promoted to lieutenant, filling the position Gross will vacate. Morrissette's background as a detective makes him a perfect fit, said Aftanas, who added that Morrissette is hard-working and dedicated.
Morrissette, a Proviso East graduate, has been with the Forest Park Police Department since 1996.