Tag Archives: Berwyn Police Department

Winter Warming Centers Now Open in Berwyn


A couple bundles up to face Chicago’s cold winter this year. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.

Now that the weather becomes frightful and the temperature has steadily dropped, five warming centers are open in Berwyn and are welcoming residents and the homeless to come in and escape the freezing cold.

According to the Cook County government, over thirty warming centers are now open across the city of Chicago for the winter season. Those who need a safe place to get warm from the freezing temperatures are encouraged to step inside these centers.

Chicagoans who are seeking a shelter should contact the warming center first to verify that it’s open. In Berwyn, the following public spaces in Berwyn are designated open warming centers for the 2016-2017 winter season, according to the Cook County Homeland Security and Emergency Management website:

  • Berwyn Public Library, 2701 S. Harlem Ave.
    • Hours: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Contact: (708) 788-2660. For after-hours phone calls, call (708) 795-5600 (police).
  • Berwyn Police Department, 6401 W. 31st St.
    • Hours: 24/7
    • Contact: (708) 788-2660. For after-hours phone calls, call (708) 795-5600.
  • Berwyn Recreational Center, 6501 W. 31st St.
    • Hours: Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • Contact: (708) 788-2010
  • Berwyn Township’s Freedom Park Office, 3701 Scolville Ave.
    • Hours: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Contact: (708) 788-1701

Deputy Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Natalia Derevyanny stresses the importance of keeping warm and keeping safe this winter season.

“We just really want to encourage people to get warm as safely as possible. Especially for residents who are using space heaters, we want to encourage them to turn them off once they leave the room and if they have children or pets to be extra vigilant,” Derevyanny said.

When warming centers that are not open 24/7 close, the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management advises the homeless to go to shelters such as P.A.D.S. in Chicago Heights, Oaklawn, and other south suburban Chicago locations.


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Public Art in Berwyn is Changing

By Melissa Rohman

Public painting in Berwyn is changing as the amount of general and gang graffiti is decreasing and authorized public art is increasing.

Gang graffiti has decreased over the past five years because of the Berwyn Police Department’s proactive Tactical Unit and police work regarding gang activity in the city, according to Berwyn’s Acting Police Chief Michael Cimaglia.

Division Commander Joe Santangelo is in charge of graffiti removal; graffiti is searched and removed Monday through Friday and on the weekends, designated graffiti removers are called in. Most graffiti ] that has been found in the city is gang “tagging” with an identifying symbol or nickname to mark one or more specific areas.

“It’s generally reported in alleys on garages, however we have located it on street signs and playground equipment in parks,” Cimaglia said. Continue reading

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Berwyn reports Santa-napping

By Nicole Foley

The children don’t have to watch out; they can cry and pout as much as they want because after Santa and his reindeer were stolen off a lawn in Berwyn, this Santa may not be visiting with presents this year.

This past Monday at 5:50 p.m. Christmas lawn ornaments were reported stolen from the 3500 block of South Grove Avenue home in Berwyn.  The family had a 3-foot Santa in a 10-foot long sleigh with two reindeer attached.

“The decorations were not small and must have taken some time to take away,” said Chief Jim Ritz of the Berwyn Police Dept.  “We asked the neighbors but no one seemed to see anything unusual that day.”

No one has been charged with the theft yet, but police are keeping watch for anything similar that may happen in the neighborhood.

“Since there’s no cameras around there we have no leads about who did it, for all we know it was a prank by some teenage kids, but we’re keeping our eyes out just in case it happens again,” said Ritz.

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Metal thieves target vacant Berwyn homes

Home broken into located on 1422 Gunderson

By: Lavell Garner

Stealing copper and other metals, but as of late it has become more of a problem in the city of Berwyn with increased home foreclosures. And Berwyn authorities are taking measures to control it.

On Oct. 11, three suspects were detained for breaking and entering into a vacant home located on 1422 Gunderson Avenue. Continue reading

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Police Department’s Spanish program ready for 2011

The Berwyn Police Department’s partnership with Fenwick High School’s Spanish Club has found its focus. Over the last few months it was decided that it isn’t enough for officers to just learn the basics of a language, they must also understand how to use those words effectively.  What does a police officer need to know in Spanish and how would a person who only speaks Spanish like to be addressed?

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Joseph Kestian’s bond set at $2.5 million, while facing first-degree murder charge

During an Oct. 28 bond hearing at the Fourth Municipal District Courthouse at 1500 S. Maybrook Dr. in Maywood, Joseph Kestian’s bond was set at a staggering $2.5 million, said James T. Sassetti, Berwyn Police Unit Commander.

According to a Berwyn Police Department press release, approved by James Ritz, Chief of Police, Kestian was charged Wednesday, Oct. 27 with one count of first-degree murder, approved by the Cook County State Attorney’s office. Kestian, a 58-year-old man, of 3321 Clarence Ave. in Berwyn, IL, is facing allegations of murdering his 90-year-old mother, Josephine Kestian.

58-year-old Joseph Kestian, of Berwyn, IL, is facing one charge of first-degree murder.

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