Community, Law and Order, Local, Local Police Reports, Park Forest

Police Name Joel Oyola Civilian Employee of the Year

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The members of the Park Forest Police Department named Community Service Officer (CYO) Joel Oyola, Civilian Employee of the Year. Officer Oyola started with the PFPD as a part-time employee. When another CYO with whom he worked left the position, Chief Brian Rzyski promoted CYO Oyola to full-time.

Citizens will recognize Officer Oyola as he drives around town in a gray vehicle.

Praise from Citizens

Members of the public appreciate Officer Oyola as well. A February 2023 post on the department’s Facebook page is thanks from one resident.

A woman writes, “I want to give a grateful ‘Thank You’ to Community Service Officer Joel Oyola, who has been very helpful, kind, and understanding this last week and a half, with the removal of my husband’s broken down (10yrs) Mercury van.”

The woman cited “early cognitive problems” her husband was experiencing, and then said, “Officer Oyola was very understanding. Thank You again!!”

In comments under the post, another resident offers praise of the CSO, “He is wonderful. He helped me with getting a vacant yard cleaned up after I caught people dumping mountains of yard waste. He is a real gem!”

And yet another, “I can’t begin to tell you how compassionate and understanding CSO Oyola has been towards myself and family since moving here. All around, an amazing officer and great guy!”

Chief Rzyski read the following citation at Monday’s meeting of the Village Board detailing some of Officer Oyola’s accomplishments.


CYO Joel Oyala accepts award from Chief Brian Rzyski
CYO Joel Oyala accepts the official commendation from Chief Brian Rzyski at Monday’s Village Board meeting. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Early in 2023, Community Service Officer Joel Oyola became the only part-time CSO when his counterpart left the position. Because of Joel’s exceptional quality of work and dedication, he was offered a full-time position, which he gladly accepted.

Throughout 2023, Joel has been instrumental in undertaking the drastic increase of complaints of abandoned and loose animal calls, which were up in volume by nearly 20% from 2021.

Joel maintains a positive relationship with the South Suburban Humane Society, which enacted changes in policies, prices, and contracts due to the unprecedented number of stray animals impounded throughout the region.

In his enforcement of the stray animal crisis, Joel issued over 200 municipal citations to animal owners.

It’s the Tedious Things, the Little Things, That Add Up

Chief Rzyski mentioned that CYO Oyola handles several tedious tasks “that likely go unnoticed.” He does so “daily and without complaint,” the chief said.

These tasks help the department run smoothly. They include mail runs, Markham courthouse deliveries, vehicle servicing, uniform pickups, and speed sign maintenance.

“In addition to his normal duties,” the chief continued, “Joel often handles citizen complaints made to the Village Hall regarding illegally parked vehicles and animal complaints. Joel is always prompt to address these issues and update the appropriate departments of the status and outcome.”

Chief Rzyski said Officer Oyola thoroughly investigates complaints “and sees to it that all violations are abated by way of either compliance or enforcement.”

Assistance with Special Events

“Joel’s assistance has been critical in special events as well,” the chief said. These include:

  • 4th of July,
  • Unity Day,
  • Coffee with a Cop,
  • recycling,
  • holiday events,
  • and many more.

Helpful and Happy Face of the Department

“Joel provides behind-the-scene help and is recognized as a helpful and happy face of PFPD,” the commendation concludes. “He is always willing to adjust his schedule to accommodate the events and the needs of the Department.

“Despite constantly being pulled in multiple directions, Joel utilizes his non-committed time to look for quality-of-life issues and sees them through to their conclusion. Throughout 2023, Joel has exceeded expectations as a new full-time CSO. He has proven to be an invaluable asset to the Department and the Village, earning him the 2023 Civilian Employee of the Year.”

Thomas K. Mick, Village Manager, and Brian H. Rzyski, Chief of Police, signed the commendation.