Brookfield police officer earns leadership award

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By Community Editor

Brookfield police Lt. James Mihalik, a 17-year veteran of the department, will receive the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety Executive Leadership Award for his "commitment to delivering the best, most professional service to [his] agency and [his] community."

According to announcement from the school, Mihalik will receive the award at a date to be determined in 2021.

Mihalik was nominated for the award by Police Chief Edward Petrak this summer.

"He continues to strive for excellence in himself and expects nothing less from those that work beside him," Petrak said in his recommendation letter.

Mihalik started with the department in 2003 and was appointed to the juvenile division. He was promoted to sergeant in 2008 and was responsible for Taser training and mentoring patrol officers. As a lieutenant, Mihalik initiated a change in scheduling software and developed new scheduling and payroll procedures.

Recently, Mihalik became an active shooter response instructor and has conducted training village-wide.


Brookfield author publishes autobiography 

In November, Brookfield resident Angelise Tomasino announced the release of her autobiography, "I Am Me: Inside the Mind of and Addict," a 74-page paperback she hopes will be helpful to others facing similar struggles.

The book was published by Dorrance Publishing Co. and is available by visiting


Featured speaker

Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel was one of three featured speakers during the presentation "Pandemic in the Prairies" hosted Dec. 3 by the National Sheriffs' Association in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Weitzel's talk was titled "No Boundaries Policing" and focused on agreements inked during the COVID-19 pandemic in Riverside, Brookfield, North Riverside and McCook which allow officers from any of the communities to respond directly to incidents in any of the villages.


On campus

Three students from Brookfield were named the November 2020 Students of the Month at Lyons Township High School. The students were nominated by their teachers and selected by the various departments as the most exemplary students in each subject.

Among those honored last month were senior Josh Mukite in Algebra 2, junior Nathan Vega in U.S. History and junior Morgan Wieczorek in Advanced Culinary Studies.

Several local students were named to the honor rolls at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park for the first quarter of the 2020-21 school year.

Named to the A Honor Roll (3.8-4.0 GPA) were Brookfield residents Greta Nelson, Sarah Newmann, Kevin Prosen and Jannelle Steger; North Riverside resident Gianina Montoro; and Riverside residents Alice Buchman, Ana Kanatas and Elizabeth Selover.

Named to the B Honor Roll (3.33-3.79 GPA) were Brookfield residents Andrew Buenrostro and Trea Notz and Riverside residents Nina Gatto, John O'Meara and Everardo Torres. 

Brookfield resident Anna Pimentel-Saavedra, a senior at Lyons Township High School, earned an honorable mention award for her computer-generated artwork at the annual Chicago Area 4 X 5 Art Exhibit.

The regional exhibit featured student artwork from 62 schools with more than 2,000 pieces entered, all measuring 4-by-5 inches, in a variety of media. Just 154 works of art received awards.

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