Candice Klein, flanked by Mayor Steve Landek and Police Chief Ricardo Mancha, has wanted to be a police officer since she was a young girl. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Candice Klein, flanked by Mayor Steve Landek and Police Chief Ricardo Mancha, has wanted to be a police officer since she was a young girl. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Bridgeview welcomes new police officer

By Steve Metsch

After about 10 years as an auxiliary and part-time officer, Candice Klein is now a full-time police officer in Bridgeview.

Her hiring was unanimously approved by the village board at its July 20 matinee meeting.

Klein is the third full-time female officer on the department, Chief Ricardo Mancha said.

“She’s a very good officer, a very energetic officer,” Mancha said.

He noted that Klein worked her way from auxiliary officer to part-time officer.

“She’s gone through the gauntlet,” he said. “I consider her one of our success stories,”

“She’s great as a part-timer,” Mancha added. “If she’s half as good as a full-timer, I’m going to be very happy.”

Klein, 30, a graduate of Oak Lawn High School and the police academy, said she enjoys working with Bridgeview residents. “I love the village (of Bridgeview). I look forward to retiring from here in 30 or 40 years,” Klein said. She most likes “helping people.”

Klein will be working the late shift, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. And that’s fine with her: “Whatever I get,” she said.

With Klein being on probation as a new officer, she may not be limited to nights at the get-go.

“We may move her around wherever we need her. Make sure she gets a flavor of days, a flavor of afternoons, a flavor of midnights,” Mancha said.

Klein said she wanted to be a police officer growing up. During her years as a part-timer, she’s worked on emergency operations with ESDA, traffic control at the mosque and SeatGeek Stadium.

“I’ve gotten a taste of all of it and I love it,” she said.

Working nights, she’s often had to pull over drunken drivers. There are more DUIs at night, she said.

“Sometimes, they’re not out of control,” she added. “Sometimes, they’re actually very compliant. Just because they are intoxicated doesn’t mean they don’t comply. Sometimes, they just are drunk. Sometimes, they’re the nicest people you meet.”

In another police matter, the board approved buying a new vehicle to replace one that that had been totaled in an accident. Insurance is covering the cost, Trustee Norma Pinion said.

In village business, the board also approved a recommendation from the zoning, planning and development commission to grant a special use permit to Nakoma Products for installation of an above-ground propellant tank and running an aerosol filling operation at 8455 S. 77th Ave.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 4.

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