The village of Minooka added three recent graduates from police academies to the police department ranks at Tuesday’s village board meeting.
Officer Mackenzie Melendez grew up in town and is a graduate of Minooka High School. She furthered her education at Joliet Junior College (JJC) and Concordia University Chicago where she received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Melendez went on to receive training from the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy (SLEA) Police Academy until graduating earlier this month.
Officer Tyler Gholson grew up in nearby Wilmington and is a graduate of JJC. After graduation, he worked at JJC’s police department as a non-sworn officer and dispatcher.
Gholson graduated from the Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) Police Academy earlier this month.
Officer Guadalupe Lopez grew up in Romeoville where she had completed an internship and worked at the police department there prior to joining the ranks in Minooka.
Lopez studied at Western Illinois University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement and justice administration. She went on to receive training at SWIC Police Academy until graduating earlier this month.
Also at the meeting, Minooka officials adopted the village’s budget for fiscal year 2022-2023 after a brief presentation and public hearing.
The budget works with the understanding that there is an estimated $22.7 million in expenditures and an estimated $24.6 million in revenues.
Finance Director John Harrington says there is a roughly $462,000 net increase year-over-year in the village’s general fund.
The budget includes funding to pay for, among other things, motor fuel tax work, erosion control, park property acquisitions, Minooka Road improvements and wastewater treatment plant equipment replacement. It also helps pay for three new village staff positions, including an assistant public works superintendent, maintenance laborer, and a community development officer.