What's Happening in University Park

Welcome Chief Dale Mitchell University Park Police Department
On Tuesday, February 14, 2023, Chief Dale Mitchell was sworn in at the Mayor & Board of Trustees Committee of the Whole Meeting.  Chief Dale Mitchell was the former Deputy Police Chief of Hazel Crest with over 30 Years of Law Enforcement experience, a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice, and a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Minor in Criminal Justice. Welcome, Chief Mitchell.

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Male Empowerment Conference
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was not just another day out of school, this day was set aside to bring positive change into our community. This Male Empowerment Mentoring Conference brought communities together along with the school district to bring forth a positive and impactful conference. Over 50 African American male mentors gathered to welcome the 100 + young male students on Monday morning. To begin the day Mr. Derrick Watson, Mr. Donzell Franklin, and Superintendent Dr. Kara Coglianese welcomed the attendees with excitement about the day’s events. The panel groups included: GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, and LAW ENFORCEMENT and concluded by visiting different vendor tables and collecting vital information. These panelists engaged in meaningful and powerful discussions with the students. There were times when panelist leaders requested additional time due to the seriousness of the discussions. Close to the end of the day, all attendees gathered in the auditorium for a closing ceremony which included raffle prizes, a spoken word performance by Crete-Monee Alumni Mark McCoy, and a step performance by students from the Kappa League. After the day was concluded, surveys were completed and students provided very positive feedback about the conference. To view additional photos from the day, please visit the school district’s website at

Special Acknowledgements: CM201U Superintendent Dr. Kara Coglianese, CM201U security, and janitorial staff, CM201U Board of Education, The MEN Empowerment Network (spearheaded by Mr. Derrick Watson, Mr. Eric Green, and Mr. Donzell Franklin), CM201U Director of Behavior Intervention Program Keeyana Riley, CM201U Mentoring Committee, University Park Director of Community Relations Keely Lewis-Childress, Mayor Joseph Roudez and the Village of University Park, University Park and Crete Police Department, Park Forest, and Crete Park District, the distinguished men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and all the vendors that showcased their organizations.


Self Defense Class
The number of missing women and girls in the United States is alarming. The number of missing Black women and girls is even more astounding. According to Statista, at the end of 2021, there were close to 200,000 reported missing girls under the age of 21 and almost 63,000 reported missing women over the age of 21. According to the National Crime Information Center there were 89,020 reported Black women and girls missing in the United States at the end of 2021. These alarming statistics reunited Trustee Donzell “Coach Tutu” Franklin and Eugene “Sensei Eugene” Anthony to reteach self-defense training to the women and girls in the community. Franklin and Anthony, both Crete-Monee Alumni, first taught a class in University Park prior to the pandemic in 2020 which brought out an impressive amount of women and girls. In light of recent events, they both felt compelled to reteach the class and target not only University Park residents, but families in the Crete-Monee district. With support from Superintendent Dr. Kara Coglianese, the class was taught at Crete-Monee Middle School. Close to 50 women and girls were in attendance and learned different techniques of self-defense, methods of awareness, and warning signs to be conscious of. Thank you to both Mr. Franklin and Sensei Eugene, the other male volunteers, and the women and girls that showed up to take the necessary steps to learn different methods of safety.

Self Defense 2023

Village of University Park a Part of the First Cohort of EV Readiness

ComEd, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Announce First 16 Communities to Join EV Readiness Program

The first-of-its-kind program helps local governments plan to meet the growing demand for EVs
CHICAGO (November 30, 2022) - ComEd and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (Caucus) today announced the inaugural cohort of communities participating in the EV Readiness Program, a unique initiative launched earlier this year to help local governments prepare to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and EV charging infrastructure. Funded in part with a $225,000 commitment from ComEd, the EV Readiness Program will help communities streamline policies and implement best practices for safe and effective regional transportation electrification.

Village of University Park a part of the First Cohort of the EV Readiness Program

Real Men Read- Coretta Scott King Magnet School- Friday, October 15, 2022
On Friday, October 15, 2022, Mayor Joseph E. Roudez III with University Park Lions Coach Venard Alsberry Jr. volunteered to read for a new reading initiative REAL MEN READ with the Coretta Scott King Magnet School students. Real Men Read was a huge success.

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Lynel Billups-Williams - High School "All-Star Player of The Week Award- October 3, 2022

Congratulations to University Park's own, Lynel Billups-Williams, who has been presented with the Chicago Bears “High School All-Star” Player of the Week Award this week. This award recognizes high school football players for on-field performance, community involvement, and good sportsmanship. Lynel Billups-Williams was nominated based on his performance against Joliet Catholic Academy during week five of the regular football season.
The Chicago Bears presented Lynel Billups-Williams with this award on Monday, October 3rd at the Crete-Monee game field. Included was a gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings in which the entire football team could enjoy dinner and celebrate this accomplishment! The Chicago Bears will also be making a donation to a youth football program of Lynel Billups Williams’ choosing, which will be given to our local University Park Lions football organization. In addition, he will be honored in December at a Chicago Bears home game for his accomplishments on the field. Congratulations, Lynel Billups-Williams! ( Information provided by Crete Monee School District)

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University Park Public Library- Double Up Program  Saturday, October 1, 2022
The UPPL Board of Trustees, Village of University Park Trustees, Village Manager Elizabeth Scott, and the community joined in for the University Park Public Library for Double Dutch, Hopscotch, and Chinese Jump Rope! Free Fun Family Fitness for everyone. The program runs Saturdays- Oct 1st, Oct 8th & Oct 15th from 11:00 a.m.- 12:00