By DIANE TURNER-HURNS
Journal & Topics Reporter
A former Marine and East Leyden High School graduate is heading up the Rosemont Public Safety Department’s new Community Affairs Division.
Julio Alvarado’s new title is that of lieutenant and commanding officer of the division, which the village started last year. He has been a Rosemont officer since March 2006 and was raised in Franklin Park.
“I joined the U.S. Marine Corps shortly after graduating from East Leyden High School,” Alvarado told the Journal. “The majority of my basic training was at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, also known as 29 Palms.
“From 2000-06, I proudly served our nation, and in 2004, I was deployed with second Battalion 24th Marines to Iraq and fought in forward operations for campaign: Operation Iraqi Freedom-II. In 2006, I was honorably discharged from duty,” he said.
Alvarado said he is excited about the new role and continuing to close any communication gaps in the community with residents and businesses.
“For instance, we just met with several hotels and their employees,” Alvarado said. “We have split up those areas into three beats to make sure the lines of communications continue to stay open.” Beat one is to the east, beat two is the center of town and beat three is west of Mannheim.
“The response we’ve received back from the hotels and businesses has been extremely positive,” Alvarado said. “We educate them on what resources we provide and at the same time we have learned more about their operations and needs.”
The Community Affairs Division reports directly to Public Safety Chief Donald E. Stephens III. It provides public presentations, information and facilitates community fire and crime prevention efforts. It also works closely with schools, residents and businesses.
Alvarado said the department has also established relations with the Fashion Outlets Mall security and stores.
“We are consistently following up with security and management,” Alvarado said. “Our patrolmen have actively engaged with store managers and kiosks throughout the mall to establish dialogue.
We've been able to share information with each other and minimize crime committed at our mall by repeat offenders. Communications between our investigations division, mall security, management and bureau of patrol have also been enhanced.”
Community Affairs is also responsible for the Citizens Public Safety Academy, police and fire training classes, community alerts, social media including the public safety department Facebook page, tours, safety presentations and recruitment.
The division has helped host several charity events including the Cop on the Roof for Special Olympics, Fill the Boot for Muscular Dystrophy, Wounded Warrior Project, Operation North Pole for children in need, Tip a Cop for Special Olympics, Make a Wish Foundation, No Shave November for cancer research and the Plane Pull and Torch Run for Special Olympics.
“The Community Affairs Division has positively engaged the community in several different ways that hasn't been done in the past. We expect to do even more,” Alvarado said. “We also have scheduled community beat meetings, hotel and office information sharing meetings throughout the village.”
In addition to ‘round-the-clock communication programs, updates and outreach, Alvarado said they are looking into hosting to another citizens academy, expanding public safety beat meetings at both the Barry Street and new Dunne Park recreation centers, and taking on any other new programs throughout the year.
Alvarado lives in Rosemont with his wife Angela and daughters Isabella, and Giuliana.