Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer

News Flash

Two new Crete Police Officers

Two new Crete Police Officers were sworn in at the Village board meeting on Monday evening.

John Iannucci and Nevin Lennett are the newest members of the Crete Police Department.

“This brings us to full staff of 21, for the first time in 5 years or longer,” Crete Police Chief Scott Pieritz said.

Officers Iannucci and Lennett are scheduled to start 14 weeks of training at the Macon County Law Enforcement Training Center on August 14. Three other Crete officers are currently attending police academy – one set to graduate about two weeks from now, the other two later next month.

“Once all of them graduate, they will enter a 12-week field training program at Crete PD. We won’t have them all fully trained and on street until March 2023,” Chief Pieritz said.

At that point, the total number of patrol officers will be 15, including detectives and school resource officers, four Sergeants, one Deputy Chief and one Chief.

National Night Out

The 2022 National Night Out Policing Community event is tonight, between 5 and 7:30 pm, at Monee Reservoir. Bring the whole family and join us for community fun, with lots of activities and great food. Here’s the video from last year’s event:

New Crete Fire Chief

The Crete Village Hall was packed with people at the board meeting on Monday night, as 52-year-old James Muirhead was administered the oath of office by Village Clerk Deborah Bachert, becoming the new fire chief of Crete.

“I’m looking forward to Crete. It’s a has a great reputation,” Chief Muirhead said on Monday night.

The position of Crete Fire Chief became available when former Chief Michael Waterman retired in early April of this year.

Chief Muirhead started his career 33 years ago, as a paid-on-call firefighter for Matteson Fire Department. In 1993 he moved to Crete and the Crete Township Fire Protection District, where he spent eleven years and attained the rank of lieutenant. He also worked at Riverdale Fire Department, serving as their deputy chief for three years.

“I’ve known JP for a long time. He’s a quality guy and I have very high hopes and expectations that he will do a very good job for the village,” Crete Mayor Michael Einhorn said.

I’m super excited. I’ve known the Crete guys for years, growing up in Crete and being a previous member of the Crete Township Fire Department. I’m looking forward to working with them. The biggest thing I’m hoping to do is to keep things safe, because that is the utmost importance,” Crete Fire Chief James Muirhead said on Monday.

Happy Fourth of July!

The Village of Crete wishes everyone a safe and happy Independence Day.

Village Hall is closed today and will reopen again tomorrow.

Crete & University Park Fireworks PSA

The Mayors of Crete and Village of University Park are asking residents to be courteous and respectful to their neighbors during the upcoming holiday celebrations.

“For our brave service men and women, loud fireworks can trigger Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, forcing them to relive battlefield trauma,” Crete Mayor Michael Einhorn and University Park Mayor Joseph Roudez III said.

Dogs, cats and other pets are also affected by the loud noises from fireworks, because of their extraordinary hearing, which is at least four times more sensitive than human ears. For the communities in general, there’s also risk of damage to people and property associated with projectile fireworks.

“What goes up, must come down. And when it comes down, it can cause damage,” Mayor Einhorn said.

The mayors ask residents to please celebrate the holiday season safely, respectfully and legally.

Paint the Parking Lot

The annual ‘Paint the Parking Lot’ event is this Wednesday, June 29, 10 am – noon, at Crete Public Library.

Bring the kids to help decorate 25,000 sq. ft. of prime parking lot blacktop with your artwork – paint is supplied by Crete Library.

Read more about the event at the Crete Library Website and their Facebook page.

2022 Law Enforcement Torch Run Pictured

From Crete to Beecher to Monee – the 2022 Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run was successfully completed today, despite heatwave temperatures, thanks to the extraordinary resilience of police officers, athletes, their families and staff from Crete-Monee Special Athletics.

Big thank you to Crete Police Department for the strong showing of support, Crete Emergency Management Agency for assisting with traffic, Crete-Monee Special Athletics, Michelle Calderone and the athletes for being super awesome, and to everyone who came out to support the runners as they raise funds for Special Olympics.

Also thank you to Hazel Crest Police Department and Tinley Park Police Department.

Starbucks Coming to Crete

Across the pond from Culver’s, and next to Taco Bell, construction is underway to bring Mermaids, Italian vernacular and caramelized aromas to Crete.

Starbucks in Crete is scheduled to open later this year. To be located at 23230 Volbrecht Road, the building plans showcase spacious parking, a drive thru and a 2,225 SF main building – larger than most other locations, averaging between 1,500 and 2,000 SF.

Crete Administrator Mike Smith was instrumental in getting the business to town – he says the presence of Starbucks will hopefully attract more growth in the area.

Law Enforcement Torch Run Today

Come out and cheer on Crete’s Finest as the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is passing through town today at around 11 am.

Started in 1981, the Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest, worldwide grass-roots fundraising movement for the Special Olympics. In Illinois alone, 3,000 police officers, sheriff’s deputies, correction officers, support staff and other volunteers, carry the Flame of Hope nearly 1,500 miles, to the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games in Normal.

Today, at around 11 am, Officers from Steger Police will pass on the Flame of Hope to Crete’s Finest, when they meet at Chicago and Richton. From there, Crete Officers will carry the flame to Main and Burville, passing it on to Monee PD.

This year’s Special Olympics Summer Games is scheduled for June 17 – 19.

To learn more, visit

Featured Business: Polaris Martial Arts

“Traditional Taekwondo is our core art. We also have an adult Krav Maga program that is practical, effective self-defense. It’s ‘what do I need to learn to get myself home safely and deal with any sort of threat’,” founder of Polaris Marital Arts, Mace DeVries said.

Polaris Martial Arts is located on 1336 Main St, and was started by Mace DeVries.

Mr. DeVries grew up in Crete and went on to Northwestern University on a scholarship, after graduating from Crete-Monee High school.

“In college my girlfriend broke up with me and said that I was a little boring. I was desperate to prove her wrong. And a buddy of mine said, ‘Hey, I do this martial arts thing, you should come try it.’ That’s how I took my first martial arts class.”

Polaris Martial Arts founder, Mace DeVries

Mr. DeVries says he soon realized that the training provided a sense of security and self-reliance that he enjoyed, and that the decision to open his own martial arts academy in Crete was based on the lack of similar activities when he was a child.

The name, Polaris, was chosen for its historical traditions, and the symbolism associated with the interstellar namesake.

“We called it Polaris because it is the one star in the sky that is always in the same space. It’s the North star, it doesn’t move, it’s in the big dipper, and sailors used to navigate by it. It was always something that I thought could help people find the direction.”

Today, that direction has led Polaris Martial Arts to become a popular hub of recreational activities for children, teens and adults, teaching not just how to kick and punch, but also how to deal with a variety of real-life challenges.

“We teach life skills, discipline, respect, courtesy and communication. We believe there are four stages of character development: Structure, emotion, knowledge and legacy. Structure is being able to have a little bit of discipline. Emotion is the ability to control those emotions. Knowledge how to kick, how to block, how to punch. Legacy realizing the impact that they have on the people around them.”

Mr. DeVries says that earning a medal isn’t the purpose of training or winning competitions; rather, it is the process of training and building courage and confidence to be judged by strangers that is the real prize.

A student hangs in mid-air while performing a jump kick

“It’s that ‘aha moment’ when they break a board, or do a weapon manipulation and they catch it in their other hand, without it clattering on the floor. That sense of joy where they realize that the work that they put in just paid off.”

This training philosophy has proven popular with Crete area families, many of whom were enrolled as children and are now assisting with the training as teens. Ten-year-old purple belt, Justine, has no difficulty articulating why she enjoys attending Polaris Martial Arts.

Polaris Martial Arts Purple Belt, Justine

“Taekwondo has definitely been teaching me a lot of discipline. I love being here. There are amazing people, amazing friends you can make. Once you hit beginner class, you never wanna go away. It’s just an amazing experience to have, that not every kid gets to do, so you feel really special when you walk in.”

Polaris Martial Arts students hugging after practice

Asked to define the single most important thing Mr. DeVries hopes the children will learn from attending Polaris Martial Arts:

“The ability to understand what grit is. Determination, resilience in a single word. Life is going to come along and knock you down. This happens to us on a daily basis. Can you get back up, can you brush yourself off and be able to go forward?”

Polaris Martial Arts offers Taekwondo and Krav Maga classes in Crete and Frankfort:

Polaris Martial Arts – Crete
1336 Main St
Crete, IL 60417

Polaris Martial Arts – Frankfort
10850 W Laraway Rd
Frankfort, IL 60423


Featured Business: Closet Collectibles

Closet Collectibles is a local toy store that buys, sells and trades new and used items, along with other collectibles for all ages. Closet Collectibles has locations on Wood Street in Crete and Oak Park Avenue in Tinley Park, and they also do business on eBay –

From Hot Wheels to Star Wars

“From Hot Wheels to Star Wars, anything to do with collecting is just fun,” says store owner Chris Pluymert.

The dream of dealing in toys and collectibles started in childhood for Chris, redecorating his room to accommodate the passion.

“I started when I was a kid doing baseball card shows, and always just played stores as a kid too. In my bedroom I got rid of my bed and put a display case […] and took off my closet doors and made it a pretend store,” Chris explains.

About four and a half years ago, Chris opened his first store, with over 4000 square feet of new and used toys and a variety of different collectible items.

Store Manager Michelle shows DC Marvel items

“DC Marvel, Masters of the Universe, sports cards, $1 Hot Wheels, Star Wars, Wrestling, train stuff, new toys, old toys, Nerf guns, action figures, and, we have a dragon,” store manager Michelle says.

The six-foot dragon has become a bit of a store mascot, according to Chris.

“The dragon came in from somebody who had it in their house and their girlfriend made them get rid of it. We’re not really looking to sell the dragon because everyone likes him and he’s a cool centerpiece to the room.”

Closet Collectibles owner Chris Pluymert and the store mascot dragon

Chris says he wants the store to be a place where people can be comfortable and hang out, and where kids can play with the toys.

“We have awesome customers. Sometimes they hang out for hours on end. We have customers who come in and help us fix things. We’ve met some really cool people over the past four years and the best thing with a job like this is you become friends with the regulars.”

The appreciation for collectibles and toys is about cherishing the simpler times in life, according to Chris.

“They’re not really buying a toy; they’re buying a memory. They’re bringing it back to when they’re picking up that toy from under the tree they got for Christmas.”

Closet Collectibles is located on 1626 Wood Street in Crete and 17236 Oak Park Avenue in Tinley Park. They’re open Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm.

Visit their Facebook page at or give them at call at 708-279-7045.

Animal Tag Renewal

It’s time to renew the tags for the fluffiest, furriest and cutest residents of Crete.

Residents should receive animal tag renewal forms in the mail. If you are a new resident, you can visit Crete Village Hall and fill out a new form to get your animal tag.

In the Village of Crete, we love our pets, and here are a few reminders to ensure we can all play nicely together.

1. Pets should always be kept on a leash or tethered when not in a fenced in yard.
2. Keep plastic bags with you to pick up after your pets when out in public.
3. Be aware of surroundings when walking your pet in public. Other tethered animals may be able to reach up to the sidewalk outside.
4. Three animals per household are permitted within the Village.
5. Chipping and tagging your pets, and keeping the information current, helps getting them home quicker and safer, if they happen to get out. Alternatively, they may have to be impounded and claimed at a later date.
6. Proof of current rabies vaccination is required for an animal tag license.

Any questions, feel free to contact us at 708-672-5431, or visit for more information.