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Logan Square, Wicker Police Commander Moved to Top Little Village Post

By Alisa Hauser | January 9, 2015 8:02pm | Updated on January 12, 2015 9:12am
 Shakespeare District Cmdr. Frank Valadez (r.) at an outdoor community policing meeting
Shakespeare District Cmdr. Frank Valadez (r.) at an outdoor community policing meeting
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

LOGAN SQUARE —  Francis "Frank" Valadez, a veteran police commander who's served the Logan Square, Humboldt Park and Wicker Park area for just over two years has been reassigned to a district in Little Village, police sources confirmed Friday.

According to statistics for the Shakespeare Police District, which covers Logan Square, Bucktown and Wicker Park, as well as parts of Avondale and Humboldt Park, crime has gone down 18 percent in the last year.

"He's been an excellent commander at [the Shakespeare District], and I've been able to work very well with him on all of the issues affecting the 32nd Ward. He's proactive, and while we're sorry to see him go, his quality work is obviously needed to help other communities in the city," said 32 Ward Ald. Scott Waguespack.

Friday was Valadez's last day at the helm of the Shakespeare District. He will move on to the Ogden District in Little Village, where he replaces Cmdr. Maria Pena,  a 27-year veteran who is being reassigned to the Grand Central District.

Under Pena's leadership, the Ogden District saw a 23 percent reduction in overall crime in the last two years. Along with her officers, Pena earned the 2014 MetLife national Community Partnership Award.

A new commander has not been announced to take Valadez's place at the Shakespeare District, 2150 N. California Ave., but Capt. Marc Buslik will serve as interim commander of the district, sources said.

Buslik, a 31-year Police Department veteran, is the primary officer managing the Shakespeare District's Twitter feed, @ChicagoCAPS14, which has over 2,000 followers and usually posts relevant links daily, including a popular "Warrant Wednesday" tweet.

Valadez moved to the Shakespeare District in 2012 and replaced Linda Flores. Before 2012, Valadez served as a lieutenant in the Wentworth District, which stretches from the Near South Side to Hyde Park.

Valadez joined the Chicago Police Department in December of 1986, according to the Chicago Police News Affairs Office, and has received 131 awards, including two of the highest police honors — the Lambert Tree and the Superintendent's Award of Valor.

The Lambert Tree is an award dating to the 1880s that is given to just one Chicago Police officer every other year.

Valadez's new position was announced internally late Friday after about a week of rumors.

"We all grew a little from our interaction with him. He will be missed. Lessons that he taught us in dealing with the citizens will endure," said Sgt. Joeseph Giambrone.

Giambrone said that Valadez was "a wonderful addition"  to the Shakespeare District, which employs around 250 people.

Giambrone described Valadez's leadership style as being "a policeman's policeman." 

"Myself and other officers on the street emulate the way he dealt with the citizens. The commander of the district sets the tone, and he was exemplary in all aspects of policing," Giambrone said, adding, "Both the citizens and the police officers should be happy in the 10th [Ogden] District. They're getting one heck of a leader."

The reassignments of Valadez and Pena are one of a few "other corresponding moves" that will be made across the city that could be officially announced within a few days, a Police Department source said.

On Friday, 1st Ward Ald. Joe Moreno called Valadez, "a true hero."

"I look forward to working as closely with the new commander as I did with Commander Valadez," Moreno said.

Valadez could not be reached for comment.

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