Safest City in Illinois Dedicates Street to Actor

June 08, 2011

Another famous Chicago resident has forever become part of the landscape.

The town of Cicero this week rededicated a part of Austin Boulevard in the near west suburb as Joe Mantegna Boulevard.

The sign is located on the northeast corner of 25th Street and Austin, near Morton East High School, where the actor went to school.

Joe Mantegna hanging his signJoe Mantegna was in town for the Morton 201 Education Foundation’s inaugural fundraiser event. The goal of the foundation, of which the Cicero native is honorary chairman, is to raise money for the school district to improve education.

The Morton graduate credits his 1963 school audition for “West Side Story” as his inspiration for going into acting.

“The faculty at that time is the reason I have the career I have today,” Mantegna said at the dedication, where he was granted a key to the town. “You have a big piece of my heart here in Cicero. Thank you for this tremendous honor.”

Mantegna has been in more than 100 films over the last 40 years and is currently starring in “Criminal Minds” on CBS.

He recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but he joins 2,437 others who already have that. How many actors can say they have a street named after them in Cicero?

By the way, if you would like to live in a city with a Joe Mantegna Boulevard in it, be assured that you have made a good choice: Cicero is one of the safest cities in America.

cicero sealHouse Hunt Inc., an online real estate agency, puts out an annual Top 20 Safest Cities in America list, and this year’s group included the Chicago suburb at No. 19.

Cicero is the only Illinois city that made the list.

“We are very proud of this designation that confirms what we have always known, that the Town of Cicero is a safe community because our police and our government and our residents work together to confront street gangs and all forms of crime,” said Larry Dominick, who elected as Town President in 2005.

“Cicero has consistently been below the national crime index since 2005,” Dominick said. “But, that will not make us complacent. We will continue to fight crime and street gangs not just by arresting offenders, but by offering many educational and training programs to our community, by offering our youth activities and choices other than street gangs, and by working with all of the community organizations to create a safety network.”

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