DIXMOOR, Ill. — A former Dixmoor police officer is accused of possessing sexually explicit content of minors as young as 8 years old, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday.

Tory Bridgeforth, 37, of Chicago Heights was taken into custody on Wednesday after the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Internet Crimes Against Children unit received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about child pornography found on an email account.

An executed search warrant linked Bridgeforth, an officer with the Dixmoor Police Department from 2021-2022 to the email account in question.

Deputies allege that upon arrest, Bridgeforth admitted to using his cellphone to view child pornography. A subsequent forensic examination of his phone revealed more than 35 sexually explicit images and videos of children as young as 8.

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Bridgeforth faces two felony counts of possession of child pornography videos of victims under 18 and 13, respectively. He will appear in bond court on Saturday.

Village of Dixmoor President Fitzgerald Roberts issued the following statement:

“I am shocked and very disappointed to learn of the allegations against Mr. Bridgeforth, who was employed for a brief period of time as a probationary police officer in our community. There is nothing more important to me and the Dixmoor Trustees than the safety of our children.

Mr. Bridgeforth was terminated in May of last year for reasons unrelated to the current charges against him. The Village Board and I are committed to maintaining a high standard of conduct for our employees. Mr. Bridgeforth did not meet those standards and we let him go.”

Bridgeforth also worked for the Robbins Police Department in 2019.