BETHALTO — Officer Scott Hale was given a new title and new responsibilities as village trustees voted to approve a recommendation from the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners to promote Hale to sergeant.
“Myself and another officer tested for the sergeant position,” Hale said. “The process took about a month, but the actual testing process was done in one day. We had to do a written and an oral interview. The test is actually conducted by local officers outside of our department who don’t know us, to keep it unbiased. The scores and information are presented to the Fire and Police commission, who then make their recommendation to the council.”
Hale, 29, has been a resident of Bethalto for 27 years and said the relationship between residents and police officers is positive — something not taken for granted by Hale amid ever-increasing dangers for those who wear the badge.
“I believe our relationship and connection with the residents is strong,” Hale said. “Of course, all the local departments such as Wood River, East Alton, Roxana, Edwardsville and Madison County, we all take note and we back each other up. We’ve had to keep our heads on a swivel. We get great feedback from our residents and we are approached often with good comments and a thank you. I’ve lived here pretty much my whole life. I’m invested here, and this is the only police department I’ve worked for.”
Bethalto Police Chief Greg Smock read the Fire and Police Commission recommendation to the trustees for approval, and Hale’s father, Ron, was asked to step forward to do the honor of pinning his son’s new badge on his uniform. Hale’s mother, Janell, and his fiancée, Erica Goodman, watched with pride as he shook hands with Smock and Mayor Alan Winslow.
Along with Hale’s promotion, trustees reviewed the budget and discussed improvements at the intersection of Prairie and Central streets.