Photo by Andrew Richards
John Hoefert, the East Alton Police Department’s newest addition, talks about why he joined the force.
EAST ALTON – Village residents can expect a new, fresh face making patrols with the East Alton Police Department in the next few months.
The village swore in John Hoefert, 24, on Feb. 28 as a new probationary patrolman.
Police Chief Dwynn Isringhausen said Hoefert will spend his first weeks training with the department before attending a 10-week program at the Southwestern Illinois College Police Academy in Belleville at the beginning of May.
“In the back of my mind, I knew I always wanted to be a police officer,” Hoefert said. “I always had a passion for the work and I can’t imagine getting a sense of satisfaction from my job in any other field.”
Hoefert, a native of Alton who grew up in Godfrey, graduated from Marquette Catholic High School in Alton before getting a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Milliken University of Decatur in 2011.
He worked with the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Office for two to three months before he came to East Alton.
“We did an extensive background and he’s proven to be an outstanding candidate,” Isringhausen said. “His family is a well-respected family from the Alton area for many years. We’re excited to have him join our team and come aboard.”
Isringhausen said Hoefert will learn East Alton’s streets and how the dispatchers operate before becoming a first-class patrolman at the end of 12 months.
The police chief said, “He learns a lot of things about how this department runs and we start to introduce him to the laws and the procedures so that when he gets to the academy and they teach him more thoroughly on those laws and procedures, he’ll understand how it affects our community and how we work in those parameters.”
Isringhausen said the new patrolman will work with a field-training officer for 12 weeks after he comes back from the academy.
“He’ll ride with the FTO (field training officer). The FTO will shadow him to help him make his decisions, help him to learn how all the laws he learned through the formal training at the academy are enforced,” he said, adding Hoefert will then go out by himself, where officers are “constantly watching him for a year, constantly watching his calls, making sure he’s getting things right.”
Hoefert joined the department after probationary patrolman Tim Harley resigned in early February to join the Illinois State Police.
The department has 11 full-time officers.
“I was given the opportunity by the East Alton Police Department to come on and work as an officer, which I readily accepted,” Hoefert said. “I’m very excited to get back into the community. East Alton is a smaller-type police department that gets me the opportunity to work with some guys that have more of a close-knit atmosphere. I’m really excited to begin my career.”