O'Fallon captain is appointed acting police chief

News-DemocratSeptember 24, 2013 

Following the death of longtime O'Fallon Police Chief John Betten, Mayor Gary Graham has announced that Capt. Jeff Wild will serve as acting police chief.

"I have complete confidence in Jeff's ability to serve as public safety director during this transition," Graham said. "Jeff is our longest-tenured captain on the force and regularly filled in for John when he was out of town."

Graham said the city intends to move slowly to select a permanent director of public safety.

"John Betten did an outstanding job managing the police, EMS, and fire departments, and they are staffed with professionals who will continue to provide excellent services to O'Fallon citizens," he said. "We will take our time with the selection process and make sure we get the best public safety director for our community."

Betten, 54, died at his home Sunday. He had been battling cancer for four years but retained his position as chief. The cancer diagnosis four years ago predicted he had four to six months to live.

He is survived by his wife Anne and three children, John III, 22, Elizabeth, 24, and Laura, 26.

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