O'Fallon Progress

O’Fallon PD looking to recruit more minority officers

O'Fallon Police roll out new recruitment campaign

The O'Fallon, IL, Police department is making a name for itself in the metro-east and online with its new promotional video and website as a major component of its new recruitment campaign to draw in more officer diversity.
Up Next
The O'Fallon, IL, Police department is making a name for itself in the metro-east and online with its new promotional video and website as a major component of its new recruitment campaign to draw in more officer diversity.

The O’Fallon Police Department is making a online pitch in hopes of drawing more minorities to the front lines of law enforcement.

“We want our department to be a reflection of our community that we serve, and right now, we are not in terms of diversity,” O’Fallon Police Department Capt. Kirk Brueggeman said.

There are currently 45 officers on the O’Fallon force, along with 17 support staff. However, there are no black officers, only one Hispanic officer, and only four women, according to O’Fallon Police Department Lt. David Matevey.

But the department is looking to change that. The police department recently launched a new promotional video and website as major components in its campaign to foster diversity on the force.

We noticed we were sort of missing the mark on our 20- to 30-year-old age group and minorities, so some of this new marketing is trying to tap into that.

Capt. Kirk Brueggeman, O’Fallon Police Department

“Some of our past marketing tools haven’t been garnering the results we’d like to see,” Brueggeman said. “We noticed we were sort of missing the mark on our 20- to 30-year-old age group and minorities, so some of this new marketing is trying to tap into that. What was needed or expected from departments and candidates for hire just isn’t the same these days as it may have been, say, 20 years ago.”

Over the last several years, minority recruitment has been at the forefront of conversations across the country.

“Other departments are lowering standards to balance out the ratio, but we will never do that, so we are looking for innovative ways to recruit excellent minority officers without lowering our standards,” O’Fallon Police Department Chief Eric Van Hook said.

The O’Fallon Police Department’s comprehensive recruitment plan began back in September, but did not officially roll out until last month. The total endeavor cost around $15,000, which Brueggeman said, was 100 percent paid for by assets seized during drug busts.

We want our department to be a reflection of our community that we serve, and right now, we are not in terms of diversity.

Capt. Kirk Brueggeman, O’Fallon Police Department

“We consulted a marketing firm, and they have provided us with video and website design and production, supportive services and consultation through the process, as well as, ancillary services that include informational pamphlets,” Brueggeman said.

While there is a residency requirement for the police department, Brueggeman said there’s some leeway. Officers applying need only be Illinois residents and at least live within a 20-mile radius of the station located at 285 N. Seven Hills Road.

“We know there are many excellent minority candidates out and for some reason we haven’t been able to recruit them yet, but hopefully that will soon change,” Brueggeman said.

“We think we have a great organization, and we want the community and those looking into law enforcement careers to see that,” Van Hook added.

FAQs about joining the O’Fallon Police Department

Is there a residency requirement? You have to be an Illinois resident and at least live within a 20-mile radius of the O’Fallon Police Department, which is located at 285 N. Seven Hills Road.

What does it pay? There’s a starting salary of $65,000, plus medical insurance at no extra cost, and a pension plan.

Do I have to pass a test? Yes. The 2017 testing cycle for police candidates is slated for May 5 and 6 at the Southwestern Illinois College campus in Belleville.

What about training? New recruits receive 400 hours of the law enforcement basics, which is mandated by the state of Illinois with a 14-week field training program.

Is there opportunity for promotion? Every three years, officers are able to be promoted by the Board of Police & Fire Commissioners to the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant, and captain. There are also opportunities to join the special task force teams, like the Major Case Squad, investigations, narcotics and SWAT.

How do I place may name for consideration? For those interested, visit wearthebadge.com or call 618-624-9538 for more information.

  Comments