Possible Change in Leadership at City Police Department


Published on April 16 2019 9:47 pm
Last Updated on April 16 2019 9:47 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The possibility of a change in leadership of the Effingham Police Department was discussed at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

There are reports that City Police Chief Jeff Fuesting will not be reappointed by the new City Council taking office in May.

Fuesting, an Effingham native, was hired from a position with the St. Louis County, Missouri, Police Department. He succeeded Mike Schutzbach, who had retired from the post. Schutzbach was elected mayor earlier this month.

City Commissioner Kevin Esker said during Tuesday's meeting and confirmed following the meeting that he has spoken with several individuals who indicate Fuesting will not be reappointed. 

Mayor Jeff Bloemker confirmed that the report is "more than a rumor", but hopes that things will change before a decision is made. The mayor presented a Mayor's Commendation to Fuesting at Tuesday's meeting, the first such commendation the mayor has presented. Bloemker said the commendation is reflective of steps Fuesting has taken to transform the police department while at the same time overseeing construction of a new police station. As he's said in the past, Bloemker said after the meeting that Fuesting has "made some courageous decisions". He said, "If you privatized the police department as a business, Jeff Fuesting is the person you'd want running it."

We will continue to follow this story.