Chief Fuesting's Response to Rumors


Published on April 17 2019 10:45 am
Last Updated on April 17 2019 11:13 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Effingham Police Chief Jeff Fuesting has issued a statement regarding reports that he will not be reappointed when the new City Council takes office in May. The issue came to light at Tuesday night's Council meeting.

Here's the Chief's statement:

"Unfortunately, there has been no communication between Mayor-elect Schutzbach and I. Given the opportunity, I would be more than happy to address any concerns about my status as Chief that he may have. If there are specific changes in mind, I believe through open communication we would be able to work together and reach our common goal – Serving our community to the best of our ability. I know that is, always has been, and will continue to be, my goal.

I appreciate the support from last night’s Council meeting. I myself am disappointed to hear that Mayor-elect Schutzbach is potentially pursuing a change of leadership. It is no secret that over the course of the last two years, working alongside the Council, I have dedicated myself to implementing changes that have positively impacted the community. Through acquiring grants, pursuing private donations, and prioritizing public interest and safety, I believe we have made a lasting impact on the community and I am sad to think that my time may be cut short. Honestly, I was just getting started.

Change can be a scary thing, but if you don’t change, you can’t grow. Growth is vital to keep up with the ever-changing societal standards. Long-standing issues needed to be addressed, and action needed taken.

If I am not re-appointed, I can only hope that whomever fills my position believes in this community as much as I do. I hope that they focus their efforts not only on the present tasks at hand but also look towards the future and invest their time in cultivating new ideas to continue bettering our community, as I have.

My work with the Council has not come without difficulty, as many things do. Yet my work with the Council has been a great pleasure and an honor. I have been lucky to work alongside people who have the same passion for Effingham as I do, and who provide guidance and support. I am grateful for the lasting relationships I have made."

During last night's meeting, Fuesting presented commendations to Detective Josh Douthit, Detective Andy Myers, Officer Jake Lustig and Officer Jared Probst for their work on solving the St. Anthony Catholic Church burglary. Fuesting said four people were arrested and that the arrests and subsequent questioning led to solving up to 25 vehicle burglaries in the city.

Fuesting also presented the class of participants in a Teen Leadership Academy. Over 20 high school students participated in the nine-week course on leadership and duties as well as tours of the new police station. Each participant received a plaque as well as a sweatshirt the class members designed.

Fuesting also introduced Jeremy Kyle as a new full-time police officer. He said Kyle gives the Effingham department a full complement of officers.