Officer Keaton Halsey being sworn in at the April Mt. Zion Village Board meeting.
By BLAKE FAITH
The Mt. Zion Police Department has hired and sworn in a new officer in Officer Keaton Halsey.
Halsey grew up and was raised in Charleston, Illinois. He graduated from Charleston High School and went on to Lakeland College where he got his Associate degree in criminal justice. From there he went to Eastern Illinois University where he got his bachelor degree in criminology with a minor in sociology.
Halsey was inspired to become a police officer by friends and family growing up that were police officers.
“I know it’s the stupid cliche answer everybody gives,” Halsey said. “I want to protect my community. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that. There is something about it that just kind of drew me to it and it felt like I had the type of personality that would be a good fit for when it comes to policing. You’re helping people out on some of their worst days, so you need somebody strong to be able to fulfill that role.”
Chief Skundberg said that the testing process can be lawn and drawn out sometimes. Any time that he and his staff get someone hired it feels like a relief and that they crossed the finish line.
Halsey is unlike other new hires that haven’t worked for another department, but Chief Skundberg doesn’t see it as a disadvantage, but an advantage.
“From our standpoint, they both have their advantages,” Chief Skundberg said. With laterals from a different police station, there is a much shorter turnaround in time and with training and when they can actually cover shifts and stuff. But to be honest, we like to kind of like to hire people, that we can kind of shift and mold and train with our way we want to train them. Sometimes laterals have trouble adapting to the way different departments do things.”
Chief Skundberg said the process for Halsey and other new officers in their first year with the department is to get through the police academy unscathed and then get comfortable with their position in Mt. Zion.
Halsey started the police academy two weeks ago and hopes to mold himself into a good police officer there and wants readers and the community to know that he will be a hard-working, honest and humble mee police officer to this community.