Hoopeston names new police chief

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Sep. 10—Chris Kelnhofer has been appointed the new police chief in Hoopeston. He was selected by a 6-0 vote of the City Council last week. Twomembers of the council were absent from the meeting and did not vote.

Kelnhofer replaces Chief Jim DeWitt, who retired in February. Investigator Darin Tate had been serving as interim chief. Kelnhofer was a former Hoopeston officer from October 2007 to March 2017, when he was named as Rossville's chief of police.

Kelnhofer said he is enthusiastic about his new position because of his experience and his ties to the Hoopeston community. His children are in the Hoopeston school system and he coaches wrestling and is assistant coach for football. He wants to show Hoopeston that his goal "is try to show we're people" and "The youth are our future."

The new chief would like to implement things that would make officers' lives a little easier such as starting a database of residents that have security cameras willing to share videos with the police department during investigations.

Second, he would like to compile a list of rehab centers that clients don't have to pay to use and extra training for officers when dealing with addiction issues.

The final database would be one for Hoopeston's special needs residents (autism and dementia patients, etc.) so that a dispatcher can alert the officers to respond accordingly.

Kelnhofer has been a member of the National Guard for 19 years.

The next Hoopeston City Council meeting will be September 20 at 6 p.m.