After around five months of searching, the City of Effingham has found a candidate to serve as Police Chief. Former Police Chief Mike Schutzbach has been serving as Interim Police Administrator since his retirement in August.
Effingham native Captain Jeff Fuesting has been selected to fill the position beginning in January, pending city council approval. Fuesting will be coming back home to Effingham after working as a precinct commander with the St. Louis County Police Department. Effingham Mayor Jeff Bloemker expects the city council to approve Fuesting for the post. He said the council would enjoy “the notion of bringing back a hometown boy” for the job.
“He has great experience,” the mayor continued. Fuesting was on the force during the 2014 unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and puts heavy emphasis on community outreach to solve problems. He will be joining the Effingham Police Department just as some major changes are being made. The city is currently in the process of designing and purchasing a new police station. Mayor Bloemker said that Fuesting will be sitting in on that process which is currently in the design phase. Demolition of the old police station behind City Hall is set for May or June 2017, with the year-long construction process set to begin in July.
Fuesting began his career in 1994 with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Since then he has worked in various posts throughout St. Louis County eventually taking over as commander of the Affton-Southwest Precinct in 2016. He has law enforcement degrees from Columbia and Northwestern University.
The Effingham City Council is set to vote to approve hiring Fuesting as police chief during the December 20th Effingham City Council Meeting.
Fuesting was unavailable for comment at the time.