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By Carmen Ensinger
Two Rivers Crime Stoppers held their monthly meeting at Mel’s Riverdock in Hardin on Thursday, Oct. 21, and honored four officers for a variety of different heroic efforts. The officers received a beautiful plaque with the police officer’s prayer etched on it.
Crime Stoppers President Terry Woelfel explained about the program honoring the officers.
“This is something we started a couple of years ago and it has grown into something I think is fantastic,” Woelfel said. “Right now, police officers aren’t getting a lot of good recognition – what they are getting is a lot of bad press. So this is something positive for what they are out there doing everyday.”
Woelfel said the process for choosing officers to receive the award is simple – they look for an officer who has done something outstanding that has helped Crime Stoppers and helped their own communities in the process.
The first officer honored was Chief Deputy Scott Woelfel from the Jerseyville Police Department. Woelfel put together a task force that helped to catch a car theft ring.
Scott Woelfel gave the credit to the other agencies that helped him in the process, especially Carrollton.
“I’m really thankful for guys like Carrollton Police Chief Mike McCartney and those guys up there because we were able to put together 34 agencies in about four days from both sides of the metro east,” Scott Woelfel said. “We were able to clear about 100 cases throughout those 34 agencies and we are just glad we got those guys off the street.”
Terry Woefel said that last month they honored Calhoun Deputy Zach Hardin for making a stop in Hardin and that Scott Woelfel assisted on that stop as well and was instrumental in ensuring that everyone got out of that situation safely as well.
The next to be honored was Officer Jesse Faul, who was working for the Carrollton Police Department at the time. He was honored for basically the same case – the car burglary ring, except he was honored for catching two of the car thieves after a high-speed chase.
Faul is a man of very few words.
“It was just dumb luck,” he said. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”
But Carrollton Police Chief Mike McCartney expanded on the situation, from a humorous standpoint of course.
“He wrecked my squad car,” McCartney said. “But we got the bad guys and that is the important thing. I did an interview with the girl who was driving the car and she said they get chased all the time in St. Louis and the cops always back off. She said the guy you got there is crazy – I think he was trying to kill us – he just kept after us. Seriously, though, Jesse is one of the best officers I know.”
The third honoree was Conservation Officer Mike Goetten.
“We have a terrible radio system here in Calhoun and I’m trying to get us a new one (Woelfel is also Calhoun County Commissioners board chairman),” Woefel said. “He was in the area and responded to a backup call that Officer Hardin had called in and probably saved his life because the car he had stopped had a whole carload of guns in it.”
The fourth and final recipient of the award was Officer John Goode. Officer Goode, who is the Greenfield Police Chief, was working for the Greene County Sheriff’s Department on the night that the incident happened for which he is being honored.
“Officer Goode responded to a call for assistance made by Officer Hardin here in Calhoun County on a traffic stop,” Woelfel said. “He responded with such speed, that Officer Hardin said that he could smell the engine before he could see him.”