If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Please enter your email and we will send your username and password to you.
By Carissa Sitki
Officer Tefertiller (or “Officer T” as he’s known among Jerseyville youth) of the Jerseyville Police Department (JPD) pulled over to shoot some hoops in Tradewinds Ct. with Liam Madix, and Maddox and Roman Williams, recently.
A neighbor, Diane Osborne Wise, told the Journal, “He just stopped when the boys were playing and he played a game of Pig with them. So awesome!”
Tefertiller said that when he was patrolling he noticed some kids playing basketball and decided to join in on the game.
“I was out on patrol and I recognized a couple of the kids and thought, ‘Hey, I’ll play a game with them,’” said Tefertiller. “I’m actually not all that great at basketball, that’s why I coach wrestling, not basketball, but we all had a good time.”
This is not an uncommon occurrence, as a photo of the game was posted on Facebook and many commenters praised Tefertiller’s work in the community, citing examples of other times he has been involved in the lives of local children.
Tefertiller is the Jersey Community School District 100 School Resource Officer involved with the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program and T.E.E.N.S. (Teaching, Empowering, Encouraging, Navigating, Situations) program, as well as various other ways of community outreach, as his impromptu game of basketball attests.
“It’s good to get out there in the community, it adds a human element to officers and helps the youth make positive memories with law enforcement,” said Tefertiller.
According to JPD Police Chief Brad Blackorby, Tefertiller “does a great job at connecting with kids which makes them more comfortable with officers.”
Since the main interactions with police that make the news are negative ones, some youth learn to fear police. According to Blackorby, JPD prides itself with maintaining a strong relationship with the community to better protect and serve.
“It’s important for law enforcement to have positive interactions with their community,” said Blackorby. “Officer T does a great job at that.”
Tefertiller echoed Blockorby’s sentiments, stating, “Some kids have only seen officers during negative situations at home, or something like that. It’s good for them to know that something bad doesn’t have to happen for us to show up– we can be there in a supportive capacity too.”
JPD hopes these positive run-ins with their officers will foster a sense of trust between their department and local youth.
“Hopefully [the kids] would feel comfortable enough to come talk to us if they ever had an issue,” said Blackorby.