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The Watseka Police Department has a unique history as do other small police departments. In 1948-1950, the Police Department had only five sworn officers working for the City, including the Chief of Police.There was no radio communications at that time. If there was a problem or complaint, Watseka residents called the telephone operator about the problem. In turn, the telephone operator would turn on a red light, which was located in the middle of Walnut Street. When the Police Officer saw the red light, he stopped and called the telephone operator to find out what detail he had. The Police Department had no benefits at that time and were paid $125 per month. They also had to buy their own uniforms, weapons, and ammunition.
Today the Police Department is up to 9 full time officers, 4 part time officers,10 auxiliary officers, and one part time secretary/records clerk. All officers have completed the mandatory training from the State Training Institute (P.T.I.). The Police Department also has a drug enforcement team. They are certitifed in numerous state and local programs including blood borne pathogens, hazardous material, radar enforcement, juvenile, LEADS certified, and firearms. The officers have benefits such as insurance, paid holidays, vacation and sick time. The Police Department's retirement is city funded and is self sustaining.
The starting salary for new officers is set by the Union Contract and is currently $29,802.24. The officers excluding the Chief and Captain are represented by the F.O.P.
Dispatching is currently handled by I-COM (Iroquois County Communications)