St. John Police Sgt. Bill Elliott is currently the only officer on the force. But the city is seeking two more patrolmen, a chief and a part time employee.
St. John Police Sgt. Bill Elliott is currently a one man police force. He is eager to get some help and a search is currently underway for two more officers, a chief and a part-time position as well.
“We’re looking into get- ting more people hired. We want to do it right,” Elliott said.
In the meantime, Elliott is a very busy officer. He has no set hours and rests when he can. He is just doing as he sees fit to keep the community safe.
“I’m out to keep the community safe,” Elliott said.
Elliott admits it is hard to keep a regular schedule especially since he is the entire police force. He might go on patrol for a couple of hours then go home for couple but it’s never a set schedule.
If necessary, he can get assistance from the Stafford County Sheriff Department that has already helped him by giving him time for a day off and have covered phone calls for him as well.
“They have been a great help throughout this process,” Elliott said.
A game warden is available to assist Elliott if necessary. A Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper and a Stafford County Sheriff Deputy live in St. John so if he needs it, help is quickly available, Elliott said.
“If I ever need back up, it’s close,” Elliott said.
Stafford and Macksville law enforcement is also available.
The biggest challenge facing Elliott is fatigue. There are long hours and it’s very tiring.
“It’s hard to keep a regular schedule. I just do the best I can,” Elliott said.
But Elliott is willing to deal with the fatigue because helping people is the reason he got into law enforcement in the first place. He tries to be a helpful person and is always available for the kids in the community.
“They can count on me to be here when they need me,” Elliott said.
The community has been very supportive and helps him when they can, including buying the occasional meal.
“I want to thank them (community) for all the support I’ve received. I will continue to do my best for as long as they will keep me,” Elliott said.
Elliott grew up in St. John but moved to Medicine Lodge for his junior and senior year. He worked with his uncle and eventually lived with him his last year of high school. He graduated from Medicine Lodge High School in 1997.
He went to a technical school in Beloit for heating and air conditioning and worked at several locations. He became interested in law enforcement in the late 2000s and worked in the Stafford Police Department for six years.
He got out of law enforcement and worked at the Zenith Co-op for two years as a spray rig operator. In 2017 Elliott joined the St. John Police Department as a part-time officer but then Chief Adam Sayler convinced him to go full time in April 2018.
The city council asked Sayler to resign and on July 10 patrolman Elliott was the only officer on the St. John police force. He was promoted to sergeant on Aug. 7. The city is currently advertising for more officers.
“To the best of my knowledge, we are going to continue as a police department. We’re accepting applications for a chief and two full-time officers plus a half time position,” Elliott said.
Elliott is married to Toni. He has three stepchildren and one of his own.