OAKLAND CITY – The Oakland City Board of Works hired Tom Rohl, 29, of St. Joseph, Illinois, as a new police officer Tuesday.
Rohl said he has wanted to be a police officer for about a decade. He earned an associate degree in criminal justice and spent some time in the United States Army, which he considers a stepping stone toward a career in law enforcement. "I used it to get my bearing and be a little more professional," he said.
He said his hometown of St. Joseph is a lot like Oakland City, but smaller, with only one gas station and one four-way stop.
"I was actually a recruiter in Evansville," he said, "so Wood Memorial was actually one of my high schools." He said since he is from a small town, he was tasked with recruiting in small town schools.
Oakland City Chief of Police Tim Gaines cited Rohl's knowledge and background as reasons for his hiring over other applicants. He said he feels confident and comfortable in the choice.
The approval means OCPD is back to a full staff, with four full-time officers and three part-time officers.
Rohl said he hopes to earn his bachelor's degree at Oakland City University.
He is slated to attend the police academy in Evansville in February. After he completes the academy training and other prerequisites, he will be a full-time Oakland City police officer.