BATAVIA – Alex Wakeley is joining the Batavia Police Department as a probationary patrol officer, yet he is anything but a rookie cop.
Wakeley, 29, is coming off four years of experience as an officer with the Dixon Police Department and before that a one-year stint as a prison guard at the Dixon Correctional Center.
Before that, Wakeley completed a bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement Administration at Western Illinois University in 2013.
Batavia police Chief Dan Eul introduced Wakeley on Monday to the Batavia City Council.
“We believe his educational and employment experience background is going to make him an impactful addition to our department’s staff,” Eul told aldermen.
Mayor Jeff Schielke administered the oath of office to Wakeley, who has been undergoing field training with the department for a week.
Wakeley said he finds law enforcement work to be fulfilling.
“I really like being outside and being active and I especially like to be helping people,” Wakeley said.
The Batavia Police Department currently operates with 41 sworn officers.
Wakeley’s hiring resulted from the chain reaction set in motion by the retirement of veteran Sgt. Vince DeBlasio.
Gary LaBarbera, who has served in a variety of roles since joining the department in 2005, was promoted to sergeant last month.
Wakeley is a Dixon native, graduating from Dixon High School in 2008.
He first followed in the footsteps of his father Lance Wakeley, who recently retired from a career as a corrections officer at the Dixon prison.
The elder Wakeley was on hand to witness his son take the oath as a Batavia officer.
Alex Wakeley said he is looking forward to a new experience in an area with a larger population. He makes his home in Geneva.