A Millstadt native whose family roots go back over 100 years in the village is now serving as its police chief after Alan Hucke took over for Ed Wilkerson on March 1.
“It wasn’t something that I necessarily sought out,” Hucke said of his new title, noting the village asked him to succeed Wilkerson. “I looked forward to taking that next step and that next challenge.”
Hucke has been with the police department since 1996, when he was hired as an auxiliary officer.
Prior to that, he started as an EMT with Millstadt Ambulance Services when he turned 18 and became a paramedic in 1992, working for MedStar Ambulance.
Shortly after starting with the MPD, Hucke became a part-time officer and was hired full-time in 1998.
He worked the night shift over six years before getting an evening and, later, a day shift.
In 2004, Hucke was promoted to sergeant. Two years later, he earned the rank of lieutenant.
During his 24 years with the department, Hucke has worked as DARE officer for the Millstadt schools, served on the Major Case Squad and taught at the Southwestern Illinois College Police Academy.
“Working in a small town, you get a feel for a lot of different areas of law enforcement,” Hucke explained. “You’re not relegated to just patrol. You’re not relegated to just investigations. Being smaller, you can actually get exposed to a lot of different areas of law enforcement.”
“I’ve been really involved in the school,” he added.
Hucke said that variety applies to everyday work in law enforcement, which is part of why he loves it.
“It’s an interesting field that’s constantly changing,” he said.
That has been especially true since Hucke took over and worked to learn more about being chief.
“There’s nothing like a pandemic to welcome you to your new role,” he joked. “It’s a lot of just getting acclimated to different things. Chief Wilkerson taught me a lot of different things over the last few months.”
Under his leadership, Hucke said the department will continue emphasize community involvement.
“We’re going to continue to be a department that’s involved in the community as much as possible,” he vowed. “We need to work with the public to accomplish our goals.”
He also said he will look to upgrade the department’s equipment through grant funding.
“If you have better equipment, it improves the morale of the officers and therefore improves their interaction with the community,” Hucke reasoned.