In the small City of South Beloit, there’s a new chief in town. Chief Pat Hoey is a familiar face to Rockford and his name might ring a bell for some residents in South Beloit too.
“My grandpa died in 1972 and he was a longtime business owner who owned Stateline Plumbing on Gardner St., pretty much behind the police station here. He was elected mayor from 1951-1955, so he conducted business right here in this building as an elected official,” he said.
It’s been a little more than a week since Chief Pat Hoey put on his new uniform. He’s still in the process of putting together his new office. Hoey is already hitting the streets to meet some of the new faces he will serve.
“Whenever we are bringing someone to South Beloit, we have to drive through and give the tour where I grew up.”
He admits it still hasn’t quite settled in that he’s now protecting the streets where he once played as a child.
“Every time someone says ‘ohh I knew your parents, or your grandparents, or I remember you when you were just a little kid,’ so that’s nice and I look forward to meeting up old friendships again.”
For Hoey it was a long road to find a chief position. He served as interim Rockford Police Chief in 2015. Then in 2016, he was chosen to take over the City of Beloit Police Department before the city council reversed course. During that time, Hoey was reminded that everything happens for a reason.
“Friends and family would say the right job would present itself at the right time, so I threw my hat in the ring.”
Former South Beloit Chief Dean Stiegmeier retired after serving for six years on the force to spend more time with his family. He say’s despite the two being friends, he’s happy handing the keys to someone who shares the same passion for law enforcement.
“I think Chief Hoey will do a wonderful job, he has some new ideas, things that are different than what I was doing, and I think things are going to turn out really positive for the City of South Beloit.”