By Kathryn Menue


On Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 10 a.m., the Belvidere Police Department held a swearing-in ceremony for two new officers joining the force: Officer Matthew Korn and Officer Rich Weiland. Police officers, firefighters, city officials, friends, and family gathered at Belvidere City Hall to welcome the two officers as they took their next step into a lifelong career.

“It is an honor to see all of you here today for the swearing in for Officer Matthew Korn and Officer Rich Weiland,” Police Chief Jan Noble said.

This ceremony marked yet another special day for the Belvidere community.

“This is a great day for the City of Belvidere and our law enforcement,” Mayor Mike Chamberlain said. “This is a career. It’s not a stopping point in the road. In my opinion, we have the best police force in the state of Illinois. We live in a community where we go to sleep at night and not worry about the things other communities have to worry about.”

For the two newly inducted officers, the swearing-in ceremony was an honor that has taken a lot of time and hard work.

Both officers went through “an extensive eight-step process to get here,” Police and Fire Commissioner Michael Phillips said. This eight-step process has been about a year in the making.

For Officer Korn and Officer Weiland, their journey has only begun with both of them heading off to the Police Academy in Champagne, Ill. In the academy, Deputy Chief Tony Martin warned that their journey would be a rigorous one filled with report writing, physical exams, arrest procedures, use of force procedures, “laws, laws, and more laws, more report writing, and then a lot of testing.”

From there, the officers will return to Belvidere for field training where they will be monitored in everything they do from problem solving and decision making to engaging with the community.

Once this lengthy process is complete, the officers will be reviewed and “only after that will they be certified for solo patrol,” Deputy Chief Martin said.

All of their training will pay off in the end for the honor of serving and protecting the Belvidere community.

“Quoting Paul, it means law enforcement is a call from God to serve Him by protecting citizens from evildoers encouraged and enabled by buffoons who forget our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights are all about the freedom of self-determination with respect to everyone else’s freedom of self-determination: ‘Let us not grow weary of doing good…Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest blessing at the appropriate time. Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone,” Police Chaplain Dr. Robert Kopp said.


Officer Korn and Officer Weiland plan to do good for their supportive families and for the Belvidere community.

“I want to thank my family for putting up with me for the past few years,” Officer Korn said in appreciation of the patience his family has shown him as he has spent the past few years working some 80 hour weeks to achieve his dream job.

Officer Korn said being an officer has “always been an interest” of his and that he looks forward to starting his career with the Belvidere Police Department.

Officer Weiland was equally appreciative of the support of his family and the community.

“I would also like to thank my family…it’s been a long road for me…Like him [Officer Korn], I’m going to do my best to serve the community.”

For Weiland the experience is extra special since he grew up in the Belvidere community, graduating from Belvidere High School, and moving on to do a mission trip, before returning to serve Belvidere.

“I’ve always wanted to be an officer since I was a kid,” Officer Weiland said. “I served in a mission and had to walk away from all of the bad stuff. I don’t want to walk away anymore.”

To help them commemorate their achievement, Officer Korn and Officer Weiland asked that their wives, Dallas Korn and Amy Weiland pin their badges, #410 and #411, on them after they took their oath of office.

With badges in place, Chief Noble welcomed the two officers to the force, who have taken the 41st and 42nd slots in the police force. The Belvidere Police Department has a capacity for 43 officers, so one more officer will join the force come the beginning of 2017.

“We are always at our best, when we are at our fullest strength,” Chief Noble said.

Now, Officer Korn and Officer Weiland are a part of that strength.

“Guys, this is the Belvidere/Boone County family,” Deputy Chief Martin said. “Welcome to our family.”


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