By Marianne Mueller


As friends, family, community and fellow officers looked on, Officer Matthew Baade took the oath of office being  sworn in by Village Clerk Christina Stewart. He was warmly welcomed into the Rockton Police Department at the Rockton Village Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday evening, Aug. 15.

Hollinger credited Trustee Dave Winters for his work on the Police Commission. “I can attest to the fact that it is very difficult to find the right candidates. We were very lucky to find four from that list, “Hollinger said.

In February Officer Baade took the written test, took a polygraph test and had psych evaluations done, meeting all other requirements.

“Officer Baade did a great job on everything, Hollinger said. ”

Hollinger told Baade, “You will be entering a community who backs their police department.”

Officer Baade is a Hononegah Community High School graduate.

Baade will be attending Sauk Valley Community College Police Academy in Dixon, Ill. He will be taking a 14-week course that was recently completed by Academy graduates- Rockton Police Officers David Murray, Elizabeth Harkins and Micheal Slack.

Officer Harkins received a certificate for Highest Achievement and served as the class speaker.

The three officers took the Oath of Office on April 18, 2023. They have now begun their field training.

Rockton Police Chief Matt Hollinger said, “With Officer Baade we now have 16 in our department, with a full staff.”

Hollinger added, “I would like to give a shout out to our officers who have been working with 12 people. It has been tough, and I have asked a lot of them.”

At the same meeting Trustee Dave Winters gave the most recent Police Activity Summary from Aug. 1-15. Police gave 63 warnings, issued 44 tickets, and there were 13 criminal arrests. Two accidents happened with one with injury.

Three officers saved a life on Saturday, July 29. At about 5:15 p.m. Sgt, Johnson, Officer Harrison and Officer Papworth of the Rockton Police Department responded to an incident in the 700 block of Salem Street for a report of something burning in an apartment and the witness could see smoke.

When the officers arrived the apartment was smoke filled. They noticed that the tenant was still in the apartment.

Officers were able to carry her to safety and to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher before the fire department arrived.

“Any further investigation would have been completed by the Rockton Fire Department,” Rockton Police Chief Hollinger said.

Plans are to recognize these life saving officers at a future Village Board meeting.

The Rockton Police Association invites the public to Blues and BBQ to be held on Wednesday evening, Sept. 6 from 5 to 8 Settlers Park.

Listen to the sounds of the band “Mixtape. Watch a K-9 demonstration, or check out emergency and military vehicle displays. Bid on silent auction items or take a chance on a 50/50 raffle. Young ones can visit bounce houses or have their faces painted.

Form a team to compete in a friendly Bean Bag Tournament. The cost to play in the tournament is $20 cash and players need to download the Scoreholio app.

The REACT helicopter is certain to generate great excitement as they land on the grounds.

Food and beverage options include Rockton Fire Association Loaded baked potatoes, FIBS – pulled pork sandwiches and chips,  Dairyhaus ice cream,  DeeDee’s Coffee and The Mix plus beverage choices of beer, water or pop.

Blues and BBQ’s was the brainchild of Village President John Peterson when he served as a Trustee. Peterson

approached the Police Department, Village and the Rockton Lions Club in hopes of developing a

memorable way to close out the 2016 Rockton River Market and Music in the Park. Inspired by the idea

The Rockton Police Association formed a committee. Joining in the action were family members and friends of those serving in the Rockton Police Department.

The RPA is a 501(c)3 organization. All proceeds from Blues and BBQ will be used to support the Rockton community and the Jaimie Cox Memorial Scholarship.

Officer Cox died in the line of duty on Nov. 5, 2017.

Jaimie Cox was a Rockford Police officer who was a graduate of Hononegah Community High School who also served in the United States National Guard and was part of a National Army Guard contingent deployed from 2008-2009 to Nangarhar province in Afghanistan. He received honors including the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge and he was awarded the Illinois National Guard Abraham Lincoln Medal of Freedom Ribbon.

More information can be found about the 2023 Blues and BBQ event at or contact Officer Papworth at

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