Missouri Western has announced that Jill Voltmer will be the new face of the university’s police department assuming the position of police chief after Yvonne Meyer took a new job in the fall of 2017.
After 15 months with the Missouri Western State University Police Department and more than 24 years in the Patrol and Detective Divisions of the St. Joseph Police Department, Jill Voltmer has been named police chief, becoming the second woman police chief in the university’s history.
Voltmer’s deep experience in the field ultimately led to the decision to make her police chief says Vice President of Financial Planning & Administration Cale Fessler.
“Jill possessed a diverse background in policing, spending time in various areas of the Saint Joseph Police Department, including the patrol and detective divisions, as well as the family crimes division and drug task force,” Fessler said. “She also brought over 15 years of leadership experience as a sergeant with the SJPD, combined with her time spent as an officer and corporal here at Missouri Western, and her connections to various police and safety agencies in Northwest Missouri, she was a very good fit.”
Voltmer, a St. Joseph native, talked about what it means to her to stay and represent her city.
“My heart is in St. Joe. I’m from St. Joe. My family lives in St. Joe, and this is my home, and this is where I should be. It felt right from the very beginning, and the minute I walked in the door, I knew this was my home,” Voltmer said.
However, now that she has been appointed chief, Voltmer does not plan on relaxing. Instead, she is focused on her main goal, helping students in any way.
“We are all on the same team. Our goals are all the same: To keep our successful students safe safe, successful student staff and faculty. Since we have the same goal, we should all work together to achieve that goal. Kids come here and they’re going through a pretty stressful time,” Voltmer said. “We’re not always just arresting people and taking them to jail. We’re helping them every day.”
With Voltmer assuming her new position, a vacant spot is now available according to both Voltmer and Fessler.
“For sure we’re going to be replacing my spot, and it’s a nationwide trend, so we’ll use a lot of resources and attempt to get a good qualified officer with the right mindset,” Voltmer said.
“The ease or difficulty of search for a new officer is largely dependent upon the application pool. In some instances, we have advertised and received multiple viable applicants. In others, we have had to postpone hiring and run the search again,” Fessler said.
Voltmer began her duties supervising university police personnel and managing all law enforcement, security, traffic and parking functions on campus on Sept. 6.