O'FALLON, Mo. — The acting police chief for the O'Fallon Police Department has been named the full-time chief.
John Neske has been serving as the acting chief since the departure of Chief Philip Dupuis, who resigned in June of 2021. Neske's nomination as chief was ratified by the O'Fallon City Council Thursday.
“Chief Neske has done an excellent job as Acting/Interim Chief since last June and has earned the position," O'Fallon Mayor Bill Hennessy said in a press release. "He is well respected by our City leaders, residents, business leaders, and most importantly, his fellow officers, and he is a tremendous representative of our O’Fallon Police Department.”
He started with the department in 1993 and has risen through the ranks, including duties such as criminal investigations commander and as a member of the St. Louis Major Case Squad.
Hennessy said Neske has already announced he will retire on May 31, but Hennessy said he "deserves to retire as Chief."
"We already have started a search to identify internal candidates for the position, and we will see where that goes,” Hennessy said.
Dupuis cited Missouri's "Second Amendment Preservation Act" in his resignation in June. Dupuis said the law was poorly worded, and he worries it will have future unintended consequences.
“I completely understand the motivation behind Missouri legislators’ desire to protect the gun rights of their citizenry,” Dupuis said. “I’m a strong proponent of the Second Amendment and have always respected those rights during my four decades in law enforcement.
“The problem with this statute is the poorly worded language that removes sovereign immunity and appears to allow law enforcement agencies and individual police officers to be sued for even good-faith, justified seizures of firearms in emergency circumstances."
Dupuis' predecessor, Tim Clothier, resigned after 18 months as chief because he said city administrators weren't doing enough to address allegations of misconduct within the department.