Goreville adds new member to police force
Former Energy police officer and current Army reservist military police officer Trenton Harrison was officially bathed in civic duty this past week as he led Goreville’s Fourth of July Freedom Fest parade down Broadway.
Harrison recently replaced retiring officer Mike Oyler as Goreville’s new part-time and always-on-call police officer, receiving the position in a unanimous vote by the village board at its June 4 meeting.
Harrison arrived in the Goreville area in 2007 after meeting his wife-to-be, Amber (Pruitt) Harrison, who is from Goreville. The since-married couple has two children, Kaleigh and Brayden, and Harrison said the position in Goreville is just what he has been working towards.
When Harrison learned of the possible opportunity for a position with the Goreville Police Department, he turned down an opportunity for a position in Memphis, Tenn., and said he does not regret the decision one bit.
“The community here is what makes this job so perfect,” said Harrison, adding that the support of the community for each other is not always available in small towns just because they are small. “The people here are down-to-earth, country people and I don’t think there’s any kind of people you’d rather be around.”
Harrison’s position is part time, but he hopes as the village continues to grow he can come aboard full time. He said he worked up to 50 to 60 hours a week in Energy but was kept on part-time status for nearly three years.
“I left Energy last year to work with my reserve unit in St. Louis after a storm ripped through the area,” said Harrison.
He enlisted in the Army in 2007 and re-enlisted as a reservist in 2010 and said he has served as a military police officer for his entire enlistment.
Since reporting to duty in Goreville, Harrison said it has kept him busier than what a person might expect. In September he is scheduled to receive his juvenile certification, which deals with truancy and other procedures for underage law enforcement. He said a future goal is possibly introducing a new K-9 unit in Johnson County, as currently the one available is only part time.
Harrison said he is starting to get to know familiar faces and has already learned many of Goreville’s resident’s names. This fall he said he plans to enroll at Shawnee Community College where he is looking to finish his associate’s degree in criminal justice and later would like to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
Besides wanting to be a professional baseball player, Harrison said with a smile, he has always wanted to be a police officer.
“I think the desire to help others is what led me to want to be a police officer,” said Harrison. He said he is excited about his new position and police chief Eddie Holland has been very supportive.