MORRISON – Rock Island’s former chief of police is Whiteside County’s new chief deputy.
Jeffrey R. VenHuizen, a rural Erie native and Rock Island’s top cop for the last eight years until retiring Oct. 31, will replace Ron Pothoff, who was serving as interim deputy chief for the last year.
As Sheriff John Booker’s second-in-command, VenHuizen will oversee the day-to-day operations of the department, including the jail.
“To say I am excited to have Jeffrey VenHuizen join the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Office is an understatement,” Booker said in the news release announcing the hire.
VenHuizen has 28 years’ experience, all with the 110-employee Rock Island department, where at various times he was a patrol, K-9 and training officer and worked vice and narcotics while working his way up the ladder to deputy chief and then chief.
He also is the former president of Quad Cities Chiefs of Police and the 2019 Rock Island Citizen of the Year.
Pothoff, who retired as Sterling’s chief of police in January 2016 before joining the sheriff’s department shortly thereafter, is returning to his court security role, Booker said.