ALTON - Alton Police Chief Jarrett Ford recently recognized Officer Bill Reed for connecting in a special way with children, announcing Reed had been "caught in the act" of doing something positive.

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"The Alton Police Department believes in full transparency, especially when we catch one of our own in the act," Ford said on the department's Facebook page. "As an agency, we believe in holding each other accountable. Going to your supervisor to report a fellow officer can be difficult but absolutely necessary.

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"That exact scenario recently unfolded as one of our officers caught a fellow officer in the act. The officer did exactly as he’s supposed to do and immediately reported his fellow officer’s behavior to a supervisor. At this time, I believe it is important to bring this incident to light although the officer would never want his behavior spotlighted in the public eye.

"This past weekend, Officer Bill Reed and fellow officer, Evan Zeller, were requested to ensure the peace at a child custody matter. As Officer Reed awaited the arrival of Officer Zeller, he observed a group of children and a parent participating in a backyard book club. When Officer Zeller arrived, he spotted Officer Reed in the act of reading to the children.

"Officer Reed, thank you for taking the time to connect with the children. I know you don’t want this public attention but this type of community engagement deserves to be shared. You no doubt left a positive impression on those children and represented yourself and the department in a positive light at the same time. I’m so glad Officer Zeller caught you in the act."

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