"It is with deep sadness that we regret to inform everyone of the passing of Police Chief John Betten. He passed away this afternoon surrounded by family. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they go through this difficult time. He fought a long hard battle and never let his disease define him as a man or a leader. Funeral arrangements are pending."
Police Chief John Betten, a law enforcement officer in the Metro East area for about three decades, died at his home early Sunday afternoon after a four-year battle with cancer.
Betten had worked for more than ten years as O’Fallon chief and before that served in the Fairview Heights Police Department for 18 years.
Despite the cancer, he persevered in his job, said O’Fallon Police Capt. Jeff Wild. “He was a great man and a great leader and he never let his disease define the person he was,” Wild said Sunday night. Wild said he believed the chief was 54.
Betten was active in the leadership of the Southern Illinois Chiefs of Police. He had been honored by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police by being designated as a Certified Police Chief, a rank attained only by a few chiefs.
In Fairview Heights, he served as a lieutenant, an investigator, deputy commander for the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis and deputy director for the Metro East Auto Theft Task Force.
O'Fallon Police Department
Sunday, September 22, 2013