Steven Footit, a Port officer, says patrolling is a top priority
Port Washington Police Officer Steven Footit is the new Village of Belgium marshal, and he’s making himself known.
Footit, who was hired last month, brings 16 years of experience as a patrol officer to his new job. He is revamping how complaints are handled and logged and makes sure all calls are returned promptly and people are told what is being done about the situation.
The biggest change is that Footit strongly believes in making his presence known, patrolling streets in the village-owned vehicle with the green magnetic village marshal sign clearly visible.
Footit, who works second shift in Port, coordinates patrols with Deputy Marshal Leon Anzia, who works during the day.
“The way I see it is that seeing a police presence may deter people and they might think twice about committing a crime here — that it’s not the place to set up criminal activity because of the patrols,” Footit said.
“I personally think the public likes to see that as well.”
In the four years he’s lived in the village, Footit said he has not seen anyone patrol his street.
Anzia, a longtime village resident and assistant fire chief, told the Village Board last week that people are surprised when they see the village marshal car.
“It’s funny the looks you get when you’re patrolling,” Anzia said. “They see the village marshal car and they’ll take a second look.”
To make the police work a little easier, the board approved buying a new computer for the marshal’s station in Village Hall.
Footit submits a monthly report to the board and he or Anzia will try to attend board meetings.
The marshals have badges and wear blue shirts with a gold star and their title.
Footit doesn’t plan to have a work schedule for he and Anzia.
“I would like to keep this flexible as I do not want the community to expect to see us on a predictable schedule,” he said.
Footit, who was one of six candidates interviewed for the job, said he applied for the job because he has skills that will benefit his village.
“I have the knowledge and background to do the job,” he said. “My kids are in school now and I have more free time.”
Trustee Jason Acevedo, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said Footit was the committee’s first choice.
“The committee selected Steve because we feel he has a good understanding of how we would like the marshal to be represented within the community,” Acevedo said.
Footit has a police science degree from Fox Valley Technical College and a four-year degree in criminal justice from Marian College in Fond du Lac.
He and his wife Maggie have three children, ages 7 to 12.
The village marshal can be reached at (262) 483-8752.
Image Information: VILLAGE MARSHAL Steve Footit stood in front of the vehicle he and Deputy Marshal Leon Anzia, who is behind the door, use when patrolling the community. Photo by Sam Arendt