Incoming Barrington Police officer Joseph Flinton, 24, was sworn into service Feb. 10 by Barrington village trustees. Flinton has about completed the Barrington police training program and is a first-hire for Barrington’s new police chief David Dorn.
Born and raised in New York, Flinton moved to Illinois several years ago. Flinton graduated Rockford College in 2012 before earning the best overall fitness award through the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy. Flinton told Barrington Suburban Life Reporter Tarah Thorne more about his achievements and goals for law enforcement.
Thorne: How does it feel to be sworn into the Barrington police force? What led you to this community?
Flinton: There really aren’t any words to describe how it feels to be sworn into the Barrington Police besides that it’s a good feeling. Everybody is eager to help out and make sure I’m where I need to be. I really feel a sense of teamwork here and that’s a big part of what led me to the Barrington Police Department.
Thorne: You’re almost through the Barrington police training program. What sorts of training have you received? What’s been most rewarding? Difficult?
Flinton: I have received training ranging from vehicle code to crimes in-progress. You name it and my field training officers have covered it.
The most rewarding part of my training so far has been helping out the community. Even if it’s helping to change a flat tire, it’s a great feeling knowing that I made someone’s day or night a little bit easier.
The most difficult part of the training so far has been keeping up to date with all the new laws that went into effect at the beginning of the year like the cellphone laws and the start of concealed carry.
Thorne: You were born and raised in New York. When did you move to Illinois? Are you/will you be a Barrington resident? What do you like most about this community?
Flinton: I moved out to Illinois to finish college a few years ago. I had visited the area prior to then for holidays and just playing the role of a tourist. I am not currently a Barrington resident, although I plan on moving closer to the area than where I reside now.
I really like the small-town feel that Barrington has. It reminds me a lot of my own hometown.
Thorne: You graduated from Rockford College in 2012. What did you study there?
Flinton: I studied criminal justice. I also took a number of classes in anthropology and sociology.
Thorne: Have you always wanted to be a police officer? What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Flinton: I actually hadn’t thought of law enforcement as a career until I enrolled at Rockford College. My academic advisor set me up with criminology courses and an internship that really sparked my interest.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be absolutely everything – a professional athlete, lawyer, doctor, police officer, firefighter, astronaut, race car driver, etc.
Thorne: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working or training? Any favorite hobbies?
Flinton: When I’m not working, I enjoy going to the gym or playing some kind of sport. I’ve always liked playing basketball, baseball, football, soccer, rugby and pretty much any other sport. I also like going camping, working on building projects, spending time with my family and just being active.
Thorne: Do you have any previous police experience? When did you attend the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy?
Flinton: I do not have any prior law enforcement experience besides what I experienced in my internship. My experience so far has been completely different than the internship; there’s so much more than what initially meets the eye. Every detail has an impact on any given situation.
I attended the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy 14-02 “Never Accept Defeat!” this past Fall and met a lot of great instructors and future officers. The hours were long and hard, but it was a solid foundation on which to start my career with the Barrington Police Department.
Thorne: You’ll be officially policing Barrington this month. Could you please describe some of Barrington’s current police initiatives that you plan on enforcing?
Flinton: Safety is always the No. 1 priority we have for the Barrington community and those around it. Anything that might hinder that will be addressed and dealt with appropriately. Even the smallest thing that might pose a threat is not too small to be taken care of.
Thorne: What have you learned from fellow Barrington police officers thus far?
Flinton: I have learned a lot about different laws and ordinances, and also a great deal about the community itself. My fellow officers always emphasize the importance of being respectful and helpful and it’s evident in the way they operate both on and off duty.
Thorne: What’s one silly fact about yourself?
Flinton: One silly fact about myself, or story, rather, is that when I was much, much younger, I tried to make gingerbread cookies for Christmas. I say “tried” because I forgot to set the timer and only realized that fact when I smelled the aroma of extremely burnt cookies. Even after all the scraping and cleaning, the imprints of little gingerbread people wouldn’t come off of the baking sheet. I’m sure the impressions are still there today.