Police officer returns to serve his hometown
Officer Jason Chalupa was raised in Washington and graduated from Washington schools before moving on to pursue his dream of becoming a police officer.
After working with several departments, he has come home to serve the Washington community.
Chalupa’s first day with the Washington Police Department was Feb. 3. Before that he had served with the Fairfield and Centerville police departments.
He graduated from Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa and Buena Vista University in Storm Lake with the goal of becoming a police officer. He graduated with a degree in criminal justice.
While he was going to school, the South Central Iowa Drug Task Force approached the head of the department to request graduate students for undercover work. Chalupa was one of them. He worked undercover in Centerville for two years, which was the length of the grant. As that ended, the chief of police in Centerville recommended Chalupa to the chief of police in Fairfield.
He and his wife, Jillian, have one 9-month old daughter, Kynsley.
Since you have been back, what do you think of Washington?
I like it. It’s the same as it was when I grew up here. It has that hometown feeling, is how I would describe it.
Was it exciting to come back to the town you grew up in?
My wife and I were eventually planning to move back to Washington and the police department had an opening at the same time, so it worked out.
What is your favorite thing about Washington?
Just living in different towns, Centerville had its own thing and Fairfield did. I would say my favorite thing about Washington would be the community and people. It is what I am used to, what I am familiar with and what I like.
Why did you decide to go into law enforcement?
I like helping people and much of the reason is I think it is a fun job. There are times when there is a lot of excitement and a lot of adrenaline going on, but most of it is just meeting people and talking to them and just helping them out.
Tell me something that most people wouldn’t know about being in law enforcement.
Most people don’t know how busy you actually are. When I was growing up, it is a smaller town and I wouldn’t have thought there would be too much going on, but actually being on this side of it and actually working it and seeing what is going on, it is busier than you think.
What are some of your hobbies?
I like spending time with my family. I like hunting, fishing, going to the shooting range and that kind of things. Mainly, just hanging out with my family, whether it is going out to eat or going shopping or just staying at home on a day off.
What are your plans for the future?
I have nothing really planned — just stay in the community and stay working here.