The Valparaiso Police added an additional officer Wednesday with the swearing-in of James Bilder.

Mayor Matt Murphy performed the ceremony within the council chamber of City Hall. Chief Jeff Balon, with numerous officers and civilian staff in attendance, joined the family of the new officer to witness the event. During the ceremony, Chief Balon welcomed the new hire into the Valparaiso Police Department family and added his remarks on how hiring new police officers has been one of his favorite assignments as Chief of Police.

This will be the final swearing-in ceremony Chief Balon will oversee for the Valparaiso Police Department, before taking on his new role of Sheriff of Porter County in January.

James is a 2010 graduate of Brother Rice High School and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Lewis University in 2014, while majoring in Business Administration. James joins the Valparaiso Police Department after having served with the Federal Reserve Police (Chicago Bank) from 2017-2021. James has also served with the U.S. Army National Guard from 2012-2021 and currently serves with the U.S. Air National Guard as a Staff Sergeant.