The former patch with the ear of corn signifies the Sweetcorn production which made Hoopeston the Sweetcorn Capital of the World. Due to canning companies relocating, Sweetcorn is no longer produced in large numbers or canned in Hoopeston any longer and the title is in name only.
Our new patch is the State of Illinois with the "Jerky" and the statement "Home of the Cornjerkers" added. So what is a Cornjerker? It is the mascot of the Hoopeston Area High School. Legend has it in the 1940's the Hoopeston High School football team used to arrive late for away games because the young men would attend school, go home to harvest corn and then report back to the school for their games. One sports writer who was upset about the visiting team arriving late referred to the Hoopeston players as a "bunch of cornjerkers".
Rather than taking the comment as an insult, the school considered it a compliment about their work ethic. The name stuck and has now become a nationally recognized name, in part, due to ESPN and Hoopeston's favorite son, Head Coach of the Ohio State University Men's Basketball team, Thad Matta.
The patch currently being used by the Hoopeston Police Department is no longer available to the public.