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Wednesday

July 2014

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New Pewaukee village police chief in works

Village of Pewaukee - A transition like this hasn't happened in the village in around 30 years.

They're looking for a new police chief.

Chief Ed Baumann has manned his post for 29 years and plans to retire in early April. The Police Commission, meanwhile, will select his replacement.

The Police Commission has examined a number of agencies in Southeastern Wisconsin to learn about their various hiring processes and police commissions. Commissioner David Spakowicz said they've seen the entire gambit - from those who hire only internally to others who hire independent recruiting firms.

"We felt we'd like to do a little bit more of an active approach," he said.

That's good to hear, because the commission will likely be pretty active from here on out. As many as seven village officers - out of 18 - have served for more than 30 years. That's a significant number of potential retirees and new hires.

The commission has already reviewed and updated the position description for the police chief (last revised in 2007). A few educational requirements were changed, but the 2007 version addressed most of the core functions.

They expect the next chief to have at least 10 years of experience as a sworn officer through a law-enforcement agency; at least five years of supervisory experience as a lieutenant or higher; a four-year college degree in criminal justice, public administration or a similar discipline; advanced management training equal to the FBI National Academy, the Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command, the Southern Police Institute or an executive development program. Of course, they must also have the ability to legally possess a firearm and have no felony convictions.

The commission held interviews for internal candidates on March 11. There were two interested candidates who met the qualifications. They are being scored on their responses to three questions, plus oral interviews.

Their names cannot be disclosed by the commission at this time because they are not considered final candidates, Spakowicz said. Their interviews largely determined their qualifications for the post, he said. No names have been submitted to the Village Board for final consideration.

If the commission cannot find an internal candidate who satisfies all the requirements, the position vacancy will open to outside candidates.

If, however, the commission does determine a candidate is qualified, they will submit the names to the Village Board during a closed-session meeting March 19. The matter would be discussed in an open meeting the following day.

"It's going to be up to the (new) chief (to determine the direction of the department)… and we'll examine that during the interview process and see what visions they have for the future department. To me, the existing department is running very, very well. I am very proud of the fact that we've not had a lot of issues come before the commission - either citizen complaints or disciplinary issues - so the department is fantastic," said Spakowicz.

On Feb. 21 the Pewaukee Village Board approved the salary range - between $87,105 and $95,000 - which it decided after researching nearby municipalities. Baumann earns $87,105. The motion did not pass unanimously; Jeff Knutson voted against that figure.

"I look at that and say, well, in Chenequa, that individual has a number of roles. … and I look at Hartland, which is comparable in a lot of ways. I guess I also look, though, and look at the years as a chief, and then we're still on the low end," said Village President Tom Calder explained.

Hartland, with a population of 9,100 spread over five square miles, paid $91,087 in 2012 for its chief's salary. The City of Delafield, with a population of 7,000 spread over 11 square miles, paid $97,300. The Village of Chenequa, with 601 spread over seven square miles, paid $108,000.

The Village of Pewaukee has about 8,300 people for five square miles of coverage.

"Again, I truly think that a community needs to pay for a professional, and we've found that out in the past. Unfortunately, if you don't keep up with salaries, you end up paying more and coming up higher. I'm comfortable with this range," Calder said.

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