Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Town’s top cop retires

by Steve Targo

September 22, 2011

LINN — Dennis Wisniewski has been a captain, an interim chief, then finally police chief during his years at the Linn Town Police Department.

But on Sept. 12, the Linn Town Board accepted Wisnewski's retirement request, which takes effect Jan. 6, 2012. Attempts to obtain comments from Wisniewski were unsuccessful.

During a telephone interview, Linn Town Chairman Jim Weiss said Wisniewski submitted his retirement letter a couple months ago.

"Dennis actively came to us because he wanted to retire," Weiss said. "He's in his 60s, the numbers added up and he must have liked what (his pension) was."

This leaves the Town Board to select a replacement.

"Now, the board needs to get together to determine what direction we take (in) selecting the next chief," Weiss said. "Do we hire from inside or outside the department? That's the first fork in the road. But we've made no decisions yet. I haven't even talked to people on the department."

Wisniewski has served on the Linn Town Police Department for at least 20 years.

He was interim chief for about two years — between the retirement of former police chief Joe Leedle and the hiring of Gerald Kerns in 1998.

After Kerns resigned to live with his family in Schoolcraft, Mich., board members decided to hire from within. Dave Bollweg, who was chairman at that time, said Wisniewski was "more than qualified" to take the place of Kerns at the helm of the department.

The board selected Wisniewski March 22, 2007.

"I feel now that we can continue to move forward and provide the same level, if not better the level of professionalism to the residents of the community," Wisniewski said in an April 2007 Regional News article.

On Wednesday, Sept. 14, Weiss said he appreciated Wisniewski's service and called him a "highly-valued longtime public servant" of the town.

"I wish him well in his retirement and hope he catches lots of fish," Weiss said.

According to Weiss, Wisniewski accrued 120 unused sick days during his time on the department. He will receive pay for half of that unused sick time, the total cost of which was unavailable by press time.

"That's how it had been historically done and that was the same formula we used when Chief Kerns retired," Weiss said.