WALWORTH — Police Chief Dan Hammett has resigned after less than a year on the job and is preparing to join the Williams Bay Police Department.

The Walworth Village Board formally accepted Hammett’s resignation at its Jan. 14 meeting.

Hammett, who declined to comment, had been hired last April at a salary of $73,440 a year.

Trustee LeRoy Nordmeyer said Hammett told him that he did not find the position of police chief satisfying, and that he decided to go back to being a patrol officer.

“I regret to inform you that I have decided to leave the Walworth Police Department and return to patrolling as an officer,” Hammett wrote in his Jan. 7 resignation letter.

The village board voted to offer the chief’s job to police Lt. Ryan Milligan on a five-year contract.

Milligan was first hired as a lieutenant in April 2018 after Hammett was promoted from lieutenant to chief. Milligan previously had served as a Delavan police officer for 17 years.

“Thank you for your trust in me,” Milligan told the board. “I look forward to serving the community.”

Hammett wrote in his resignation letter that he supported making Milligan the new chief.

“I depart the Walworth Police Department with great comfort knowing Ryan Milligan is in charge,” Hammett wrote. “Ryan is a great leader and will carry this department into the future.”

Williams Bay Interim Police Chief Chris Severt said a conditional offer was extended to Hammett to the join the Williams Bay department as a patrolman.

Severt said Hammett’s employment is now subject to a mandatory background check and approval by the Williams Bay Village Board.

Severt said he knew about Hammett’s background before he applied for the Williams Bay position. Severt was Walworth police chief when Hammett was hired as a patrol officer there.

Hammett, who grew up in Sharon and graduated from Big Foot High School in 1989, started with the Walworth Police Department in 2006. Two years previous, he was a part-time police officer in the town of Linn.

Chris Schultz has been a reporter for more than 40 years. He has been with the Lake Geneva Regional since 2010. He covers the Lake Geneva City Council and the Lake Geneva area schools.