Not every story has a happy ending, and there’s not a winner in every conflict.

The sad story of Williams Bay Police Chief Laura Washer is one where there are no winners, and everyone wishes there was a different outcome.

In 2015, Washer was hired as Williams Bay’s top law enforcement officer. She was hired from within the department, and she was mentored by the former police chief, Robert Pruessing.

Pruessing recognized Washer’s talents, her passions, and her drive for community policing. When Washer took over the reins in 2015, she was ready to get to work.

Williams Bay Village President William Duncan had described Washer as a “breath of fresh air.” Washer, who at the time of her appointment was in her early 40s, was looking forward to a long tenure as the village’s police chief.

Then tragedy struck.

In August 2017, Washer and her significant other were in a serious motorcycle accident in Brown County. At that time, Washer knew her road to recovery was a long one, but she was optimistic.

A little less than a year after the crash, Washer returned to desk work. At that time, it appeared Washer was back to work, and that her tragedy was going to have a happy ending.

But Washer’s doctors never cleared her to patrol the streets, which is a requirement for the police chief in Williams Bay. Earlier this summer, Washer announced that she would not return to the Bay’s police department.

In the end, no one wins. Washer can no longer pursue her passion of serving Williams Bay, and the residents of the community lost a leader who was passionate about her job.

Not every story has a happy ending.

We are disappointed that Washer will never return to her role in the Bay. We wish the village could have found a way to have her continue in that capacity. However, we also understand the importance of patrol work in a small community.

We wish Washer the best in her future endeavors. We also hope the Bay is successful in finding Washer’s long-term replacement, and that the village leaders can find someone who can be a “breath of fresh air.”