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Milton police post remains vacant

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Stacy Vogel
January 3, 2008
— After one potential interim chief turned it down, the Milton Police Commission has decided to go without a police chief after Chief Tom Gilland retires Monday.

Until a new chief is found, the Milton Police Department’s sergeants will handle daily operations at the department, and a member of the police commission, Dave Ostrowski, will supervise, the commission announced after a closed session this morning.


“It’s really the commission overseeing the department activities,” city attorney Mike Haas said.


The commission had offered the job of interim chief to former Chief Terry Hawkins, but he declined the position last week under the terms offered by the city council.


The commission did not want to appoint someone within the department to interim chief because of a staff shortage at the department, Haas said. Because of a hiring freeze on unionized city employees, the police department is short two officers.


Ostrowski said he will act as a liaison between the commission and the department but will receive no compensation. Though Ostrowski plans to contact the department daily, he only will be involved in major decisions such as those involving spending and discipline, he said.


“We’re confident the sergeants can handle the day-to-day operations,” he said.


Ostrowski is a retired law enforcement officer with 28 years of experience, he said. He served as police chief for UW-Parkside and lieutenant for UW-Whitewater and Marquette University’s police forces.


Still, he didn’t want to be interim chief because he didn’t want to imply that he was vying for the job of permanent chief, he said.


“I shall not apply for this position,” he said.


It could be months before the city finds a new police chief. City administrator Todd Schmidt is requesting proposals from private consulting firms to help the city in its search, Haas said.


Ostrowski will be in touch with commission members, and they will meet when required, Haas said. They will monitor the system they put in place this morning and change it if necessary, he said.


“They will continue to evaluate and see how it’s working,” he said.



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