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Geneva hopes to hire police chief by February

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Kevin Hoffman
October 3, 2010
— The Geneva Police Commission has set a five-month timeline with a goal of seating a new department chief by February.

Chairman Jay Hencken on Friday said the commission set a very aggressive schedule, advertising the position over the next six weeks before setting interviews late this year. By Feb. 1, it hopes to have a new police chief in place.


Long-time Chief Ed Gritzner announced his retirement last week during a town board meeting.


“It has been both an honor and privilege to serve the town of Geneva,” he said. “Perhaps because I grew up here and live here, it was difficult at times to please everyone all the time. However, I always attempted to do the right thing.”


Gritzner has been involved in controversy throughout the past year. He received a one-day suspension in March stemming from a misconduct complaint. Most recently he was allegedly involved in an incident at the town festival that has yielded few details.


He decided to retire to spend more time with his family, according to a news release.


Gritzner will stay on as chief until Dec. 31, but his role already has been diminished to “adviser and consultant.” He’s now on call when the department needs him, and Officer Bob Linder said he has been helping the staff transition to assuming full control.


The Geneva Police Department has four full-time officers and four part-time. The four senior officers are sharing Gritzner’s duties in his absence.


Police there discovered an elaborate mushroom growing operation Wednesday. The Walworth County district attorney said Thursday it is awaiting reports from Geneva police before pressing charges.


“It’s been very busy, but we’re managing,” Linder said. “We’ve split up responsibilities and are utilizing a couple part-timers, but it’s going pretty well.”


One of the department’s part-time officers has been put into the full-time rotation while maintaining the same pay and benefits, Linder said.


Chief candidates will interview this fall before taking a written examination and assessment. Some will be invited back for a second interview in the winter before the commission makes a decision.



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