New Holstein’s Common Council voted 5-3 Wednesday night against consolidating the New Holstein Police Department with Calumet County.
More than 2-1/2 hours into the night’s meetings and after a number of citizens spoke in favor of retaining the NHPD, alderpersons cast their vote as more than 50 citizens listened and watched in the standing-room-only Fire Station meeting room.
Alderpersons Gene Woelfel, Becca Mosier, Rich Snelson, Ranee Raether and Eric Mayer voted to not consolidate, while alderpersons Fran Schmitz, Scott Konkle and Brad Hess voted in favor of consolidation.
The action now leaves city officials—including the Police and Fire Commission—having to move quickly to try to fill open positions on the department. Short-term services provided by the Calumet County Sheriff’s Office will expire at the end of this month.
Earlier in the meeting, longtime New Holstein Police Officer Rob Baldwin told the council that he would be willing to serve as interim chief to help get the department back on its feet. The department’s chief and captain both resigned in the past year contributing to the position in which the NHPD finds itself.
Lt. Eric Voland of the Sheriff’s Office said the department originally had 51 open shifts entering May, but the NHPD’s part-time officers filled 33 of those and full-time officers filled another 11, leaving seven shifts to be filled by the CCSO.
Documents provided at Wednesday’s meeting also indicated that several of the NHPD’s part-time officers are willing to come on board full time if hired by the city.
(For much more on this story please see the May 27 issue of the Tri-County News.)