Search for new chief begins, interim steps in

Haley Walters

A national search for a Chief of University Police began on Tuesday to replace former Chief Joseph LeMire who accepted a position as UW-Milwaukee’s Chief of Police over the summer. According to Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Petra Roter, the incoming chief will inherit a position that has overseen tremendous growth under LeMire, who expanded the Community Service Officer program fourfold, grew the campus Safe Walk program and improved partnerships between various groups in and around campus during his seven years with UP. “I’m most proud that as a department, we were able to build a collaboration with students [CSOs] and Residence Life,” LeMire said. “That collaboration allowed us to build a strong program and have the success we had. It was really incomparable to any university in our system.” Roter said a committee comprised of university officials, staff and students will begin screening candidates later this fall for the position. The committee will be co-chaired by Assistant Vice Chancellor and Business Manager, Jean Kwaterski, and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Engagement and Success and Dean of Students, Sharon Kipetz. Roter will have the final decision in choosing the new chief. “It’s really important that the campus is involved in the process and provides us with feedback because this is a really important position,” Roter said. Roter said the deadline for applications is Oct. 5. Three to five final candidates will be selected as soon as late October to come to campus and meet with the committee. Roter said a successful candidate will have a proven track record of fostering good collaborations with outside agencies, excellent community policing skills, crime prevention experience and an understanding of university police procedure. “We want somebody who has some vision on how we can continue to educate the campus community in the areas of safety and to be proactive to reduce safety risks,” Roter said. According to Roter, a search is underway for a new chief, and former UP Lieutenant Chris Tarmann has stepped in as interim chief. Tarmann has been with UP since March 2008, has police experience with various departments throughout Wisconsin and is a former UW Oshkosh CSO. He was LeMire’s second-in-command when he served as lieutenant since 2011. “Chris [Tarmann] has a lot of really good experience,” Roter said. “Being second-in-command, he has a good feel as to what needs to be done internally and also knows the other players and constituents in our community.” Tarmann said during his time as lieutenant, he assisted LeMire in training and strengthening relationships between UP and other campus organizations such as Residence Life, Oshkosh Student Association, Titan Athletics and Polk Library. He helped expand the CSO program and improve student officer training. “I want safety to be a number-one priority on campus,” Tarmann said. “I am focused very similarly to LeMire, and I want us to be ingrained in the community and provide service that is focused on safety.” Following the national search and committee evaluations, Roter said the next chief will take charge by Jan. 1.