Richard Moyer, Shullsburg Police Chief, submitted his retirement notice to the city council on Sept. 3. After 27 ½ years working at the Shullsburg Police Department, Moyer’s official last day will be Oct. 9.
Moyer explained that he had always wanted to be in law enforcement growing up, and after graduating from Hazel Green High School in 1983 he attended Eau Claire to obtain his two-year police science degree.
In 1985 he began his career, working at various law enforcement agencies in northern Wisconsin for three years, before coming to the Shullsburg Police Department as a patrolman in June of 1988.
In 1989 Moyer was promoted from patrolman to sergeant, and also implemented the DARE program at Shullsburg Schools.
For the next 20 years, Moyer continued to teach the DARE program, coming into the school about once a week throughout the entire school year.
“I wanted to get to know the kids and let them get to know me,” he said of his desire to implement the program. “I thought it was really important to have that presence at the schools.”
In 2009, Moyer became the chief of police for Shullsburg, and the department was cut down to just one full time officer, which it has remained up to the present. At that time, due to an increase in responsibilities and time constraints, Moyer was no longer able to conduct the DARE classes.
“Hopefully in the future, they can hire more than one officer,” said Moyer. “Shullsburg is just too big for one full-time person.”
Among Moyer’s most memorable events on the job was the time he helped deliver a baby in a mini van while on duty.
“It’s a respectable career,’ said Moyer of the job. “It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely a positive job. The biggest pro is helping people if that means being a first responder on scene or helping someone change a flat tire.”
There are some things however that Moyer won’t miss as much, such as dealing with the politics of the job and having to deal with things like fatal accidents and being the one to tell family members and loved ones that someone they cared about has been killed.
“I really appreciate my family and my wife putting up with the stress and strain that the job has had through the years,” said Moyer. “I’m also thankful for the chance to work with the other law enforcement agencies throughout the county as well as the city workers.”
Moyer said he has had a good career with the Shullsburg Police Department, and has enjoyed working with the citizens and taking care of the town.
Moyer has taken a job as a rural carrier for the post office, which he has already begun and said it has been going great.
“I didn’t plan to do [police work] forever, and I’ve been working for the post office part-time for about 10 years, planning to make the change to full-time at some point,” he said. “It was just time.”
Moyer wishes the new chief the best of luck and hopes they have great success.
“Shullsburg is a great place and it’s a pretty calm place for the most part,” he said. “But it’s going to be a tough job too.”
Moyer said he advises the new chief to not get overwhelmed, to take things in stride and to ask for help from other law enforcement agencies if they need it.
Moyer is married to Peggy, and the couple has three adult sons: Andy, who is a software engineer in Platteville; Sam, who is a banker in Madison and Cody, who is an MP in the army.
The city of Shullsburg is accepting applications for the new chief of police until 5 p.m. on Oct. 9. Application materials and a complete job description are available at the city’s office at 190 N. Judgement St. in Shullsburg or on the city’s website at www.shullsburgwisconsin.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Moyer is using vacation days until his official last day on the job, at the regular meeting of the city council held on Sept. 8, the council made the decision to utilize the services of part-time officers to cover 16 hours per week, and contract with the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department to cover 24 hours per week at the cost of $38 per hour, with coverage to begin at the county’s discretion.