Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Rhinelander police chief excited for department's return to full strength with two recent hiresSubmitted: 01/17/2018
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Rhinelander police chief excited for department's return to full strength with two recent hires
RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's police chief hoped to fill two jobs in his department last summer.  A field of eight finalists led to zero job offers, but this week Lloyd Gauthier's force might finally get back to full strength.

The Rhinelander Police and Fire Commission approved hiring Tyler and Logan Pontbriand on Monday.  Their hires would bring the total force in Rhinelander to 17, including the chief and captain positions.

The Pontbriand twins are deputies with the Vilas County Sheriff's Office.  Logan started as a corrections officer in May 2015 while Tyler was hired as a deputy in January 2016.

Gauthier says they had six qualified applicants after reopening the application process in November, but the Pontbriands - who both live in Rhinelander - had qualities you simply can't teach.


"What's your personality? Are you a good fit for our culture here within the department as we're trying to build an extraordinary police department? A department that's going to serve with pride and dignity," Gauthier said.

Money could play a role in attracting candidates to Rhinelander. Vilas County Sheriff Joe Fath told Newswatch 12 his starting rate for deputies is about $47,000 a year (at a rate of about $22 per hour). Gauthier can offer a starting wage of about $56,000.

"We should be proud of that, we should be proud that we want the best of the best here," Gauthier said. "That it's a positive thing, not a negative thing to draw quality candidates."

Fath says recruitment in his office is a challenge, much as it is for police and sheriff's offices around the state. He says the days of getting 100 to 200 applicants for an open position are gone.

Between two new deputy positions, a lieutenant retiring in March and a recreation officer who recently retired, Fath is looking at hiring four people in 2018.  He says the Pontbriands deciding to leave his office came as a surprise.

"We've invested a lot of time and money in officers just getting them through field training for 12 weeks... now we've got to start over and it's a significant impact," Fath said.

Oneida County Sheriff Grady Hartman understands the challenges Fath faces. Hartman was able to offer deputies about $23 an hour in 2017. Hartman says often times officers take a pay cut to come work for his sheriff's office for opportunities like serving on the SWAT team.

Gauthier sees his police department as offering different attractions, including a larger focus on just one community (versus the many communities the sheriff's office covers) with more day-to-day interactions between police and the public.

"To be in a community where they can make a difference, because you can walk the street, you can do bike patrol," Gauthier said. "Those are opportunities that are not as apparent at a sheriff's office."

The Pontbriands still need to pass background checks to be hired. Gauthier hopes to have them on patrol by mid-February.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - A school bus crashed with a Jeep east of Rhinelander on Tuesday morning.

The crash happened near Highway C and Faust Lake Road around 7:30 a.m.

According to the Oneida County Sheriff's Office, when police arrived at the scene, all students were transported by bus to Ascension St. Mary's Hospital for precautionary measures.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The Kids Impacting Our Neighborhood Youth Program in Rhinelander fears it might have to close down if it can't get some of its funding back.

Program executive director Angela Dexter was shocked to find out the program that benefits homeless and at risk teenagers lost nearly half of its funding.

Dexter says the grant they have been using won't be renewed after this month.

+ Read More
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/25/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


We'll tell you about a group of paramedics who will be at this weekend's Beef-a-Rama in Minocqua and offer their medical services while riding their bikes as part a new program.

We'll talk to a board member of a group that is going around the Northwoods helping non-registered voters prepare for the November election.

And the Northland Pines High School Soccer Team is on a hot streak and looking to take the Great Northern Conference soccer title. We'll talk with the team's head coach about their accomplishments.


We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Don't put away your road bike for the winter just yet.

Mel's Trading Post owner Mitch Mode says fall is the best time to take a bike out to see the fall foliage.

He is currently offering bike sales. However, if you don't want to go long-term, you can always rent a bike.

+ Read More

Play Video

RIB MOUNTAIN - Sometimes we forget about the little dangers when we walk down a street. It could range from a crack in the sidewalk to a stop sign that's slightly hidden.

+ Read More

Play Video

NORTH-WOODS LIBRARIES -

Registering to vote doesn't take much effort. Still, many people don't bother to do it. This means they can't actually cast a ballot. There is plenty of help out there to get signed up. 


Debra Durchslag voted every November for the last 50 years. Close elections are just one of the reasons she finds voting important. 


" In small towns like we live in, the outcomes can be three votes, ten votes, 15 votes," Durchslag said.

As a board member for the local League of Women Voters, she feels it's her mission to help educate people about voting.


+ Read More

MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to allow local election clerks to reinstate voter registration for voters who were wrongly cut from the rolls last year.

The commission voted unanimously at its Tuesday meeting to allow for the clerks to reinstate the voters ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm election.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here