Consultant to be hired for chief search

Commission decides to seek outside help in choosing new police department head
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Grafton Police and Fire Commission last week agreed to hire a consultant to help search for a new police chief.

The commission met Wednesday, Sept. 4, to discuss the hiring process. Chief Charles Wenten’s last day will be Saturday, Sept. 21.

Village Administrator Jesse Thyes said he is drafting a proposal to approach consulting firms for quotes, which will be brought back to the commission at a future meeting.   

“Once we have a proposal reviewed and understand the pricing we’re looking at, I will need to circle back to the Village Board to allocate funds,” Thyes said.

“By using an outside consultant, we will cast a net as far and wide as possible to attract as many qualified candidates as possible.”

Thyes said the commission had the option of hiring a new chief through an internal process as it did for Fire Chief Bill Rice.

“This is going to take a little bit of time over the course of months, not weeks,” Thyes said. “It’s an important process for the village, and we want to do it right because it’s a very visible position to fill.”

Thyes said hiring an independent consultant doesn’t mean the commission won’t consider an internal candidate.

“As we talked about it, we thought it would actually help an internal candidate because they would be fully vetted through the process,” Thyes said.

Capt. Joseph Gabrish was named interim police chief last month. At that time, he said he would wait until the hiring process was determined to see if he would apply for the permanent role.

“Once the process has come out, I will reflect upon the process and make a determination. At this point, I have not made a decision,” Gabrish said.

Gabrish joined the department as an officer in 1993 and became second in command in 2007. 

Prior to joining the department, Gabrish was an officer with the Milwaukee Police Department for nearly 11 years.

Wenten is resigning from the department to pursue a new career in background investigations after 16 years as Grafton chief.

The Village Board will officially accept Wenten’s resignation Monday, Sept. 16.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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