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Racine picks new police chief [RACINE, WI]

November 27, 2000
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Racine picks new police chief [RACINE, WI]

(RACINE, Wisc.) -- Milwaukee Police Deputy Inspector David Spenner will become the next Racine police chief, it was announced Tuesday.

The Racine Police and Fire Commission voted unanimously, 5-0, to select Spenner, a 26-year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department. Spenner will replace Chief Richard Polzin, who retired in May.

Spenner was chosen from an initial pool of 35 candidates. The final pool of three included Racine Assistant Chief Alan Baker and Racine Capt. Jeffrey Benn.

"It's a very exciting community, and I'm looking forward to being a part of it," Spenner said Tuesday evening, less than two hours after he heard the news. "I'm looking forward to working with the men and women of the department. Their reputation for community policing is well-respected."

Police and Fire Commission Chairman Marilyn Murrack said it was a difficult decision to make, but Spenner was the best man for the job.

"He pretty much comes with all the things we're looking for, " Murrack said.

Murrack pointed out Spenner's vast experience and vision for community policing, as well as his management experience. Spenner is in command of 425 people in the Milwaukee Police Department; the Racine Police Department numbers 204 sworn officers.

"What came across to me was his sincerity," said Commissioner Vevlon Days-Jackson.

"He's a very quiet, unassuming person, yet he knows what direction he wants to go," Murrack added.

Spenner will meet with the commission Nov. 29 to begin to iron out the details of his salary, as well as his starting date.

Spenner, who worked with the implementation, training and supervision of community policing in Milwaukee, said he is looking forward especially to working with Racine's community policing program.

"I think that community policing has to be more than just a superficial approach," Spenner said. "You have to get down to deeper levels. We use the term of unified policing as an evolution of community policing."

Racine Mayor Jim Smith, who had advocated for Baker to become the next chief, said residents should give Spenner a chance.

"I have confidence in the Police and Fire Commission's decision," Smith said. " Hopefully I'll be as impressed with him as the commission is."

(iSyndicate; Milwaukee Journal; Nov. 22, 2000) Terms and Conditions: CopyrightO 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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