Leschke to succeed Poltrock
Weyauwega names new police chief
By Angie Landsverk
The city of Weyauwega’s next police chief will be Brandon Leschke.
“I’m excited for it. I’m hopeful that my team shares the same excitement that I do,” he said. “I’m excited for the challenge, ready to learn and keep it going.”
Leschke will begin his new job duties on Jan. l, succeeding Gerald Poltrock, who is retiring at the end of this year.
The city’s Police, Fire and Ambulance Committee recommended that the position be offered to Leschke.
The common council unanimously approved the recommendation when it met on April 20.
Leschke has been a member of Weyauwega’s police department since Sept. 2, 2005.
That is when he was hired as a part-time officer.
He began working for the department the same year he attended Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.
Weyauwega’s police department sponsored Leschke through the academy program.
“They put me through the academy program,” he said. “From there, I achieved my associate degree.”
According to Leschke’s records, he was promoted to full-time status on Feb. 8, 2006.
On Jan. 1, 2013, he was promoted to sergeant.
Leschke’s interest in becoming the next police chief meant there was not a need to post the position since he was an internal candidate.
City Administrator Jeremy Schroeder said the Police, Fire and Ambulance Committee met in closed session before bringing the recommendation forward.
“I think it’s a great fit,” he said of Leschke. “I look forward to continuing to work with him.”
Leschke’s starting salary will be $37.53 per hour, Schroeder said.
Poltrock talked to Leschke the past few years about a plan for succession.
“I always had ambitions to continue my growth and career and some day be the police chief,” Leschke said.
He explained how he became interested in serving the public.
Leschke grew up in rural Manawa and is a graduate of Little Wolf High School.
When he met his wife Kristi, her father was Weyauwega’s fire chief.
After Leschke joined the fire department, he met Poltrock.
“I was farming at the time,” Leschke said. “I got married. We started having kids.”
Poltrock talked to Leschke about whether he was interested in becoming a police officer.
That is how Leschke decided to be sponsored by the department.
He continues to be a member of the fire department as well, and is an assistant fire chief.
Poltrock’s plan to retire the end of this year was announced last month.
Leschke said there were then a few succession planning meetings.
The committee was comfortable with Leschke as the internal candidate to succeed Poltrock.
“It worked out well,” Leschke said. “I’ve got a good team behind me.”
In addition to the chief and sergeant positions, the department has two full-time patrol officers and a school resource officer.
The department also has three part-time officers.
Leschke said letters of interest from within the department will be accepted for the sergeant position he currently holds.
If there is not an internal candidate, it will be opened up to outside the department.
He hopes to have the person identified within the next two months.
Leschke believes the department has a good relationship with the community.
When he becomes the police chief next year, he has a few goals.
“I’d like to see us be very much more transparent to our community,” Leschke said.
He wants to provide more reports to the community about such subjects as what the department is handling and why it is a 24-hour service.
In addition, Leschke wants to provide more ways for the public to contact the department.
He wants to use communication tools for news blasts to the community.
Accountability is important, and so is keeping an open relationship with the community, he believes.
“We have to keep in mind we’re here to serve the people and community,” Leschke said.