The face of the Ripon Police Department has changed. Dramatically.

   After decades of stability, it is in the midst of a transition that is affecting every aspect of the department, and those changes begin tomorrow (Wednesday).

   Three new leaders will be sworn in that afternoon. In addition to current Capt. Bill Wallner being named chief, also sworn in will be:

  • Sgt. Troy Damsteegt, who has been a sergeant with the department for nearly eight years, will serve as captain, while
  • Lindsey Michels, who has been the school resource officer for the Ripon Area School District for the past three years and with the department for 13, will take over Damsteegt’s role as sergeant.

   Damsteegt and Michels each will begin their role in January.

   But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the changes coming within the department.

   Sgt. John Teachout will be retiring, so his sergeant role will need to be reassigned, and another officer will need to be hired.

   Then, due to the previously unannounced departure of another officer — Investigator Travis Borkenhagen — at the end of the year, his post also will need to be reassigned. And, again, another officer will need to be hired.

   It’s quite a handful to be given to Ripon’s incoming chief.

Read the full story in the Dec. 21, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.