Retired chief Dave Lukoski, right, greets former Capt. Chris Stieber, left, and former chief Denny Waller.
Retired chief Dave Lukoski, right, greets former Capt. Chris Stieber, left, and former chief Denny Waller.

   Faces familiar and not-quite-forgotten filled Ripon City Hall’s council chambers last week Wednesday afternoon.

   Former police chief Denny Waller shook hands; past Capt. Chris Stieber greeted people warmly. Other former officers stood in not-so-silent approval.

   What would cause so many of Ripon’s finest of years gone by to return en masse?

   The biggest ceremony the Ripon Police Department has had in 30 years. Maybe longer.

   In one fell swoop, the department honored a retiring chief, ushered in a new one and promoted two of its promising officers to higher ranks.

   “We’re here for a very special occasion today,” Mayor Gary Will said in his opening remarks at the ceremony. “... The transition that we have going on here ... The department probably has never been through a day like we’re having here today: retirements, swearing-ins, promotions within the department.”

   But before Bill Wallner could be promoted to chief, before Troy Damsteegt could become captain or Lindsey Michels could become a sergeant, their mentor had to step down from his post of 30 years.

Read the full story in the Dec. 28, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.