Chief Dave Lukoski holds the plaque he received for his years of service from the Ripon Common Council.
Chief Dave Lukoski holds the plaque he received for his years of service from the Ripon Common Council.

   Sgt. Gary Durkee remembers the day clearly.

   “I was working a day shift one time when the district attorney’s office called here and wanted us to check a field and look for a knife in regards to a case we had,” Durkee said. “That particular day it was raining rather hard and I did not have my rain jacket with me.”

   It could have meant a cold, miserable day for the officer.

   But Chief Dave Lukoski, who could have pulled chief’s privilege and stayed behind the desk, didn’t.

   “Chief Lukoski and Capt. [Chris] Stieber saw that and told me that they would look for the knife in the pouring rain and that I could disregard,” Durkee said. “There are not many chiefs in the entire United States that would have been such a team player based on those circumstances. I will never forget that and knew right then and there that I was working for the right department. Gained my total respect!”

   Stories such as this seem to be common for Ripon’s uncommon top cop.

   “[Chiefs are] administrative people. And Dave has always been very hands-on,” Sgt. Trevor Hanke said.

   But no longer.

   After 30 years as chief, 43 at the Ripon Police Department, today (Wednesday) is Lukoski’s last day in uniform.

Read the full story, including anecdotes from Lukoski and others, in the Dec. 21, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.