The promotion of Capt. Bill Wallner to become Ripon’s next police chief this winter is just one link in a chain of events that will lead to the largest turnover in leadership in recent memory for the Ripon Police Department.

   Three of the five members of the department’s administration will be new following a slew of changes:

  • The retirement of current Chief Dave Lukoski, whose last day in the office will be Dec. 20;
  • Wallner’s promotion to chief; and
  • The retirement of Sgt. John Teachout (JT), who will become solely the chief of Ripon Guardian Ambulance (as opposed to wearing both hats right now).

   “I think that we haven’t seen this amount of changes in our administrative staff in quite some time,” Wallner said. “It’s a trickle-down effect ... and with JT retiring as well, you have two senior administrative people [with a combined] 70-plus years experience walking out the door.”

   Further complicating the picture is the possibility, if not likelihood, that Wallner’s position will be filled by one of the remaining sergeants: Sgt. Troy Damsteeg and Sgt. Gary Durkee.

   If that occurs, that would mean the department would have only one legacy administrator still in his original post.

Read the full story in the Nov. 30, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.