Rhinelander has a new police chief. The process ended today as the Police and Fire Commission named current Kiel, Wisconsin Police Chief David Funkhouser as its next law enforcement leader.
Funkhouser was asked what he envisions for the department...
"....law enforcement agencies these days have struggles with transparency. Communities want to know their officers. They want to know what is going on. Open records have been a big topic of discussion. My goal is to really open up the agency, not to uncover anything of concern because I don't believe there is any, but to let the community know we're a part of the community...."
Funkhouser was impressed with Rhinelander and its people and says he wants to be a part of the community. He's been in law enforcement for 28 years in southeastern Wisconsin and has been chief in Kiel for more than 11 years.
Police and Fire Commission Chair Todd McEldowney said the response to the opening was outstanding...
".....we had thirty candidates who applied, and we had some really good talent. I was impressed with the number of candidates and the quality of the candidates. What it shows is Rhinelander is doing something right. We attracted such good candidates that it made our job difficult which is exactly what we wanted...."
Funkhouser succeeds Michael Steffes, who left last fall to work in the state Department of Justice.
The two other finalists included Captain Ron Lueneburg, the current interim Police Chief, and Captain Lloyd Gauthier of the Oneida County Sheriff's Department.