(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Police and Fire Commission Tuesday night changed its policy on residency requirements for personnel. The police and fire chief’s each asked the commission to allow personnel to be hired who live within 60 miles of Beaver Dam, up from 15 miles. Fire Chief Alan Mannel says out of 126 potential applicants recently only two dozen qualified to work in Beaver Dam and of those 24, only six have interviews arranged; the rest have found work elsewhere.
The PFC chair expressed concerns that expanding residency requirements could lead to staffing shortages when personnel are needed the most, like during a major incident. Police Chief John Kreuziger says he feels he has no choice but to support the change as the goal is to find the best candidate, which he says is becoming more and more difficult.
“I feel like we’re being backed into a corner,” he says.
Commissioner John Oathout noted that the 60-miles radius gets pretty close to Illinois and instead made a motion to increase the residency requirement to a 45-mile radius from each respective station. Oathout said that would allow for potential applicants from Madison, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac and West Bend.
The residency requirement change was adopted on a three-to-one vote. The matter is expected to be revisited in December of next year, at the end of the current contract with the city’s police and fire unions, to determine if it is effective.