(Lowell) After 27-years on the beat, the Village of Lowell police chief is retiring. Sunday is the last day for Rick Gempeler. He was hired at the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office in 1993 and retired from the full-time position 23 years later. Gempeler started his part-time work in Lowell’s two-person department in 1995 and was named chief after two years. He says a lot of officers have come up through the ranks with Lowell as their first professional job.
“But I stuck around because I enjoy the residents here,” Gempeler said, “they’ve treated me so well.”
The Monroe-native says the department may be small but some of the challenges have been substantial, particularly when it comes to children and families.
“Let’s say if you got into a household where you saw the children weren’t being brought up in the environment and you take what corrective action you’re allowed to, to make it a better situation,” he explained, “just to see when it makes a change in their life and that things start to go better…times like that I have to say I will remember most.”
Gempeler says the Lowell community is like a family, and it’s his professional relationship with this community that he will miss the most.
“It’s like they’re part of the team, just helpful and have always been there for me,” he said.
Gempeler is going to continue to volunteer for the village, as he always has, fixing stuff like burnt out bridge lights and broken lawn mowers. His successor, Kelly Cotter, will be sworn in on Thursday.