By Jacob Mathias
After five months on the job, new Plover Police Chief Dan Ault said he has improved communication within his department and strengthened their community presence in the Village of Plover.
“The community is great. The officers have been great, very embracing of any idea’s I’ve come up with,” said Ault. “I’ve spent the last five months just doing a lot of listening. I want to hear the concerns of most importantly the people, but the officers as well.”
Ault added he made a priority of hearing out his officers’ concerns, making sure they had good equipment and empowering them to to their jobs.
Wednesday morning Ault was watching out for students of Roosevelt Elementary students as they walked and biked to school. Ault and the Plover PD work with area schools all year using programs including Shop with a Cop and Cops and Bobbers, a popular annual fishing event.
“I really believe in a strong relationship with the schools,” said Ault. Plover PD’s community service officer Seth Pionke is often seen at Plover schools conduction safety classes with students, and will also hold a bike rodeo at Roosevelt Elementary.
“As I was talking to some of the parents who were walking up, one of the parents said ‘Hey, I’d really like to thank you. You guys do a great job. You’re out here doing these things and you’re in the schools. We see Plover police a lot,'” said Ault. “Another parent said ‘Yes. That’s why we live here because it’s a good safe community.’ That’s the kind of stuff as a police chief you want to here.”
With summer approaching, Ault said the work load of the police department increases as seasons change, especially during summer.
“People are out and about. More interaction. More stuff going on,” said Ault. “With every police department there’s a clear definition between seasons. More people are outside, more drinking occurs. More athletic events are happening. We absolutely are busy.”
Ault swore in as chief of police on January 19, taking over for long-time Chief Dwayne Wierzba who retired after nearly 30 years of service. Ault was previously chief of police in Oconto.