By Brandi Makuski
The Stevens Point Police Dept. will soon have two new faces.
The Stevens Point Police and Fire Commission on Tuesday approved conditional employment offers for two Portage Co. natives, both with previous law enforcement experience.
Ashley Hansen, 25, and 35-year-old Mel Plummer were hired ahead of several retirements expected in the department by year’s end — a move which Police Chief Marty Skibba had approved by the City Council in September.
Skibba said he expects four officers to retire over the next several months. The number of active law enforcement officers in the dept. will not change, he added, as official retirement paperwork from outgoing officers must be received in his office before the new hires can begin work with the department.
Hansen is an Amherst native who graduated from Tomorrow River High School. She studied criminal justice at Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids. She currently works for the Kronenwetter Police Dept. and the Marathon Co. Sheriff’s Department.
“I’ve always been interested in working full-time here and serving the community I grew up in; my friends are here, my family is here,” Hansen said.
Plummer is a 1999 SPASH graduate; he also graduated from the criminal justice program at Mid-State.
Plummer previously served as an infantryman in the United States Marines, then became a Juneau Co. sheriff’s deputy. Currently, he works for the City of Wautoma.
“This is my community; aside from a few years out of the area, I’ve lived here all my life,” Plummer said. “And I know it’s kind of a default answer, but I really enjoy helping people. This is an area that I love.”
Skibba said future interviews will narrow down two additional applicants to complete filling expected retirement vacancies.
The employment offers were conditional — standard procedure in the police dept. — and require several more steps before either can begin training, to include passing a physical and physiological examination.