On August 26th, Charles Ashbeck served his first day as Chief of Police in Onalaska.
Around a month later, Shawn Kudron was sworn in as new Chief for La Crosse.
The next day, Jeremy Randall became the new Chief for West Salem.
Three new Chiefs in the course of five weeks. For each of the men, the new position provides a chance to give back to the community and to learn.
“I wanted a new challenge and I wanted to continue the progression of the department the way former Chief Ashbeck has run the department,” said Randall.
Prior to becoming the Chief for Onalaska, Ashbeck served as Chief for nearly 12 years for the Village of West Salem.
He helped train Randall and offered some advice when Randall was promoted following 13 years of service.
“Chief Randall and I, we worked very closely together for a number of years and so I think just continuing to be active in the community and listening to what the community needs are,” Ashbeck said.
While all three men say the situation of having so many new Chiefs is unique, they all think it can be good to get some fresh eyes in the office.
Despite all three Chiefs working for different departments in different cities, they all say it’s important to work together for the safety of the community.
“Crime has no boundaries, so we certainly see where cases that were working also have links to places like Onalaska, Holmen and West Salem,” Kudron said.
“We’re basically, in my opinion, like a team. You know we face the same or very similar problems,” Randall said.
One way that the men can get to know each other and work together is through a scheduled meeting.
“I actually am the chairman of the Coulee Region Law Enforcement Executive group and so we meet every other month as executives to talk about ongoing issues,” Ashbeck said.
Chief Ashbeck may be the only one of the three to have Chief experience under his belt, but neither Randall or Kudron are new to their departments having served 13 and 19 years respectively.
All three Chiefs are excited to lead their departments and honored to have been given the role.