Grand Rapids Police chief says goodbye to law enforcement - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Grand Rapids Police chief says goodbye to law enforcement

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GRAND RAPIDS (WAOW) -

The Grand Rapids Police chief is hanging up his badge.

Dave Lewandowski retired on Wednesday after spending more than 30 years in law enforcement in Wisconsin.

Lewandowski spent more than 20 years with the Rome Police Department as a senior patrol officer.

Five years ago he made the move from Rome to chief of police in Grand Rapids.

"It's just been something that I've always wanted to do," said Lewandowski.

He tells Newsline 9 he always strives to bring the community closer together.

"When I leave here I'm leaving a little bit of that legacy behind, so that they continue on that tradition of being an officer that the citizens and the people can really just trust," added Lewandowski.

Before he was keeping the streets of central Wisconsin safe, Lewandowski served in the United States Army.

Lewandowski says as a soldier, he discovered his passion for helping others.

"I was involved in helping kids and being involved with the community, and then it kind of trickled over to that and I got into the civilian life after I got out," said Lewandowski.

Coworkers say the 54-year-old chief had a sense of humor, and they often teased him about his retirement.

"In fact we weren't sure if this was going to be his real retirement date or not for the longest time, because he's given us several over the years," said Grand Rapids Police Officer Tammy Kubisiak.

As a leader in the community, Lewandowski formed an auxiliary police force and expanded the neighborhood watch program.

"Dave ultimately has been the greatest police chief that the town could expect for the short period of time that he's been here," said Arne Nystrom, Grand Rapids town chairman.

Lewandowski says for the next phase of his life, he's moving to Colorado to be closer to his family.

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