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Sun Prairie, WI - Chief of Police

GovHR USA is pleased to announce that the City of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, resident population of approximately 33,000, seeks experienced police leaders as applicants to serve as this community’s next Chief of Police.

Sun Prairie is located in south central Wisconsin approximately 12 miles north east of the City of Madison.  It is the second-most populous city in Dane County.  Sun Prairie provides ready access to major highways, rail transportation and Dane County Regional Airport. The City Council and staff strive to provide smart fiscal policies and cutting-edge initiatives, while offering high-quality, friendly services. Sun Prairie includes a wide range of housing, excellent public schools, and 42 neighborhood and community parks.   

Sun Prairie is governed by an elected Mayor and 8 member City Council.  The Mayor is the chief executive officer of City government and delegates the responsibilities of day to day operations and management of resources to the City Administrator.  The Mayor serves as the presiding officer of the City Council and is a voting member of the Council. The City Council determines the policies that affect the City’s present and future well-being and provides leadership for planning and community development. There are various citizen boards and commissions that help make the City of Sun Prairie an efficient and attractive place to live.

The Sun Prairie Police Department is staffed by an authorized 55 sworn Police Officers, 22 non-sworn individuals and 2 part time Records Clerks.  Police Officers and Detectives are represented by the Wisconsin Professional Police Association.    The Sun Prairie Police Department is housed in two police stations.  The Department responded to approximately 23,360 calls for service in 2018, the largest number of which were service related.  The City of Sun Prairie experiences a very low rate of criminal activity and is an excellent and safe place to live and work.  The Police Department budget for 2019 is $8,653,868.


The City is seeking a dynamic and collaborative professional with proven law enforcement leadership and managerial experience and strong interpersonal and customer service skills.

The ideal background and qualifications for the Chief of Police position include:

  • Minimum of five years command level law enforcement experience, with at least ten years of law enforcement experience.  A demonstrated history of progressively responsible command level experience is preferred.
  • Certification by the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board or eligibility for such certification.
  • Outgoing, positive and approachable personality to encourage accessibility with residents, business and governmental leaders.
  •  Open and available to Police Department staff and City employees by using an effective communicating philosophy, seeking input, and being welcoming of and encouraging racial and gender diversity.
  • Commitment to continued training, professional development and community engagement.
  • Demonstrated experience building successful partnerships with community stakeholders.
  • Proven history of practicing the principles of community policing and building community problem solving partnerships.  Demonstrated experience receiving positive outcomes applying problem solving approaches within the community.
  • Labor relations experience.
  • Knowledge, and experience with media relations, including experience and support of the use of social media as an opportunity to engage the Police Department’s Community stakeholders and promote the mission and goals of the Department.
  • History of intergovernmental cooperation and relationship building. 
  • Experience interacting and collaborating with other law enforcement agencies and mutual aid groups.
  • Knowledge of current best practices and policies in policing.
  • Sufficient experience to review organizational structure, staffing, and personnel assignments and make changes when appropriate, to ensure departmental capability to carry out its mission and responsibilities.
  • Experience in addressing internal organizational and personnel issues present in most police agencies as well as have demonstrated ability in addressing these problems in a positive, professional, timely and impartial manner.
  • Strategic thinker, anticipating issues or trends and must be open to new approaches and technologies while also thinking beyond the walls of the Police Department, understanding the needs of the City as a whole and of the region’s public safety community.  Able to articulate a vision of how the Police Department should evolve to match the changing communities and anticipated growth within Sun Prairie.
  • Excellent financial management skills, knowledge of capital planning and organizational management and a clear understanding of resource and budgetary limitations while avoiding micromanagement.
  • Well-developed writing and public speaking skills and the ability to adjust one’s approach based upon the audience.
  •  Excellent reputation and a high level of honesty and integrity.

Successful candidates will possess a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or related fields.  Leadership training such as the F.B.I. National Academy, Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command, military officer training, or similar programs and at least five years of progressively responsible experience in executive/command level law enforcement, preferably within a municipal environment is highly desirable. (An equivalent combination of experience and on the job training may be substituted to fill some or all education requirements described above.)  Must possess or be able to obtain a State of Wisconsin driver’s license.  The annual salary range for this position is $120,000 -$135,000.  The City of Sun Prairie also offers an attractive benefits package. 

Interested professionals may submit a resume, cover letter and contact information for 5 professional references by August 23, 2019 to consultants Joe De Lopez and Lee McCann at:


          Electronic submissions are required.  Telephone inquiries:  GovHR USA (847) 380-3240

                                         THE CITY OF SUN PRAIRIE IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUITY EMPLOYER

Posted:July 23, 2019

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