West Allis's top cop plans to retire

Jungbluth has served 30 years on WAPD

Feb. 21, 2012

West Allis - West Allis Police Chief Michael Jungbluth will retire at the end of the year, capping nearly 30 years with the West Allis Police Department.

By that time, he will have served almost five years as police chief.

Jungbluth started as a patrolman in 1983 and came up through the ranks. He was promoted to sergeant in 1994, to lieutenant in 1997, to captain of the training bureau in 1999 and to deputy chief of administration in 2003. He was appointed acting chief in April 2008 and was sworn in as chief that October.

He spent his entire career helping keep West Allis safe.

Jungbluth, 53, said he notified the Police and Fire Commission of his retirement so early to give it plenty of time to find a successor.

But he said it's otherwise too early to talk about retirement.

"There are a lot of challenges we have to go through" in the coming year, Jungbluth said.

He emphasized that he will not choose a successor but only assist the Police and Fire Commission, if his help is requested. Still, in his retirement letter to the commission he appeared to put in a good word for the commanders in the department.

"As my career as your chief comes to a close, I leave confident the department will continue to be led by dedicated and motivated leaders from within our organization," he wrote.

Looking back on his career, he wrote that he is not only proud of the department's accomplishments but of its continuous efforts to improve.

"In 2008, you entrusted me with leading this organization and I committed to you that we (the WAPD family) would not be a 'status quo' organization. Simply, the WAPD family has demonstrated the innate ability to be innovators. We continue to be recognized as a self-correcting organization that is willing solve problems in traditional and non-traditional methods," he wrote.

"I have been blessed to work with an exceptional group of staff throughout my career," he added.

He also praised the support the department has enjoyed from the community.

"The support I've received from local government, the business community and citizenry cannot be overstated. Mayor Dan Devine, members of the Common Council and Administrative Officer Paul Ziehler have been unwavering in their level of commitment to see the Police Department succeed, even throughout extraordinarily difficult economic times."

- Jane Ford-Stewart

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