THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Peshtigo Police Chief FitzGerald Is Settling In
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Peshtigo Police Chief Joe FitzGerald completed his first three months on the job as top officer in the Peshtigo Police Department. He officially replaced Chief Kent Kline on Aug. 8. Kline retired after 24 years on the force.
Before being hired as Peshtigo Police Chief FitzGerald had been Police Chief in Gaylord, Mich. He was fully certified in Michigan but needed to become certified in some areas for his new job in Wisconsin.
He anticipated no problems, and he was right. He completed his Wisconsin Law Enforcement Certification tests on Thursday, Oct. 20 through the Wisconsin Training Standards Bureau in Madison.
He said there are a few differences between Wisconsin and Michigan law enforcement, but not major ones.
"Some of the criminal law penalties are a little different. Some things that are misdemeanors in Michigan may be civil infractions here in Wisconsin," FitzGerald said.
"I'm getting to know the local law enforcement community, and they have been very helpful in helping me get acclimated to the area. I have a great group of officers who have been supportive and helpful, as have Mayor Cathi Malke and the City Council," FitzGerald added. "I have found Peshtigo is an extremely friendly city. People are very welcoming, and the area is beautiful. I haven't run into any major problems with anybody."
FitzGerald said he was born and raised in Sault Ste Marie, Mich., but has always loved northeast Wisconsin and Michigan's entire Upper Peninsula. He said Gaylord, which is approximately the same size as Peshtigo, is located about 60 miles south of the Mackinac Bridge in the center of the northern portion of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. It sits on an inland lake shore but there is no other water around it for fishing, FitzGerald said. Opportunities for fishing and hunting were part of what attracted him to Peshtigo.
FitzGerald said he has been so busy settling into his new home and his new job that so far he has had no time to enjoy the many fishing opportunities in and around Peshtigo. He does plan to hunt for at least a few days of the approaching Deer Season.