Former Hudson police chief takes the lead at Public Safety
November 30, 2006
As Interim Public Safety Director Mark Kimball’s retirement looms near, UW-River Falls administration filled the position with former Hudson Police Chief Dick Trende.
Trende began his work on campus Nov. 20.
Right now, Trende said he is focusing his work on the overall operation of Public Safety.
“What was always important to me was receiving the input from the community,” he said of his time as police chief. “We [Public Safety] interact with the campus community, so we need to provide that service to the campus.”
He said it is easy to dictate the service provided by Public Safety, but it is more important to solicit feedback and opinions as to how the service is conducted.
“I like the environment,” Trende said. “It will be fun; it is a totally different learning environment than what I had before.”
He said he wants to provide a professional service to the community of UWRF. He plans to walk around campus visiting with students, faculty and staff, introducing himself along the way.
“This came at a very opportune time for me,” he said. “I was beginning to look for something part time.”
With his wife still working for the next couple years, retirement just didn’t make much sense, though it gave him a benefit to focus on things other than work — like family.
Trende has a wife, three grown children, two grandchildren with one on the way and pet dogs. He and his wife met while attending Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minn., where Trende majored in sociology with an emphasis in psychology and minored in anthropology. After graduation he attended the division of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.
Trende, an avid Christian volunteer, said he also enjoys taking time to volunteer at many organizations.
“I like to volunteer,” he said. “There are so many people in need; it’s just so beneficial for those in need to volunteer. Being able to participate in the community with others is paramount.”
Trende is still a licensed police officer through the state of Wisconsin.
After he originally became a certified officer, he obtained a position at the Hudson Police Department as a patrol officer, moving his way to a detective sergeant. Trende eventually retired as police chief after 34 years at the department.
“It’s a real advantage with having someone with a law enforcement background,” Kimball said. “Dealing and working with officers and the public is a real benefit.”
Having an extensive background and knowledge in law enforcement is a definite plus to hiring Trende as the new interim director, said Kimball, who is set to retire in January.
“The 34 years of experience with a police officer background couldn’t be any better for this department,” said Thomas Weiss, director of General Services. “It’s priceless, making it a wonderful transition with Mark retiring.”
Trende is now coming from six months of relaxation and recuperation, and said he will focus on the safety, patrol and security of the campus for the next few months while Kimball finishes his projects with areas of environmental health and safety.
Though Kimball won’t depart until January, Trende said it was imperative for him to begin working this month because he wants to be trained on how the department operates.
“It’s been interesting to adapt from the retired life into the working life,” he said.
Trende received the position as interim director while UWRF administration continues to search for a candidate to fill the permanent director position, Kimball said.
Nearly two years ago, Kimball took the interim position knowing the administration was looking for someone to eventually take over as director.
A search and screen committee has been established by administration, and a job description is available at UWRF’s Human Resources Web site for the director position, Weiss said.
The two-year lapse in hiring occurred because it came at a time to reflect and study the department’s procedures and processes, he said.
Weiss said he worked with Kimball to establish many recommendations to administration about how Public Safety should grow in the future. In turn, Weiss and Kimball had to wait for administration to make decisions as to what they were looking for in a director and what the job description should entail.
“Administration had taken the recommendation and wrapped it around the job description of the Public Safety director,” Weiss said.
The majority of the time spent over the past two years was strictly devoted to organizing the search and screen committee, perfecting recommendations and working with administration to make sure the director position could be filled with an appropriate candidate, he said.
The position is expected to be filled by February or March, Weiss said.
“A lot of the timing didn’t work,” he said. “We had to get a feel of what the new chancellor wanted, but the delay was healthy.”