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University Police Department swears in new police chief

May 2, 2014

The University Police (UP) Department swore in its new police chief, Karl Fleury, on April 21.

Fleury will be making the move to River Falls from Green Bay, Wis., where he was an officer in the UW-Green Bay police department. Fleury will be taking over for former chief Richard Trende, who retired in March after eight years of being the chief of UP.

Facilities Planning and Management Executive Director Michael Stifter said that one of the first events Fleury will have to prepare for is commencement on May 17. Fleury noted that there are many aspects of the position which will require a brief adjustment period.

“I think that getting acclimated on the procedures. There are some similarities and some things that aren’t similar, but a lot of things that are, which is helpful,” Fleury said. “It’s just a matter of getting to know all of the key people and getting out and about.”

Fleury also has an eye on the future of the department, but said that it all begins with simply evaluating where UP is at right now.

“There are lots of things you look at, but first I have to do an evaluation and get to know the operation side and procedural side of the department. That’s what I’m doing now by meeting with our employees individually and finding out what we do well, don’t do well and find out where we can improve,” Fleury said. “And looking finding out what kind of department they want. It’s just a matter of getting up to speed and looking at thing we can improve on to provide better services to our campus.”

The new chief also said that he wants to continue to foster, and grow upon, the community feel at UW-River Falls.

“I’m a strong believer in community policing. I believe we should be out making contacts with our students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campus. We need to be out and be aware, but make those contacts so they know our police department is here to provide a service,” Fleury said. “It’s also about being able to walk into an office and have a conversation with our employees, but also doing that with student employees at the University Center. Then they get to know you more as a police officer, but as a person and they get to know you as a person as well. It’s a great two way street.”

Currently, Fleury is living in an apartment on campus, as the rest of his family is in Green Bay for the remainder of the school year.

Despite being hired very late in the academic year, Fleury said he is excited about the opportunity to begin the next stage of his career at UWRF.

“It’s a great opportunity to be here at UW-River Falls. To work with the students and with the community and it’s a great opportunity for my family,” Fleury said. “We’re very big into the education component as well. This is a great setting and a great place to be.”