In less than two months, the Muskego Police Department will transition to its seventh chief.
Current chief Richard Rens announced back on January 21 his retirement on April 16, 2021. He has been chief for the past four years, part of his 30 year time with the Muskego Police Department. Prior to this he was a member of the UW-Milwaukee Police force.
Chief Rens is credited with overseeing the construction of a new police station, enact an Officer Wellness Program to assist department members during times of crisis, oversaw the department’s re-accreditation in 2020, and served as President of the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association.
It did not take long for the Muskego Police and Fire Commission to decide on the next chief. On February 24, they selected Detective Stephen Westphal to succeed Rens when he retires.
Westphal, the current firearms and electronic control device instructor for the department, has been there the past 16 years, including a promotion to to Detective in 2012. He has earned statewide recognition in his work with crime victims, including being selected as the 2020 Death Investigator of the Year by the Wisconsin Association of Homicide Investigators.
Westphal has nearly 25 years of service in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve, currently serving as a Lieutenant Colonel as a Group Leader for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officer’s College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was also previously deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Westphal is also an Adjunct Instructor for the Waukesha County Technical College.