A Little of Our History
The Brodhead Police Department has a rich history dating back to the late 1800’s when the Village of Brodhead was patrolled by a constable. For many years, a little one-story lockup stood south of the railroad tracks at 1105 1st Center Avenue. Prior to having a building, offenders of village ordinances were detained in a freight car in the depot yards for safe keeping; records show that Constables Cole and Stone locked up a drunk in the railroad freight car on February 12, 1864.
Brodhead was incorporated as a Village in 1870 and the trustees appointed a Marshall who had the powers and rights of a constable. In April of this year, the townspeople approved a tax of $1,000 to erect a jail. On May 6, 1870, the first meeting of the Board of Trustees met where the Committee on Police was appointed. On July 22, 1870, a notation was found that the jail would be one story high, 20 square feet and would have walls two feet thick. Brodhead became a city in 1891 and the elective officers at that time included two justices of the peace and two constables of the city.
From the early 1900’s, the police department was located in the former City Hall building on the west end of the Exchange Street square which housed two small lockup cells, until the cells were condemned in 1966. After that time, prisoners were transported to the Green County Sheriff’s Jail in Monroe. The police services were moved to its present location at the corner of W. Exchange Street and W. 3rd Avenue. in June of 1997.
In 1968, the department grew from 4 officers to 5 officers, including the Chief. During that same time period, two clerks were added to work part time performing bookkeeping, answering phone calls, and operating the police radio from 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Chief Fred (Tinker) Ties started as a constable, he became Police Chief in 1921 and then retired in 1951 after serving 52 years in Law Enforcement. He has the longest record of service as Police Chief.
Chief Duane Youngblood became Chief of Police in May of 1951 and served until October of 1962, when he accepted a position as Chief Deputy for the Green County Sheriff’s Department.
Chief Cal Wickline became Chief of Police in October of 1962 and resigned in December of 1976 to become Chief Deputy for the Green County Sheriff’s Department. He rejoined the department in 1988 and retired as Captain in 1995. He later served as Mayor from 1996-1998.
Lawrence “Shorty” Rosheisen filled in as Acting Chief from December of 1976 until January 1977.
Chief Bruce Hannon (of the Monticello Police Department) became Chief in January of 1977 and resigned in December of 1977.
Lawrence “Shorty” Rosheisen filled in as Acting Chief a second time after the resignation of Chief Hannon from December of 1977 to March of 1978.
Chief Alan Christensen became Chief in March of 1978 and resigned in January of 1979.
Fritz VonHeimburg was the Interim Chief from January of 1979 until June of 1979.
Chief Dennis Anderson became Chief in June of 1979 and resigned in September of 1983.
Mark Rohloff was the Interim Chief from September of 1983 until November of 1984.
Chief Todd Miller became Chief in November of 1984 and resigned in August of 1987.
Chief David Wickstrum was appointed in August of 1987. Chief Wickstrum left the police department in 1998, as he accepted the position as Chief Deputy / Undersheriff for the Green County Sheriff’s Department. He returned to the Brodhead Police Department in 2002 and served as the Deputy Chief until February of 2007 before being hired as the Chief of Police for the Village of Orfordville.
Chief Rich Bennett joined the department in 1983 as a part-time officer. In December of 1998, after serving as a patrol officer, Corporal, Sergeant, and Lieutenant, he became acting Chief. He was appointed Chief of Police on January 1, 2000 and retired in 2007.
Chief Thomas Moczynski served as Chief of Police since May 2007, starting with the department in February of this same year as the Deputy Chief. He resigned in November of 2014 when he accepted the position of Chief Deputy at the Green County Sheriff’s Department.
Brian Raupp was appointed Interim Chief in November of 2014 and served in that position until May of 2015. He began with the department in June of 1996 as a patrol officer. He served as Corporal and Deputy Chief prior to being named Interim Chief following Moczynski’s resignation.
Chris Hughes became Chief of Police in May of 2015.
The current police department has a full-time staff of eight full-time officers (including the Chief), four full-time dispatchers, four part-time officers, one part-time dispatcher and two community service officers. The Brodhead Police Department operates an enhanced 911 center for the 897 phone exchange on the GreenCounty portion of the exchange. Brodhead was the first community in Green County to have a fully enhanced 911 system (August of 1991); however the Green County Sheriff’s Department enhanced its 911 center in 2000 and supplies the 911 service for everyone outside the Brodhead area. The dispatch center upgraded to a new 911 system in October of 2009.
In keeping with our excellent service to the City of Brodhead, the police department implemented the BEEMS (Brodhead Elderly Emergency Monitoring Service) program on October 26, 1995. The program consists of an emergency dialer that connects to the land line phone of a residence and in an emergency the participant can press a button that causes the dialer to make a 911 call that connects directly with our dispatch center. Any BEEMS call received is treated as a priority call and officers are immediately dispatched for service.
The modern police department is dedicated to serving the community with many community programs which make life in Brodhead “The Way Life Should Be”; peaceful, secure, and healthy. The department responds to over 4000 calls for service and complaints each year, but officer’s still unlock vehicles and hand check business doors.
**A very special thank you to David Wickstrum, our former Chief, for doing a lot of work on this history during his time here.
Photos courtesy of the Brodhead Historical Society.
Chief Fred (Tinker) Ties
Chief Duane Youngblood
The former police department building just below the enclosed stair case.
Two squads outside of the old police station entrance.