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After 30 Years On The Job, Kenosha Deputy Police Chief To Retire: Q and A

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Kenosha Deputy Police Chief Tom Hansche Listens To Praise From Chief Pat Patton During Police and Fire Commission Meeting on 11/21/2023
(File Photo By Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

After 30 years on the job, the Kenosha Police Department’s # 2 is hanging up his gun belt. Deputy Chief Tom Hansche announced his retirement officially on October 4, 2023 in a memo to the Chief. “This memo is to inform you that I will officially retire from the Kenosha Police Department on December 31, 2023…I have been blessed with many opportunities and I wish you and the department nothing but the best of success in the years to come.”

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Kenosha Police Chief Patrick Patton
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Kenosha Police Chief Patrick Patton praised Hansche at his final police and fire commission meeting for his decades of leadership:

“Deputy Chief Hansche has 34 years of dedicated service to his country and community.   He has been a leader on the Kenosha Police Department since I was hired and he has been a mentor to me personally over the years.  Throughout his career he has always demonstrated the highest ethical and moral standards that one would expect of a leader.  His unwavering dedication to service, exceptional leadership, and tireless commitment to the City of Kenosha is an example of what all law enforcement officers should embody.  I wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement and I thank him for all he has done for me, especially over the past year.”

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Justin Miller, Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Hansche’s counter-part at the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department had the following to say of Hansche’s retirement:

“He is a man of high character and a true asset to KPD and the community. I wish him well in the next chapter of his life. “

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Kenosha City Administrator and Former Police Chief John Morrissey
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Kenosha City Administrator and Former Police Chief John Morrissey said the City will miss Hansche, saying:

“During my career at the KPD I had the privilege of working with Tom as a fellow patrol officer and worked many calls together.  I have always found Tom to be a very dedicated individual and due to his military service he was very committed to the chain of command and understood the need for a structured environment, but he also realized the need to provide his opinion and thoughts on changes he thought needed to be made.

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As the Chief I had the honor of promoting Tom to Lieutenant and Captain to provide his leadership.  Tom is an individual who understands the need to have a cooperative relationship versus an adversarial relationship with the officers, but clearly has the ability to direct and discipline officers as needed.  As the Deputy Chief in working with Tom as the City Administrator he understood the need to focus on utilizing resources and to make sure the necessary equipment was available but not to have a “wish list”.  Tom’s insight and dedication will certainly be missed by the KPD.”

Kenosha Deputy Police Chief Tom Hansche During This Year’s Law Enforcement Memorial
(File Photo By Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Q and A

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Where did you go to school? High School ? College?  
I“I graduated from Tremper High School in 1988. I obtained a Associates Degree from Gateway in Police Science and went on to Carthage to receive a degree in Criminal Justice.”

What branch of the armed services did you serve in? How many years and what was your role?  I served four years in the Air Force right out of high school.  I was a Tactical Air Command and Control Specialist (TACP).  A brief description would be that we would deploy with Army units and provide them with Close Air Support (CAS) and would provide final control of the aircraft as they entered the battlefield area.”

What year did you become a police officer? Why did you become a police officer? “I was hired in April of 1994.  I became interested in police work when I was in high school.  I wanted to help those that were getting victimized and wanted to hold people accountable for their criminal offenses.”

What roles did you have with KPD? Which years did you get promoted? “I’ve been very lucky to have had the opportunities that I’ve had at the department.  In addition to being a patrol officer I’ve had the opportunity to be a field training officer, member of the bike patrol unit, Hazardous Device Squad, and Tactical Response Team.  I was promoted to Sergeant in 2005, Lieutenant in 2009,  Captain in 2013, Inspector in 2019, and Deputy Chief in 2021.  During that time I’ve held supervisory roles in both Patrol and the Detective Bureau.”

What did you like most about your career as a police officer?  “I really enjoyed the reality that everyday was different and you just never knew what was going to happen from day to day.”

What did you like least about your career as a police officer?  “I can think of no other career that has to endure the level of criticism by people that anoint themselves as experts in policing, although they’ve never actually worked a day as a police officer.”

What changes to the job have you seen throughout your career? “The biggest change has been the influx of technology but, in my opinion,  the career is always in a state of change due to changes in laws, equipment, technology, and public expectations.”

What did you like most about your career as a police administrator?  “The most rewarding part about working in administration is watching the career progression of officers that you may have trained or supervised when their career first started.   I also like knowing that perhaps some new equipment or technology that we were able to purchase as an administration is making the officer’s job a little bit easier.”

What details about your family do you wish to share? Wife? Children’s ages? “I am married and my wife and I have three sons (ages 9, 14, and 16).”

What are your non-police hobbies and interests? “I really enjoy hiking in the mountains out West and also workout and run as much as I can.”

If a son/daughter, nephew/niece or other young loved one suggested he/she wanted to be a police officer, would you suggest it? Why or why not?  “I would tell anyone that is interested in being a police officer if you’re the type of person that needs their job to have a sense of purpose, this may be the job for you.  I would also advise them that there are many different levels (federal, state, and local) of policing and to explore all of them before you commit to one of them.”

What advice do you leave for patrol officers? “Never let your ego or emotions make decisions for you.”


What advice do you leave for other police administrators including the Chief? “Never let your ego or emotions make decisions for you.  Enjoy the last few years of your career….it’ll be over before you know it.”

What do you hope to do more of after retirement? “Spend more time with my wife and make sure that our sons are following a good path in their lives.”

What do you hope to do less of after retirement? “Less meetings!”

Will you move somewhere warm or stay nearby Kenosha? “We have no immediate plans to move but definitely open to other parts of the country.”

What else do you want Kenosha to know about you? “It’s been an honor to serve this community.”

Kenosha Deputy Police Chief Tom Hansche Representing KPD At Recent Police and Fire Commission Meeting
(Photo By Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Author

  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.

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12 Responses

  1. Chief Hansche is one of the keepers of the secret about what really happened when Michael Bell was shot and killed.

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      1. Mr. Bell should not give it up. I hope he doesn’t. The government officials who know the truth should live in fear that one of them may crack and spill the beans. Look up the Daniel Bell police homicide case in Milwaukee. It is just a matter of time when the truth of the Kenosha Bell case is exposed.

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    1. What really happened is that Michael Bell was a thug who tried to disarm a police officer and got killed doing it.

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      1. That is what the police say. However, what they say is completely contradicted by the forensic evidence. No one wants to deal with the ugly truth.

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  2. I would like to say that our city will miss your leadership and common sense in governing. Thank you for all that you have done.

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  3. This guy couldn’t make a decision to save his own life. Nice enough as a person but terrible leader.

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  4. Tom is one of the remaining officers- if not the last with a unit number under 400. With him goes experience that will take the new admin a few years to get. Wish Tom the best.

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