LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – La Crosse Police Chief Ron Tischer says looking back, he did the best job he could with the resources he had.
Tischer is preparing to leave La Crosse where he’s served as Chief since September 2012. He’s going to Payson, Arizona, a city of about 16,000 people northeast of Phoenix where he’ll become Chief of Police.
We spoke with Tischer about a wide range of issues from community policing to what he thinks of the City. We began the conversation with whether he thinks he’s lived up to expectations he set for himself and others set for him.
Among the issues about which we spoke involves some La Crosse County judges. The Chief has spoken publicly about what he thinks is bail sometime set, in his opinion, too low. He says that results in dealers back on the street.
Judges don’t typically speak about cases on which they’re making decisions, but they responded to criticism in 2014 in an open letter to the Mayor of La Crosse, arguing in part that bail is set to ensure an appearance and not to punish.
That public conversation is set to become the focus for the Criminal Justice Management Council. La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke told us that they want to design a more constructive way to have that conversation.
Tischer, in the meantime, is preparing for his new position. He says he wasn’t looking for a new job, but he was eligible to retire in La Crosse and he and his wife always planned to move to Arizona when they retired. He says he has a lot of family there.
Chief Ron Tischer’s last day in La Crosse is July 23.