Lodi’s Police Department is slowly working itself up to being fully-staffed again. The hiring of Lt. Bill Nichols brings them closer to that goal.
A Strong Background
While Nichols currently lives in Sun Prairie and has spent the past year working for the Captiol Police, he’s spent the previous 19 years not only working for the Woodruff Police Department, but running a scuba shop with his family in Minocqua. Is was through scuba that Nichols had originally become acquainted with Lodi’s current chief, Wayne Smith.
In his role as a detective with the Woodruff Police Department, Nichols has done a lot of work with the crime lab, and he brings that experience–and love of teaching–with him to Lodi. In the past, he’s created mock crime scenes to help younger officers learn and retain the skills they need to improve themselves. He expects to bring those same opportunities to Lodi.
A Strong Community
As mentioned above, Nichols spent the past year working with the Capitol Police–the unit tasked with protecting the capitol building and the persons in it.
It’s a very nice organization–it’s a state organization. And they’re more of a non-typical municipal organization. Their duties are different. They’re guarding the capitol, they’re guarding the governor, so it’s more tasked in dignitary protection and things like that. But a bigger department, nonetheless. Inside Dane County, in the heart of the city, and exposed things I’ve never been exposed to. There’s always something going on.
When Nichols heard about the opening for the Lieutenant’s position in Lodi–and that the department was now run by Wayne Smith–he leapt at the opportunity. Though he feels that the experience working for the Capitol Police was a good, and valuable, experience, Lodi is “a better fit”.
Coming here this week, I’ve been able to breathe. I told my wife: I sit down and I’m like… “ahhh”. I was able to get in a squad yesterday and drive around a little bit. And as I drive around, people are waving at you. When I went home, I said “That’s a good fit”.
A Strong Partnership
Over the past year–both as acting chief, and now as the official Chief of Police, Wayne Smith has worked hard to build a relationship with the community. Nichols’ approach mirrors that of the Chief. Both are looking to build a strong department staffed with officers who want to remain in Lodi. Both are looking to build strong relationships with community members and businesses. And both are geared towards helping people rather than punishing them.
A Lodi native, Blaze attended the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay where he graduated with a degree in theatre technology & design. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world–including a 6-year stint in China. He has been a teacher, a writer, a designer, and is the founder of the Redleaf Consulting Group.