Meloy will retire after 40 years as Saukville’s top cop; job offered to second in command
After 40 years heading the department, Bill Meloy has decided to step down as Saukville police chief.
The significance of that remarkable tenure is not lost on Meloy.
“When you think about it, how many communities can claim they have gone 40 years without having to hire a chief of police,” Meloy said.
He started as an police officer for the department 45 years ago.
Meloy told the Village Board he intended to retire late last year. His retirement is scheduled to start June 4, the anniversary of the date he started working for the department.
“My wife Gloria will tell you retirement was never a word I used in my vocabulary,” said Meloy, who turned 70 this month.
“Then one evening, while I was home watching TV, out of the blue I said, ‘I think I’m going to retire.’ My wife came into the room and said, ‘What?’”
Although Saukville does not have a high crime rate, Meloy said he is sure the position of chief has taken its toll.
“I have never complained about having to go to work, but whether you are in a small town or a big city, the job of chief of police is always going to have a certain amount of stress,” he said. “The bigger departments just have many more people to handle all of the duties that have to be done.”
Meloy said he has no definite plans for what he will do in his retirement, but he knows he will savor the fact that he has free time.
“There are things I would still like to do, and you never know how much time you are going to get to do them. We have grandkids, and it will be great to be able to do things with them whenever I want,” he said.
“I have had to live my entire life by schedules and appointments. I am looking forward to no longer having to do that. I’ll be able to go fishing when the weather is nice, and not because I scheduled a fishing trip on a certain day.”
Meloy said he is already being inundated by requests be from past and present members of the law-enforcement community from all over the state who want to make sure they get invitations to any retirement party for the affable chief.
“I have been someone who likes to fly under the radar. The key to the job is the philosophy that if you treat people with respect, they will treat you the same,” he said.
“People might not have always liked the outcome of their dealings with the police, but I have never heard anyone say they were treated unfairly by the chief.”
The Saukville Village Board agreed to offer the chief’s position to Lt. Jeffrey Goetz, Meloy’s longtime second-in-command. Goetz has been with the department for 28 years.
“I am excited that we have a strong candidate for the chief of police position in Lt. Goetz. I believe Lt. Goetz will provide a seamless transition from Chief Meloy’s leadership,” Village President Barb Dickmann said following a closed-session discussion of the appointment by the village’s Finance Committee.
Terms of the hiring, including Goetz’s salary, are still being finalized.
His first day as chief would be June 5.
Meloy said he was not consulted on the hiring, but approves of the choice.
If he could offer once piece of advice to his successor, it would be to remember his place in the community.
“The cop is not the top dog, the taxpayer is. The job does not make you more important than anyone else. I have lived by that rule, and the commitment that I would never do anything to embarrass the village,” Meloy said.
Image Information: AFTER FORTY-FIVE YEARS with the Saukville Police Department and 40 years as its chief, Bill Meloy will retire in June. Photo by Sam Arendt